How do I get financial aid?
For instructions please refer to Steps for Applying.
What is a PIN and how do I get one?
A PIN or personal identification number allows the student and parent to sign the FAFSA electronically. The PIN should be kept in a secure location and not shared with anyone. To apply for a PIN, go to pin.ed.gov.
What is the deadline for applying?
Students are encouraged to submit their FAFSA as soon as possible after it is available on January 1st.
Remember that you (and your parents of dependent undergraduate students) should file the federal tax returns first, allow 3 weeks for the IRS to process your tax forms, and then, use the IRS Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA to retrieve your federal tax information from the IRS.
Financial aid is awarded on a first-come first-served basis for both campuses. Therefore, apply early.
What is the Student Aid Report or SAR?
The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a report of the information you provided on the FAFSA. You should review this information carefully for accuracy. If it is correct, simply file it for your record. If you find errors or used estimated income tax information, go back into your FAFSA, make the necessary corrections, and submit your FAFSA for re-processing.
How can I become independent?
To be considered an independent student when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you must meet at least one of the following FAFSA criteria:
- be 24 years of age or older;
- be married at the time you are filing/
- have a child or other legal dependents for whom you, personally, provide more than 50% of the support for that child or legal dependent and be able to document that support;
- working on a master, or doctorate program in the upcoming school year;
- currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training;
- be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
What is the status of my financial aid?
After submitting your FAFSA, periodically check your To Do List in Student Center of the UCD Access portal to see if additional documents have been requested such as your tax return transcript.1
Who is eligible for financial aid?
All students who wish to receive financial aid (grants, scholarships, work-study and loans):
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (see the Basic Eligibility Criteria)
- Must be degree-seeking in an eligible program as determined by UCD (check out degree programs on theAdmissions Office web site and CU Anschutz students check with the individual school’s Student Affairs/Admissions Office.)
- Must apply for financial aid each year as well as submit additional documentation as requested (see Steps for Applying)
- Must maintain satisfactory academic progress (see SAP standards below)
- Must not be in default on a student loan
- Must certify that financial aid be used for educational purposes only
- Must not have drug-related offenses
[More information is available on Student Aid on the Web]
When will I get my financial aid award?
Financial aid awarding begins in the May timeframe provided all required documents have been received complete and processed. First-time, first-year undergraduates and first year Medical students will receive a preliminary award package in the April timeframe.
How much financial aid will I receive?
Financial aid awarding is based on various eligibility factors reported on the FAFSA, availability of funds, and the University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus awarding policy. The Financial Aid Office will determine the type and amount of aid based on these factors and the awarding policy.
What is Cost of Attendance (COA) or budget?
The Cost of Attendance (COA) or budget consists of tuition, fees, and living expenses.
The University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus uses the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) budget parameters for the student’s living expenses (room and board, books, supplies, transportation, personal and childcare expenses).
What is EFC or Expected Family Contribution?
The EFC or Expected Family Contribution is calculated using the FAFSA information and a federal formula. It is the amount that a family could reasonably expect to pay for their student, educational costs, but is not the amount that is billed to the student.
The EFC is a tool for the Financial Aid Office to determine the type and amount of financial aid to award each student.
What is financial need?
Financial need is calculated by subtracting the EFC from the COA. This calculation helps the Financial Aid Office determine the student, eligibility for grants, work-study, and subsidized loan (undergraduate students only).
Why is my financial aid less this year than last year?
The FAFSA uses the previous tax year information and for most families this information may differ from year to year. Changes in funding given to the University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus may also change the amount of aid that you receive. If you applied late, you may not have been offered need-based aid that you were eligible to receive.
What is an overaward and why was my award adjusted?
When your financial aid exceeds your financial need
or the Cost of Attendance (COA)
for the enrollment period, your financial aid is reduced.
If you are receiving grants, scholarships or other forms of financial assistance not appearing on your award letter, notify the Financial Aid Office
I am transferring to or from CU Denver|Anschutz so what do I need to do?
If you are transferring to CU Denver|Anschutz, add our school code 004508 to your FAFSA. Submit the FAFSA so that we can receive it and offer you financial aid. Make sure that you cancel your financial aid awards at your previous school.
If you are transferring from CU Denver|Anschutz, notify the Financial Aid Office, so that your financial aid awards can be canceled. In addition, contact your new school’s financial aid office for application instructions.
How many classes do I have to take to get financial aid?
Please read the information on the Required Credit Hours tab on the Receiving Your Financial Aid page.
What kind of financial aid is available for international students?
Denver Campus students: Please contact the International Students and Scholars Office.
Anschutz Medical Campus students: Please contact the Financial Aid Office.2
Why, how and when do I get a refund?
