High School ACCESS

High school students interested in the challenge of college courses can enroll in CU Boulder courses.

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High School ACCESS

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Take College Courses While in High School

The High School ACCESS program is intended for high school students interested in the challenge of completing college courses at the University of Colorado Boulder. High School ACCESS students earn college credit that may also be applied to high school graduation requirements. Students enroll in main campus CU courses on a space-available basis via a program called ACCESS.

Schedule an appointment with your high school counselor or email us at hsaccess@colorado.edu to learn more.

Vaccination Requirements for Nondegree Students and Auditors

All nondegree students and auditors residing in the state of Colorado must meet the campus vaccination requirements. In support of the university’s commitment to health and safety, CU Boulder will require nondegree students and auditors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes the COVID-19 vaccination and booster(s).

Nondegree students and auditors born on or after January 1, 1957 must submit proof of two (2) doses each of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination. If you have previously submitted these during an earlier term, you do NOT need to resubmit.

Learn more about the vaccination requirements and submission for nondegree students and auditors on the Health & Wellness Requirements Page. NOTE: The deadline for nondegree students and auditors to complete the vaccination requirements has been extended to February 13, 2023. If you do not submit proof of the required vaccinations by February 13, 2023 you will be charged a nonrefundable $25 fee.

If you have questions about these requirements, please contact us at ceadvise@colorado.edu.

High School ACCESS Enrollment Eligibility

High school students aged 16 and over are eligible to enroll in college courses with parent/guardian and high school counselor/principal permission. Home school students are eligible with parent permission.

If you are a Colorado high school junior or senior under the age of 21 enrolled in a public high school, you may be eligible to receive tuition assistance from your school district for college courses taken during the fall and spring semesters. Talk to your high school counselor about your school district’s policy. Boulder Valley students can find information on their district webpage.

If you are approved for tuition assistance, you will need to take courses offered by the CU Boulder main campus through the ACCESS program. Main campus courses are offered two or three days a week for about an hour, anytime between 8 am and 4 pm. High school students will typically need two free periods to take one course at CU. If you are paying for your courses yourself, you may also enroll in Evening and Online credit courses.

High School ACCESS Advising

You will work with your high school counselor, parent/guardian, and a Continuing Education academic advisor to determine the CU courses that best fit your goals. Taking college courses while in high school is a great way to challenge yourself and advance your knowledge in an area in which you have a passion, or previously excelled.

For help choosing classes and obtaining prerequisite approvals, please schedule an advising appointment with Annie Lemberg through our CE Advising website.

  • After logging in, click on the ‘Continuing Education’ box. From the ‘Select a Service’ drop-down arrow, choose ‘Academic Advising’. Book an open appointment with Annie Lemberg.
    • If Annie is not available, you may select an open time with Graham Douglas.

If you have further questions regarding advising services, email us at hsaccess@colorado.edu.

Enrollment in High School ACCESS

Before applying, talk to your parent or guardian and your high school counselor about your interest in the High School ACCESS program. When you are ready, be sure to follow the specific application process outlined by your school district as well as the following steps:

Step 1: Get the Information and Apply

  • Review application materials with your parent/guardian.
  • Meet with your HS Counselor to get district approval applications (if applicable).
  • Go to the CU Boulder Class Search to search for courses.
  • Submit the application: Spring 2023 Application
    1. If you’re under 16 years of age, you’re required to complete an advising session with a CE academic advisor. Please schedule a phone or video appointment with a CE academic advisor by following the steps on our advising website.
    2. We encourage all students to meet with a CE academic advisor at least once a term for additional guidance.

Step 2: Complete the Supplemental Application Forms (prior to registration)

  • Submit the Enrollment Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): This MOU must be on file each term to be eligible to enroll.
  • Submit High School District Approval Forms, if applicable:
    1. If you attend Boulder Valley School District, please check their website to complete the required forms.
    2. If you attend any other district, check with your high school counselor to see if you’re eligible for tuition assistance. If approved by your school, please complete the District Approval Form and submit no later than a month after the term starts.

Submit completed forms to hsaccess@colorado.edu.

Step 3: Complete Assessments or Submit Documentation for restricted courses

  • Students planning to take courses with prerequisites must provide proof that they have completed the prerequisites. Prerequisites may be satisfied via courses taken for college credit, AP or IB (test scores required), or CU Boulder language placement exams. Send email copies of your transcripts and/or test scores to hsaccess@colorado.edu.

