Career Advance Colorado

Construction Student

Zero-Cost Training for In-Demand Jobs

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Ready for a career change?

Take the first step with Pikes Peak State College and Career Advance Colorado! Thanks to this state program, you can get free training in rewarding fields that move Colorado forward. 

How does it work?

Starting Fall 2023, students who enroll in one of the following training programs will have their tuition, fees, course materials, and other costs covered while funding is available: 
To enroll, you must apply for federal and/or state financial aid. Contact and to discuss your options, financial aid, and application steps.

More About Career Advance Colorado

Career Advance Colorado is funded through House Bill 23-1246, which dedicates $38.6 million to fully cover enrollment costs for training programs in sectors with significant workforce shortages. The bill was signed by Gov. Jared Polis in May 2023 and sponsored by Colorado House Speaker Julie McCluskie, Sens. Janet Buckner and Perry Will, and Rep. Rose Pugliese. 

The program builds on the success of the Care Forward Colorado program, which has already trained thousands of Coloradans for entry-level healthcare positions. The Care Forward Colorado program will run concurrently with Career Advance Colorado as program funding is available.
Nursing Student
Pikes Peak State College fire science students practice putting out fires during a training activity.
  • An eligible FAFSA (is the Federal Financial Aid application for eligible U.S. Citizens or other eligible noncitizens) or CASFA   (is the State Financial Aid application for undocumented, Colorado ASSET Students) must be received by the college. (Students with a rejected FAFSA would not be eligible and must take necessary steps to complete their FAFSA.) 
  • Students must be a Colorado Resident or ASSET student (funds from the Colorado General Fund require eligible students to be Colorado residents and not just eligible for in-state tuition rates). COF must be applied to the student’s account if they are eligible.
  • Must have declared an eligible program as either their primary or secondary program in the term the CAC funding is paid. Only classes required for the program are eligible for funding. (See page 2 for approved programs) 
  • Must have eligible Financial Aid SAP/MAP status (Satisfactory Academic Progress). 
  • For the first year of the program (2324), students in Default on a student loan would qualify. Students currently in default can apply for Fresh Start programs to get themselves out of default. CCCS colleges will send out information to these students explaining how to get out of Default with the Fresh-Start. The Fresh Start program ends 9/30/24 so the eligibility would likely change for the 2425 awards. 
  • Students who are selected for verification must complete the verification process. This selection may be made by ED during the FAFSA processing or based on college selections. 
  • High School graduation or equivalency is required. This is based on current Colorado Student Aid Guidelines for awards from the Colorado General Fund. 
  • Students with a prior bachelor’s degree are eligible for the funding as these programs are designated as quick-to-work opportunities. 
  • Tuition/fees may be based on the tuition and fees cost of attendance estimates. 
  • Pell Grants and Colorado Student Grants can be used to cover non-tuition and fee cost of attendance components prior to tuition and fees estimates. 
  • Students may receive a combination of funding from CAC, CFC, CTE Grants, ECE101/101 Grants, and/or ECE Educators Scholarships based on awarding criteria provided only one source of funding is covering the required expenses. These decisions would be based on the college’s available allocations and the awarding requirements. 



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Interested in Career Advance Colorado?

Don't forget to apply for for federal and/or state financial aid.

Have Questions?

Contact and to discuss your options, financial aid, and application steps.