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10 Colorado Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College

What’s Covered:


Are you a college-bound student in Colorado? Then you’re in luck: there are plenty of scholarships specifically designated for students in your state. We’ve rounded up some of the best awards in the region.


Colorado Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College


1. Denver Scholarship Foundation


Amount: $3,600 (4-year college/university)

Deadline: May 1, 2022

Eligibility: Must attend a Denver public school for four consecutive years; minimum 2.75 GPA for 4-year college/university scholarship; must demonstrate financial need

Application Requirements: Application, financial aid application (such as FAFSA)


Graduates of Denver Public Schools may apply for this scholarship, to be applied to education at DSF’s partner colleges in Colorado, including technical, community, and four-year colleges and universities. This is a need-based award, and eligibility is based on minimum GPAs, which differ based on the type of school you plan to attend. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years depending on the college type.


2. Failure Award Scholarship


Amount: $20,000 or $500-$10,000 (finalists)

Deadline: April 1, 2022

Eligibility: Colorado high school seniors planning on attending an accredited four-year college; must have a minimum 2.5 GPA

Application Requirements: A work of art accompanied by a 500-word description


The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver offers annual Failure Fair Scholarships to high school students who submit an “innovative, risk-taking” creative project, such as a drawing, painting, sculpture, dance, theatrical production, novel, technology design, or musical composition. The award may be used toward educational expenses at any accredited post-secondary institution.


3. Latin American Educational Foundation Scholarship


Amount: Varies

Deadline: February 15, 2022

Eligibility: Colorado resident with Hispanic heritage and/or actively involved in the Hispanic community; must be accepted to an accredited college, university, or vocational school; minimum 3.0 GPA

Application Requirements: Letters of recommendation, personal essay, interview (finalists only)


LAEF scholarships honor students with Hispanic heritage and/or Hispanic community involvement with this award, to be applied to their college education. Recipients must demonstrate financial need, leadership potential, character, and service to the community. Recipients will fulfill 10 hours of community service during the award year.


4. ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program


Amount: $500

Deadline: December 31

Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors and undergraduates who are residents of the ARRL Rocky Mountain Division (CO, NM, UT, or WY) and possess an active amateur radio license

Application Requirements: Letter of recommendation


ARRL, the national association for amateur radio, sponsors this scholarship program for participants on the Amateur Radio spectrum. Applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a sitting officer of an ARRL-affiliated club. In addition to the monetary award, winners will receive a one-year ARRL membership if they are not already members.


5. Burg Simpson College Scholarship Program


Amount: $2,500 (1) and $1,000 (9)

Deadline: February 1

Eligibility: Any graduating high school senior enrolled in a Colorado-accredited school

Application Requirements: 1,500-word essay


Burg Simpson, a Denver-based law firm, offers annual awards to students in partnership with the Colorado High School Activities Association. Essay topics address how the civil jury system protects American rights and liberties, and applicants must include a properly formatted bibliography with at least four sources. 


6. Sachs Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship


Amount: $10,000-$12,500/year

Deadline: March 15

Eligibility: Black high school students in their senior year; must be a full-time Colorado residents for at least three years

Application Requirements: Transcript, two letters of recommendation, personal statement and essay response, SAR


The Sachs Foundation offers scholarships to Colorado high school seniors who are planning to pursue their undergraduate degrees. These scholarships are typically awarded for all four years of study and may be used toward education at any accredited institution where students are enrolled full-time.


7. ICRME White Rose Scholarship


Amount: $500-$2,500

Deadline: January 30

Eligibility: Must reside in Colorado and attend or plan to attend an accredited higher learning institution; must have at least a 3.0 GPA and demonstrated financial need

Application Requirements: Application, federal tax return, transcript, two letters of recommendation


Established ​in 1994, The White Rose Scholarship Foundation offers Colorado residents scholarships to be used for tuition or to purchase textbooks. Six awards are given each year to students with a history of community involvement and service, as evidenced by extracurricular activities. 


8. CESDA Diversity Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 5

Eligibility: Graduating Colorado high school seniors who are students of color, will be first-generation college students, and/or demonstrate financial need; must have a minimum 2.8 GPA

Application Requirements: Application, letters of recommendation, resume, scholarship essay, financial documentation


CESDA awards seven $1,000 scholarships to qualifying Colorado high school students who will enroll in a two or four-year Colorado college or university in the coming fall. Applicants are evaluated based on academic performance, achievements and awards, community and school involvement, community service, and financial need. 


9. Law Offices Of Dianne Sawaya Denver Safe Driver Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: N/A

Eligibility: Graduating Colorado high school senior or college student/first-year law student enrolled in a Colorado institution

Application Requirements: Essay


Open to students who are attending or plan to attend a two to five-year institution in Colorado, this scholarship provides assistance for education and supplies. Annually, the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya offers one scholarship to Colorado students at multiple levels to help them attend college, law school, or another institution of higher education.


10. Colorado Garden Foundation Full-Ride Scholarship


Amount: Full ride, including tuition, fees, room and board, and required books for four years

Deadline: March 15, 2022

Eligibility: Must major in horticulture, biology, or related discipline (details on the website); must attend a Colorado public college or university

Application Requirements: Application form, narrative statement, transcript, federal tax return, finalist interview, two letters of recommendation.


Colorado Garden Foundation offers this four-year, full-ride scholarship to Colorado students and residents. In addition to the monetary award, students will receive a laptop computer and printer at the start of their freshman year. In order to maintain and renew the scholarship, recipients must have a 2.5 GPA and perform at least 20 documented hours of community service in a related field.



Tips on Applying to Scholarships


1. Maximize institution-based awards.


Scholarships that are specific to colleges and universities will often provide better support than outside awards. In some cases, especially with large public schools, accepted students automatically win large scholarships based solely on their GPA and/or standardized test scores — and they can be substantial, even full rides for top students.


2. Look for niche scholarships.


When you look for niche scholarships geared toward students with certain demographics or who have particular talents, you won’t face as much competition as you would with those that accept applications from any college-bound students. Within a smaller pool of candidates, you’re more likely to stand out and win.


3. Cast a wide net.


Apply for as many scholarships as is practical for you. While this shouldn’t be an all-consuming activity, bear in mind that the more scholarships you apply for (assuming they’re niche), the more likely you are to earn an award. There’s no limit to how many scholarships you can win, although they may impact your need-based financial aid packages.

Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.