Step 4: Apply for the College Opportunity Fund

If you are a resident of Colorado and are 13+ years old, you can apply for a stipend that will cover a portion of the tuition for main campus (daytime) college courses. APPLY NOW online. When you enroll in courses, you will have the opportunity to AUTHORIZE the stipend. You must complete BOTH steps to receive your stipend.

Step 5: Enroll in Courses

Spring registration for high school students starts Tuesday, January 10.

  • Once we’ve received and processed your application, we will send you an Invitation to Enroll (ITE). The ITE will guide you through online enrollment via Buff Portal, the CU online student portal.
  • You can add courses to a “shopping cart” as soon as you receive your ITE, however, you won’t be able to enroll or waitlist for courses until January 10.

Step 6: Go to Class

  • If taking classes in person, take some time prior to the first day of class to familiarize yourself with the campus, including the UMC Student Center, the Norlin Library, and most importantly, the buildings on campus in which your classes will be held. See the Campus Map.
  • If you are waitlisted for a class, plan to attend starting on the first day. This way you will not miss any of the information, and you can talk to the instructor about your chances of getting in.

Step 7: Pay your bill

Due February 5, 2022

  • You will NOT receive a paper bill. Your bill will be available online in Buff Portal. This is also where you will manage your course schedule, check grades, etc.
  • Questions about your bill? Call the CE Accounting team at 303-492-2212.

The priority deadline to submit spring application materials is December 1. The final deadline is January 10.

High School ACCESS in Summer

High school students may enroll in summer courses. Participation requires written permission from both a parent/guardian and a high school counselor/principal (home school students require parent permission only).

Buff Portal and IdentiKey

Buff Portal is the online campus portal and an important tool. It gives you access to credit course enrollment, your CU student email account, campus announcements, semester schedule, tuition bill, book lists, clicker registration, Canvas, and your final grades. Learn more about Buff Portal.

You’ll need an Identikey, or a unique username, to log in to and access Buff Portal. An Identikey allows you to register for CU courses and provides you with access to online services and campus computing facilities. Use your student identification number to activate your IdentiKey at identikey.colorado.edu.

If you have questions, contact us at ceregistration@colorado.edu or 303-492-5148.

Consenting to Do Business Electronically

When you log in to Buff Portal for the first time, you’ll be asked to consent to conduct business electronically at CU. If you don’t consent, you’ll lose access to the portal and instead receive information about how to conduct your official university business offline.

If you have questions, contact us at ceregistration@colorado.edu or 303-492-5148.

ACCESS Academic Calendar

Spring 2023

ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins Jan 10
Faculty & Staff Registration Opens Jan 10
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – University Closed Jan 16
Classes Begin Jan 17
Last Day to Add Name to a Class Waitlist in Buff Portal or Class Search Jan 25
Last Day to Add a Class in Buff Portal or Class Search Jan 25
Drop a Course**, 100% Tuition Adjustment* Feb 1
Deadline to Request No-credit Status Feb 1
Payment Due for New or Unpaid Charges Feb 5
Deadline to Withdraw***, 60% Tuition Adjustment* Feb 15
Deadline to Withdraw***, 40% Tuition Adjustment* Mar 1
Deadline to Withdraw*** without Petitioning^, No Tuition Adjustment Mar 24
Deadline to Request Pass/Fail or Grade Replacement Mar 24
Deadline to Change Final Exam Schedule Mar 24
Spring Break Friday, University Closed Mar 31
Add a Course with Instructor Signature, Without Petitioning^ May 1
Last Day to Withdraw from all ACCESS Classes May 4
College Opportunity Fund Eligibility Deadline^^ May 4
Last Day to Apply for COF May 4
Last Day of Classes May 4
Reading Day May 5
Final Exams May 6-10
Last Day to Authorize COF in Buff Portal May 10

All times are in Mountain Time.

* Students’ eligibility for a possible tuition adjustment or refund is dependent on residency status and number of credits. Non-resident students are not eligible for a tuition adjustment if they are enrolled in 4 or more credits after dropping or withdrawing from a course or courses.
**Drop by 11:59 p.m. online using Buff Portal.
***Withdraw by 11:59 p.m. online using Buff Portal, submitting an online withdrawal form, or by email to ceregistration@colorado.edu. A grade of W will appear on your transcript.
Withdraw by 11:59 p.m. by submitting an online withdrawal form or send an email to ceregistration@colorado.edu. A grade of W will appear on your transcript.

