Financial Aid Home


DEC 20 

Last Day to Work Fall Work-Study

DEC 24-25 

Campus Closed

How Aid is Determined

The amount of financial aid that you are eligible for is determined by a simple formula:

Student's Cost of Attendance (Budget)
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
= Financial Need

The student's budget is an estimate of what the expenses will be while attending CU-Boulder. The budget includes: (1) direct educational expenses (tuition, fees, books, and supplies) and (2) indirect educational expenses (room, board, personal, medical, and transportation).  View Examples

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number used by a school to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive, if any. The EFC is calculated based on responses you provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive.

The EFC is subtracted from the budget to determine the student's financial need. The Office of Financial Aid will create an aid award package to meet the financial need.  The total amount of aid cannot exceed the student's budget.

TIP: You must be enrolled at least half-time by the census date of each term (typically the 3rd Friday) to be eligible for student loans and other financial aid. Half-time for graduate students receiving financial aid at CU-Boulder is 4 credit hours.