Pilot program boosts access for low- and middle-income students
Colorado College is launching the Colorado Pledge, a historic undertaking to address affordability concerns in higher education. CC’s Colorado Pledge is a financial aid initiative designed to ensure Colorado College is as affordable for Colorado students from low- and middle-income families as the state’s flagship public university.
The Colorado Pledge is a pilot program aimed at supporting Colorado families with adjusted gross incomes below $200,000. All students admitted to the next fall’s incoming class and transfer students who meet the eligibility criteria will receive this award. Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are Nov. 1.
“Colorado College is one of only a handful of colleges in the nation to consistently meet the full demonstrated need of every admitted student,” says Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler. “The Colorado Pledge goes one step further and is a bold initiative aimed at making a private education as affordable, or more affordable, than many public universities.”
Colorado College’s pledge is that:
- For students from Colorado families with an adjusted gross income of less than $60,000, there will be no parental contribution for tuition, room, and board at CC.
- For students from Colorado families with an adjusted gross income between $60,000 and $125,000, there will be no parental contribution for tuition at CC; they will only pay for room and board.
- For students from Colorado families with an adjusted gross income between $125,000 and $200,000, CC pledges that the parental contribution for a Colorado College education will be the same or less than the cost of attendance at the flagship state university in Colorado.
CC’s strategic plan calls for an additional $20 million in fundraising, which will allow the college to endow the program for future students, thus opening the doors more widely to a Colorado College education for the best and brightest students in the state. The college already has received more than $3.5 million from generous donors, including a gift that has been issued as a challenge to other donors to match their own contributions of $50,000 or more to the Colorado Pledge.
Currently about 15 percent of CC students are from Colorado. The pledge comes as Colorado College seeks to cultivate a more diverse student body across the socio-economic spectrum. By making the cost of attending Colorado College as affordable as the state’s flagship university, CC can attract and enroll a higher percentage of students from low- and middle-income Colorado families.
“We fully recognize that middle- and upper middle-income families have been asked to contribute a high percentage of their take-home pay,” says Mark Hatch, vice president for enrollment management at Colorado College. “The Colorado Pledge, for many families, will reduce this contribution significantly and will make Colorado College an attractive option for many more students.”
Colorado College, which was founded two years before Colorado became a state, has always had a strong commitment to meeting the full demonstrated need of all admitted students. The Colorado Pledge is about affordability; it’s a commitment to students in Colorado that CC is not only the most selective college or university in the region, but is just as affordable and accessible.
The college administers a financial aid budget that exceeds $40 million annually, and approximately 50 percent of Colorado College students receive scholarship support each year.
As part of Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College, a $435 million fundraising initiative that includes a $100 million effort to secure funds for financial aid, the college is raising $20 million specifically to support the Colorado Pledge.
Read more about the specifics of the Colorado Pledge.