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Undergraduate Programs


Find information on Scholarships and other opportunities.

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We strive to make Western affordable for every student. In fact, our numbers speak to our success—80% of our students receive some form of financial aid. As part of this effort, we offer a variety of funding opportunities through Merit Scholarships, Program-Based Scholarships and more.

If you have questions about scholarships, scholarship policies or financial aid in general, contact Western’s Financial Aid Department at finaid@western.edu or 970.943.3085. We’re here to help. Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate merit scholarships and financial aid for which you qualify.

Merit Scholarships

Merit awards are based on overall academic record and evidence of achievements. Awards are made only to new students who will attend Western full time. Students seeking an additional bachelor’s degree are not eligible for these scholarships.

New, first-year admitted students are considered for merit scholarships based on cumulative high school GPA; test scores are not a factor in our merit scholarship calculation. First-year merit awards are renewable for four years.

First-Year Scholarship Award Levels

GPA In-State Per Year Out-Of-State Per Year
3.35 to 3.749 East Merit $2,500 Basin Merit $8,000
3.75 to 3.999 Slate Merit $3,500 Ridgeline Merit $9,000
4.0 Taylor Merit $4,500 Peak Merit $10,000

Renewal Requirements

A maximum of eight semesters of eligibility will be awarded to first-year students. To continue receiving a Merit Scholarship, students must:

Note: If a student is awarded a Merit Scholarship and fails to maintain the required cumulative GPA of 2.75, the student will not default to their state’s tuition-discount program.

New students are evaluated as transfers if they have taken college courses after graduating from high school. Transfer students with fewer than 24 college credits AND a minimum 2.5 college GPA will be considered first-year students for merit awards – see above.

New admitted transfers students are considered for merit scholarships based on cumulative college GPA. Merit scholarships are renewable for up to three years.

Transfer Scholarship Award Levels

In-State Out-Of-State
Advantage Award (3.0-3.49 GPA) $2,000 $4,500
Scholars Award (3.5-4.0 GPA) $3,000 $6,000
Phi Theta Kappa (Two-Year College Honor Society Members) $4,000 $7,000

Renewal Requirements

A maximum of six semesters of eligibility will be awarded to transfer students. To continue receiving a Merit Scholarship, students must:

Note: If a student is awarded a Merit Scholarship and fails to maintain the required cumulative GPA of 2.75, the student will not default to their state’s tuition-discount program.

The Western Scholarship Application

Western’s Scholarship Application houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may search for scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more.

Application Dates

New Students Beginning Spring or Summer 2024

  • The General Scholarship Application opens December 1, 2023.
  • You will need your Western email address, student ID, and password to login; follow the instructions on your new student checklist to create those.

New Students Beginning Fall 2024 (August)

  • The General Scholarship Application opens later in December.
  • You will receive an email with application information later in December.

Currently Enrolled Students

  • The General Scholarship Application opens December 1, 2023.
  • You will need your Western email address, student ID, and password to login.

For all students, applications completed before March 1, 2024, receive priority consideration, but applications submitted later are evaluated scholarships not awarded in the priority timeframe. Be sure to check individual scholarship details for start dates and deadlines, as some vary.

Search for Scholarships and Prepare to Apply

Visit western.academicworks.com to search and view scholarship descriptions, award amounts, application requirements, and application deadlines. For scholarships that require a reference request and you will need a full name and email address for each reference, gather those in advance to make your application easier.

Create Your Application

On the appropriate date noted above, log in with your Western email, and then

  • Confirm that the information in the bottom left corner of the page is accurate – it’s used to connect you to scholarships that you may be eligible for. If a correction needs to be made, please contact the registrar’s office to update your information at registrar@western.edu or 970.943.7003.
  • Complete the General Application. This step gives scholarship review committees a well-rounded perspective of you and:
    • Auto-matches with scholarships that need no additional information
    • Connects you to a program/department-specific application to fill out, if needed
    • Recommends scholarships that you will need to provide additional information to apply for
  • Next, complete the program/department application(s)
  • Finally, apply for any additional recommended scholarship opportunities

Review, Edit, and Submit Your Applications

  • You can save and return to your applications; however, your applications will not be considered until you submit them.
  • Once an application is submitted, you can go back in to view and update your application any time before the deadline.
  • If your scholarship requires Reference Requests, each reference will be sent an email that prompts them to complete their reference. You should personally reach out to your reference to have them watch for an email from scholarships@western.edu with the instructions. You can view the status of your reference requests on the “References” tab at the top of the page.

What’s Next

If new opportunities open that are recommended for you, you will receive an email notification from scholarships@western.edu via your Western email address.

You may also receive via email:

  • Reminders to complete drafted applications that are closing soon
  • When a reference request has been completed
  • Confirmation when an application has been submitted
  • When you have received an award offer
  • When a scholarship award has been posted to your student account
  • When you need to complete a post-acceptance request in order to receive your award
  • When you need to fill out a renewal application for a continuing scholarship

Having trouble or questions?

Other Opportunities

Western Colorado University is a proud partner of the Reisher Scholars Program. Starting in Fall 2024, this program will provide high-achieving students with financial need the opportunity to earn a scholarship that will significantly decrease the amount of college-related debt they’ll have after graduation. To learn more about this opportunity, click the link below.

