COLORADO — Many colleges in Colorado are waiving application fees this week from Tuesday, Oct. 18 to Thursday, Oct. 20 in a statewide effort to encourage more students to apply to college.
All 32 public colleges in Colorado are waiving the fee, including several private colleges. The goal is to remove the first financial barrier to going to college and opens more doors for people who may not have otherwise applied.
Seniors at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs are taking advantage of the opportunity to apply to their top schools. Many students said this will allow them to apply to more than one school.
"Knowing that this day covers CC [Colorado College] and UC-Boulder is really nice. So then I can spend my money for the application fees on other schools like Harvard," said Shannon Howarth.
Students at the high schools said this takes some weight off of the already looming fees of college.
"I'm paying for these out of my own pocket so having the Colorado Application Day is a big help for me," said Zephyr Miller.
"I don't think I'd be able to pay for four or five of these application fees, because some of them get to like the 50s and 60s. And that. That's quite a bit of money," said Noah Hudgens.
Leilani Mullins, the college access coordinator for District 11 schools in Colorado Springs, said most of their students are eligible for Federal Pell Grants because of low socioeconomic status. She said these three days of no application fees are really helpful for these students.
"They have more opportunity to see themselves in higher education, whether that's high or low socio-economic students. We want everyone to be able to have that first step without having to make large financial commitments right away," said Mullins.
According to Colorado's Department of Higher Education, almost half of the students that applied during last year's Free Application Days were students of color and two-thirds were first-generation students.
However, the latest data from the department shows barely half of all high school graduates in 2020 even applied to college. That number has been generally decreasing since 2009 and took a near 6% decrease during the pandemic, affecting Black and American Indian students the most.
Anyone applying for an undergraduate program in Colorado can send in their application for free until midnight on Thursday, Oct. 20.
Here is a list of participating colleges including submission codes if needed:
- Adams State University
- Aims Community College
- Colorado Mesa University
- Colorado Mountain College
- Colorado School of Mines
- Fort Lewis College (use code FREEAPPDAYCO)
- Metropolitan State University of Denver
- University of Northern Colorado
- Western Colorado University
- Colorado State University
- Colorado State University-Pueblo (use code FreeAppDayCO)
- Colorado State University Global (use code FREEAPPDAY)
- University of Colorado- Boulder
- University of Colorado- Colorado Springs
- University of Colorado- Denver
- United States Air Force Academy
- Pikes Peak State College
- Colorado Community College System
Participating Private Colleges and Universities
- Colorado Christian University
- Colorado College
- Regis University
- University of Denver (use code DUFreeAppDay)
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