Funds remaining after your University bill is paid are sent to your bank account by the Bursar’s Office. (Check the Student Center of the UCD Access portal for your account status.) The Bursar’s Office begins refund processing 3-4 days after financial aid has disbursed (paid).
How do I know if all of my financial aid paid?
Your account status on the Student Center of the UCD Access portal will list financial aid that has paid. Compare this list with your award to make sure that all of your aid has paid.
If you have an award that has not paid, you may still have outstanding forms or steps to take. Check your To Do List in Student Center of the UCD Access portal to see if additional forms are needed or contact the Financial Aid Office.
Why hasn’t my financial aid or scholarship disbursed (paid)?
Enrollment: Are you registered for classes? The Federal Pell Grant and Federal TEACH Grant are adjusted based on your enrollment. However, you must be enrolled at least half-time to receive your other aid.
Loans: If you are borrowing a loan for the first time at CU Denver|Anschutz, you must complete the Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) at StudentLoans.gov to receive your loan funds.
You must also be enrolled at least half time to receive your loan funds.
Scholarships: If your scholarship has not disbursed, you may not be registered for enough hours. Many scholarships require their recipients to be enrolled full time.
Another reason that your scholarship hasn’t disbursed yet is the scholarship funds have not been received yet from the donor. If the donor is an organization outside CU Denver|Anschutz, you may want to contact them to see when and where the funds were sent or will be sent. You may also want to contact the Scholarship Resource Office. Contact the Financial Aid Office for scholarships awarded by CU Denver|Anschutz.
What happens if I drop a class during the add/drop period and I already got my refund?
If you received a financial aid refund and your enrollment status has dropped during the add/drop period, your Federal Pell and TEACH Grants will be adjusted based on your enrollment.
You must be enrolled at least half time to keep your Direct, PLUS and most alternative loans. After the adjustment, you may be required to return some of your refund.
What happens if I drop a class after the add/drop period and I already got my refund?
If you received a financial aid refund and your enrollment has dropped after the add/drop period, your award probably will not be adjusted. However, the course that you drop will receive a “W” grade and could affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
What happens if I withdraw or drop all of my classes at CU Denver|Anschutz?
If you withdraw or drop all of your classes, your award will go through a process called Return of Title IV Funds where the Financial Aid Office will perform a federal calculation to see how much of your federal financial aid must be returned to CU Denver|Anschutz.3
We highly recommend that you meet with your academic advisor, as well as a Financial Aid Advisor before dropping all of your classes. In addition, read and understand the withdrawal policy.
What is the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized loans?
The federal government will pay (subsidize) the interest on subsidized loans while you’re in school, for the first 6 months after you graduate or leave school, and any periods of deferment. Undergraduate students demonstrating financial need through their FAFSA data could be eligible for this loan.
Interest on unsubsidized loans will start accruing at the time the loan is disbursed.
Why do I need to do Loan Entrance Counseling?
The U.S. Department of Education requires that you complete Loan Entrance Counseling if you are borrowing Direct Loans for the first time at CU Denver|Anschutz. The Loan Entrance Counseling will educate you on student loans so that you will become a well-informed borrower. The counseling covers your rights and responsibilities, interest rates, repayment options, and the consequences of default.
Why do I need to do Loan Exit Counseling?
Upon graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment, the U.S. Department of Education requires that you complete Loan Exit Counseling. As part of your Loan Exit Counseling, your lender will provide you with specific information regarding your loans including your loan servicer’s contact information, where to send payments, repayment options, and loan consolidation.
If you received a Perkins or institutional loan, Exit Counseling information is available on the Student Debt Management web site.
Why hasn’t my subsidized or unsubsidized loans disbursed (paid)?
- You must be enrolled at least half time.
- You must complete the Loan Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note at StudentLoans.gov.
Why hasn’t my Perkins or institutional loans disbursed (paid)?
- You must be enrolled at least half time.
- You must complete the appropriate Loan Entrance Counseling and MPN.
Why hasn’t the Parent PLUS Loan disbursed (paid)?
- Your student must be enrolled at least half time.
- The parent borrower must submit the PLUS Application and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at StudentLoans.gov
When and how will I get my alternative (private) loan?
After the loan has been certified and processed by your lender and the Financial Aid Office, the loan funds will be sent to CU Denver|Anschutz. The loan funds will pay into your University account and funds remaining after the bill is paid are sent to the you.
(Check the Student Center of the UCD Access portal for account status or to sign up for Direct Deposit.)
How can I increase my Direct Loans?
The Financial Aid Office will award the annual limit as long as the total award does not exceed the Cost of Attendance (COA).
