Scholars Program

Program Overview

The CU Denver Scholars Program is an early college enrollment program for college-bound, high-achieving, first-generation high school seniors, meaning that neither of their biological nor adoptive parents completed a four-year college degree.

Scholars students get a head start on college. They take CU Denver college courses and receive college credit at the same time they're still completing their senior year in high school. They also attend Saturday Academies.

CU Denver courses are offered on weekdays and weekday evenings to accommodate student schedules.

  • Receive college credit during high school
  • Take one course fall semester
  • Take one course spring semester
  • Tuition paid by the program
  • Apply the course credits at the college the student attends

The Scholars Program requires a serious commitment from the student. If a student earns a grade of C- or below in their college course, it may be harder for them to get admitted to the college or university of their choice.

We caution students who are interested in the program that completing college-level work successfully requires both discipline and a considerable time commitment. With that in mind, we only encourage students to apply if they don’t work after school and aren’t heavily involved in extra-curricular activities.

Eligibility and Responsibilities


  • High school senior
  • Be a first-generation college student, meaning neither of their biological nor adoptive parents completed a four-year college degree
  • Planning to attend college
  • Attend a target high school
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA (Grade Point Average)
  • Completed at least two years of math—two years of algebra or one year of algebra and one year of geometry—with a "B" average or better
  • Completed two years of English, including one year of composition, with a "B" average or better
  • Commit to participate in all Saturday Academies and attend all scheduled classes
  • Eligible participants will be recruited the spring semester of their junior year

Responsibilities and Expectations

    • Be active program participants throughout their senior year in high school
    • Attend all Saturday Academies.
    • Attend and successfully complete college courses
    • Pay for textbooks, ranging from $50.00 - $200.00 per course
    • Pay the fee for a student identification card
    • If driving to campus, pay the daily parking fee

    Saturday Academy

    During the school year, high school seniors Scholar’s Program attend monthly Saturday Academy workshops. The workshops focus on teaching enhanced study skills.

    • Note-taking
    • Preparing for tests
    • Effective listening
    • Organization
    • Time management

    Students also develop their leadership and interpersonal skills while receiving guidance on how to prepare for a successful transition into college.

    • Understanding the college application process
    • Preparing to take college entrance exams
    • Applying for financial aid
    • College Fair
    • Career Fair

    Application Process

    Ready to apply to the CU Denver Scholars Program for high school seniors?  

    Only students who meet the program requirements will be considered for participation.

    Please contact the coordinator before completing any forms.

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