CMU offers tuition-free education for western Colorado students

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) has announced a groundbreaking initiative that will make higher education more accessible and affordable for students and families in western Colorado. The CMU Promise, which will start in Fall 2024, will cover 100% of tuition expenses for qualified undergraduate students from 22 counties in the region or the three regional Ute Tribes.

What is the CMU Promise?

The CMU Promise is a commitment to every student from lower to middle-income households in western Colorado that earn $65,000 or less. The promise extends to students from each of the 22 counties in the region, assuring them that if they choose to attend CMU or CMU Tech, the university will find a way to cover their tuition each year. This initiative aims to break down financial barriers and ensure higher education is affordable.

The CMU Promise is made possible through a network of strategic partnerships and funding sources, including federal Pell grants, Colorado Student Grants, Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), local government contributions, private scholarship opportunities and more.

Why is the CMU Promise important?

The CMU Promise is a revolutionary initiative that will transform the lives of many students and families in western Colorado. By offering tuition-free education, CMU hopes to increase the college enrollment and completion rates in the region, as well as the economic and social mobility of its residents.

CMU offers tuition-free

According to CMU President John Marshall, the CMU Promise is a reflection of the university’s dedication to serving the needs of its community and providing quality education for all. “CMU has some of the lowest tuition and fees in the state and in the country, and the reality for us is that doesn’t happen with any one person or organization. That is a community effort,” said Marshall. “That happens in partnership with the City of Grand Junction, who has been one of our longest and one of our most important partners, the university, the State of Colorado, CMU Tech’s Learn for Less reduction in tuition that we made a year ago, the City and County of Montrose. And of course none of this would have been possible without two decades worth of partnership with Mesa County.”

How to apply for the CMU Promise?

To be eligible for the CMU Promise, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Completed FAFSA/CASFA
  • Colorado resident from one of the approved 22 western slope counties or a member of one of the three Ute Tribes
  • For families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $65,000 or less
  • No additional application required
  • Residency will be based on Admissions Application
  • Pursuing a financial aid eligible undergraduate degree (Certificate, Associates or Bachelors)
  • For students earning up to their first Bachelor’s degree only

There is no separate application for the CMU Promise. Students who apply for admission and financial aid at CMU will automatically be considered for the program. The CMU Promise will be included in qualifying students’ financial aid packages as the last dollar in, meaning that once other programs like the Pell Grant, Colorado Student Grant or CMU Merit Scholarships are factored in, CMU Promise will make up the difference up to the cost of undergraduate tuition.

What are the benefits of the CMU Promise?

The CMU Promise offers many benefits for students and families who want to pursue higher education in western Colorado. Some of the benefits are:

  • Tuition-free education at CMU or CMU Tech, ranging from career and technical education certificates to 4-year degrees
  • Access to high-quality programs and faculty at CMU, which offers the third lowest tuition and fees in the state of Colorado
  • Opportunity to study in a diverse and supportive environment, with a wide range of academic, extracurricular and social activities
  • Potential to save money on living expenses, transportation and other costs by staying close to home
  • Chance to contribute to the economic and social development of the region, by acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for the workforce of the future

The CMU Promise is a remarkable opportunity for students and families in western Colorado to achieve their educational and career goals without worrying about the cost of tuition. By offering tuition-free education, CMU is fulfilling its mission of providing accessible, affordable and quality education for all.

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