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Colorado First-Year Admission Guarantee

At UNC we are deeply committed to a students-first approach. With over 40% of our students identifying as first-generation, we understand how stressful the college search process can be. With our First-Year Admissions Guarantee for Colorado residents we've removed the guesswork of knowing whether you have a college option in UNC. Students who meet the criteria outlined below will qualify for automatic admission into the University of Northern Colorado.*

See below for a growing list of FAQs. 


First-Year Guarantee Requirements: 

  • Current CO High School Student**
  • 3.0 Cumulative High School GPA (Weighted)
  • 4 years of English 
  • 4 years of Math (or, 3 years math with at least a B in Algebra 2) 
  • 3 years of Physical / Lab Sciences
  • 3 years of Social Sciences
  • Meet all other high school graduation requirements.
  • Submit application for admission by March 1  of graduation year

Aerial photo of students forming the letters U-N-C

*Admission to UNC requires submission of documents including school transcripts and a complete application for admission (Bear Application or Common Application). At times, additional required documentation may be requested by the Office of Admission before receiving an official decision.   

**Graduates of a Colorado High School who, since graduating, have not enrolled at another college or university are eligible.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If I don't meet the criteria, can I still be admitted to UNC? 

    Absolutely! Students who do not meet the criteria still receive full consideration for admission through a holistic review of factors including applicants' academic course selection and rigor, overall GPA and trends as well as their involvement and leadership experiences, academic reflection, personal statement/essay and letters of recommendation, as provided.

  • Are these the recommended HS courses for all students? 

    No. These should be interpreted as recommended minimum requirements. To best prepare for college, we recommend all students continue seeking academic challenge in your major areas of interest. Meeting the CO First-Year Guarantee requirements does not guarantee admission to any performing arts (music, theatre, musical theatre) programs which require an audition/interview for full admission.  

    An Example: A student interested in studying health and physical sciences would be best-served to continue taking advanced mathematics and physical/natural sciences courses for all four years, regardless of previous grades. 

  • What if I'm not from Colorado? 

    While there is no guarantee, if you meet the requirements outlined in the first-year guarantee you should expect to be a competitive candidate for admission regardless of your home state or country. If you have specific questions, contact your admissions counselor or email us at admissions@unco.edu.

  • Is it really so simple? 

    Yep! UNC's Colorado First-Year Admissions Guarantee is straightforward on purpose. If you meet the requirements, and submit all of the required documents on time, you will be assured of general admission to the university.

  • What about foreign language? 

    For a number of reasons we did not include a foreign language requirement. We know students may have unique circumstances that warrant an exception such as already being bilingual/multilingual or students with learning disabilities or processing disorders. We also recognize school environment circumstances are out of students control such as schools not offering language courses due to, for example, nationwide teacher shortages.

  • I graduated HS before 2023 and haven't attended college, am I eligible? 

    Yep! All students who graduated from a Colorado high school and have not enrolled in college since are eligible. 

  • Will I also qualify for scholarships? 

    Absolutely! Students who have a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher also qualify for automatic admissions scholarships