Qualifying for Colorado Residency Classification

DSF provides scholarship support to students who meet the requirements to qualify for Colorado residency classification by their college/university along with other DSF requirements, regardless of citizenship status or eligibility for federal student aid.

What does Colorado residency classification mean?

Colorado residency classification may also be referred to as “Colorado domicile requirements.” No matter which term is used, being classified as a Colorado resident by your college means that your college finds that your legal, permanent residence is in Colorado.

The requirements for Colorado residency or domicile are established in Colorado law, but each college/university sets its own process for determining residency and for students to request corrections. Check with the Admissions Office at your college for more information or questions (there’s usually a person called the Tuition Classification Officer who is responsible for residency classification).

For more information, visit the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Colorado Residency Guide.

Why does Colorado residency classification matter?

Colorado residency determines whether students are classified as in-state or out-of-state for tuition purposes. It also determines whether students are eligible to receive Colorado state grants, which public and private colleges/universities can award as part of financial aid.

Beginning with the 2021-22 academic year, DSF requires that students meet their college’s requirements to be classified as a Colorado resident before they will be eligible to receive a DSF scholarship award.

How do I find out my residency classification?

In most cases, residency is determined based on answers you provide on your admissions application. At some private colleges, you may need to complete a Colorado residency application form to determine your residency status.

After you’re admitted,  you can submit a correction form to change your residency status if you think you should classified as a Colorado resident. Don’t get discouraged if you’re initially classified as out-of-state; ask the Admissions Office for help if you think a correction is needed.

I am not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, but I attended high school in Denver. Am I eligible for Colorado in-state tuition?

Probably! A Colorado law called ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) allows students to qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges/universities regardless of their immigration status, if these requirements are met:

  • Have attended a public or private high school in Colorado for at least three years immediately before graduating from high school or completing a GED; and
  • Have been admitted to a Colorado college/university within 12 months of graduating high school;
  • Apply for the College Opportunity Fund at cof.college-assist.org/apply.

Click here to learn more about Colorado ASSET.

I am not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, but I attended high school in Denver. Am I eligible for Colorado state financial aid?

Yes, if you meet the requirements for ASSET and complete the Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA).

Colorado law allows public and private colleges/universities to award state-funded financial aid (grants and work-study) to ASSET students who complete the CASFA or other financial aid application as required by the college. To complete the CASFA, go to highered.colorado.gov/CASFA. Click here to view FAQs about CASFA.

If you are not eligible for federal aid, you must complete these requirements to be considered for Colorado state aid:

  1. Complete the CASFA or other aid application as required by your college;
  2. Apply for the College Opportunity Fund at cof.college-assist.org/apply.
  3. As part of your COF application, complete the lawful presence affidavit to be considered for ASSET and state aid. The affidavit asks whether you have applied for legal presence or will apply as soon as you are eligible to do so.
    • Select “No” in response to the question “I am a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or otherwise lawfully present in the United States” to access the affidavit.
  4. If you don’t have a social security number, COF will assign you a COF ID when you complete your affidavit. Be sure to save your COF ID so that you can provide it to your college and to DSF on your scholarship application.

If you have questions, please contact us at denverscholarship.org/contactus or 303-640-6564, or ask your Campus Contact or Future Center Advisor.

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