Loans cannot be increased beyond the annual limit. If you accepted less than the original award, please contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you can borrow those remaining funds.
How do I accept only some of my loans?
Follow the instructions for Accepting and Declining Your Financial Aid Award.
I don’t have a PIN to complete my Master Promissory Note (MPN) so what do I do?
The PIN that you used to sign your FAFSA is the same PIN you will use to complete your MPN. If you lost or misplaced your PIN, you can Request a Duplicate PIN at the Federal Student Aid PIN
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Federal and state financial aid regulations require that students meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards to be eligible for financial aid. The purpose of SAP is to ensure academic success and graduation.5
Students who do not meet the SAP standards are not eligible for aid.
How do I get information about scholarships?
Start with the CU Denver|Anschutz Scholarship Resource Office.
- High School Counseling Center
- Any library
Anschutz Medical Campus students should contact their program’s Admissions or Student Affairs office for available scholarships, and then, visit the Scholarship Resource Office web site for other scholarship opportunities.
When will I know if I am getting scholarships?
Depending on the scholarship, you will be notified in writing by the donor if you were selected as a scholarship recipient.
What do I do if I get a scholarship from an organization outside CU Denver|Anschutz?
If you are receiving grants, scholarships or other forms of aid not appearing on your award letter, please notify the Financial Aid Office on your campus.
In addition, notify the donor that you will be attending CU Denver|Anschutz. Scholarship payments should be sent to the Scholarship Resource Office for processing.
Is my scholarship renewable?
Most scholarships are a one-time award. Your scholarship award letter will notify you if the scholarship is renewable. If you aren’t sure whether your scholarship is renewable or not, contact the donor that awarded the scholarship.6
What do I do if my income is less than last year?
Special circumstances impacting your family contribution and educational expenses are evaluated on an individual student basis. Contact a Financial Aid Advisor
to see if you qualify for a review of your special circumstance.
More information is available under Reporting Special Circumstances
When will I get financial aid after I submit the Reconsideration of Income Request?
The review process can take up to 8 weeks. Reviews are done throughout the school year; however, the absolute deadline to submit an appeal is 45 days prior to the last day of the semester. All appeal decisions are final.
What if I have other special circumstances?
Other special circumstances and the corresponding forms are listed on the Reporting Special Circumstances page. 7
You may also contact a Financial Aid Advisor to see if you qualify for a review of your special circumstance.
Can I get financial aid to study abroad?
Most federal, state and institutional sources of financial aid for which a student may normally qualify, with the exception of work-study and certain scholarships, can be used towards covering reasonable costs associated with authorized CU Denver|Anschutz study abroad programs. 8
Visit the Study Abroad web site for more information. You must also submit the Study Abroad Packet.
What is verification and why was I selected?
Students sometimes make errors on their application; therefore, there is a federal process for verifying FAFSA applications and making corrections. Students are selected for verification by the FAFSA processor or could be selected by the Financial Aid Office if information on the FAFSA seems unusual or is conflicting.
Do I have to complete verification?
If you have been selected for verification, you must submit all requested documents for this process. Check your To Do List in Student Center UCD Access portal for a list of requested documents.
If you refuse to complete verification, you will not be eligible for any need-based financial aid.
How long does verification take and when will I get financial aid?
The Financial Aid Office begins the verification process as early as March and verifies throughout the school year. The process could take 2 to 4 weeks after all required documents have been received signed and completed. As soon as you are notified that you are selected for verification, submit the documentation right away to avoid delay in receiving financial aid.9
How do I get a work-study job?
You must be awarded work-study to work in a work-study position. Following the procedures on Steps for Applying.
If you have been awarded work-study, please check the jobs listing in the UCD Access portal.
Anschutz Medical Campus students must also submit the Work-Study Request Form to request a work-study award. Please be aware that your loan award may be reduced to make room for the work-study award.
Am I eligible for work-study?
Work-study is awarded based on financial need and the awarding policy. More information is available at the Work-Study Program web page.
Denver Campus: Eligible students with a completed FAFSA received by the Financial Aid Office could be awarded work-study.
Denver Campus students applying late can submit the Work-Study Request Form (click on the Miscellaneous tab) to be placed on a waitlist for funds.
Anschutz Medical Campus: Eligible students must complete the FAFSA, as well as, submit the Work-Study Request Form (click on the Miscellaneous tab) and will be notified if awarded work-study.
Students are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be aware that your loan award may be reduced to make room for the work-study award.
How many hours can I work in my work-study job?
You can work up to 20 hours per week but are limited to the amount of your work-study award. After you are hired, work with your supervisor to create a work schedule that utilizes your work-study award for the entire school year.10