Making up the difference
Colorado Mountain Promise will cover CMC tuition for students who qualify
An estimated 200 Colorado Mountain College degree-seeking students will not have to pay tuition starting this fall, thanks to a new financial program called the Colorado Mountain Promise. These students, who had previously been unable to bridge the gap between aid offered and their tuition costs, will now be able to receive the support they need to pursue their education.
The Colorado Mountain Promise is based on the premise that every Colorado resident deserves the opportunity to attend college. All students in the program must initially complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or a Colorado Application for State Financial Aid. The program uses a combination of federal, state and institutional funds to pay students’ tuition. Once programs such as the Pell Grant, Colorado Student Grant or College Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, are utilized, CMC will pay any remaining tuition costs.
Shane Larson, CMC vice president of student affairs said that while many students receive Pell Grants that can cover their cost of tuition, there are students who just miss qualifying and do not receive any grant aid. These students are often still low income and in need of support but the government’s calculation for Pell eligibility excludes them. The Colorado Mountain Promise is designed to help students who may have some aid, but not enough to cover full tuition costs.
“We believe that students who just miss and don’t qualify for a Pell Grant are still high-need students in our communities,” said Larson.
To qualify for the Colorado Mountain Promise, all applicants must be Colorado residents and must complete either the FAFSA or CASFA. Dependent students, who are generally age 23 or younger, must have a total family income of less than $70,000. Independent students, generally 24 or older, must have a total family income of less than $50,000. All students in the program must be enrolled in at least six credits.
“CMC is purposeful in looking for ways to increase student accessibility and break down the financial barriers to our in-district and in-state students,” said Janelle Cook, CMC director of financial aid. “Colorado Mountain Promise makes the overall cost of earning a degree attainable by assuring tuition is covered in full for students who qualify.