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The CU Promise

Putting a college degree within reach.


The CU Promise began in the fall semester of 2005. The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) guarantees that eligible Colorado residents from low-income families will be able to afford the academic costs of a college education without going into debt.

If you are eligible, CU Denver offers a financial aid award package that includes a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study sufficient to fund the student share of tuition, fees, and estimated book expenses.

Grants and scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need and/or merit and do not have to be repaid. Work-study is offered as a part of the student's financial aid award. The student is responsible for earning the work-study funds through an on-campus department or approved off-campus agency. Please contact Student Employment if you have any questions.

To be eligible for The CU Promise, the student must:
  • be a Colorado resident,
  • begin attendance as a first-time freshman or new transfer student from a Colorado community college,
  • have a family income at or below 100% of the federally-established poverty level,
  • complete their financial aid application process, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by July 1st,
  • be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant award,
  • be enrolled each term for 12 credit hours or more.

The CU Denver is committed to assisting students in their pursuit of a college education. If the student qualifies for The CU Promise, he or she may still choose to use student loans to cover some of his or her other educational costs such as room and board. If he or she does not qualify for The CU Promise, he or she may still be eligible for enough financial aid to cover the majority of her academic costs.​​​​