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Financial Aid & Scholarships Office

 

Receiving Your Financial Aid

Policies & Procedures


 Eligibility Criteria

If you wish to receive financial aid (grants, scholarships, work-study and loans), you:

  • must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (documentation may be requested to verify your eligibility)
  • must be degree-seeking in an eligible program as determined by the University
  • [male students] must be registered with the Selective Service System (SSS), if required. Students can check requirements at SSS.gov.
  • must Apply for Financial Aid each year as well as submit additional documentation as requested
  • must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards (see section below)
  • must not be in default on a student loan
  • must certify that financial aid will be used for educational purposes only
  • must certify that if you purposely give false or misleading information, you may be fined up to $20,000, sent to prison, or both.
  • must not have drug-related offenses - Read the FAFSA Facts for more information.

[The information above is available on the Student Aid on the Web Basic Eligibility handout].

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     Verification

    You might see a note on your Student Aid Report saying you’ve been selected for verification; or the CU Denver|Anschutz might inform you that you’ve been selected. Verification is the process of comparing the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application with documents that you provide to verify the accuracy of the application information. The CU Denver|Anschutz verification policies are used in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education verification guidelines.

    Verification Policy:
    • The policy ensures that the information provided by you (and your parents or spouse) is correct before any funds are awarded to you.
    • All applications selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education will be verified. Others may be selected by the CU Denver|Anschutz Financial Aid and Scholarships Office if inconsistent information exists.
    • In accordance with federal guidelines, the CU Denver|Anschutz Financial Aid policy is to withhold the awarding of financial aid until the verification process is completed.
    Submitting Additional Documents/Information:
    • The To Do List in Student Center of the UCD Access portal will list any additional documents or information requested.
    • In addition, an e-mail reminder is sent to your University e-mail account when additional documents or information are requested.
    • Important Verification Deadlines:
      • Federal Direct Loans & Campus-based Aid: 30 days prior to the end of the term
      • Pell Grant: The earlier of 120 days after ceasing enrollment or the federally-published deadline for Pell.

      Failure to meet the verification deadlines may result in certain types of aid not being offered. In addition, delays in sending documentation may result in the student not having aid by the time their bills are due each semester. In this case, the student is obligated to pay the account balance on the student account, or their classes could be canceled.

      Verification of Income Information for Individuals with Unusual Circumstances:

      Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the (Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

      If an individual is required to file a IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents:

      • A copy of IRS Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," that was filed with the IRS;
      • A copy of the IRS's approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time; and
      • A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for the tax year and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for the tax year.

      Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return

      If an individual filed an amended IRS income tax return, the individual must provide the following:

      • A signed copy of the original income tax return that was filed with the IRS; and
      • An IRS Tax Return Transcript; and
      • A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS.

      Individuals Who Were Victims of Tax Administration Identity Theft

      • When the IRS determines that a tax filer has been, or likely was, a victim of identity theft, it will not allow that tax filer to obtain tax information through the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or to receive an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the matter has been resolved by the IRS. Individuals in this situation must:
        • Contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) toll-free number at 800-908-4490.
        • After the IPSU authenticates the tax filer's identify, the tax filer can request that the IRS mail an alternate paper tax return transcript called a Transcript Database View​ (TRDBV). This hyperlink provides a demonstration copy.
        • Individuals who are victims of IRS tax-related identity theft must submit to the CU Denver|Anschutz
          • a TRDBV transcript obtained from the IRS; and
          • a statement signed and dated by the tax filers indicating that they were victims of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.

      Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns

      • An individual filed or will file a 2014 income tax return with Puerto Rico, another U.S. territory (e.g., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands), or with a foreign country, must provide:
        • A signed copy of that income tax return(s); or
        • A transcript obtained from a government of a U.S. territory or commonwealth, or a foreign central government that includes all of the tax filer’s income and tax information required to be verified for the tax year.

