Financial Aid eligibility is largely based on the concept of financial need. Financial need is calculated as the Cost of Attendance (tuition, fees, books, and living expenses) minus the Expected Family Contribution or EFC (student/spouse contributions and parents’ contribution for dependent students). A student’s EFC is assigned directly from the information provided on the FAFSA application.
Cost of Attendance is the estimated annual cost to attend CU Denver, including tuition and fees, room, board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office determines standard COA based upon average tuition and fees charged and other items established by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Current COA figures are available on the website https://www.ucdenver.edu/tuition-cost/cost-of-attendance.
The EFC from the student and spouse (if applicable) are calculated by a standardized formula that is determined by data provided on the FAFSA and is required by federal law. The formula considers income, savings and other assets, family size, number of children in postsecondary school and other factors and then assigns a student an EFC.
Financial Aid is intended to supplement and not replace financial contributions from the student/spouse. If the EFC is equal to or greater than the COA, then the student will not qualify for need-based financial aid, but can still receive non-need based financial aid such as Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans up to but not exceeding their COA. Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans comprise the majority of all graduate students’ financial aid awards regardless of financial need.
Most graduate financial aid programs require at least half-time enrollment (3 credit hours per semester) to be eligible for awards.
Notice for Graduate Students: The financial aid definition of half-time enrollment may differ from the academic definition of half-time enrollment based on degree programs. See a financial aid advisor for more information.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
To continue to be eligible for financial aid, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress. If a student is not meeting SAP standards, they may be ineligible for financial aid and scholarships. For more information, students should review the Satisfactory Academic Policy by visiting https://www.ucdenver.edu/student-finances/financial-aid/eligible/sap.
A student may appeal financial aid suspension by submitting a SAP Appeal. The SAP appeal should document the extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s suspension. All appeals should include third party supporting documentation.
Course Withdrawals and Repayments
Financial aid is disbursed based on the assumption a student will attend courses for the entire semester and earn passing grades. A student who withdraws or fails all courses and received financial aid must have a Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation performed to determine the percentage of aid that was earned based on the amount of time the student attended their courses. Students are entitled to aid that was earned. The University will return any unearned aid to the appropriate Federal Title IV program, which may create a balance owed to the University.
The University will also determine the earned and unearned portions of any state or institutional aid. This calculation is separate from the R2T4 aid calculation.
If you withdraw on or before the University’s census date, you will be required to return all state and/or institutional aid received for the term. The Bursar’s Office will bill your account for the amount owed.
If you withdraw after the census date, you will be required to repay a portion of any state and institutional received for the term based on your withdrawal date.
CU Denver is required to verify a student began attendance in any course a student withdraws from or fails. If the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office receives notification that a student never began attendance.