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Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Denver

Break the Myths

​There is a lot of misinformation out there about financial aid and scholarships. Learn the truth here, and find links to more information.

 MYTH: My financial aid refund is free money!

FACT: Your financial aid refund is surplus loaned funds. This money is paid back as a part of your student loans. When you account for interest, this money actually costs you more than its worth. This is why it's important to borrow only what you need to meet your cost of attendance.​​


 MYTH: Financial aid only covers your tuition and fees.

FACT: Your financial aid can be used to cover all of your education-related expenses. Your true cost of attendance includes other expenses like housing, food, personal expenses and transportation. Be sure to take these into account when considering how much aid you need.​​


 MYTH: It's all free money

FACT: Any money that helps you pay for college - whether grants, loans or work-study - is considered part of your financial aid award. While some financial aid like Pell Grants only require students to maintain certain attendance and academic standards, other programs carry additional requirements. Work-study awards must be earned through employment and loans will need to be repaid after students leave college.​


 MYTH: If I borrow $20,000 in student loans, I'll have to repay $20,000.

FACT: Loans generally will cost a borrower more in the long run than he or she receives up front. Some student loans accrue interest while borrowers are completing their degrees, increasing the total owed after college. After a student leaves school, interest will continue to accrue until the loan debt is paid in full or forgiven.


 MYTH: Loans are not a form of financial aid.

FACT: Federal loans are considered part of the aid package because they help lessen the overall cost of an education, which otherwise may have been paid through other means.



 Financial Aid Myths


More myths on the Financial Aid Myths sheet.