Application Deadline:

May 15, 2024


Application Deadline

What is the deadline to apply for Bright Futures?

The deadline is May 15 at 5:00pm each year. All program requirements must be completed prior to the deadline, including having a final FAFSA/CASFA report.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

You will not be eligible for Bright Futures funds until the following school year, provided you are still within your six-year qualifying period and haven’t received the maximum number of awards for which you are eligible.

Creating an Online Account

How do I create an online account?

Click the Login button  and click the Create New Account button. Be sure to provide an email address that you review regularly. The email address must be unique to you and CANNOT be your high school email address.

Why won’t the portal accept my email address?

Your email address may already be in the system. If your email address is the same as one used by another Bright Futures student, you must use a different email.

Completing the Application

I am a high school student. When can I start the application process?

High school students can start the application process on January 1 of their senior year of high school. Counselors will let students know when the application process has opened. This date will vary by school.

I’m a returning student. Do I have to reapply every year?

Yes, but as a returning student, you will be assigned a renewal form in your student account and will not have to complete the full application again. In addition, you must meet the community service and FAFSA requirement each year and maintain the required cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher each semester.

Funds Disbursement

How does Bright Futures know where to send my award?

As part of your initial application, you will identify your school of choice. If you decide to attend a different school, you can change your school after you receive your Acceptance Form. If you switch schools after completing your Acceptance Form, you must contact Bright Futures at

What if I forget to tell Bright Futures that I switched schools?

If you do not notify Bright Futures of your final school choice before funds are disbursed to your documented school of choice, then you will be responsible for arranging a refund from the school to Bright Futures. Once the refund is received, Bright Futures will issue your award to your new school.

When are funds disbursed?

Award payments will be mailed to each school or training program between August 15 and October 15 for the fall semester and between January 15 and March 15 for the spring semester. We highly recommend that you set up a payment plan to avoid any late fees or dropped classes.

Can I request that funds be sent to my school by a certain date?

No, we cannot accommodate a specific payment date request.

I paid my tuition bill in full before my Bright Futures funds arrived. Will I still receive my award?

Yes. If your bill is paid in full but you had Bright Futures-eligible expenses, your school will issue you a refund according to their policy.

Community Service

Where do I get a community service log?

You can download a community service log from the community service page.

Where do I upload my community service log?

You must upload your community service log as part of your application or renewal form by the application deadline of May 15. If you have more than one log, you must combine them into one PDF file to upload them.

How many community service hours are required?

All Bright Futures recipients are required to complete 12 hours of community service and upload their community service log by the May 15 deadline.

I will be graduating after the fall semester. Do I still need to do 12 hours of community service?

Yes. You must complete the full 12 hours of community service by the May 15 deadline even if you are only going to attend school for one semester, either fall or spring.

When can I start my community service hours?

You may start and complete your 12 community service hours any time during the 12 months leading up to the May 15 deadline.

What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the form used by current and prospective students in the United States to determine their eligibility for financial aid.
What is the CASFA?
The CASFA (Colorado Application for State Financial Aid) is the form for students who are not eligible for federal student aid but meet the requirements for Colorado residency.

What is the difference between the FAFSA and CASFA?

The FAFSA application is for those students who are U.S. citizens with Social Security numbers. The CASFA application is for ASSET students who do not have a Social Security number.

Do I need to fill out the FAFSA/CASFA application every year?

Yes. Your FAFSA/CASFA is required to be completed each year you wish to apply for a Bright Futures award.

General Program Information

Where can I attend school?

Bright Futures recipients may attend any college or industry-approved certificate/training program located in Colorado or one of the seven bordering states (Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, or Utah).

I am not going to start until the spring semester. What is the deadline for spring?

The deadline for all Bright Futures students is May 15, even if you won’t start class until the following spring. 

I am not sure where I want to go to school. Can I take a gap year?

Yes, you may apply any time in the six years following your high school graduation date. Students are eligible for Bright Futures up to a maximum of eight semesters.

My cumulative GPA has dropped below the required 2.0. Am I still eligible for an award?

If your cumulative GPA drops below 2.0, you have one more semester to bring it up to 2.0 or higher. If your cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 for the next semester, you will no longer be eligible to apply for Bright Futures (in any year).

How long do I have to use the Bright Futures award?

You may apply for Bright Futures in the six years following your high school graduation or GED date. Students are eligible for up to eight semesters for post-secondary education or training. There is an exception for honorably discharged veterans; contact Bright Futures for more details.

I want to attend a trade school. Am I still eligible for Bright Futures?

Yes, if the school is located within the required geographic region of Colorado or any of its seven border states.

I am a Weld County resident, but I do not attend a Weld County high school. Am I still eligible for Bright Futures?

Yes. You are eligible to apply as long as you lived in Weld County your senior year and at least one other year you were in high school.

Is Bright Futures available for a study abroad program?

Yes, if it is a program through a school within the required geographical region and the tuition and fees are billed through that school. We cannot send funds outside of the United States.

My status shows approved, but I did not receive any Bright Futures funds. Why not?

Your award will be withheld if you haven’t responded to our emails regarding follow-up forms that are assigned to your account. The email sender is, so be sure to add this address to your approved sender list.

Is there an appeals process?
Yes, refer to the Appeals Process webpage here.
Home School Applicants

I am a home school student. Can I still apply for Bright Futures?

Yes. You will need to provide proof of your Weld County residency in your application.

GED Applicants

I am a GED recipient. Can I still apply for Bright Futures?

Yes. You will need to provide proof of your Weld County residency in your application.

The application will be available in January. Please check back.