Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, academic achievement, financial need, or a combination of the three. Financial need is rarely the primary factor considered, but it is often used to make a decision among equally qualified finalists. The criteria of each scholarship depend on the values or goals of the group offering the scholarship, however, you must meet all criteria in order to be eligible.

Important to note - you don't have to be admitted to the College in order to apply for financial aid or scholarships. But you must be admitted at the time scholarship decisions are made to be considered.


Scholarship Application Process

The application process for each scholarship is different; please follow the directions listed with each scholarship. However, all scholarships will require you to complete an essay; essay topics may vary. The essay is a critical part of the application because it is often the only information the selection committee will have about each candidate. You should also submit a current resume with each application.

Some scholarship applications will ask for an individual assessment of your budget. This is the place to discuss special issues that need to be explained in greater detail. If there is not enough room on the budget form, attach a copy of your explanation to the application. If the application states no attachments are allowed, you may want to devote some part of your essay to discussing your situation (if the essay allows for it).

You also might consider focusing your application/essay on:

Community Service/Volunteer Work - ANYTHING you do for others - at an organization such as a school, church, youth organization or non-profit facility; helping a neighbor or relative who is a senior or disabled.
Preferences - ethnic minority, first generation (neither parent has a four year degree), single parent and female, etc.

Selected Scholarships

Incoming graduate students are eligible for the CAP Opportunity Scholarship. The University of Colorado Denver and the College of Architecture and Planning recognize that a diverse student body benefits and enriches the educational experiences of all students, faculty, and staff. We strive to recruit students who will further enrich this diversity and make every attempt to support their academic and personal success while they are here. This scholarship is being offered in support of this goal. You may find the application form for this scholarship here

Financial Aid

For information on the types of financial aid available, office policies and resources, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.

Helpful Financial Aid Hints:

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you proceed with the financial aid process:

  1. Apply Early - the earlier you complete and submit your financial aid forms, the sooner you will receive your award.
  2. Read Instructions Carefully - completing the FAFSA incorrectly will delay your financial aid process.
  3. Follow Up - make it a point to check in with CU Denver's Office of Financial Aid periodically to check the status of your application.
  4. Respond Quickly - if you are contacted by the Federal Processor or by CU Denver requesting additional information, a delay in your response may jeopardize your eligibility and award amount.
  5. Keep Good Records - create a file exclusively for all of your financial aid forms and correspondence, and photocopy all of your completed application materials before you submit them.
  6. Write your name and student number on all documents.
  7. Note that all application materials are kept confidential. We recommend that you make and keep copies of all financial aid documents.

Tuition Discount

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) helps higher education systems in the western United States share resources with each other, including tuition reciprocity.

Participating WICHE states and territories are:

New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota


If you are a resident of a WICHE state or territory, you are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition. You can find out more about how this program works at CU Denver through Undergraduate Admissions.


If you live in a WICHE state or territory, you can apply to any CAP graduate program as a WICHE-WRGP applicant and, if you are accepted, pay Colorado in-state resident tuition. Find out more.

When applying to a College of Architecture and Planning program, indicate you are a WICHE applicant, answer the residency questions and provide a copy of your driver’s license that demonstrates you currently reside in a WICHE state or territory.

Once you are a student at CU Denver, you must maintain your residency in your home state in order to continue to qualify for the WICHE discounted tuition rates.