Financial Aid

Find information about spring financial aid, work-study, student employment, loss of income and appeals

Updated: Oct. 23, 2020

This page provides information about any potential changes to billing, payments, refunds and costs resulting from COVID-19. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. Thank you for your patience.


Spring 2021 FAQs

Please see From the Provost and COO and Spring 2021 Semester for details about spring semester.

No. CU Boulder continues to deliver on its educational mission to students during COVID-19 through a mixture of in-person and remote courses. The university remains operational with remote and other online student support services and programs. Therefore, there are no plans to issue tuition refunds, partial or otherwise, due to the change in delivery/mode of instruction or services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

No. Fees support student services, student activities, technology, capital construction and need-based financial aid. These programs and services now include expanded offerings available online, over chat, via video-conferencing (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams) and over the phone.

Plans for spring are still in progress. We hope to have more details published very soon.

You can see estimates of annual costs on our cost pages or specific details on tuition rate sheets.

Spring 2021 bills will be available on Jan. 14. Payment is due Feb. 5. Students can access their student account information on the Tuition & Fees card in Buff Portal. Authorized payers can access the student account in CUBill&Pay.

The blend of in-person, hybrid, remote and online courses offered this year does not diminish the quality and value of a degree from CU Boulder. The main accreditation criteria for our courses remain the same whether they are taught in person, online or remotely: our courses must involve regular and substantive instructor interaction with students. With remote and online teaching, faculty and instructors are still able to:
  • Provide regular instruction and interact regularly with their students. 
  • Provide full and substantive assessments and regular feedback on students’ coursework.
  • Be proactive and available in providing information or responding to students’ questions about the content of the course.

Faculty across campus continue to incorporate best practices for teaching and learning in various teaching modalities into the design of their courses.

In addition, the Center for Teaching & Learning has partnered with Continuing Education, the Office of Information Technology and the Office of Academic Innovation to offer workshops and provide resources and individual consultations for faculty on effective, evidence-based practices for remote and online teaching.

We are also prioritizing classes for in-person delivery whose academic outcomes are difficult to achieve virtually (e.g., computer labs, performance classes, studios).

Finally, the Boulder campus is going to great lengths to modify our campus operations in a way that will allow us to safely provide on-campus experiences for our students. We continue to make significant investments in our COVID-19 health and safety infrastructure in order to provide a safe learning and working environment for our students, staff and faculty.

Because the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and their families is our top priority, if necessary, the campus is prepared to make a decision to move to a fully remote learning environment in order to maintain the health and safety of our campus community. No matter the instruction mode, students will receive the full and accredited CU Boulder curriculum using the latest instructional design modalities and tools to maximize engagement between students, their peers and professors. If changes are made to class instruction mode for any reason, Spring 2021 tuition will not be adjusted.

Fall 2020

If you are changing rooms, you will receive a housing credit for $250. The credit should be processed in about 10 business days which means that the refund should be available in your account in about 3 weeks, if you signed up for direct deposit in Account Setup on the Tuition & Fees card in Buff Portal. If you have not signed up for direct deposit, a check will be mailed to you in about 4–6 weeks. If you choose to leave campus instead of changing rooms, refer to Section 11b of your housing contract. See Rates and Contracts. Please remember to turn in your mailbox key before you leave to avoid key charges on your bill. Please refer to COVID-19 Information on Housing and Dining - Move Out or contact Housing Billing at 303-492-6067 or studenthousing@colorado.edu for more information.

Will I receive a refund since I am on a 14-day, voluntary self-quarantine and there may be services I can’t use?

There will not be fee reductions or refunds. Students will continue to benefit from services and support resources funded through fees. See fee descriptions.

If no, why will I not be getting a refund?

Students will continue to benefit from services and support resources funded through fees. See fee descriptions.

The COVID-19 Prearrival Test Credit of $100 posted to student accounts overnight on Sept. 3. You qualify for this credit if you provided proof of your negative COVID-19 lab result when you moved in to the residence halls. 

How and when will I get a refund?

