Colorado has had an interesting pattern when it comes to education.

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Yes, Coloradans are some of the most well educated people in the entire country. In fact, we have the second highest percentage of people with bachelor’s degrees in the U.S.

However, while Colorado definitely has plenty of great options for colleges, only one of them ranks in the Top 100 list for best colleges. According to Forbes, that would be Colorado School of Mines, which ranks 82nd.

However, there’s been one thorn in many students’ side for decades now; student debt.

To afford college, many students need to pull out loans to be able to attend. Not to mention, these loans can be predatory, and given that these students are likely 18 years old or younger, they likely may or may not know what they’re getting into.

How much debt are young Americans in due to student loans? A whopping $1.6 trillion.

However, a recent bill has been signed in Colorado that looks to alleviate this issue, at least somewhat. It also will come with a bigger price tag as well.

New Bill Called “Colorado Promise” Gives Qualifying Students Two Years of Tuition for Free


A new bill that was signed last week that expands greatly among current student relief programs.

Its full name is called “Colorado Promise: Two Free Years of College Expanded”, and it will be a tax credit that will give students who qualify up to two years of tuition for free.

Not only will this be true for trade schools or community colleges, but any public institution of higher education. This includes places like Colorado State University and University of Colorado Boulder.

To qualify, the student’s overall family income needs to be $90,000 or less to be considered for the program. If so, they can get total reimbursement for specifically their first two years of higher education, or their first 65 credits to be exact.

Since the reimbursement comes as a tax credit, students need to file state taxes to receive it.

Colorado’s Department of Higher Education also mention more criteria, which includes:

      • Need to be enrolled in a postsecondary institution two years after graduation
      • Has to be seeking a degree or credential of some sort
      • Has completed both FAFSA and CASFA
      • Required to complete 6 credits in a semester
      • Needs to uphold a 2.5 GPA each semester

Who Supports the Bill, and How Much Will it Cost?


The bill, which was signed by Jared Polis last week, will increase the budget for higher education assistance for students another $40,000,000.

However, according to Inside Higher Ed, the bill was overwhelmingly bipartisan.

In particular, Republican Rick Taggart from Colorado’s 55th district is a massive proponent of the bill.

Not only does he see its price tag as being worth it, but he would love to see the bill’s family income bracket extend to $150,000.

The executive director of the Colorado Department of Education, Angie Paccione, also wants to see the program extend to four years as well.

The reasoning behind the support mostly has to do with the difficulty of getting well paying jobs without a degree.

In fact, IHE notes that a bachelor's degree is required for 85% of Colorado’s jobs with incomes high enough to support a family of three.

In effect, Colorado lawmakers are looking to get more people through college so they can enter into the tough job market with an advantage.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education plans on the bill to take effect starting in the fall of this year.

With all of this being said, do you think the program should extend to four years, or do you think it’s too expensive to be worth it?

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