Published: February 7, 2023  |  

December 2023 Update:
EFAA release their second annual Community Well-Being Dashboard that captures the most recent data available for Boulder County on issues like poverty, income, employment, wages, food security, housing stability and family homelessness. Take a look:

How much does it cost to live in Boulder County?

Impact on Education exists to provide support and resources to the students overcoming the greatest obstacles. We work to raise both awareness and funds to eliminate the economic and learning barriers facing our students.

Right now, everyone in our community is experiencing increased costs for food, fuel and other basic necessities. Rising prices mean families across our community are struggling to make ends meet. Every school in the Boulder Valley School District includes families facing financial challenges, and the more people who recognize this, the more we can help those in need.

The cost of living in Boulder County

The federal poverty line for a family of four is $30,000 annually. While the threshold to qualify for BVSD’s free and reduced price meals program is considerably higher at $51,338, it’s still less than half of the estimated cost of living in Boulder County. The Self Sufficiency Standard, a measure that calculates how much income a family must earn to meet basic needs, is $107,462 for a family of four in Boulder County.

One way we’re able to identify students and families in need is through the Boulder Valley School District’s free and reduced price meal program.

Free and reduced price meals

Within BVSD, students receive free meals regardless of their income if:

  • their household is enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • they qualify as homeless, runaway, foster, and/or migrant children
  • they live with a parent in a car or hotel 

Students may also qualify for free or reduced price meals based on their household income. For the 2022-23 school year, 25% of the BVSD community – 7,180 students – qualify for free or reduced price meals:

  • 21% of students qualify for free lunch
  • 4.4% of students qualify for reduced lunch

What this means for BVSD students and families

We are committed to ensuring that every student has access to the same opportunities regardless of uncontrollable factors like their economic status. Enrollment in BVSD’s free and reduced price meal program, and families impacted by the Marshall Fire, are two ways we’re able to identify students who need additional support.

But how many BVSD families don’t qualify for free and reduced lunch or other benefits and still struggle to make ends meet?

BVSD administrators, educators and staff often come to Impact on Education when they’re unable to meet student needs. We continue to explore how we can effectively and discreetly identify and offer resources to all BVSD students and families that are struggling financially in Boulder County. Our strong partnership with BVSD ensures we can provide direct resources that enable our schools and educators to support students.


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to nearly 30,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

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Impact on Education
721 Front Street, Suite A
Louisville, CO 80027

Tax ID #84-0943046