      How do I get to Student Center​?​​

      Corrections and Notifications:
      • Corrections made by the CU Denver|Anschutz: If the verification process results in corrections to any items on the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will submit those changes electronically. You will be notified of the changes through email from the FAFSA Central Processor. The Financial Aid Office will award the financial aid funds based on the corrected FAFSA results.
      • Corrections made by you: In the event that you must make corrections or additions to your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will contact you to make the appropriate corrections at FAFSA.gov. Corrections that you choose to make after you have been awarded financial aid will not be processed.
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     How is Financial Aid Calculated

    Financial aid is calculated first by calculating your financial need for need-based financial aid, including institutional loans and the Subsidized Direct loan (undergraduate students only).

    The formula to calculate financial need is: Cost of Attendance - EFC = Financial Need

    Next, the Financial Aid Office will determine the type and amount of aid that you could receive.​​​​​​

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     Awarding Financial Aid

    The CU Denver|Anschutz will award financial aid after the Financial Aid Office has received and processed all requested documentation (read the Verification section).

    The award will typically consist of a package of financial aid programs​: that is, a combination of types of aid for which you are eligible. It is important to accept in the UCD Access Portal the financial aid awards that you wish to receive.

    Financial aid awarding for the upcoming school year (Fall & Spring semesters) generally begins in the May timeframe. Summer financial aid for the current school year is also awarded in the May timeframe after you register for your Summer courses. As a result, you may see two award emails and have two sets of awards to view and accept.

    • Financial aid is awarded for the school year based on full-time enrollment.
    • Summer financial aid is based on your actual Summer enrollment. Visit our Summer Stafford Loan and Pell Grant Awarding page for more information.
    • Award notification will be sent to your University e-mail account when awards are ready, and anytime thereafter when awards change.
    • Click on the Accept/Decline Awards link under Financial Aid in the UCD Access Portal to view and accept, reduce, or decline your offered awards. (Grants and scholarships are posted assuming you are accepting the awards.)
      • Certain awards may be cancelled if you take no action.
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    How do I accept or decline my awards in Student Center​?​​​​

    If you are borrowing your first student loan at CU Denver|Anschutz, visit our Direct Loan Counseling page for instructions to complete the required entrance counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN).

    Parents accepting the Parent PLUS Loan must complete the PLUS Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN) at StudentLoans.gov.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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     Minimum Credit Hours

    Most financial aid programs require that you be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible.

    NOTE:

    On census day* the Federal Pell Grant amount is adjusted based on your actual enrollment. Adjustment levels are full-time, three quarter-time, half-time, and less than half-time.
    (*The census date is listed on the Academic Calendar).

    For graduate/professional students who are awarded the Colorado Graduate Grant the State of Colorado regulations state that these students must be enrolled in a minimum of 4 credit hours per term to receive the award.

    Wait-listed or audited courses do not count as enrolled courses.​​

    If you are enrolled less than half-time, you are not eligible to receive your financial aid award. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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     Adjusting Financial Aid

    As mentioned under Awarding Financial Aid, your fall and spring financial aid award is based on full-time enrollment. If you are enrolled part-time, your estimated educational expenses will be less, so your financial aid could be reduced.

    Your financial aid package is subject to change at any time, even after disbursement. Events that may affect your financial aid package include, but are not limited to:

    • less than full-time enrollment;
    • receipt of other grants, scholarships, or tuition waivers;
    • receipt of aid from another institution;
    • a change in your residency status;
    • changes in institutional fund availability;
    • corrections to your aid application, perhaps as a result of selection by the Federal processor for verification of the information reported on your FAFSA, which could result in a change in your EFC and financial need; and
    • changes to financial aid programs made by the federal government or the State of Colorado.

    Additionally, financial aid cannot exceed your financial need or the Cost of Attendance (COA) for the semester or enrollment period. This occurrence is called an "overaward." Events that may affect your award package include, but are not limited to:

    • changes to financial aid programs made by the federal government or the State of Colorado;
    • changes in institutional fund availability;
    • corrections to your aid application;
    • a change in your residency status;
    • receipt of outside awards, scholarships, employer tuition waivers or payments;
    • less than full-time enrollment.

