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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. 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 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 highest financial need. The amount of financial aid you receive (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.