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 tab 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].
Verification is the process of comparing the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application with documents that you provide. The process is to verify the accuracy of the application information. The verification policies are used in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education verification guidelines.
- 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 University's Financial Aid Office if inconsistent information exists.
- In accordance with federal guidelines, the University's Financial Aid policy is to withhold the awarding of Federal Student 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 requested.
- In addition, an e-mail reminder is sent to your University e-mail account if additional documents are requested.
- The requested verification documents must be received within 45 days of the first notification that documents are requested.
- If you want to receive financial aid for the term in which you are enrolled, the Financial Aid Office must receive all verification documents no later than 30 days before the last day of enrollment or the end of the school year, whichever is earlier.
Corrections and Notifications:
- Corrections by the University: 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 by you: In the event that you must make corrections or additions online, the Financial Aid Office will contact you to make corrections electronically at FAFSA.gov. Corrections that you make after you have been awarded financial aid will not be processed, unless the Financial Aid Office instructed you to make the changes.
Financial aid is calculated first by calculating your financial need for need-based financial aid, including the Subsidized Stafford 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.4
The University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus will award financial aid after the Financial Aid Office has received and processed all requested documentation (see 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. As a result, you may see two award emails and have 2 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 button 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.
If you are borrowing your first student loan at the University, visit our Direct Loan Counseling page for instructions to complete the 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.5
Most financial aid programs require that you be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible.
NOTE: On census day* Pell and TEACH grant amounts are adjusted based on your actual enrollment. Adjustment levels are full-time, three quarter-time, half-time, and less than half-time. (*View census date on the Academic Calendar).
IMPORTANT: Wait-listed or audited courses do not count as enrolled courses.
According to the State of Colorado regulations, graduate/professional students who are awarded the Colorado Graduate Grant must be enrolled in a minimum of 4 credit hours to receive the award.
REMEMBER:If you are enrolled less than half-time, you are not eligible to receive your financial aid award. 6
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 aid exceeds your financial need, your need-based aid will be reduced in the following order:
- Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Perkins Loan
- Colorado Student Grant
- University Need Grant
- Tuition Grant
- Colorado Graduate Grant
If aid exceeds the cost of attendance, aid will be reduced in the following order:
- PLUS Loan
- Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Perkins or Institutional Loan
- Colorado Graduate Grant (graduate students), or Colorado Student Grant (undergraduate students)
- 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.7
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 limit proration determines the maximum loan amount that a student may borrow for a program or remaining balance 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))13
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, remaining 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 StudentLoans.gov.
To be eligible for financial aid, federal, state and institutional regulations require that you meet certain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. The purpose of SAP is to ensure academic success and graduation. If you are receiving aid, or if you intend to receive aid in the future, you must meet these standards.
- Please read the policy.
- SAP will be evaluated at the end of each term. If you do not meet the SAP standards, you will be informed of your eligibility status via University e-mail. This is not the equivalent of being placed on academic suspension by your school or program. [You are not notified if you are in Meet status (good standing).] Here are some commonly used terms relating to SAP:
- Meet: You meet the Financial Aid SAP standards, so are considered in good standing and eligible to receive financial aid.
- Warning: You failed to meet SAP standards while in Meet status (good standing), so you are placed on Warning status but are still eligible to receive financial aid for the current term. If you are on Warning status, you have one term to meet the Financial Aid SAP requirements.
- Suspension: If you fail to meet Financial Aid SAP standards while on Warning status, or you do not successfully complete any course hours, you are placed on Financial Aid Suspension and are not eligible for any aid until you meet the standards or successfully appeal.
- Probation: If you successfully appeal your Financial Aid Suspension, you are placed on Financial Aid Probation status. If you are on Probation, you will receive aid for one term while attempting to meet SAP standards. Failure to meet SAP standards at the end of a Probation term results in you returning to Financial Aid Suspension status.
- Term: One semester (Fall, Spring or Summer). (Maymester is considered part of the Summer Semester.)
- If you are on Financial Aid Suspension, you have two ways to regain eligibility for financial aid:
- Meet all the SAP standards while not receiving financial aid. Once the SAP standards are met, you must notify the Financial Aid Office to have your status re-evaluated.
- If extenuating circumstances interfered with your academic progress, you may appeal your suspension by completing the:
If required, you must meet with your academic advisor and create an Academic Progress Plan for the length of time it will take you to clear your SAP violation or until you graduate if any of the following situations exist:
- You have exceeded the length of financial aid eligibility;
- You have previously submitted a SAP appeal;
- You will not be able to regain financial aid eligibility by the end of the next term of enrollment.
The Student Loan Code of Conduct serves as the guiding principles in ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process.10
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.12
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.11