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Break the Myths

About financial aid & scholarships at CU Denver

​There is a lot of misinformation out there about financial aid and scholarships. On this page, learn the truth and find links to more information.

 Other Myths:


 MYTH: My financial aid refund is free money!

FACT: Your financial aid refund is generally surplus student loan funds. This money is paid back as a part of your student loans borrowed. 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 cost of attendance includes other expenses like housing, food, personal, and transportation. Be sure to take these into account when considering how much aid you need - but don't overestimate your 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 the borrower is completing his or her degree, increasing the total owed after college. After a student leaves school, interest will continue to accrue until the loan 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.