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Colleges / University of Colorado Boulder

CU Boulder Tuition Information

In 2021, tuition for full-time students at University of Colorado Boulder was $10,728 a year for in-state students and $36,546 a year for out-of-state students. On average, college tuition rises about 3 percent a year.

If these numbers sound high, remember, the "sticker price" of tuition doesn't give you enough information to determine the actual cost. Many students pay far less than the total tuition after grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts kick in. Plus, student loans can make the amount you do have to pay for college more manageable.

Tuition for international students at University of Colorado Boulder is $38,336 per year.

Does CU Boulder Offer In-State and Out-of-State Tuition?

University of Colorado Boulder is a public, state institution, so it offers a reduced tuition rate of $10,728 for in-state students who attend full-time. For students who are not considered Colorado-residents, out-of-state tuition is $36,546 a year.

Public schools receive funds from the state to help them cover costs. These institutions offer reduced tuition for students who are residents of that state.

Attending a school where you qualify for in-state tuition can save significant money on the overall cost of college. Each state has different requirements to qualify as in-state resident. In many states, students must have lived in the state for 12 months before starting school to qualify for in-state tuition

Explore other Colorado colleges

CU Boulder International Student Tuition

Tuition at CU Boulder is higher for international students than it is for out-of-state students.

International students at University of Colorado Boulder can expect to pay around $38,336 per year, before any scholarships or financial aid.

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but may be eligible for school-specific aid and scholarships.

International students without financial need may be eligible for merit-based institutional scholarships and athletic awards.

CU Boulder Living Expenses and Other Costs

In addition to tuition, there are other costs associated with college, like room and board, facility fees, and books and supplies.

Room and Board at CU Boulder

Room and board at CU Boulder is $15,676 a year. This includes the cost of living in dorms or other campus housing, plus a meal plan that allows you to eat in the school dining facilities.

Board costs may vary depending on how many meals are included in the meal plan you choose.

Cost of Books at CU Boulder

The cost of books often surprises first-year college students. At CU Boulder, you can expect to pay about $1,200 a year for books and supplies. This does not count the initial cost of a computer or other technology. The actual cost of books depends on the courses you take and the materials required.

Yearly Fees

Most schools also have fees to help cover the cost of facilties, like the library, gym and computer labs. Full-time undergrads at CU Boulder pay $1,766 in fees each academic year.

There may also be optional fees associated with participating in certain activities, like joining a fraternity or sorority, or playing on an intramural sports team, may mean additional fees.

Transportation costs

The total cost of transportation in college can really vary. It depends on if you drive or fly to get to school, own a car, or if you prefer to walk or take public transportation to get around campus.

A school's location can impact transportation costs. The University of Colorado Boulder campus is in a suburban setting in Colorado, not far from Denver. First-year students are allowed to park a car on campus.

For CU Boulder students, $1,494 is good ballpark for transportation costs for on-campus students.

Other College Costs

When creating a budget for college, don’t forget to leave some room in your budget for personal expenses, like entertainment, clothes, furnishings and toiletries.

Let’s look at the breakdown of all expenses, which can add up for both on-campus and off-campus students.

Total Cost of CU Boulder

2021 Total Tuition and Expenses
In-state Tuition $10,728
Out-of-State Tuition $36,546
Room and Board $15,676
Books and Supplies $1,200
Yearly Fees $1,766
Transportation $1,494
Other expenses $1,484
Total Estimated Costs

Tuition and fees may vary depending on program, course level, location, and more.

University of Colorado Boulder Financial Aid

The majority of CU Boulder undergrads use financial aid to help pay for school. In 2021, 8,935 of the 30,300 undergrads enrolled received financial aid. CU Boulder meets 74 percent of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates.

The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $17,004 a year. Around 38 percent of CU Boulder undergrads take out student loans to cover any remaining costs. CU Boulder graduates who have student loans graduate with an average of $27,425 of student loan debt.

The average debt for each loan type varies.

Average Debt By Loan Type
Federal Loans $18,878
State Loans $0
CU Boulder-Specific Loans $0
Private Loans $39,198
Most Common Loans for CU Boulder Students
Federal Loans 36%
Private loans 9%

Most students take out institutional or government loans, because they tend to have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. Loans from the federal government can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest during school, while unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest at the time the loan is issued. If students do no qualify for enough federal loans to cover the cost of tuition, some take out private loans. Parents can also take out ParentPLUS loans, which are government loans for parents who are helping their children pay for college.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps colleges determine how much financial need students and their familes have, so they can offer a financial aid package that meets, or come close to meeting, their need. For more information on CU Boulder financial aid, keep reading, or visit their financial aid website.

Scholarships at CU Boulder

Some students may receive grants and scholarships to help pay for college. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back.

In 2021, CU Boulder awarded 7,071 need-based scholarships to students, giving away total of $88,966,170 to help students with financial need cover the cost of school. An additional $46,093,389 in merit-based scholarship money was awarded to students without demonstrated financial need.

Net Cost of CU Boulder

The net price of college is the actual cost of attending a school for one year. Net cost is calculated by subtracting any scholarships, grants or other aid that does not need to be paid back from the total cost. Student loans are not part of the calculation, because they need to be repaid.

Now that we have a sense of the total estimated costs for CU Boulder students, we can subtract the average financial aid package to find the estimated net cost. Net cost can vary depending on a students’ need and the financial aid award received.

When considering whether a school fits your budget, it is important to consider the estimated net cost, not just the sticker price of tuition. Often, schools with the highest tuition also offer the most generous aid packages, so estimate your net cost before eliminating a school because it does fit your budget.

The average amount of financial aid received by a full-time first year student with demonstrated need at CU Boulder was $17,004 in 2021. By substracting the average financial aid package from the estimated costs, we get a number that may make the cost of CU Boulder seem more manageable.

Estimated Net Cost for Full-Time Students
Out-of-State, On-Campus $39,668

What will attending CU Boulder really cost you? The answer depends on several factors.

As of 2011, colleges are required to have a net price calculator on their website to help prospective students and their families understand the actual cost of attending that school, based on their financial situation. You can find the CU Boulder's net cost calculator on their website.

CU Boulder Tuition Payment Plans

Some students choose to use payment plans to make the cost of tuition fit more comfortably in their budget.

Students cannot pay tuition in installments. Contact the financial aid office to verify this and discuss options.

CU Boulder Tuition Waivers

Schools sometimes offer tuition waivers to certain groups to cover some or all of the cost of tuition. Some schools offer them for employees and their family, underrepresented students, or military students. Even with a tuition waiver, other expenses and fees are the responsibility of the student

Check the financial aid website for more information on payment plans and tuition waivers.

CU Boulder Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees

$29,370

In State

$55,188

Out-of-State
Cost Breakdown
In State
Out-of-State
State Tuition
$10,728
$36,546
Fees
$1,766
$1,766
Housing
$15,676
$15,676
Books
$1,200
$1,200

CU Boulder Financial Aid

Students Who Receive Need-Based Aid

26%

Average Financial Aid Package

$17,482

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment

36,956

Campus Setting

Suburban

Acceptance Rate

84%

Tuition and Fees

In State

$12,494

Out-of-State

$38,312

Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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