GEM students have multiple options to help cover their educational costs. The most popular means of paying for tuition is through student loans (or financial aid). GEM students can apply for federal Stafford, graduate plus and private loans.
Employer tuition reimbursement is another highly utilized option for tuition payment. GEM strongly encourages prospective students to meet with their human resource and benefits departments to discuss their eligibility for tuition reimbursement. The GEM staff can provide information to help students gain approval for reimbursement. Students who receive tuition assistance from their employer can also apply for student loans.
Federal Stafford Student Loans
- Consists of Stafford subsidized (interest deferred until graduation) and unsubsidized (interest accrues while enrolled) loans.
- Approximate award is $20,500 (calendar year one) + $20,500 (calendar year two) = $41,000 in federal student aid possible for $54,000 GEM program tuition.
- Students must meet citizenship/residency requirements to be eligible
- Stafford loans are non-credit based and applying for the loan is not reflected on your credit rating
- To access the free application, go to FAFSA
Graduate Plus Loans
A graduate plus loan application will automatically be produced when you apply for a federal Stafford loan; however, you can choose to accept the loan or not. Graduate plus loans are federal funds but unlike the Stafford loan, is based on a student’s credit rating. These loans can help subsidize the remaining GEM tuition as well as additional educational costs such as textbooks and travel to Denver.
Private Graduate Loans
Many banks also offer private loans, or “alternative” education loans. Much like “shopping” for a car loan, credit card, or a home mortgage, there are many options. All of the private lender’s guidelines and application processes apply, and rates/terms/repayment (while competitive) will vary from lender to lender and will be determined based upon the student’s credit rating. Most private loans do offer rates lower than traditional credit cards.
The University of Colorado recommends several alternative lenders including: Key Bank, US Bank, and Citibank. Again, this type of loan can act as your only form of aid or it can supplement one of the previously explained federal loan packages. There is an annual maximum of total loan funds that can be borrowed. Visit sites such as salliemae.com for more information on private student loans.
Other Types of Funding
In addition to loans and employer reimbursement, students are encouraged to explore the following other options to help for the cost of the program.
Military Educational Programs
Programs such as the GI Bill may be used to help fund the GEM program. Check with your military branch or talk to the CU Office of Veteran’s Affairs at 303-556-2630.
Self-directed Scholarship Search
Minority, professional and/or personal affiliations may have scholarship opportunities. Use the web to research opportunities you may have and scholarships for which you may qualify.
Home Equity Loans or Additional Mortgages*
Interest on these loans may be low depending on market conditions and the interest may be tax deductible. They will require credit approval and are likely to have closing costs.