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College Opportunity Fund FAQ

Q. What is the Fund?

A. The College Opportunity Fund is the process by which the Colorado Legislature provides state financial support to eligible undergraduate students for higher education. It was created by an Act of the Colorado State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Owens in May 2004.


Q. What does it mean?

A. In the past, the state gave money directly to the institution. Now, when you apply and authorize use of the stipend for any given term, the college or university you are attending will receive the funding, and you will see it appear as a credit on your tuition bill.


Q. What if you don't apply?

A. Then, you'll actually pay your entire tuition bill. The state has put aside this money for you. If you don't use it, you will pay more tuition than students who take advantage of the stipend.


Q. Who is eligible?

A. Undergraduate students who are eligible for in-state tuition, and who apply, are admitted, and enrolled at a state or participating private institution of higher education.


Q. How much is the stipend?

A. It will vary. The amount will be determined each year by the Colorado Legislature. For the academic year 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 it is $75.00 per credit hour for full-time students at public institutions.

Go to to review current MSU Denver tuition. Select tuition, dates & deadlines.


Q. How do I apply?

A. You can apply for your stipend online at You only have to apply once, and you will receive the stipend every term that you register for eligible undergraduate courses, authorize for that given term and have not met your 145 credit hour life time limit.


Q. How many credit hours will COF pay for?

A. The College Opportunity Fund will pay for up-to a total of 145 credit hours towards your Bachelor degree. Ongoing, you can check your specific credit hour account balance at the COF website:

You should check the COF website for your specific credit hour account balance at least once a semester. You may also call College Access Network at 720-264-8550 or 1-800-777-2757.


Q. Can I request a waiver IF I run out of COF Stipend hours?

A. If you exceed the 145 credit hour limit, you have the right to request a waiver for up to one year. COF Waiver


Q. I tried to apply for COF, but the COF website says I am ineligible for the stipend because I am a non-resident. What now?

A. Click here to see if you qualify for a tuition classification status change.


Q. Must I Authorize or Decline the stipend for my classes when I register?

A. Yes. After you’ve registered for your first semester classes, you must choose to authorize or decline the stipend. You can follow the steps to authorize the COF stipend here. Remember, if you do not authorize the COF stipend to be applied to your tuition, you will be responsible for total tuition without stipend.

Review the difference of the stipend amount at


Q. Can you use COF dollars for all classes at the university?

A. Certain classes have not been eligible for COF dollars including Basic Skills, English as a Second Language and the majority of Extended Campus classes including Surveying and Mapping, and Graduate courses.

Since FALL 2006 the following classes have been eligible for COF:

  • Post Secondary Options (High School)

  • FastTrack (High School)

  • Basic Skills Classes at Community Colleges

  • More Extended Campus Classes including,

    MSU Denver North: Behavioral Science, Professional Elementary Education Licensure.

    MSU Denver South: Accounting, Behavioral Science, Computer Information Systems, Hospitality, Meeting, Travel Administration, and Management.


Q. Can you pursue a second Bachelor's degree with more COF dollars?

A. Yes, COF allows an additional 30 credit hours beyond the first degree using COF dollars.


Q. What if I don't have a Social Security Number or a Permanent Resident Number?

A. If you do not have a Social Security Number or a Permanent Resident Number you are able to apply for COF funding through a revised paper application available on the COF website (

  • Scroll down the page, do not click on Apply for a Stipend at the top of this page

  • Click on Stipend Application (this is the revised form)

  • Print out, fill in, and submit the form by mail to CCHE

You will check a box on the form saying that you have neither identification number. The COF computer system will generate a number that you will receive back in the mail from CCHE and will need to take to the Office of the Registrar, Central Classroom Building, room 105 at MSU Denver.

The university will use this computer-generated number when requesting funding on your behalf. All COF-generated numbers will be audited by the State of Colorado. Only students who don't have an SSN or Permanent Resident Number need to complete a paper application at this time.


Q. If I am registered for a graduate level course, can I get COF for that course?

A. Graduate level courses do not qualify for COF. You will not receive a COF stipend for course numbers at a 5000 level.


Q. If I am a graduate student will I receive COF for undergraduate courses?

A. Graduate students to do not qualify for COF. You will not receive a COF stipend for undergraduate if you are attending as a graduate student.


Because of the funding process under COF, students must be officially registered with the university for classes.

Officially registered means that students have been accepted for admission by the university, are eligible to register for classes, and that the Course Reference Number (CRN) for the class is entered on the student's registration record maintained by the Office of the Registrar.

The deadline to register is located on the University Academic Calendar

These deadlines are available on the web for each semester at

There are pro-rated deadlines for part-of-term classes. It is the students' responsibility to attend only those classes for which they are officially registered. Students who fail to register officially for a class are academically and financially responsible for any consequences of late registration, such as appeals, approvals, denials, availability of a seat in the class, availability of the class, and payment of full in-state tuition.


Apply for your stipend at or call 800-777-2757 (from local 720 prefix, call 720-264-8550).

If you have questions, please contact:
askCOF@college-assist.orgCollege In Colorado
or call 800-777-2757 (from local 720 prefix, call 720-264-8550)
or fax to 303-296-1637 

Edit this page

Want to reduce your tuition payment?

Apply for your COF stipend at COF's Official Website by the payment deadlines published in the academic calendar!


Run out of COF hours?

Download the COF Waiver from the Registrar Forms page ?to see if you qualify for more hours.

Don't have an SSN or Permanent Resident Number?
Here is what to do.


Extended Campus Students: COF Stipend Information for Extended Campus Students.