The College Opportunity Fund program provides a stipend for new and continuing in-state students going to college in Colorado. To receive the stipend, a student must apply for and authorize the use of the stipend at their respective institution. The stipend replaces traditional direct legislative appropriations to the state’s colleges and universities. Without the stipend, a student is responsible for the full amount of tuition which equals in-state tuition plus the stipend amount.
The goal of the COF program is to bring awareness to Colorado resident students that state funds exist to help finance their college education and improve access with a particular emphasis on higher education/K-12 linkages and strengthening accountability.
To view the entire CCHE COF stipend Policy, click here.
Applying for COF
Undergraduate students at participating public institutions may receive a stipend from the College Opportunity Fund if they meet the following requirements:
- Enrolled at a state institution of higher education
- Classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes
- Have applied for and been accepted into the COF program
- Have requested a payment from the COF on their behalf to their attending institution
- Are receiving undergraduate instruction
- Have not exceed their lifetime credit-hour limitation (145 credit hours) or have already completed their baccalaureate degree and are eligible to receive stipend payments for an additional 30 undergraduate credit hours
Undergraduate students at participating private institutions may receive a stipend from the College Opportunity Fund if they meet the following requirements:
- Classification as an in-state student for tuition purposes (CRS 23-18-102 (5)(a)(II)(A)
- A graduate of a Colorado high school or has successfully completed a nonpublic home-based educational program (CRS 22-33-104.5) Private institutions may choose to accept the GED test as equivalency for the high school diploma based on Commission policy.
- Demonstrate a financial need through the student’s eligibility for the Federal Pell need based program. (CRS 23-18-102(5)(a)(II)(C))
- Receive undergraduate instruction and have not exceeded the 145 credit hour limit or have completed a baccalaureate degree and are eligible to receive stipend payments for an additional 30 credit hours. (CRS 23-18-202-(5)(c)(I))
ASSET – Undocumented Students
In March 2013, the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 13-033, often referred to as the Colorado ASSET legislation. This legislation modifies several procedures concerning the classification of students for tuition purposes. The Colorado Department of Higher Education is in receipt of many questions from campus and school administrators regarding the ways in which Senate Bill 13-033 will be implemented, the changes it makes to current state law, and the ways in it affects existing administrative procedures. This document is intended to serve as a general reference for commonly asked questions concerning SB 13-033. This guidance will be revised as new, unique questions are received by the Department of Higher Education.
QUALIFYING FOR ASSET
What are the specific criteria to qualify for in-state tuition classification under ASSET? A student (other than a nonimmigrant alien) who meets the below criteria is eligible for in-state tuition classification. This includes U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, and students without lawful immigration status.
- Enrolled for at least three years at a public/private Colorado high school immediately preceding graduation or earning a GED;
- Admission into Colorado institution of higher education/attends a reciprocal program within 12 months of high school graduation or earning a GED;
- Students without lawful immigration status are required to submit an affidavit (onetime on the COF website) stating that the student has applied for lawful presence or will apply as soon as he or she is eligible to do so;
- Have a State Assigned Student Identifier (SASID) number in the state of Colorado on file with College Assist.
Students who graduated from a Colorado high school or completed GED prior to September 1, 2013 and were not admitted into college within 12 months but meet ALL other eligibility criteria may qualify for in-state tuition by providing documentation to the school proving that the student has been physically present in Colorado for eighteen months prior to enrolling.
Credit Hour Limit Waivers
For students that have exhausted their allowed 145 credit hours, there is a possible waiver/extension for current and future semesters. There are two types of waivers for the 145 lifetime credit hour limitation: waivers granted by institutions and waivers granted by the CCHE. In order to apply for a CCHE waiver, students must first have applied for and either have been granted or denied an institutional waiver. For information on institutional waivers, students should contact their respective institutions. Click here for the CCHE waiver and additional information.
Credit Hour Appeals
For students that believe a mistake was made in the current or prior semesters’ COF stipend/billing there is an appeals process. The Department of Higher Education (DHE) will accept billing appeals from students for the College Opportunity Fund (COF) stipend after students have tried to resolve the issue with their respective institution. For information on institutional appeals, students should contact their respective institutions. Click here for the DHE appeal application and additional information.
Students applying for the College Opportunity Fund can do so online. This process is available through College Assist. After applying for the COF stipends students will need to authorize the use of the stipend when registering for classes at their respective institutions.