What Does it Take to Get Into UC Boulder?

Strategies by School
July 2, 2020
For Any Student Coming From High School, The Sheer Expanse And Opportunity Of UC Boulder Can Be A Lot To Take In...

With more than 30,000 students on one campus, there is an energy that can be felt in every interaction with peers or professors. This unique experience, coupled with the prestigious research record of UC Boulder makes it an ideal college for many students. If your child is interested in attending UC Boulder, we have the information you need to make their application stand out among the crowd.

What You’ll Find In This Article

UC Boulder's Ideal Student

Students choose to attend the University of Colorado Boulder because they want an education that will empower them to have an impact on the world. This experience makes UC Boulder an extremely popular choice. While known as a less competitive school due to their higher acceptance rate than many private colleges, Boulder is an extremely popular choice and students should make sure their academic scores are up to par in order to have the best chances of admission.

The average incoming UC Boulder student has scores in the following ranges:

  • GPA: 3.66
  • SAT: 1253
  • ACT: 28

Students who are admitted to UC Boulder come from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. The university uses a holistic approach to admissions that takes into account far more than just a student’s academic record. More than anything, the university looks for students who hold the school’s core values; these types of students will thrive in the energetic atmosphere that surrounds the campus.


At UC Boulder, students are encouraged to think beyond themselves and uphold a standard of excellence. Personal growth and accountability are nurtured in students through courses, resources, and examples. This personal and social responsibility helps students grow into responsible and engaged citizens.

  • Does your student hold themselves accountable?
  • Is there a record of accountability your child can point to, whether in their extracurricular activities or in their school work?


Students are taught the importance of integrity throughout their years at UC Boulder. Encouraged and guided to follow their passions, students thrive under the guidance of faculty dedicated to providing a strong ethical and educational foundation. More than anything, students are taught the importance of doing good in the world, even when it may be hard to stand up to the status quo.

  • How has your child displayed a record of integrity in their high school years?
  • Does your child have a topic they advocate strongly for? Why or why not?


If your child is engaged in and outside of the classroom, they will find themselves right at home at UC Boulder. On-campus, from the dorms to the classroom, students are challenged to get involved in new and exciting ways that broaden their horizons like never before.

  • How has your child chosen to get involved during high school? How can that experience be related to the opportunities at UC Boulder?
  • What is your student passionate about? What makes them want to attend UC Boulder?


UC Boulder is known for providing students with the strong educational foundation that is needed to succeed in the modern workforce. In addition to the vast experiences and opportunities available at UC Boulder, your child will have a huge variety of majors and programs to choose from.

Some of the most notable programs include:

  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Math
  • Economics


Overall, there is no single type of ideal student that makes up UC Boulder’s diverse student body. The type of students that thrive on this energetic and spirited campus are those with a drive to educate and better themselves, their communities, and the world around them.

As such, your student should focus on highlighting the best qualities they showcased in high school. UC Boulder’s diverse student body is always in need of students with innovative ideas, stellar academic records, or notable athletic talent.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into UC Boulder


The University of Colorado Boulder uses the Common Application to simplify the application process for both students and administrators. This easy to use web portal allows students to keep track of their deadlines and complete their application all in one place, so it’s important for them to become familiar with the Common App before they sit down to fill it out.

There are two important dates students need to keep in mind when applying to UC Boulder. The early decision deadline is November 15th. The regular decision deadline is January 15th.


UC Boulder requires that students submit either an ACT or SAT official score report. They are not required to take any writing portions of either test. An official school transcript is also required for enrollment.


Students must write and submit two personal essays within their Common Application to UC Boulder. These essays must be constructed carefully in order to fully answer the prompt without using tired cliches or a lack of clarity. A strong personal essay response can make the difference between being accepted or being put on the waitlist.


First-year students are required to have a teacher from a core subject submit a letter of recommendation. Make sure your child requests this letter with plenty of time before the deadline. A rushed letter of recommendation is never ideal!


UC Boulder requires a nonrefundable application fee of $50 to apply.

UC Boulder's Campus Life


UC Boulder’s expansive campus is where more than 30,000 undergrad students learn every day in a vast mix of research halls, community buildings, classrooms, and athletic buildings. The campus is split into two parts - main campus and east campus - and is set against a backdrop of breathtaking Colorado mountains.


Greek life at UC Boulder helps students thrive both inside and outside the classroom. With 28 different officially recognized chapters, there are plenty of opportunities for students to become involved in Greek life. Students are given the chance to truly get involved with their community, meet lifelong friends, and learn more about themselves than they ever imagined when they become part of UC Boulder’s Greek life.


At UC Boulder, life is more than just class, study, sleep, repeat. The vibrancy of campus can be felt from the innovative dorms to the fantastic dining options available. There are over fifteen different types of dorms, each suited to a different type of UC Boulder student so that everyone gets the chance to feel at home. On-campus dining options vary from the traditional cafeteria-style dining halls to modern snack bars and coffee shops.

With the vast expanse of campus and the lively college town of Boulder, students have access to free public transport to get them around the city. This opens up a world of opportunities to experience Boulder life off-campus, where students can find everything from restaurants to mom and pop shops.


Varsity sports make up a huge part of Boulder pride and the social scene on campus. Buffalos are known for their excellence in a variety of sports, from skiing to cross country. For students just as serious about their academics as they are competing, UC Boulder provides the support and resources needed to succeed.

Outside of sports, students have many other ways to get involved no matter what their interests are. With debate clubs, dance groups, newspapers and radio shows, and so many more student organizations to choose from, your student will have no trouble finding their people and cultivating their passions.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At UC Boulder


In order to truly submit the best application possible, your student must take their time to carefully read and understand all the requirements. Make sure your student pays close attention to how their extracurricular activities, community involvement, or volunteering is displayed. The more time your student spends reviewing their application, the more confidence they can feel when they hit send.


Writing personal essays can be difficult, especially when you know it can decide where you spend the next four years. Encourage your student to start early and approach the essay prompt from multiple angles before deciding how to respond. Offer support and guidance while being willing to allow your child to respond to the prompt how they see fit.


Life at UC Boulder will feel like a whirlwind of excitement, energy, and engagement that will change your child’s outlook on life forever. The educational foundation provided at Boulder will open doors far down the road in your child’s future.


As an alumnus of UC Boulder, your child will join the ranks of names including late astronaut Kalpana Chawla and former associate Justice of the Supreme Court Byron White.

Outcomes for UC Boulder alumni look bright, with popular industries including:

  • Research
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Aerospace
  • Law

Your Future At UC Boulder

Your child’s future at UC Boulder will be defined by many things, from learning about their field of study to learning about who they are. In between, they’ll find the time to make lifelong social connections and have plenty of fun. With a vibrant campus and abundant opportunity, UC Boulder makes an excellent choice for a wide variety of students.

If your child is set on experiencing UC Boulder life, consider attending one of our webinars. Our WeAdmit counselors offer free guidance, tips on how to handle distance learning and college applications in the time of Coronavirus, and how you can best help your child get accepted into colleges.



Need more Information?

Gain all the information you need by getting in touch with our admissions team or booking a free 30-minute counseling session.