Governor Polis Announces Fifth Annual Free Application Days

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Colorado colleges and universities will waive applications fees from Oct. 18-20

DENVER – Today, Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Higher Education announced the fifth annual Colorado Free Application Days, allowing students to apply for free from Tuesday, Oct. 18 through Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, to public colleges and universities and several private institutions in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) has posted admissions application and fee waiver information for each college and university participating in Free Applications Days and people may apply to as many participating institutions as they are interested in. The days cap off Colorado Applies Month, a five-week, statewide campaign that encourages high school juniors and seniors – and adults – to select an education or training option that’s best for them and apply to that program. This is the second consecutive year, the program has been extended from one day to three days.

“I am happy to be announcing this year's free application days and hope that Coloradans considering going to college take advantage of this exciting opportunity. Removing application fees allows students to get one step closer to their dream school,” said Gov. Polis. “I am passionate about saving people money and making it possible for more Coloradans to reach their academic and life goals.”

View Gov. Polis’ announcement in English and Spanish.

“Colorado Applies Month allows students to take some time to delve into future career aspirations and ventures, said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of CDHE. “One of our priorities is to increase FAFSA and CASFA completion among high school seniors. Colorado Free Application Days not only supports that goal but also encourages residents to live up to their fullest potential.”

The statewide push is designed to increase Colorado’s postsecondary-going and Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA) completion rates. The opportunity also hopes to encourage anyone who is considering applying to do so and to make it more accessible to apply and explore different options. During last year’s campaign, students turned in nearly 63,000 applications, almost half of which came from students of color and over a third from first-generation students. Statewide, 2021 application submissions were up 10% compared to 2020.

Colorado Free Application Days aims to improve access to further education and training, which is becoming increasingly critical for Colorado’s economy and workforce. In response to these workforce demands, the Colorado Department of Higher Education set a goal of reaching 66% credential attainment by 2025 in the statewide plan for higher education, Colorado Rises. Increasing postsecondary enrollment and reducing equity gaps are priority strategies to improve access and reduce costs for Coloradans.

For more information, visit the Colorado Free Application Day and Colorado Applies Month webpages.

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