The first step in applying for financial aid is to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for grants, loans, work-study, and need-based scholarships. For full financial aid consideration your FAFSA must be on file in our office by February 15. Get details about the financial aid process.

Graduate students are primarily offered student loans, but there may be additional funding available through specific graduate departments.

Financial Aid & Your Enrollment

As of Fall 2021, the minimum enrollment status for financial aid purposes is as follows:

  • Graduate - half time, 3-5 credit hours (6+ is full time)
  • Law - half time, 5-9 credit hours (10+ is full time)

Check your enrollment status to be sure you're meeting your enrollment minimum.

The following links will provide you with more details about the financial aid process.

Here is some useful information to help you apply for financial aid for the first time at the University of Colorado Boulder.

  • As early as mid-February, we will email financial aid offers to new students.
  • Grants, scholarships, and work-study are automatically accepted for you. Loans must be accepted in Buff Portal (once you have access).
  • Federal Graduate PLUS loans require an application and credit check to be completed on
  • Federal Direct Loans and Federal Graduate PLUS loans require a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling to be completed, but typically this only has to be signed the first time a loan is borrowed.