    If the total award exceeds your financial need, your need-based aid will be reduced in the following order:

    Undergraduate Student:

    1. Subsidized Stafford Loan
    2. Perkins Loan
    3. Colorado Student Grant
    4. University Need Grant

    Graduate Student:

    1. Tuition Grant
    2. Colorado Graduate Grant

    If aid exceeds the cost of attendance, aid will be reduced in the following order:

    1. PLUS Loan
    2. Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
    3. Subsidized Stafford Loan
    4. Perkins or Institutional Loan
    5. Colorado Graduate Grant (graduate students), or Colorado Student Grant (undergraduate students)
    6. University Need Grant (undergraduate students only)

    To ensure the timely and accurate disbursement of your awards, please notify the Financial Aid Office right away of any changes that might affect your financial aid, such as enrollment or residency changes and receipt of grants, scholarships or other forms of aid not appearing on your award. Failure to enroll will result in cancellation of all aid for the academic year.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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     Loan Proration (Undergraduate students only)

    The annual maximum loan amount an undergraduate student may receive must be prorated when the borrower is:

    • enrolled in a program that is shorter than a full academic year; or
    • enrolled in a program that is one academic year or more in length, but is in a remaining period of study that is shorter than a full academic year.

    Bear in mind that loan proration determines the maximum loan amount that a student may borrow for a program or remaining enrollment of a program, not the loan amount that the student actually receives. In some cases, the actual loan amount that a student is eligible to receive (based on costs, EFC, and other aid) may be less than the prorated loan limit.

    (Taken from Direct Loans: 34 CFR 685.203(a),(b),(c))

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     Disbursing (paying) Financial Aid

    Financial aid is disbursed (paid) into your University account no sooner than the week prior to the beginning of each semester in which you are enrolled. (Check your Academic Calendar for your start date.)

    If you have completed all requirements, you will typically receive excess funds during the first week of the semester. Thereafter, you will receive your aid after you have:

    • accepted any loan amounts that you wish to receive for the term. Accept/decline the awards in the UCD Access portal;
    • completed, signed and submitted the applicable promissory note(s), entrance counseling session(s) and any other required document(s). Go to the Verification section above for instructions on accessing your To Do List.
    • Remember Work-Study funds do not disburse into your University account. Click on the Work-Study link above to see how your work-study funds are disbursed.
    • After financial aid is applied to your bill, excess funds are refunded to you by the Bursar's Office through direct deposit into your bank account, or a paper check will be mailed to your mailing address listed in the UCD Access Portal. For CU Denver students: Aid can pay the Campus Village charges on your University bill IF you elected that option on your housing contract.
    • Funds remaining from the Parent PLUS loan may be refunded to you or to your parent depending on what your parent selected on the PLUS application in StudentLoans.gov.
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     Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standard

    Financial Aid Policy

    Title: Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

    Source: Financial Aid & Scholarships Office
    Effective Date: August 1, 2015
    Effective: 2015-2016 Academic Year

    To be eligible for financial aid, federal, state and institutional regulations and policies require students to meet certain financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. The purpose of SAP standards is to ensure academic success and graduation. Students who are receiving financial aid, or who intend to receive aid in the future, must comply with these standards.

    Definitions of Commonly Used Terms

    Good standing (Meets SAP): Students meeting financial aid SAP standards are considered in good standing and are eligible to receive financial aid.

    Warning: Students who have failed to meet SAP standards after being in good standing may be placed on warning status and are eligible to receive financial aid for one term. Students who are on warning status have one term to come back into compliance with the SAP requirements and return to good standing. Students who fail to meet SAP standards while on warning status are placed on financial aid suspension.

    Suspension: Students who fail to meet SAP standards while on warning status, or who have attempted more than 150% of the hours required for their degree, are placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible for any aid until they meet the standards or successfully appeal.

    Appeal: A SAP appeal is a process by which a student who is not meeting the institution’s SAP standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student’s federal student aid eligibility. A SAP appeal must contain an explanation of the extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the SAP standards, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.

