CMC Grant Pays Forward Two Years’ Tuition For In-District Students

Imagine a high school graduate handing his Colorado Mountain College tuition checks to a trustworthy source for safekeeping while he earns his associate degree at CMC. At graduation, that same tuition money is paid forward to a four-year college or university to help the student complete his bachelor’s degree.

That’s essentially what a grant offered by Colorado Mountain College does. Dick Martin was among those who helped to establish the college and served on CMC’s board of trustees for 14 years. When he retired from the board in 1984, his fellow trustees established the Richard C. Martin Grant in his name to encourage local students to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree.

The catch? Students must apply for the grant during their first semester at Colorado Mountain College.

To be considered for the grant, a student needs to:

  • Be a high school graduate from a school within CMC’s six-county district (Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle, Summit, Lake and part of Routt)
  • Meet in-district residency requirements
  • Start attending CMC within two years of graduation from high school, and complete associate degree requirements at CMC within five years of initially enrolling in the college.

Credits earned while the student is in high school are not eligible for factoring in the grant amount, nor are developmental education course fees. But all other paid tuition is included in the amount of funds that are forwarded on to the four-year educational institution, in or out of state, that the student transfers to. The grant can also be applied toward Colorado Mountain College’s bachelor’s degree programs.

Deb Cutter, financial aid and resource specialist at Colorado Mountain College, said she has never heard of a funding opportunity like the Richard C. Martin Grant.

“It’s quite unusual,” she said. “And there are no academic prerequisites. The grant reemphasizes our open enrollment status as a community college.”

To apply for the grant, students must submit an application no later than the end of their first semester at Colorado Mountain College. Students are also encouraged to apply for the grant before they start attending CMC.

Students currently enrolled in their first semester at Colorado Mountain College must apply for the grant by Dec. 12. For more information, contact Deb Cutter at 970-947-8358 or, or go to