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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver

Policies Important to Students

Know what guides financial aid processes.

 Eligibility Criteria

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
  • must Apply for Financial Aid each year as well as submit additional documentation as requested
  • must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards (see section 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.

[The information above is available on the Student Aid on the Web Basic Eligibility handout].



    You might see a note on your Student Aid Report saying you’ve been selected for verification; or the CU Anschutz might inform you that you’ve been selected. Verification is the process of comparing the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application with documents that you provide to verify the accuracy of the application information. The CU Anschutz verification policies are used in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education verification guidelines.

    Verification Policy:

    • The policy ensures that the information provided by you (and your parents or spouse) is correct before any financial aid 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 CU Anschutz Financial Aid and Scholarships Office if inconsistent information exists.
    • In accordance with federal guidelines, the CU Anschutz Financial Aid policy is to withhold the awarding of financial 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 or information requested.
    • In addition, an e-mail reminder is ​sent to your University Webmail account when additional documents or information are requested.
    • Important Verification Deadlines:
      • Federal Direct Loans & Campus-based Aid: 30 days prior to the end of the term
      • Pell Grant: The earlier of 120 days after ceasing enrollment or the federally-published deadline for Pell.

      Failure to meet the verification deadlines may result in certain types of aid not being offered. In addition, delays in sending documentation may result in the student not having aid in time to pay their tuition bill. In this case, the student is obligated to pay the account balance on the student account, or pay the Service Charge on the unpaid balance.

      Verification of Income Information for Individuals with Unusual Circumstances:

      Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the (Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

      If an individual is required to file an IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents:

      1. A copy of IRS Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," that was filed with the IRS;
      2. A copy of the IRS's approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time; and
      3. A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for the tax year and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for the tax year.

      Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return

      If an individual filed an amended IRS income tax return, the individual must provide the following:

      1. An IRS Tax Return Transcript; and
      2. A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS.

      Individuals Who Were Victims of Tax Administration Identity Theft

      When the IRS determines that a tax filer has been, or likely was, a victim of identity theft, it will not allow that tax filer to obtain tax information through the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or to receive an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the matter has been resolved by the IRS. Individuals in this situation must:

      1. Contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) toll-free number at 800-908-4490.
      2. After the IPSU authenticates the tax filer's identify, the tax filer can request that the IRS mail an alternate paper tax return transcript called a Transcript Database View (TRDBV)​. This hyperlink provides a sample copy.
      3. Individuals who are victims of IRS tax-related identity theft must submit to the CU Anschutz Financial Aid & Scholarships Office
        1. a TRDBV transcript obtained from the IRS; and
        2. a statement signed and dated by the tax filers indicating that they were victims of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.

      Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns

      An individual filed or will file an income tax return with Puerto Rico, another U.S. territory (e.g., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands), or with a foreign country, must provide:

      1. A transcript obtained from a government of a U.S. territory or commonwealth, or a foreign central government that includes all of the tax filer’s income and tax information required to be verified for the tax year; or,
      2. A signed copy of the income tax return(s) filed with the government.

      IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter

      Why is this being requested by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office?

      Your FAFSA has been selected for a review process called verification. The U.S. Department of Education is now requiring students and parents that indicate on the FAFSA they did not file a tax return to provide a Verification on Non-filing Letter from the IRS. If the student and/or parent(s) did not and will not file a federal tax return, a Verification of Non-filing Letter must be obtained from the IRS for each non-filer. For the 2017-2018 academic year, the letter must be for the 2015 tax year.

      Once you have obtained a Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS, please submit it to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office​. We encourage you to keep a copy of the letter for your records.

      How do I obtain the IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter?

      • Online at
        • Click “Get Transcript Online”.
        • Follow the instructions to verify your identity if you haven’t used the service before.
        • As you proceed through the screens, a confirmation code will be sent to your email address. You will need the code to enter on the next screen.
        • After entering the code, you will be prompted to select a reason the transcript is needed. Please select Higher Ed/Student Aid and the applicable tax year.
        • If you are unable to successfully obtain your document online, you may use the mail or phone request options.