    Probation: Students who successfully appeal their financial aid suspension are placed on financial aid probation. While a student is on financial aid probation, the student may be required to fulfill specific terms and conditions such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses. Students on probation will receive aid for one term while attempting to meet SAP standards in order to return to good standing. Failure to meet SAP standards at the end of a probation term results in the student returning to financial aid suspension status. A student who cannot meet the minimum standards by the next evaluation period is placed on a SAP academic plan.

    Academic Plan: The academic plan is designed to allow the student to meet minimum standards within a fixed number of evaluation periods (generally two semesters). Progress is monitored and evaluated based on the conditions of the plan. If a student fails to meet the requirements of the plan, the student will become ineligible for financial aid. If a student meets minimum standards at any time while on an academic plan their financial aid status will be updated to eligible.
    Term: A term is one semester (Fall, Spring or Summer). Maymester is counted as part of the Summer semester.

    Financial Aid: Financial aid includes the following programs:

    • Federal aid (Pell Grant, FSEOG, TEACH, federal work-study, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Perkins Loan, Parent PLUS Loan, Grad PLUS Loan)
    • State aid (Colorado Student Grant, Colorado Graduate Grant, CO Work-study, CO TEACH Grant)
    • Institutional need-based aid
    • Most institution scholarships
    • Most outside scholarships
    • Most alternative student loans

    How is SAP Evaluated?

    There are three components evaluated in determining SAP status. Each component is listed below along with the appropriate standard.

    Grade Point Average (GPA)

    • Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative University GPA of 2.0.
    • Graduate (Masters and PhD) students must maintain a minimum cumulative University GPA of 3.0.
    • Dental and Pharmacy students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
    • Medical students must maintain at least a passing cumulative grade.

    Grades with a notation of Incomplete or Withdrawal have no bearing on the calculation of the cumulative GPA. Once an Incomplete (I) is changed to a final grade, that grade will count in the calculation of the GPA. Credit-hours that are transferred into the University do not count towards the GPA.

    Courses taken as pass/fail may or may not impact the GPA. A grade of “Pass” does not impact GPA as they do not earn GPA points. A grade of “Fail” is treated the same as if the student were on the letter grading scheme and failed the course.

    Students with a cumulative GPA below the standard will be placed on warning. If the cumulative GPA is still below the standard at the end of the next term of enrollment, the student is placed on financial aid suspension and denied financial aid until he or she meets all SAP standards unless an appeal of the suspension is successful.

    Course Completion Rate (Pace)

    Pace is calculated by dividing the total number of hours successfully completed by the total number of hours attempted. Accepted transfer credits count toward both hours attempted and hours completed. Non-passing grades will count as attempted credit hours, but do not count as completed credits. The following grades are not considered passing: F, I, IW and W. Repeated courses will always be treated as attempted hours.

    Undergraduate students must successfully complete at least 67% of all attempted credit hours. Successful course completion requires a grade of D- or higher, or P (passing). Grades of F, W, I, IW, or no grade do not denote satisfactory completion. Grades not submitted by a faculty member by the grading deadline are treated as unsatisfactory completion. If a blank grade impacts your status you must notify the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office when the grade is changed to show satisfactory completion.

    Graduate and Professional students must successfully complete at least 67% of all attempted credit hours. Successful course completion requires a grade of D- or higher, or P (passing). Grades of F, W, I, IW, or no grade do not denote satisfactory completion. Grades not submitted by a faculty member by the grading deadline are treated as unsatisfactory completion. If a blank grade impacts your status you must notify the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office when the grade is changed to show satisfactory completion.

    Consequences of failure to meet the Pace requirement: Students in good standing who fail to complete at least 67% of all their attempted courses will be placed on warning for one semester. Failure to earn a minimum of 67% of the courses attempted by the end of the next enrolled semester will result in financial aid suspension until SAP standards are met.

