State Flag for Universities in Colorado Colorado Residency Rules

Red Square Means In-State Tuition is Most Difficult Difficulty

How to get in-state at Universities in Colorado:

Becoming a new resident of Colorado and earning in-state tuition is extremely difficult for the vast majority of undergrads.  This is not a coincidence, it is by design.  Although all universities in Colorado must adhere to the same demanding Colorado Revised Statutes, each university in Colorado interprets those rules differently.  An individual university has the power to define any vague terms, can assign greater or lesser importance to certain topics, and to some degree picks and chooses its own policy.

A university’s tuition classification policy is subject to change without warning as was recently demonstrated by the University of Colorado school system in September 2013; the definition of what it means to be financially independent changed overnight to a much narrower interpretation.  This change effectively disqualified almost all students including those who had been previously on the right track for the last 9 months and were expecting in-state residency.


How difficult is earning in-state tuition in Colorado?  Why?

Commonly, universities in Colorado require (or highly favor) those who take a gap-year.  A gap year is strongest if taken while deferring enrollment although is still very strong if simply taking a year off school.  A gap year is not always required however.

Financial independence is defined narrowly across Colorado meaning that in general, a student must be fully or almost fully support themselves.  There are commonly restrictions against student loan co-signers; however, it is possible to overcome this depending on the university.   There are exceptions to the financial independence requirements if you are married, at least 22-years-old, or a graduate student.  Even if this applies to you, it’s by no means a gimme.

Each ruling is considered on a case-by-case basis and subject to more subjectivity than most people realize.  This makes the process unpredictable.


Colorado Reciprocity Agreements:

Colorado is a member state of the Western Undergraduate Exchange which is a limited regional reciprocity agreement among select Western States. Favorable college tuition rates in nearby states are sometimes possible through reciprocity although many restrictions apply.

See Tuition Reciprocity Agreements Explained

See Tuition Reciprocity Agreements Overpromise & Under-Deliver


University-Specific Overviews Below:

Below please find links to in-state overviews for select universities in Colorado. If your college is not highlighted, then please consider buying a University-Specific Nutshell Report or see all available university-specific in-state overviews.


Popular Universities in Colorado:

University of Colorado-Boulder (CU)

University of Colorado-Denver (UCD)

Colorado State University-Fort Collins (CSU)

Colorado School of Mines-Golden (Mines)

University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (UCCS)


Other Universities in Colorado:

Adams State University-Alamosa

Colorado Mesa University-Durango

Colorado State University-Pueblo

Fort Lewis College-Durango

Front Range Community College-Westminster

Metro State College of Denver

University of Northern Colorado-Greeley

University of Colorado School of Medicine-Denver

Western State College of Colorado-Gunnison

Every College in Colorado Is Unique

Just as every state has its own in-state regulations, each college in the state has its own interpretations. Learn everything important about how to actually earn in-state tuition at the university in Colorado you’re most interested in.

Get University-Specific Report

University-Specific Nutshell Report

Everything important you need to know about actually earning in-state at your university.