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2023 Colorado Free Application Days (Oct. 17-19, 2023)

Free Application Days


Colorado's sixth annual Free Applications Day$ was held on October 17 - 19th, 2023 for Colorado residents! 

64, 784 applications were submitted during the three-day period, saving applicants $2.8 million dollars in application fees. 

View a Fact Sheet announcing the 2023 results.

News Release: 2023 Free Application Days Saved Colorado Students $2.8 Million


Fee Waivers for Financial Hardship Year-Round

Almost all colleges and universities have application fee waivers for financial hardship during the entire year. As such, if you are struggling to pay an application fee and wish to submit your admission application before (or after) Free Application Day$, click on this link or the below button for instructions or contact the admission office at the college/university you want to apply to for more information.

Year-round Instructions for Application Fee Waivers


Who is Eligible to Participate in Free Application Day$?

All residents of Colorado who are applying for undergraduate programs at all state public and some private Colorado colleges and universities are eligible to submit their admission applications for free on Oct. 17 - Oct. 19, 2023. Undergraduate programs include undergraduate level certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees. This means all of the following applicants are eligible:

  • First-time freshmen
  • Transfer students
  • Returning students
  • Applicants seeking a second bachelor's degree

Applicants for graduate-level programs are not eligible.

Colorado community and area technical colleges never charge to apply for admission - its free to apply year round! 

First-time freshmen applicants have the option to include or not include their SAT or ACT scores with their college applications as Colorado colleges and universities are now test-optional. This can make the college application process even easier for applicants. To learn more about the test-optional policy click here.

And to get advice directly from Colorado colleges and universities regarding if you should submit your SAT/ACT scores, click here.

My Colorado Journey has resources that help you discover your talents and interests, find a matching education or training program and successfully submit an application. 

After you apply, it's important to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are many changes happening to the FAFSA process - as such, applying to the FAFSA won't be available until December this year.

The FAFSA is your ticket to grants, scholarships and work study positions that can put college in reach. Learn how you can get your piece of the pie! 

If you don't qualify for federal aid, you may qualify for state aid through the Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA). Learn more here

To inspire more Coloradans to continue their education, all 32 public colleges and universities in Colorado and several private institutions allow students to apply for free on Tuesday, Oct. 17 - Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 as part of the fifth annual Colorado Free Application Day$.

Colorado Free Application Day$ caps off Colorado Applies Month, a five-week campaign that guides 11th- and 12-grade students and adult job seekers along the application process. 

The statewide push is designed to increase Colorado’s college-going and FAFSA completion rates. Despite being one of the most educated states in the country, Colorado sent just 50.5% of 2020 high school graduates to a college, university or certificate program, and less than 50% of students submit a FAFSA application—a key indicator of students’ likelihood to continue their education.  

By removing barriers for students to achieve a credential, Colorado can increase the number of students who complete their programs and enter the workforce with a degree or competitive skills. Nearly 75% of Colorado jobs require a postsecondary credential. Colorado Free Application Day encourages residents to live up to their fullest potential. 

In 2022, the fifth annual Colorado's Free Application Day$ took place from Tuesday, Oct. 18 through Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022.

Applicants who submitted their admission applications to Colorado's colleges and universities during this three day period could do so for free.




In 2021, Colorado's Free Application Day was expanded to become Free Application Day$! The fourth annual statewide initiative grew from one day to three days and took place from Tuesday, Oct. 19 through Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.

Applicants who submitted their admission applications to Colorado's colleges and universities during this three day period could do so for free.

View results for free application day 2020 - thank you to all who participated and helped make the day a success!

All 32 state colleges and universities and several private institutions waived admission application fees for Colorado residents on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 as part of the third annual Colorado Free Application Day. Additional details are included in this press release. Free Application Day success data cited in these resources include:

  • 56,896 total applications submitted
  • Over $2.3 million in application fee savings
  • 44% were submitted by students of color
  • Almost 30% were submitted by first-generation students