In 2021, Colorado's Free Application Day has expanded to become Free Application Day$! The fourth annual statewide initiative has grown from one day to three days and takes place from Tuesday, Oct. 19 through Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.
Applicants who submit their admission applications to Colorado's colleges and universities during this three day period can do so for free. Just follow the application instructions listed below.
And remember, while the application must be submitted during this three-day period to be eligible for the fee waiver, applicants can begin working on their admission applications now! Just save your work online and submit the admission applications from Oct. 19 - 21.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to only apply to the institutions they have genuine interest in attending.
- Click here to view instructions at each participating college and university in Colorado on how to apply for admission for free during Free Application Day$.
- Click here to view instructions en Espanol.
- Other private colleges and universities in Colorado not listed in the application instructions may also be providing application fee waivers during Free Application Days - to learn more, visit the admission webpage for the private institution you are interested in.
Message from Governor Polis
Who is Eligible to Participate in Free Application Day$?
All residents of Colorado who are applying for undergraduate programs at all state public and some private Colorado colleges and universities are eligible to submit their admission applications for free between Oct. 19 - Oct. 21, 2021. Undergraduate programs include undergraduate level certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees. This means all of the following applicants are eligible:
- First-time freshmen
- Transfer students
- Returning students
- Applicants seeking a second bachelor's degree
Applicants for graduate-level programs are not eligible.
The actual admissions application must be submitted starting Tuesday, Oct. 19 through midnight on Thursday, Oct. 21 to be eligible for the fee waiver. However, applicants can and are encouraged to begin filling out the application before this time - the application just needs to be submitted during this three-day period.
If the college/university has additional application documents required as part of the application process (for example, high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) they can be submitted before or after Oct. 19 - 21.
Almost all colleges and universities have application fee waivers for financial hardship during the entire year. As such, if you have a financial hardship and wish to submit your admission application before (or after) Free Application Day$, contact the admission office at the college/university you want to apply to for more information.
It is always free to apply to Colorado's community and area technical colleges
- Colorado community and area technical colleges never charge to apply for admission!
Colorado is Test-Optional
First-time freshmen applicants have the option to include or not include their SAT or ACT scores with their college applications as Colorado colleges and universities are now test-optional due to recent legislation. This can make the college application process even easier for applicants. To learn more about the test-optional policy click here.
Helping you reach higher
My Colorado Journey has resources that help you discover your talents and interests, find a matching education or training program and successfully submit an application.
After you apply, it's important to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is your ticket to grants, scholarships and work study positions that can put college in reach. Learn how you can get your piece of the pie!
If you don't qualify for federal aid, you may qualify for state aid through the Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA). Learn more here.
Why do we have Free Application Day?
To inspire more Coloradans to continue their education, all 32 public colleges and universities in Colorado and several private institutions allow students to apply for free on Tuesday, Oct. 19 - Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 as part of the fourth annual Colorado Free Application Day$.
Colorado Free Application Day$ caps off Colorado Applies Month, a five-week campaign that guides 11th- and 12-grade students and adult job seekers along the application process.
The statewide push is designed to increase Colorado’s college-going and FAFSA completion rates. Despite being one of the most educated states in the country, Colorado sends just 56% of high school graduates to a college, university or certificate program, and less than 50% of students submit a FAFSA application—a key indicator of students’ likelihood to continue their education.
By removing barriers for students to achieve a credential, Colorado can increase the number of students who complete their programs and enter the workforce with a degree or competitive skills. Nearly 75% of Colorado jobs require a postsecondary credential. Colorado Free Application Day encourages residents to live up to their fullest potential.
2020 Colorado Free Application Day Results
View results for free application day 2020 - thank you to all who participated and helped make the day a success!
All 32 state colleges and universities and several private institutions waived admission application fees for Colorado residents on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 as part of the third annual Colorado Free Application Day. Additional details are included in this press release. Free Application Day success data cited in these resources include:
- 56,896 total applications submitted
- Over $2.3 million in application fee savings
- 44% were submitted by students of color
- Almost 30% were submitted by first-generation students
Many individuals contributed to making this initiative a success, but a special thank you to all the high school counselors and front line staff in the college admission offices across the state for your hard work on this program!