Learn More

The Mountaineer Promise guarantees that standard tuition and mandatory fees will be covered through a combination of federal, state, and institutional scholarships and grants for eligible Colorado residents. To learn about eligibility and specifics, visit the link below. 

The Mountaineer Promise

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time, non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

      • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
      • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
      • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
      • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
      • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship (MARS)

Western Colorado University Alumni may recommend prospective students who they feel will add to the community of learning and family that is the Western Nation.

The guidelines are as follows:

      • An individual Western alumni may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship ($250 per semester).
      • Application deadline is June 1 for new students enrolling for the following fall semester.
      • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
      • The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards.
      • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student attending Western for the first time.
      • The recommended student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
      • Western employees are eligible to recommend a student but not a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits.
      • Not available to mid-year transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.
      • The nominating alumni or employee must complete all portions of the online nomination form.

The Admissions and Alumni offices will verify the nomination forms before the award is given. If you have any questions, contact the Alumni Relations Office at mabeyta@western.edu or 970.943.3464

To apply, please visit our online web form.

Tuition Exchange Program

The Tuition Exchange (TE) Program is a reciprocal scholarship opportunity for dependents of eligible faculty and staff members who are employed at participating Tuition Exchange schools. Under this arrangement, dependents who apply to participating colleges and universities may be awarded TE scholarships for basic tuition costs. There are more than 660 institutions around the country and the world that currently participate in the program.

“Import” Students at Western

This is for students who are dependents of employees at other TE program schools and who hope to attend Western Colorado University.

If you receive a TE scholarship for Western, whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student, the cost of basic full tuition will be covered.

Steps for Attending Western through the Tuition Exchange Program:

      1. Check with your home institution to see if you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for the TE scholarship. You should contact your Tuition Exchange Liaison Officer (TELO), who will be able to guide you through the process. You may need to fill out forms or take other steps to be certified by your institution to participate.
      2. Check to see if you meet the eligibility requirements for the program at Western. Incoming students must be first-time, first-year students and be merit-eligible.
      3. Apply for admission and be accepted to Western by Dec. 31.
      4. Fill out the TE application on the Tuition Exchange website and receive certification by Dec. 31.
      5. Complete your FAFSA and submit it to Western for the coming school year.
      6. For in-state students who are residents of Colorado, apply for and authorize the College Opportunity Fund (COF).
      7. If all documents have been completed, the student has been certified by the TELO and accepted to Western by Dec. 31, the TE applicant will receive notification from Western by Feb. 15. This notification will include information about the student’s TE award status.
      8. In order to renew the TE scholarship year-to-year, students must:
      • Maintain eligibility at their home TE institution.
      • Retain full-time status, taking at least 12 credits per semester.
      • Be seeking a degree.
      • Attend Western in consecutive semesters (excluding summer terms).
      • Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
      • Live on-campus for their first two years of school.

The Tuition Exchange scholarship is available for up to eight consecutive semesters.

If you have any questions about Tuition Exchange, or if you would like more information, please contact Western’s TELO, Maria BonDurant.

“Export” Students at Western

For students who hope to attend another school that is part of the TE Program:

      1. Read Western’s Tuition Exchange (TE) Program Policy (located on the HR page in Collaborate).
      2. Start early. In August or September of the year before you hope to attend college, contact Western’s Tuition Exchange Liaison Officer (TELO), Maria BonDurant, to receive information about the steps for the process.
      3. Around this time, you should check your eligibility for other schools in the program and get in contact with TELO’s at those institutions. You are responsible for maintaining contact with these other schools and for being aware of their deadlines, application processes, scholarship criteria, etc.
      4. Contact the HR office for Western’s TE Program Scholarship Certification & Application form and return the form to the HR Office by Oct. 1.
      5. Based on the number of available export candidate positions, you (and your sponsoring employee) will be ranked for scholarship certification priority. The HR Office may request additional documentation during this process to assess student eligibility for the scholarship.
      6. In early November, you will receive confirmation of whether you have been certified for a Tuition Exchange scholarship (or placed on a waitlist). This is a competitive scholarship, and meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee certification.
      7. Once you have been selected for TE certification, fill out the Tuition Exchange Application on the TE website. Western’s TELO will approve your TE application.
      8. If you are certified for TE but do not receive a TE scholarship or decide not to attend a TE school, please notify Western’s TELO by Feb. 1 (or as soon as you know you will no longer pursue a TE scholarship).

If you have any questions about Tuition Exchange, or if you would like more information, please contact Western’s TELO, Maria


      • Full-time
      • Colorado resident
      • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
      • Must be able to demonstrate a contribution or promotion of diversity on our Western campus
      • Students must remain active with the Multicultural Center for the entire year


This scholarship is provided by Western Colorado University.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: the Director of Multicultural Center.


Contact the Multicultural Center for application and deadline information.

970.943.2150 | University Center 122

Department Information

Financial Aid


Carrie Shaw

Director, Student Financial Services

Contact Information



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Gunnison, CO 81231

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