      Get IRS Transcript 

      Get Transcript

      • Phone the IRS Helpline at 1-800-908-9946. Request a Verification of Non-filing Letter.
      • Postal Mail by completing Form 4506-T at
        • The form is available in the “Related Forms” sidebar on the right side of the screen.
        • Click the Form 4506-T.
        • Complete sections 1 through 4.
        • Select Verification of Non-Filing in section 7.
        • Indicate 2015 as the period being requested.
        • Sign and date the form.
        • Mail or fax the 4506-T to the appropriate address by state listed on page 2.

      We encourage individuals to request the Verification of Non-Filing Letter be mailed to them directly in contrast to using the third party request option.

      IRS 4506-T Form

      IRS 4506-T Form

      Corrections and Notifications:

      • Corrections made by the university: If the verification process results in corrections to any items on the FAFSA, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will submit those changes electronically. You will be notified of the changes by the FAFSA Central Processor. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will award the financial aid funds based on the corrected FAFSA results.
      • Corrections made by you: In the event that you must make corrections to your FAFSA, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will notify you to make the necessary corrections at Corrections that you choose to make after you have been awarded financial aid will not be processed.

     Unusual Enrollment History Flags

    The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has established regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program and the Federal Stafford Loan Program by identifying students who attend an institution long enough to receive a Title IV credit balance, leaves without completing the enrollment period, and then enrolls at another institution, with unusual enrollment histories. Please note that Direct Consolidation Loans and Direct Parent PLUS Loans are not considered in this review.

    The specific pattern used to select students includes those students who have received a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Direct Loan at multiple institutions during the review period, which includes the four most recent award years. If selected by the ED, the unusual enrollment history must be resolved before the student can receive federal financial aid.


    UEH Flag Value of ‘N’: There is no unusual enrollment history. No additional action is required by the school.

    UEH Flag Value of ‘2’: The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office must review your enrollment and financial aid records to determine if, during the four award year review period, you received a Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Loan at CU Anschutz.

    • If so, no additional action is required. However, if there is reason to believe you remained enrolled just long enough to collect student aid funds, we must follow the guidance for a UEH Flag value of 3.
    • If not, we must follow the guidance for a UEH Flag value of 3.

    UEH Flag Value of ‘3’: The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will use information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to identify the institutions from which you received the Pell Grant and/or Stafford Loan funding during the review period. We must also review your academic records to determine if you received academic credit at each institution. We will contact you if we need copies of any transcripts.

    • Academic Credit Earned: If we can determine you earned any academic credit at each institution attended during the review period, no further action is required, unless there is reason to believe you remained enrolled just long enough to collect student aid funds. In these instances, or if we cannot determine you earned academic credit, you must provide additional information below under Academic Credit Not Earned.
    • Academic Credit Not Earned: If you did not earn academic credit at one or more of the institutions attended during the review period, or at CU Anschutz, you must provide a signed statement explaining why you failed to earn academic credit. Please include any documentation to support your statement. If you cannot provide satisfactory documentation explaining your failure to earn credit, you will not be eligible to receive any additional assistance from federal Title IV programs, or state and institutional programs.


    If you have been determined to be ineligible for federal student aid on the basis of (or lack of) documentation, you may resubmit additional documentation for reconsideration.


    Your eligibility for federal student aid may be reconsidered after successfully completing a minimum of 12 credits (undergraduate students) or 5 credits (graduate/professional students) that are required by your program. Successful completion is defined as a grade of C or better. Grades below C, incompletes and withdrawals are not considered successful completion. You must also meet the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). To review the complete SAP policy, visit SAP Financial Aid Policy for Students.


       Awarding Policy

      The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office is committed to providing eligible students with financial assistance in an equitable and timely manner.


      Before we can determine your award package, we must first determine your financial need. Financial need is the difference between your Cost of Attendance (COA) and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education and reflected on your FAFSA.

      Cost of Attendance - EFC = Financial Need

      The total amount of need-based aid cannot exceed your financial need.

      The Cost of Attendance is an estimate of the educational expenses incurred by the student during the academic year. A standard COA may include costs for tuition, fees, books, health insurance, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses. Click here for more information about the Cost of Attendance.

