Admissions Eligibility

Understanding the college admissions process in Colorado, including changes which begin Fall 2019


Admission standards are established for undergraduate applicants seeking admission at public institutions of higher education in Colorado. The policy, approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) establishes state-level admission standards for both first-time freshmen and transfer students at each of the Colorado baccalaureate public institutions.  The state’s community colleges  are open admission and, as a result, do not have admission standard requirements. Meeting the CCHE admission standards does not guarantee admission as institutions consider a broad range of factors in making admission decisions. A new admission policy will go into effect as early as fall 2019 that more clearly explains this broad range of admission factors (see details regarding the new policy below). The current Admission Standards Policy contains three main components: the index; the Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR); and the transfer admission standards.


The standards established by the CCHE 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 (some institutions will stop using the index as early as fall 2016), 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 (i.e. ACT or SAT).
To calculate your index score online, view our Index Score Calculator or view the index score matrixPDF.

Higher Education Admission Requirements

All first-time freshman applicants and most transfer applicants with less than 30 college-level credit hours 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 summary of requirements, the Admission Standards PolicyPDF, and/or the FAQ.

Transfer Admission Standards

The transfer standard applies to all degree-seeking undergraduate transfer applicants with more than 12 college credit hours. An index has not been created for transfer admission standards, instead the standards are based on grade point average from previous collegiate work, transfer hours, and in some cases the high school record. Each Colorado baccalaureate public institution has an minimum grade point average requirement for students transferring from another institution(s) - these GPA’s are listed in the table below.

Receiving Institution Minimum GPA
Colorado School of Mines 2.70
University of Colorado Boulder 2.70
Colorado State University 2.50
Fort Lewis College 2.40
University of Colorado Colorado Springs 2.40
University of Colorado Denver 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 (CCHE) 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 states' admission and transfer policies and made policy revision recommendations to the CCHE that align with Remedial Education policy. The new admission standards policy was approved by the CCHE on Dec. 5, 2013 with approved revisions on November 6, 2014.  The new policy begins fall 2019. More Information.

New Admission Standards Beginning Fall 2019

The 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; 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. A new web based admission tool will clearly detail assessment scores, grade point average and academic rigor standards for each institution. The college admissions tool is now available on the College in Colorado website.

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. Learn more about remedial education in Colorado.