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Each year our office awards financial aid based on the cost to attend school for one year (fall and spring semesters). Here are the details about how aid is determined, how it’s applied to your student account and tips for the process!
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)
Get more information on how financial aid is calculated .
Cost of Attendance
Tuition is based on residency (in-state or out-of-state), type of degree, and number of credit hours. For more information on costs, refunds and tax information, visit the Bursar’s Office website.
- View tuition & fee rate sheets including tuition, mandatory fees, and housing rates per semester.
- View estimated cost of attendance for undergraduates (does not include transportation, medical and personal costs).
- View financial aid budget 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 cost of attendance.
Our financial aid estimate includes the following expenses:
Amounts billed by the University:
- Tuition and fees (or estimate does not include course and program fees)
- On-campus housing and meal plans
- Books & supplies (if charged to your tuition bill)
Amounts paid by the student:
- Off-campus housing and food
- Books & supplies (if paid by you or a 3rd party)
- Allowance for medical/dental expenses*
- Allowance for personal expenses
*If you are covered by the university’s health insurance plan, this amount is part of your tuition bill.
For new students, Federal Title IV financial aid funds, such as federal student loans and the Pell Grant, are limited to pay for tuition, fees, and on-campus room and board charges only. However, with your permission, this aid can pay for other types of university charges (i.e., health insurance, parking fees, optional student fees, and now textbooks).
Incoming Freshman: You can 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.
Graduate/Professional Students: 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.
- Understanding Your Award
- How Financial Aid Applies to Your Bill
- How to View, Accept/Decline Your Award Online
- Loan Default: Know Your Options