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 Program Manager, Jared Martin, at jared.martin@colorado.edu to learn more.

Vaccination Requirements for Fall 2021

All nondegree students and auditors residing in the state of Colorado must complete CU Boulder’s vaccination requirements. Learn more about the vaccination requirements for nondegree students and auditors on the Health & Wellness Requirements page.

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 the CU Boulder program coordinator to determine the CU courses that best fit your goals. Many students use this opportunity to advance in math, science, modern languages, and other subjects. Others use it as an opportunity to try something new.

For general advising assistance, please contact our advising staff at ceadvise@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:

Fall 2021

  • Complete the High School ACCESS application (closed for Fall 2021)
  • Complete the Enrollment Memorandum of Understanding (closed for Fall 2021)
  • Public school students applying for financial assistance must complete additional paperwork provided by their individual school district. Financial assistance application deadlines will vary by district. Please contact your high school counselor for additional information.

The deadline to submit the online application and the Enrollment Memorandum of Understanding is September 1, 2021. Fall ACCESS registration opens on August 16.

After your completed application is processed, you will receive an invitation to enroll from CU Boulder. The invitation will include all the information you need to enroll in courses via the CU Boulder Class Search.

Restricted Courses

Some courses at CU, including mathematics, engineering, language and all graduate-level courses, may be restricted and will require either proof of completed prerequisites or departmental permission to enroll. Please contact jared.martin@colorado.edu with any questions you have about the course you intend to take.

High School ACCESS in Summer

High school students may enroll in summer courses, however, district-sponsored tuition assistance is only available during the fall and spring semesters. 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

Fall 2021

ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins Aug 16
Classes Begin Aug 23
Faculty & Staff Registration Opens Aug 23
Last Day to Add Name to a Class Waitlist in Buff Portal Sept 1
Last Day to Add a Class in Buff Portal S​ept 1
Labor Day Holiday (University Closed)​ Sept 6
Drop a Course**, 100% Tuition Adjustment* Sept 8
Deadline to Request No-credit Status Sept 8
Deadline to Withdraw**, 60% Tuition Adjustment* Sept 22
Deadline to Withdraw**, 40% Tuition Adjustment* Oct 6
Spring 2022 Schedule of Classes Available in Buff Portal Oct 11
Deadline to Request Pass/Fail or Grade Replacement Oct 29
Deadline to Change Final Exam Schedule Oct 29
Deadline to Withdraw** without Petitioning^, No Tuition Adjustment Oct 29
Fall Break (No Classes) Nov 22-26
Thanksgiving Holiday (No Classes; University Closed) Nov 25-26
Add a Course with Instructor Signature, Without Petitioning^ TBD
Payment Due for New or Unpaid Charges Dec 5
Last Day to Withdraw*** from all ACCESS Classes Dec 9
College Opportunity Fund Eligibility Deadline^^ TBD
Last Day to Apply for COF Dec 9
Last Day of Classes Dec 9
Reading Day Dec 10
Final Exams Dec 11-15
Last Day to Authorize COF in Buff Portal Dec 15

* 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.
** Withdraw by 11:59 p.m. online using Buff Portal or by email to ceregistration@colorado.edu. A grade of W will appear on your transcript.
***Withdraw by 11:59 p.m. by 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

Fall 2021

Apr 5 Continuing Education Fall Enrollment Begins
Aug 16 ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins
Aug 23 CE Online Flexible Enrollment Begins
Aug 30 CE Full Session/Session 1 Classes Begin
Sept 3 Nontraditional Student Fall Scholarship Deadline
Sept 6 Labor Day Holiday (University Closed)
Sept 27 CE 10-week Session Classes Begin
Oct 1 Fall Fees Waiver Form Deadline
Oct 15 Session 1 CE Online Credit Courses End
Oct 18 Session 2 CE Online Credit Courses Begin
Nov 22-26 Fall Break (No Classes)
Nov 25-26 Thanksgiving Holiday (University Closed)
Dec 10 CE Full Session/10-week Session and Session 2 Classes End

Find dates and deadlines for main campus Summer Session classes.

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

Fall 2021

Credit Hours In-State Tuition COF Voucher Student Share After COF
1 $541 $94 $447
2 $1,082 $188 $894
3 $1,623 $282 $1,341
4 $2,164 $376 $1,788
5 $2,705 $470 $2,235
6 $3,246 $564 $2,682
7 $3,787 $658 $3,129
8 $4,328 $752 $3,576
9 $4,869 $846 $4,023
10 $5,410 $940 $4,470
11 $5,951 $1,034 $4,917
12 $6,492 $1,128 $5,364
13 $6,586 $1,222 $5,364
14 $6,680 $1,316 $5,364
15 $6,774 $1,410 $5,364
16 $6,868 $1,504 $5,364
17 $6,962 $1,598 $5,364
18 $7,056 $1,692 $5,364

Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition

Fall 2021

Credit Hours Tuition
1 $1,324
2 $2,648
3 $3,972
4+ $18,273

In-State Graduate Tuition

Fall 2021

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $657 $1,651
2 $1,314 $3,302
3 $1,971 $4,953
4 $2,628 $6,604
5 $3,285 $8,255
6 $3,942 $9,906
7 $4,599 $11,557
8 $5,256 $13,208
9+ $5,913 $14,859

Out-of-State Graduate Tuition

Fall 2021

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $1,738 $2,028
2 $3,476 $4,056
3 $5,214 $6,084
4 $6,952 $8,112
5 $8,690 $10,140
6 $10,428 $12,168
7 $12,166 $14,196
8 $13,904 $16,224
9+ $15,642 $18,252

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.


If you have lived in Colorado for the past 12 months, you may be eligible for in-state tuition rates. To learn more or provide documentation of residency, contact our classification coordinator at 303-492-5148.

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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University of Colorado Boulder
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