^ Petitioning is designed to provide students who experience unavoidable, extenuating circumstances, the opportunity to waive a University policy that, if enforced, would result in unsatisfactory academic progress or financial consequences.
Nondegree students must petition the dean of CEPS and must have an instructor signature. Degree students must petition the dean of the college in which they are enrolled, and must have an instructor signature.

^^ If a College Opportunity Fund (COF) eligible student adds a course after this date, according to Colorado Department of Higher Education policy, the student will pay full tuition for the course, including the amount normally paid by COF, and the course will not be credited to COF hours used.

Continuing Education Important Dates

Spring 2023

Oct 31 Continuing Education Spring Enrollment Begins
Dec 19 CE Online Flexible Enrollment Begins
Jan 10 ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins
Jan 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – University Closed
Jan 23 CE Full Session/Session 1 Classes Begin
Jan 31 Nontraditional Student Spring Scholarship Deadline
Feb 20 CE 10-week Session Classes Begin
Feb 24 Spring Fees Waiver Form Deadline
Mar 9 Session 1 CE Online Credit Courses End
Mar 13 Session 2 CE Online Credit Courses Begin
Mar 27-31 Spring Break (No Classes; University Closed Friday, March 25)
May 4 CE Full Session/10-week Session and Session 2 Classes End

District or School Assistance

Colorado high school juniors and seniors under the age of 21 enrolled in a public high school may be eligible to receive tuition assistance from their school district for college courses taken via the ACCESS program. District-sponsored tuition assistance is not available for Summer Session courses. Talk to your high school counselor about your school district’s policy. Boulder Valley students can find information on their district website.

ACCESS Tuition Rates

ACCESS tuition is determined by your residency, not by the course format (i.e. evening, online, or hybrid).

In-State Students:

Out-of-State students:

  • Tuition for CE Evening Credit, CE Online Credit, and Applied Music is included as part of ACCESS when enrolled in four or more hours of Continuing Education and ACCESS courses concurrently.


In-State Undergraduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours In-State Tuition COF Voucher Student Share After COF
1 $584 $104 $480
2 $1,168 $208 $960
3 $1,752 $312 $1,440
4 $2,336 $416 $1,920
5 $2,920 $520 $2,400
6 $3,504 $624 $2,880
7 $4,088 $728 $3,360
8 $4,672 $832 $3,840
9 $5,256 $936 $4,320
10 $5,840 $1,040 $4,800
11 $6,424 $1,144 $5,280
12 $7,008 $1,248 $5,760
13 $7,112 $1,352 $5,760
14 $7,216 $1,456 $5,760
15 $7,320 $1,560 $5,760
16 $7,424 $1,664 $5,760
17 $7,528 $1,768 $5,760
18 $7,632 $1,872 $5,760

Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours Tuition
1 $1,405
2 $2,810
3 $4,215
4+ $18,821

In-State Graduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $696 $1,751
2 $1,392 $3,502
3 $2,088 $5,253
4 $2,784 $7,004
5 $3,480 $8,755
6 $4,176 $10,506
7 $4,872 $12,257
8 $5,568 $14,008
9+ $6,264 $15,759

Out-of-State Graduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $1,843 $2,150
2 $3,686 $4,300
3 $5,529 $6,450
4 $7,372 $8,600
5 $9,215 $10,750
6 $11,058 $12,900
7 $12,901 $15,050
8 $14,744 $17,200
9+ $16,587 $19,350

The Board of Regents reserves the right to change the tuition and fee rates at any time.

Course and program fees are assessed in some schools and departments. Lab courses not linked to a lecture course may require a course fee. A & S Tech Fee (ASSET) Fee of $1.32 per credit hour assessed for Arts and Sciences courses. Course, program, and ASSET fees are nonrefundable.

Nondegree Tuition Policy

You will be billed for your Continuing Education registration. Bills are available through Buff Portal. A 1% service charge is added to an unpaid balance after the tuition due date, and a financial stop is placed on your student record. All tuition and refund determinations are subject to audit.

Fall and Spring

Tuition for Fall and Spring Boulder main campus courses is charged the ACCESS rates.


During the summer semester students are charged Summer Session tuition rates. ACCESS rates are not available.

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


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