Making college affordable

After applying to colleges, it's time to think about finances. College tuition prices have risen dramatically over the past 50 years. However, it is still possible to leave with minimal debt. The "I Have a Dream" Foundation of Boulder County aim to guide parents and students in making smart financial decisions as they strive for a college degree.

Types of Financial Aid


Funding from the government or from your school that is typically based on financial need. This aid does not need to be payed back and is directly used for the cost of attendance of your university.

Some common grants are:

  • Federal Pell Grant: Up to $6,495 for a maximum of 12 terms (6 years). The exact amount is dependent on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment status
  • SEOG Grant: Up to $4,000 per year dependent on your EFC and fund provided by your school.
  • Colorado Student Grant: Up to $5,000 per year by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education


Like grants, this type of financial aid does not need to be paid back. However, scholarships are typically provided by the university and private organizations such as banks, companies, and community organizations such as "I Have a Dream".

Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and merit such as sports, art, volunteer service, academics. There are also scholarships specifically designed for demographic groups.

Your scholarship search does not need to wait until your senior year. There are plenty of scholarships available for younger students.

Here are some resources to aid in your scholarship search:

  • Denver Scholarship Foundation
  • UC Boulder External Opportunities
  • "I Have a Dream" Foundation, Boulder County Scholarships


This type of financial aid does need to be payed back. Loans can come from the federal government or from private sources. If you need to take out a loan, federal loans will always be a better choice.

  • Subsidized Loans - these loans do not accumulate interest until after graduation. You only have 150% time of the program time to graduate (ex. if enrolled in a 4 year program, interest will accumulate after 6 years)
  • Unsubsidized Loans - these loans do accumulate interest while you're in school.

Applying for Financial Aid

Applications open October 1st


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid opens is used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of a student. This application is available to US citizens and those who meet specific eligibility requirements.


The Colorado Application for Student Financial Aid opens on October 1st. This application is specifically designed for undocumented students who are not eligible for the FAFSA.

Apply for "I Have a Dream" Foundation, Boulder County Scholarships!

IHDF Scholarships