Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

University of Colorado Boulder tuition is $10,248 per year for in-state residents. This is 49% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,203. The cost is 30% cheaper than the average Colorado tuition of $15,430 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 16th in Colorado amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 25th most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $34,382 which represents a 235% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $1,838 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $12,086.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $13,998 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Boulder should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,800.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,294 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $2,294 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state Colorado residents to go to CU-Boulder is $30,178 for the 2018/2019 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have Colorado residence can expect a one year cost of $54,312.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 IPEDS survey response for University of Colorado Boulder and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for University of Colorado Boulder
Estimated Budgets
Colorado Resident Total Budget $30,178
   In-State Tuition$10,248
   Other Fees$1,838
   Room and Board$13,998
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,294
   Books and Supplies$1,800
Non-Resident Total Budget $54,312
   Out-of-State Tuition$34,382
   Other Fees$1,838
   Room and Board$13,998
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,294
   Books and Supplies$1,800


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $30,178 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported CU-Boulder net price for in-state students is $21,053* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

47% of University of Colorado Boulder students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $8,929. 17 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,230. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend University of Colorado Boulder, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for University of Colorado Boulder
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$21,053*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid47%
Average Total Grant Aid$8,929
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants17%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,230

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$14,071
$30,001 to $48,000$17,569
$48,001 to $75,000$22,129
$75,001 to $110,000$25,639

Average Financial Aid Mix - $30,178 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $30,178. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 32% - $8,929

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, University of Colorado Boulder or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 19% - $5,374

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 49% -  $13,581

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Is it Worth the Cost?

To make a comparative assessment if CU-Boulder is worth the price, measures of it's relative value for tuition dollar can be examined. We've calculated an academic national percentile rating of 66/100 for University of Colorado Boulder. Considering an average net price paid of $18,377, this leads to an overall value ranking of 68/100. This places the school 103rd on our national Best Value Colleges ranking as a provider of a very high value education compared to actual overall price paid.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. University of Colorado Boulder
United States Air Force Academy100% less expensive
University of Nebraska Lincoln30.5% less expensive
Texas Tech University37.2% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at University of Colorado Boulder.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at CU-Boulder is $120,712 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $18,377 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $73,508**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $150,890 or $91,885 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at University of Colorado Boulder.

Colorado Resident Tuition Per Semester$5,124
Colorado Resident Total Cost Per Semester$15,089
Non-Colorado Resident Tuition Per Semester$17,191
Non-Colorado Resident Total Cost Per Semester$27,156

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at University of Colorado Boulder are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at University of Colorado Boulder
Price per credit hour for Colorado residents$427
Cost for one class for Colorado residents (3 credit hours)$1,281
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$34,382
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$103,146
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$137,528


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 35% of University of Colorado Boulder students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,374. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $24,880.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for University of Colorado Boulder? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $73,508, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $91,206.57. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at University of Colorado Boulder. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 47% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $18,377. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our University of Colorado Boulder student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

University of Colorado Boulder Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$760.05
Amount Borrowed$73,508.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$17,698.57
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$91,206.57

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend CU-Boulder? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending University of Colorado Boulder, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $91,206.57 would be needed to afford a $760.05 monthly payment in the example $73,508.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to University of Colorado Boulder in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $8,056 to $10,248. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 5.4%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 4 year cost of $120,712.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for University of Colorado Boulder.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2025$41,502$166,007
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2030$52,968$211,872
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2035 $67,602$270,408
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2038 $78,258$313,031

Tuition History

What was tuition at CU-Boulder five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearIn-StateOut-of-stateAnnual Increase
2012$7,672$28,850 9.3%
2011$7,018$28,000 -11.5%
2010$7,932$28,186 9%
2009$7,278$26,756 9.7%
2008$6,635$24,797 17.6%
2007$5,643$23,539 5%
2006$5,372$22,826 23.8%
2005$4,341$21,453 8%
2004$4,020$20,336 12.7%
2003$3,566$18,910 6.2%
2002$3,357$17,367 5.3%
2001$3,188$16,506 2.2%
2000$3,118$15,898 2.6%
1999$3,038$15,520 3.4%
1998$2,939$14,983 3.5%
1997$2,840$14,432 2.5%
1996$2,770$13,838 2.6%
1995$2,699$13,263 4.9%
1994$2,574$12,080 0.5%
1993$2,560$11,352 -16.5%
1992$3,066$10,994 35.9%
1991$2,256$9,414 8.4%
1990$2,081$8,593 8.2%
1989$1,924$7,802 3.5%
1988$1,859$6,912 4.5%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at University of Colorado Boulder to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 769 57% costlier
Environmental Design/Architecture Bachelor's Degree 216 30% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 102 28% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 76 34% costlier
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering Bachelor's Degree 74 19% costlier
Civil Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 65 28% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 59 32% costlier
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 56 29% costlier
Chemical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 54 19% costlier
Architectural Engineering Bachelor's Degree 42 27% costlier
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 42 28% costlier
Biochemical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 39 4% costlier
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 38 36% costlier
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 38 26% costlier
Applied Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 38 21% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 35 20% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 34 31% costlier
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 30 21% costlier
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Bachelor's Degree 28 37% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 28 35% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 24 33% costlier
Engineering Physics/Applied Physics Bachelor's Degree 23 11% costlier
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 23 29% costlier
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering Bachelor's Degree 23 14% costlier
International/Global Studies Bachelor's Degree 22 24% costlier
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Bachelor's Degree 22 8% costlier
Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree 19 17% costlier
Geography Bachelor's Degree 18 47% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 16 32% costlier
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 16 20% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 16 31% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 15 20% costlier
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 15 26% costlier
Environmental Studies Bachelor's Degree 14 11% costlier
Physiology, General Bachelor's Degree 14 29% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 13 10% costlier
Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology Bachelor's Degree 10 19% costlier
Music Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 8 43% costlier
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General Bachelor's Degree 8 51% costlier
Ethnic Studies Bachelor's Degree 8 12% costlier
Film/Cinema/Video Studies Bachelor's Degree 8 7% costlier
Japanese Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 8 3% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 8 14% costlier
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 7 2% costlier
Humanities/Humanistic Studies Bachelor's Degree 7 27% costlier
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 6 30% costlier
Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 5 9% costlier
Astronomy Bachelor's Degree 5 4% costlier
Russian Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 3% cheaper
Women's Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 14% costlier
Chinese Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 5 1% costlier
Asian Studies/Civilization Bachelor's Degree 4 4% costlier
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 4 18% costlier
Germanic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 4 28% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 3 31% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 2 30% costlier
Italian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 4% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 23% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 1 28% costlier
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 1 41% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for University of Colorado Boulder or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford University of Colorado Boulder in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a University of Colorado Boulder student loan.

Prepayment Option

About University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder is a four year public college located in Boulder, Colorado.  Full time enrollment is 28,386 and part time is 5,591. Learn more about getting accepted at University of Colorado Boulder at CollegeSimply.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

University of Colorado Boulder
Regent Drive at Broadway
Boulder, Colorado

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

University of Colorado Boulder is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

University of Colorado Boulder cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=126614 IPEDS survey data.