      Your EFC is determined by many factors, including the family’s income, assets, size and number in college. If you are independent, “family” refers to yourself and your spouse/children (if applicable).


      Most initial awards are based on the assumption that student will enroll full-time for both fall and spring semesters. The amount and type of financial aid offered is based on several factors including your financial need and the availability of funds. Most funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served based on availability funds. Funds are awarded in the following sequence:

      • Financial assistance from university departments or schools or outside sources including tuition remissions, traineeships, stipends, tuition waivers, tuition assistance, etc.;
      • Scholarships from the university and outside agencies;
      • Grants (federal, state and institutional);
      • Federal Work-Student and/or Perkins Loan or institutional loan;
      • Federal Direct Loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, Parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS).

      If you enroll part-time, or only attend one semester, some of your awards may be reduced or canceled. For more information about enrollment requirements, see Award Adjustments.

      Students receiving financial assistance from university departments or schools or outside sources may not be eligible to receive federal, state or institutional financial aid. For more information about enrollment requirements, see Award Adjustments.

      Nonresident students are not eligible for state grants, but may be eligible for institutional grants and/or loans depending on your program of study. For more information on the specific funds available, please visit Types of Aid.


      New and Prospecive Students

      We will begin sending notification emails to new and prospective students in March letting you know that your Estimated Award Notice is available on UCDAccess. Emails will only be sent to your university email account. You must submit any requested documents before we can calculate a new financial aid package and send you an Official Award Notice. Your Official Award Notice will provide you with instructions for viewing and accepting your awards, as well as next steps. Please note your official award may be reduced or canceled if you do not submit all requested documents.

      Continuing Students

      We will begin sending notification emails to continuing students in May. Emails will only be sent to your university email account and will provide you with instructions for viewing and accepting your awards, as well as next steps. If you are asked to submit additional documents, you can find them on your To Do List on UCDAccess.


      We recommend you save an electronic or printed copy of your Award Details page any time there is a change. Keeping a record of the awards you received may help you for future reference. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding your financial aid award package.


       Minimum Credit Hours

      Most financial aid programs require that you be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible.


      For undergraduate students: After census day* the Federal Pell Grant amount is adjusted based on your actual enrollment. Adjustment levels are full-time, three quarter-time, half-time, and less than half-time.
      (*The census date is listed on the Academic Calendar).

      For graduate/professional students who are awarded the Colorado Graduate Grant, the State of Colorado regulations state that these students must be enrolled in a minimum of 4 credit hours per term to receive the award.

      Wait-listed or audited courses do not count as enrolled courses.​​


       Award Adjustments

      Throughout the year it may become necessary for the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office to adjust your financial aid award if the total amount of aid received exceeds your estimated cost of attendance (COA). A revised award notice will be emailed to your University Webmail account if your financial aid award has to be adjusted. Below are some of the more common reasons your aid may have to be adjusted. Please notify the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office immediately if you receive financial assistance not reflected on your award or if you notice any omissions or discrepancies on your award letter.

      Change in enrollment level:

      Your financial aid award for fall and spring is based on full-time enrollment as indicated below:

      ​Minimum Full-Time ​Minimum Half-Time
      Undergraduate students​ ​12 hours ​6 hours
      ​Graduate students* ​5 hours ​3 hours
      ​Professional students** ​10 hours ​5 hours

      *Note: One (1) thesis or dissertation credit is considered full-time enrollment

      **Note: Medical students enrolled in at least one (1) credit is considered full-time enrolled.

      We will review your enrollment status after the term census date.

      • If you are enrolled less than full-time after census, your student budget for fall and spring will be adjusted to reflect your current enrollment status. Additionally, your financial aid package may have to be reduced. If you receive a tuition refund as a result of dropping classes, we strongly recommend that you retain those funds until we have made any necessary adjustments to your account.
      • If you are enrolled for more than the full-time hours indicated above and need additional funds, please submit the Loan Adjustment Form to request an increase in your loans. We will review your eligibility for additional federal or alternative student loans.

