Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

Financial Aid & Scholarships Office

Scholarship Resources Office, University of Colorado Denver

UC Denver Scholarship Resource Office

Financial Aid Versus Scholarships

Financial Aid Process

If you are interested in or need financial aid such as grants, work-study and student loans, please visit the Financial Aid Office page or for instructions on applying for financial aid visit the Apply for Financial Aid page. You may find answers to specific questions on the Financial Aid Office’s Frequently Asked Questions or Policies & Procedures for Receiving Your Funds pages.


Scholarship Application Process

Scholarships vary but usually have one or more of three general components, and may be a combination of any of these:

  • Academic merit, grades, test scores
  • Financial need-This need is often defined differently than by the FAFSA guidelines
  • Community Service, work history and preferences such as:
        • gender
        • first generation (neither parent has a four year degree)
        • race and ethnic identity
        • community involvement
        • major or minor degree program
        • age
        • special talents and hobbies
        • memberships in organizations


How do I apply for scholarships?

Usually, scholarship applications are available 6 to 8 weeks before the deadline. The application process should take place a semester to a year prior to the academic year/semester you hope to receive the money. If you find out about a scholarship after the deadline, do not worry! Just remember the deadline, and plan to apply the following year.

Each scholarship has a different process. Usually, you must fill out an application form, which includes biographical information, provide references, supply financial aid information (if requested), and write an essay. The essay topics vary, but it is a critical part of the application. This is your chance to set yourself apart from the other candidates.

Keep a copy of any scholarship application paperwork to utilize in the ongoing application process such as:

  • Any essays you write, including an educational goal statement
  • Income tax forms
  • Information from the Financial Aid office, such as the Student Aid Report (SAR) and award letters
  • College and/or high school transcripts
  • Your resume
  • Letters of recommendation (from teachers, professors, employers)


Helpful Hints

  • Make sure you are familiar with the scholarship process of each university or college as they can vary, even within departments
  • Read and follow the scholarship applications carefully. Type or neatly print the applications.
  • Scholarships awards vary in amounts from $50 to thousands of dollars. The most common scholarship amount is $500 on a one-time basis.
  • You should have other financial resources lined up to pay for your educational costs, but are usually allowed to receive more than one scholarship at a time.
  • Although the application process may require a lot of time and effort in the beginning, most of the information can be utilized on additional scholarship applications.
  • Keep a timeline or calendar with important dates and deadlines with information such as admission applications, financial aid and scholarships, (download a copy of a scholarship calendar on the scholarship website). Important information to include on the calendar:
      • Scholarship name
      • Application Deadline-most scholarships are due Feb-May
      • Begin application six weeks before due date
      • Required elements, if applicable
        • application
        • references
        • essay
        • transcripts
      • Specific notes on scholarships

      Eligibility for State of Colorado Public Benefits

      In July 2006, the Colorado State Legislature enacted C.R.S. 24-96.5-101, which became effective on August 1, 2006. The legislation requires all citizens who apply for state-funded benefits that entail any payment or financial assistance provide proof that they are lawfully present in the United States.

      © The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

      Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.