Admissions Eligibility

Understanding college admissions in Colorado, from the index score to changes coming in Fall 2019


Admission standards are established for undergraduate applicants for admission at public institutions of higher education in Colorado. The policy establishes state-level admission standards for both first-time freshmen and transfer students at each of the Colorado baccalaureate public institutions. The standards represent minimum requirements at four-year public institutions and not for the state’s community colleges, which are open admissions. Meeting the CCHE admission standards does not guarantee admissions as institutions consider a broad range of factors in making admissions decisions. There are three components of the Admission Standards Policy; the index, the Higher Education Admission requirements, and the transfer admission standards.


Higher Education Admission Requirements

Until fall 2019, all first-time freshman applicants and some transfer applicants must meet the Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR). HEAR requires applicants that graduate from high school in 2008 and 2009 to meet the Phase One coursework requirements; and applicants that graduate from high school in 2010 and later meet Phase Two requirements. These coursework requirements are in place to ensure that admitted students are prepared to be successful in college. For more information on the Higher Education Admission Requirements and what courses are required either view the Admission Standards PolicyPDF, the summary of requirements or the FAQ.

Index Score

The standards established by the Commission in 1987 for an entering first-time freshman were based on the calculation of an admissions index. The index, which will be used until fall 2019, has two components: a student’s high school performance (i.e., high school grade point average or class rank) and performance on a standardized test.

To calculate your index score online, view our Index Score Calculator or view the index score matrixPDF.

Transfer Admission Standards

Until fall 2019, the transfer standard applies to all degree-seeking undergraduate transfer applicants with more than 12 college credit hours. No single scale comparable to that for the freshmen standard has been developed for transfer admission standards, but rather, the standards are based on grade point average from previous collegiate work, transfer hours, and high school record. Minimum grade point average requirement for students transferring from another institution with more than 12 collegiate semester credit hours are shown in the table below.

Receiving Institution Minimum GPA
Colorado School of Mines 2.70
University of Colorado at Boulder 2.70
Colorado State University 2.50
Fort Lewis College 2.40
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs 2.40
University of Colorado at DHSC 2.40
University of Northern Colorado 2.40
Adams State University 2.30
Colorado State Global Campus 2.30
Colorado State University - Pueblo 2.30
Colorado Mesa University 2.30
Western State Colorado University 2.30
Metropolitan State University of Denver 2.30


Admission and Transfer Policy Review Task Force

State law (23-1-113 C.R.S.) requires the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to review and revise the Admission and Transfer Policy. The Admission and Transfer Policy Review task force identified successes and gaps in the current Admission Policy, reviewed high school graduation guidelines, other state admission and transfer policies and made policy revision recommendations to the CCHE that align with Remedial Education policy. The new admission standards policy (effective after fall 2019) was approved by the CCHE on Dec. 5, 2013.

More Information

Admission Standards After Fall 2019

Key goals of the revised policy are to: inform prospective students regarding the recommended ways to academically prepare for postsecondary education in Colorado; clearly communicate performance-based admission standards that reflect differentiated institutional role and mission, and align to the Colorado high school graduation guidelines, Statewide Transfer Policy for Public Institutions, and Colorado Remedial Education Policy; and allow institutional flexibility for making admission decisions to support increased enrollment, persistence and completion rates as institutions move forward in helping the state meet goals outlined in its Colorado Competes master plan. The new policy will use a new admissions tool that will capture assessment scores, grade point average and rigor.

Read the revised policy. Read the implementation plan. Read the FAQ on changes to the policy.

Remedial Education Policy Review Task Force

The Remedial Education Policy Review task force assessed retention rates for Colorado institutions of higher education, reviewed best-practices and various other states remedial policies, and made policy revision recommendations to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education that align with Admission and Transfer Policy. The new remedial education policy was approved by the CCHE on Dec. 5, 2013.

More Information