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Financial Aid and Inclusive Higher Education

Earlier this year inclusive higher education hit a milestone in Colorado as a second school achieved Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) status! Students with intellectual disabilities enrolled in a CTP may access federal financial aid (work study and grants). In January of 2019, Elevate at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) became the first program in Colorado to receive CTP status. GOAL at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) followed soon thereafter, receiving official designation in April of 2019. CTP status is a huge step towards inclusion at the college level and increasing access to higher education. This fall marks the first semester that students with intellectual disabilities are accessing financial aid in Colorado.

So, what exactly does it take to become a CTP? The following definition is from the Federal Student Aid website:

"A CTP program for students with intellectual disabilities means a degree, certificate, or nondegree program that

  • is offered by a college or career school and approved by the U.S. Department of Education;
  • is designed to support students with intellectual disabilities who want to continue academic, career, and independent living instruction to prepare for gainful employment;
  • offers academic advising and a structured curriculum; and
  • requires students with intellectual disabilities to participate, for at least half of the program, in
    • regular enrollment in credit-bearing courses with nondisabled students,
    • auditing or participating (with nondisabled students) in courses for which the student does not receive regular academic credit,
    • enrollment in noncredit-bearing, nondegree courses with nondisabled students, or internships or work-based training with nondisabled individuals."

You can read more about CTP at:

If you have questions about financial aid and inclusive higher education, please feel free to reach out to one of the schools or to IN! for clarification.

Note: In December of 2020, UCCS was also approved for CTP status!

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