What is COF and how does if affect what tuition I pay?
In the NSE Directory you will note that two in-state (resident) tuition figures are listed for NSE members in Colorado that utilize Plan A. The higher of the two figures is the normal (or gross) in-state tuition. The lower figure is adjusted for those students who may qualify for the College Opportunity Fund (COF) stipend, created by the Colorado Legislature. This stipend provides funds to eligible undergraduate students. The stipend pays a portion of your total in-state tuition when you attend a participating Colorado campus.
Qualifying NSE students may use the stipend for eligible undergraduate classes. The stipend is paid on a per credit hour basis to the institution at which you are enrolled. If you are eligible for the COF stipend and apply for and authorize its use, your tuition bill will be adjusted accordingly. It will not come in the form of a cash reimbursement to you.
The COF stipend is a state benefit; and you may choose to apply or not. If you do not wish to apply – or apply and are determined not to be eligible – you will be assessed the higher (or gross) in-state tuition cost at your Colorado NSE host school without the benefit of the COF appropriation.
Why isn’t COF applicable to NSE students on Plan B?
If you are on Plan B, you will be paying your normal tuition and fees to your home campus. You will not pay tuition to your Colorado host NSE campus, therefore, the COF stipend is not applicable.
What is needed to apply for the COF stipend?
In order to qualify for COF, you must provide proof that you are lawfully present in the United States prior to receipt of this public benefit. Documentation which will be required to demonstrate lawful presence is listed on the COF application (see below).
When do I apply for COF?
Do not apply for COF until you have accepted your Plan A placement (signed and returned the NSE Placement Acceptance Form) to your host NSE campus in Colorado. You may apply for COF any time after you return the PAF. You are encouraged to complete the application at least one month prior to the first day of classes at your host Colorado NSE campus. If you exchanging for a full academic year, you will not need to re-apply for your second semester.
How do I apply for COF?
You must complete the Alternative Identification Application for the College Opportunity Fund Tuition Stipend. In addition to completing the Alternative Identification Application, you must also provide a notarized copy of the documentation you are submitting to provide proof of lawful presence. Mail the completed application and supporting documents to:
College In Colorado
When will I know if I am eligible for COF?
1560 Broadway, Suite 1700
Denver, Colorado 80202
Attention: The College Opportunity Fund
When you send in the Alternative Identification Application for the COF stipend to the address below you will be notified if you are not eligible. Otherwise your application will have been accepted and you are ready to authorize the use of the stipend. It may take 5 to 10 business days to process your application.
What do I do when I receive a bill for tuition?
You will receive a bill for tuition prior to arrival on campus. If the bill is for the higher (or gross) in-state tuition (i.e., you do not see a COF reduction on your bill), immediately contact your NSE coordinator. Ask for instructions regarding payment.
How do I authorize the use of the COF Stipend?
After you apply for the COF stipend and are deemed eligible you will need to authorize the use of your COF stipend. This can be done through the registrar’s office at your Colorado host campus. If you apply for the COF stipend but fail to authorize its use, you will not receive the funds and you will pay the full cost of in-state tuition. You must authorize the use of the stipend before the end of the term for which the stipend will be applied. Check with your host campus for the deadline to authorize.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Contact your host campus NSE Coordinator after you have accepted your NSE placement at a participating Colorado college or university.
ADAMS STATE COLLEGE
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY-PUEBLO
FORT LEWIS COLLEGE
MESA STATE COLLEGE
WESTERN STATE COLLEGE OF COLORADO