Refunds will apply to any outstanding charges on your bill first. If you have signed up for direct deposit, any remaining refund will be deposited into your designated bank account in 3–5 business days, depending on your bank. If you have not signed up for direct deposit, you will receive a check in 7–10 business days at your current mailing address. Review details on your student account under Balance Summary on the Tuition & Fees card in Buff Portal.

In recognition of students whose classes are entirely remote or hybrid remote/online this fall and that there are certain fee-funded experiences that cannot be offered remotely or virtually, location-based fees have been waived for those students. See Fall 2020 Fee Waivers for Remote-Only Class Schedules for more information.

General Fall FAQs

The blend of in-person, hybrid, remote and online courses that will be offered in Fall 2020 does not diminish the quality and value of a degree from CU Boulder.

The main accreditation criteria for our courses remain the same whether they are taught in person, online or remotely: our courses must involve regular and substantive instructor interaction with students. With remote and online teaching, faculty and instructors are still able to:

  • Provide regular instruction and interact regularly with their students. 
  • Provide full and substantive assessments and regular feedback on students’ coursework.
  • Be proactive and available in providing information or responding to students’ questions about the content of the course.

Faculty across campus continue to incorporate best practices for teaching and learning in various teaching modalities into the design of their courses.

In addition, the Center for Teaching & Learning has partnered with Continuing Education, the Office of Information Technology and the Office of Academic Innovation to offer workshops and provide resources and individual consultations for faculty on effective, evidence-based practices for remote and online teaching.

We are also prioritizing classes for in-person delivery whose academic outcomes are difficult to achieve virtually (e.g., computer labs, performance classes, studios).

Finally, the Boulder campus is going to great lengths to modify our campus operations in a way that will allow us to safely provide on-campus experiences for our students. We continue to make significant investments in our COVID-19 health and safety infrastructure in order to provide a safe learning and working environment for our students, staff and faculty.

Because the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and their families is our top priority, if necessary, the campus is prepared to make a decision to move to a fully remote learning environment in order to maintain the health and safety of our campus community. No matter the instruction mode, students will receive the full and accredited CU Boulder curriculum using the latest instructional design modalities and tools to maximize engagement between students, their peers and professors. If changes are made to class instruction mode for any reason, Fall 2020 tuition will not be adjusted.

Students and faculty traveling during fall break and then returning to campus could put the health and safety of the campus at risk. For this reason, the decision was made to move all instruction to remote and online after fall break. In-person teaching will happen as much as possible before Thanksgiving, while promoting student, faculty and staff safety.

Students will still receive the full fall semester curriculum, including taking finals, using the latest instructional design modalities and tools to maximize engagement between students, their peers and professors. Please visit Teaching Modalities & Technology Mapping for more information.

Shortening fall break and conducting all classes remotely or online after fall break will help us avoid potential COVID-19 outbreaks toward the end of the semester as much as possible. Students will still receive the full benefit of class instruction through the end of the semester. To see the updated schedule for Fall 2020, please visit Shortened Fall Break 2020 & Downstream Calendar Changes.

The CU Board of Regents sets tuition and fees for all CU campuses each spring as part of the regular budget cycle. This year, the board approved a zero percent tuition increase for incoming and returning students. CU Boulder’s four-year undergraduate tuition guarantee provides additional certainty for incoming and continuing students by ensuring tuition doesn’t increase over a student’s first four years.
  • Tuition and fees vary depending on your degree, college/school/program and the number of credit hours in which you enroll. Visit Costs for more information. The good news is, tuition rates will not increase for the 2020–21 academic year. This means that students entering the university in the Fall of 2020 will pay the same tuition rates as students who entered in the Fall of 2019.
  • Fall bills will be available online by August 13. Students will get an email notification when the bill is available and they will access the bill through Buff Portal (buffportal.colorado.edu). Bills will not be mailed. Parents and families do not automatically have access to the bill. In Buff Portal, students can authorize up to five people to view and pay the bill online. Learn more about authorized payer access to CUBill&Pay.
  • Fall payment is due September 5. Additional charges like books, digital course materials and supplies may be billed the following month.

Past Semester Tuition and Fee COVID-19 Information