      Receiving Other Financial Assistance:

      It is important to remember that any financial assistance you receive as a student must be coordinated with the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office is required to reevaluate your financial aid award if you are receiving scholarships, tuition assistance, stipends, employer tuition waivers or any other form of aid. Your award package may need to be adjusted to make room for the new award. If you receive an additional or unusually large refund from this new award, you may be required to return at least a portion of those funds to the university. The additional aid amount will be used to repay any other aid that was reduced or canceled.

      • Stipend Payments
        • Service (Work-Related) Stipends are payments to a student who is required to perform services in order to receive the payment. Service stipends are not included in calculating a student’s eligibility for financial aid.
        • Non-Service Stipends are amounts paid to individuals who do not provide any services and which are not academic awards. Non-service stipends paid to a student must be included in calculating a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

      Corrections on the FAFSA

      When the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office receives information that does not match what was reported on the FAFSA, your FAFSa will be reviewed and if necessary, corrected. The correction(s) may impact your financial aid eligibility.

      Loan Proration (for undergraduate students):

      The university must prorate Federal Stafford Loans for students enrolled in an undergraduate program if:

      • The entire program of study is less than a full academic year (fall/spring), or
      • The program of study is greater than a full academic year, but the student’s final period of study is shorter than an academic year (e.g. the student is scheduled to graduate at the end of the fall semester).

      Sample loan proration calculations:

      • Dependent undergraduate student:
        • [12 credits taken ÷ 24 credits in AY] x $5,500 subsidized loan = $2,750
        • [6 credits taken ÷ 24 credits in AY] x $2,000 unsubsidized loan = $1,000
      • Independent undergraduate student:
        • [15 credits taken ÷ 24 credits in AY] x $5,500 subsidized loan = $3,437
        • [9 credits taken ÷ 24 credits in AY] x $7,000 unsubsidized loan = $2,625

      Change in Residency:

      Financial aid awards will be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, for non-resident students that petition and are approved for Colorado residency.

      Once your residency petition is approved, the Bursar’s Office will adjust your tuition charge which will generate a credit balance refund. We attempt to make any necessary adjustments prior to the release of this refund. However, if you receive an additional or unusually large credit balance refund, you will be required to repay at least a portion of those funds. Failure to repay the bill in a timely manner may result in you being assessed service charges and possibly going into collections. To avoid this, please contact our office once you have been notified that your residency petition has been approved.

      Attending for Only One Semester:

      Typically financial aid is offered for the fall and spring semesters. Please notify our office if you decide not to attend in the Spring semester due to graduation* or any other reason so that we may adjust your award for one term. This may result in you owing aid back to the university.

      *Please see Loan Proration section above if you are an undergraduate student graduating in December.


      We recommend that you save an electronic or printed copy of your Award Details page any time there is a change. Keeping a record of the awards you received may help you for future reference. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding your financial aid award package.​​​


       Disbursement and Credit Balance Refunds

      Financial aid funds are disbursed (paid) to your student account no sooner than the week before the start of each semester*, providing all requirements, including all applicable promissory notes and entrance counseling, have been satisfied and you are enrolled at least half-time. Outstanding requirements are listed on the To Do List located in the Student Center on the UCDAccess portal. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office communicates with students via email regarding all additional information needed.

      *For students who begin the Spring semester on January 2nd, the aid will disburse that week.

      Scholarships, grants and loans administered by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office are first applied directly to your student account to pay for tuition, fees, university-operated housing, and other university charges.

      Students whose financial aid exceeds the charges on their student account will receive the remaining credit balance (referred to as a "refund") to pay other educationally-related expenses in accordance with the Bursar's Office refund process. Please read the Authorization of Financial Aid Funds section below.

      Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit well in advance of any credit balance refund and may do so online via the ‘Finances’ section on the UCDAccess portal. Use the Bursar's instructions to sign up.

      Returning Excess Funds After Disbursement:

      You may reduce or cancel your loans through the university within 45 days of disbursement.* The steps are as follows:

      1. Submit the completed and signed Loan Adjustment Form to Se​cure Document Upload. This adjustment will create a balance on your student account.
      2. You will receive an email notification once your request has been processed. You may then pay the balance due. Please refer to the Bursar's Billing Guide for information about paying your bill.
      3. Your payment will then be returned to your lender.

