College Admissions Tool for Colorado

Admission Standards

Admission Standards to Colorado public colleges and universities are changing! Use the Build Options Wizard and Matching College List to learn about specific college requirements and how to make your dream school a reality. You can also read a brief summary of the standards here.

Freshman Admission Standards

Are you applying to go to college right after high school graduation?

Have you earned less than 13 college level credit hours since high school graduation?

If you answered "yes" to both questions, then you will be considered by colleges under freshmen admission standards at Colorado public four-year colleges.

Information about you that the college will consider:

  • High school grade point average (GPA)
  • Test Score (SAT or ACT)
  • Academic course mix, rigor & grades
  • Additional Considerations (leadership, work, volunteering, etc.)

At the present, public four-year colleges in Colorado use an admission index as a part of their consideration process. The index is calculated by using a combination of a student’s GPA or high school rank and the SAT/ACT score.

For students applying for fall 2019 enrollment and later: The admission index will be retired. Instead, colleges will provide GPA and ACT/SAT standards by publicizing the average score ranges (50% of admitted students) from the past. For example, a college’s average score range might be from 3.0 to 3.5 GPA and 1040 to 1300 on the SAT. The dials on COAdmissionsTool.org already show this 50% mid-range for many colleges.

Transfer Admission Standards

Have you graduated from a high school (or equivalent)?

Have you successfully earned more than 12* credit hours of college-level courses since graduating from high school?

If you answered "yes" to both questions, then you will be considered by colleges under transfer admission standards at Colorado public four-year colleges.

Information about you that the college will consider:

  • Grade point average (GPA) from ALL college courses taken after high school graduation
  • Academic course mix, rigor and grades
  • High school transcripts (if you have completed less than 30 college level credit hours since high school graduation)

*For students applying for fall 2019 enrollment and later: The number of college credit hours successfully earned to qualify for admission as a transfer student will change from more than 12 hours to 24 hours or more to be considered under transfer admission standards.

Academic Course Mix, Rigor and Grades

Four-year colleges in Colorado know that academic preparation, especially in English and math, make it more likely that you will be successful in college. The Higher Education Admission Standards (HEAR) detail how many high school units in each subject area you should complete to be a competitive candidate for admission; see the list below.

If you have challenged yourself by successfully completing Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or college-level courses (Concurrent Enrollment) while in high school, it will strengthen your application even more! College admission officers will take into account that these rigorous courses may impact your GPA.

And, if you successfully completed a capstone project or some other alternative form of learning at your high school, colleges will consider it under their review of your academic preparation as long as it is included on your high school transcript.

Higher Education Admission Standards

English 4 Units
Mathematics  4 Units 
Natural Science  3 Units
Social Science  3 Units
World Language  1 Unit
Academic Electives  2 Units
TOTAL 17 Units

1 unit = 1 year of a high school course
1 unit = 1 term for college-level courses while in high school