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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 annual expenses will be while attending CU-Boulder. The budget includes tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies, transportation, medical and personal expenses,
and loan origination fees for borrowers.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an estimate of the parent's and/or student's ability to contribute toward college expenses. The EFC is calculated based on responses to questions on the FAFSA such as family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets.
The EFC is subtracted from the budget to determine the student's financial need. The Office of Financial Aid will create an aid package to meet the financial need. Aid is awarded in the following order based on eligibility requirements: grants, work-study, subsidized student loans, unsubsidized student loans, parent loans. Grants are offered to students with the lowest EFCs. The amount of need-based financial aid (including scholarships) cannot exceed the financial need.
Incoming Freshman: Use the Net Price Calculator to get an estimate of how much financial aid was given to students who had a family income similar to yours last year. For more specific tuition rate information, visit the Bursar's Office. We also provide financial aid estimates to admitted freshman based on their completed FAFSA in March and April.