      *No interest will be charged and loan fees will be returned to the Direct Loan Servicer. Please note that you are responsible for paying your bill if you have a balance after reducing or canceling loans.

      You must contact your loan servicer to return funds if it has been more than 45 days since disbursement. Please contact our office if you have questions about this process or completing the Loan Adjustment Form.​

      Disbursement of books and supplies policy for Pell eligible students

      All Pell eligible students who have been awarded financial aid at least 10 days before the beginning of the term, who have registered for courses, and whose awarded aid is in excess of charges billed by the university for those courses, may use their excess funds to purchase books and supplies.

      Students should be aware that enrolling at a lesser status than the enrollment status used to award the aid may require that the award be adjusted to match the new enrollment status, which will lower any excess aid amount. Students should also be aware that changes in their enrollment status after the disbursement of funds may result in lowered or no eligibility for financial aid funds and thus the student may owe the university a return of some or all of the funds disbursed for books and supplies.

      Check your student UCDAccess portal. If you were awarded a Federal Pell Grant award at least 10 days prior to the start of the term and have not yet received the projected excess aid funds by the first day of the term, please contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office​ for assistance.​​​​​​​​


       Authorization of Financial Aid Funds

      In compliance with federal and state regulations, a student receiving federal or state financial aid, or a parent borrowing a Parent PLUS Loan, must authorize the university to apply state or federal funds to “allowable educationally-related charges” other than tuition and mandatory fees for the current academic year. Allowable educationally-related charges include charges such as health insurance, service charges, and course drop charges. If you do not complete this authorization, the university must assume that you wish to restrict use of your financial aid funds. Although you may receive a credit balance refund, you may still owe a balance to the university.


      Students may complete the Financial Aid Permission Form through the UCDAccess by following these steps:

      • Log onto your UCDAccess
      • Click the Student Center tab on the left-hand side of the screen
      • Click the All Student Functions tab
      • Click on the Student Account button
      • Click the Account Services tab
      • Click on the Student Permissions tab
      • Click the Grant Permissions button
      • Read the agreement, select FIN_AID, and click Next.
      • Click the Yes, I have read the agreement button.
      • See the acknowledgement, "Your Permission Form has been accepted."

      Please contact the Bursar’s Office for assistance.


      Parents that have borrowed a Parent PLUS Loan should contact the Bursar’s Office to complete the Financial Aid Permission Form.


      Students may cancel the authorization through UCDAccess. Parents should contact the Bursar’s Office to cancel the authorization.​​​​


       Satisfactory Academic Progress

      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. Students who do not meet the SAP standards are not eligible for aid.​​

      To learn more, review our SAP Policies.

      2019-2020 SAP Policy

      2020-2021 SAP Policy

      You may also learn about SAP Standards by visiting our SAP webpage.


       Student Loan Code of Conduct

      The Student Loan Code of Conduct​​​ serves as the guiding principles in ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process.​​


       Withdrawing and Financial Aid Adjustments

      Information and instructions are on the Return to Title IV Funds Policy--Withdrawing (Dropping All of Your Courses) 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.​​​​


       Release of Confidential Information

      In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the disclosure of information from a student’s educational record is considered confidential and will not be released, with certain exceptions, without the student’s written permission. 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 first provide written consent. Students may provide FERPA consent electronically through the profile section of the UCD Access portal. Students who would prefer to complete a paper version of the consent should complete and submit the Release of Confidential Information Request Form to the Office of the Registrar.

      Students may delegate read-only, online access to family members or third parties through the CU Guest Access section of the UCD Access portal. Navigation instructions for CU Guest Access are available through the Office of the Registrar’s webpage. CU Guest Access does not authorize a guest to contact the University to request or discuss your student education record. Student record information can only be accessed by a parent or third party if the student has filed an electronic or paper Release of Confidential Information Request Form.

      If you would like to authorize the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office to release financial aid and enrollment information directly 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 & Scholarships Office. If you would like paperwork completed and returned directly to you, the authorization is not required and paperwork will be sent to your University email once completed.

      For more information on Privacy of Student Records (FERPA), read the Privacy of Student Records for the University of Colorado Denver Campus.​​​​​​