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PBA Home > CU-Boulder Tuition & Aid Advisory Board (TAAB) > Reference Materials > Aid primer

CU-Boulder Tuition & Aid Advisory Board (TAAB)

Aid primer

Key concepts

  • Vocabulary
    • Academic year = Fall plus spring
    • FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Required to establish financial need.  A student must submit a FAFSA to be eligible for need-qualified aid.   At UCB, 65% of Colorado resident entering freshmen submit FAFSA's.
    • Expected family contribution or resources = EFC = amount of money that the family is expected to be able to contribute to the student's education, as determined by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. Based on the FAFSA.  The EFC includes the parent contribution and the student contribution, and depends on the student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets. Calculate your own EFC at  EFC's range from zero to over $60,000. 
    • Budget = Cost of Attendance = COA = Amount student is expected to spend to be in school for an academic year. Includes tuition, fees, housing, food, transportation, health insurance, books, incidentals.  In 03-04 the budget for a typical Colorado resident freshman was about $15,500.  
    • Need = Financial Need = Demonstrated financial need.  The difference between the budget or COA and the EFC is the student's financial need - the gap between the cost of attending the school and the student's resources. The financial aid package is based on the amount of financial need. The process of determining a student's need is known as need analysis.
    • Unmet need = The amount of need not covered by aid.
    • Click here for a full glossary
  • Dimensions of aid
    • Type: Gift/grant/scholarships, work, loans. 
    • Source: Federal, state, private (e.g., Rotary, National Merit), institutional
    • Basis: Need-based, merit only, need and merit.  "Scholarship" usually means a gift/grant based on merit only. 
    • Loan and work are known as "self help"
    • Gift/grant/scholarship and work have no repayment obligation; loans do.
  • Everything is different at the graduate level
    • All students are independent (not financially dependent on parents)
    • TA's, RA's carry tuition remission and stipends
    • Federal and state aid programs are different for graduate level
    • Only international students remain out-of-state for over one year

Ensuring access

  • Net tuition = Over a set of students (e.g., an entering freshman class), the average over students of billed tuition minus financial aid (usually excluding loans). Same as "average student share of tuition" or "real tuition."
  • Different issue with non-residents aid is not to meet an obligation for access but to attract and reward to get the students you want
  • Net tuition is not the same as the tuition rate. Net = billed/published rate minus aid. .


Last revision 08/15/13

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