    Maximum Timeframe

    Undergraduate students must complete their program within 150% of the published length of the program as measured in credit hours. Accepted transferred credits and all attempted credit hours, including repeated credits, will be included in the 150% maximum timeframe calculation. Credit hours from unsatisfactory grades and withdrawn courses are also included, and count as attempted hours that were not earned. Most undergraduate programs require 120 credit hours so the maximum total credits allowed is 180.

    Graduate and Professional (Dental, Medical, and Pharmacy) students must complete their programs within 150% of the published length of the program. Transferred credits accepted towards the degree and all attempted credit hours, including repeated credits, will be included in the 150% maximum timeframe calculation. Credit hours from unsatisfactory grades and withdrawn courses are also included, and count as attempted hours that were not earned.

    Consequences of failure to meet this requirement: Students who reach their total credit hour limit without completing their program will be placed on financial aid suspension and denied further financial aid unless an appeal of the suspension is successful.

    How often is SAP Evaluated and how are Students Notified?

    SAP will be evaluated at the end of each term. Students who do not meet the SAP standards will be informed of their financial aid SAP status via University e-mail. Students in good standing are not notified unless their status changes to warning or suspension.

    What Happens If a Student does not meet the SAP Standards?

    For Grade Point Average (GPA) and Course Completion Rate measures, students who fail to meet financial aid SAP standards in one term will receive one subsequent term of aid while in financial aid warning status. At the end of the warning term, a student who still has not met the standards is changed to financial aid suspension status. The student’s eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid is terminated at this point and is not reinstated unless the student subsequently meets the required standards.

    Students must complete their program within the maximum timeframe (150% of the published length of the program). Students who reach the maximum timeframe will be place on financial aid suspension.

    How Do Students Get off Financial Aid Suspension?

    Students on financial aid suspension have two ways to regain eligibility for financial aid:

    1. Meet all the SAP standards while not receiving financial aid, or
    2. Successfully appeal the financial aid suspension status if extenuating circumstances interfered with academic progress. Note: The University has a maximum appeal limit of five (5) times during a student’s undergraduate career at the University, and a limit of three (3) appeals during a graduate/ professional career.

    How Do Students Appeal?

    The University recognizes that extenuating circumstances might interfere with students’ satisfactory academic performance. Students who wish to appeal must complete a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form​ which can be found in the forms section of www.ucdenver.edu/finaid.

    Students must explain the extenuating circumstances that prevented them from meeting SAP standards, what has changed that will enable them to now meet the standards, and thoroughly document all extenuating circumstances. Documentation must be submitted that is relevant to the circumstances, e.g., physician’s letter for medical reasons, death certificates of close relatives, etc.

    All appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. Students will be contacted if the committee feels they need more information, which may include the completion of a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Plan. Students approved for financial aid under an academic plan are expected to complete the courses as outlined on their plan.

    Appeals are considered in the order received and a decision generally will be made within two to four weeks after the appeal is received (and varies depending on the completeness of the appeal submitted). Appeals submitted for consideration in the current term must be received at least 30 days prior to the end of the term. Appeals received within the 30 days at the end of the term will be considered for the following term. Students who appeal will receive an email informing them of the appeal outcome.

    Print or save the SAP Policy​.​​​​

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     Student Loan Code of Conduct

    The Student Loan Code of Conduct serves as the guiding principles in ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process.​​

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     Withdrawing and Financial Aid

    Information and instructions are on the Withdrawing and Financial Aid page. It is highly recommended that you meet with a financial aid advisor prior to withdrawing to discuss the return of some of your financial aid funds, as well as, loan repayment options.​​

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     Release of Confidential Information (FERPA)

    If you would like to authorize the University to release financial aid and enrollment information to your spouse, parent(s), or other family member, you must complete the Release of Confidential Information Request Form and return the Form to the Office of the Registrar.

    If you would like to authorize the Financial Aid Office to release financial aid and enrollment information to an outside agency, such as the County Social Services Office or a leasing manager, you must complete the Authorization to Release Information To Outside Agencies form for the appropriate school year, and return the Form to the Financial Aid Office.

    For more information on Privacy of Student Records (FERPA), read the Privacy of Student Records for the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.​​

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