Updated: Jan. 4, 2021

This page is intended to provide information about COVID-19 and its impact to student financial aid. We will continue to update this information to address the changing status of COVID-19.

Modified Services
We encourage students and their families to contact us remotely to help reduce density and ensure the health and safety our campus community. For billing, residency status and admission questions, view Enrollment Services Hours & Contact Info.

Spring Aid & Adjustments

Housing Costs and Location-based Fees
Your financial aid will remain the same even though spring housing charges and location-based fees will be reduced for spring. You may receive a financial aid refund for the cost of housing at the start of the term; we encourage you to use the amount for your off-campus/remote housing costs. First-time students with a residence hall contract who successfully petition to leave on-campus housing will have their financial aid adjusted to the off-campus rate

If you are a first-time student with a residence hall contract and the campus decides to continue remotely for the entire spring semester, your aid may be adjusted at that time. The Office of Financial Aid will notify you of any changes to your aid.

No. The financial aid you receive at the start of the term accounts for housing and location-based fees. Your financial aid will not be increased if in-person classes resume.

If you appeal to live off-campus for spring and are approved by Housing, your financial aid will be adjusted to the off-campus rate for the semester. The Office of Financial Aid will notify you of any changes to your aid.

Continuing students who notified the Registrar’s Office when they took fall semester off, and new students who formally deferred admission, do not need to take any action to receive spring aid. The spring portion of your financial aid offer will still be available. Continuing students can view their spring aid in Buff Portal. New students will receive notification from the Office of Financial Aid when their spring aid is ready. If you did not notify the university of your plans to take fall term off and return for spring, you must contact us to reinstate your aid.

The university has limited availability for spring scholarships and they are typically reserved for transfer students. Private scholarship opportunities may be available and we encourage you to continue searching for scholarships throughout the year.

Withdrawals

It depends on the type of aid you were offered. You are only eligible to receive the spring portion of any grants or scholarships you were originally offered. If you were offered federal student loans or work-study, you can request to use the total for spring term as long it doesn’t exceed your cost to attend (tuition, fees, housing, etc). You must contact us if you wish to change these amounts. If you applied for a private loan, you may be able to adjust the loan amount with your lender to cover spring-only.

If you withdraw or are absent from the university and return within the allowable time frame, you will be eligible to reinstate the scholarship upon your return, assuming that the renewal conditions have been met. It is your responsibility to contact Scholarship Services to request reinstatement. The scholarship will not be automatically reactivated upon your return.

College and departmental scholarships may have their own requirements, so you should check with the scholarship provider directly for details.

Your scholarship will not be reduced, but the term will count toward your maximum eligibility to receive the scholarship. For example, if you can only receive the scholarship for up to 8 semesters, the withdrawn semester will count as one of those 8 semesters.

Sudden Loss of Income & Appeals

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021

If your financial situation recently changed due to a loss of income from employment or high medical expenses, you may submit a 2020-21 Professional Judgment Appeal for a reevaluation of your financial aid. To expedite the appeal process, you must complete an income calculation before submitting your appeal. Visit our Unusual Circumstances webpage for instructions. Qualifying for grants based on an appeal is rare and highly unlikely. If your appeal is approved, aid is typically provided in the form of loan eligibility. Please do not make changes to your 2020-21 FAFSA unless our office requests you to do so.

Emergency Funds

The application for Spring 2021 emergency funds is open. For information on emergency assistance available through CU Boulder, and how to apply, visit the Student Emergency Fund.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law that provided emergency funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This fund created emergency financial aid grants for students with education expenses related to COVID-19. HEERF grant funding was exhausted in Fall 2020. The grants were offered through the Student Emergency Fund application.

 

View our CARES Act Compliance Report for information on how Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) were distributed.

Less than Full-Time Enrollment

Some types of aid require recipients to enroll full time (12 credit hours or more) in order to be eligible. The campus is providing flexibility around this requirement for the following programs:

If recipients of the CU Promise enroll less than full time in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021, they will receive a prorated award amount. Recipients must enroll in at least 6 or more hours per semester (half time or greater), or will lose eligibility. View all CU Promise requirements.

The full-time enrollment requirement is waived for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Scholarship amounts may be prorated based on your residency and enrollment level (i.e. half time, three quarter time). Students attending class in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 must enroll in at least 6 or more hours (half time or greater), or will lose eligibility permanently. Read the Scholarship Enrollment Exception announcement for details.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Selecting the pass/fail grading option will not result in changes to your current financial aid, however, receiving a failing grade may impact your eligibility to continue receiving financial aid in future semesters. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) includes minimum GPA requirements, which may be negatively affected if you receive a failing grade (F). If you receive a passing grade of P or CR, this will count as a completed course for SAP purposes.

  • If you’re receiving a scholarship from a college, program or outside private donor, please contact them for details and requirements on maintaining your scholarship.
  • For campus scholarships, taking classes with the pass/fail grading option does not affect your eligibility to renew as long as you earn a passing grade (P); the credit hours will still count toward meeting the renewal requirement. If you earn a failing grade (F), the credits are not counted toward renewal requirements and the failing grade will factor into your GPA. As long as you still achieve the minimum cumulative GPA required to renew your scholarship at the end of the spring term, which includes your letter graded and/or pass/fail graded courses, you will meet the GPA requirement. 

Yes. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a policy required by federal financial aid regulations and is not related to campus academic probation standards. SAP is determined by GPA, program completion rate and maximum timeframe. Students on SAP Warning status are still eligible for financial aid, but must meet the SAP requirements in future semesters to maintain eligibility. Students on SAP Probation are ineligible for financial aid, but may appeal if they experienced unusual circumstances. 

Work-Study & Student Employment

Please work with your employer to discuss options for working remotely. If you do not already have a work-study job, please note that availability for spring is very limited. You can find available opportunities in CU Boulder Student Jobs.

If you cannot earn your work-study or you choose not to use it, it may be possible to receive a federal loan in its place. The amount and type will depend on your financial aid offer. Please contact us to determine if you qualify for an additional loan.

The Office of Financial Aid will automatically move any unearned fall work-study to the spring term. However, any unearned work-study at the end of spring term will be cancelled.

You can submit a work-study request form to be reconsidered for work-study. There are no guarantees we can reinstate the award. Student Employment will notify you if we are able to grant your request.

The deadline to begin earning work-study is February 1 for the spring semester. If you won’t start working until after this date, contact Student Employment to request a hold on your award.

No, paid administrative leave is not available. Student employees must be performing work to be paid.

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act are subject to ongoing updates from the U.S. Department of Labor, so we recommend working with your supervisor for the latest information. View more details on COVID-19 HR Processes.

New Admits for 2020-21

  • If you defer admission until Spring 2021, the spring portion of your financial aid offer will still be available. You must contact admissions about deferring and accept your financial aid in the student portal in order to keep it.
  • If you defer admission until Fall 2021, any grants, loans and work-study you were offered will be canceled. To be considered for financial aid when you return, you will be required to complete a new FAFSA. The 2021-2022 FAFSA will be available beginning October 1, 2020. Some campus scholarships can be deferred for up to one year, but you must officially request deferral through Admissions in order to retain it.
  • Individual college and private scholarships may have their own requirements for deferment, so you should check with the scholarship provider for details. For university scholarships, please review the scholarship terms and conditions for information on deferment.

Possibly. The cost to attend CU Boulder for the academic year, among other factors, determines the maximum amount of aid you’re eligible to receive. To help new students plan, we use estimates of tuition and fees when we make financial aid offers. If tuition and fees are lower than estimated, your financial aid may be adjusted accordingly. We make every effort to reduce loan amounts first and will notify you of any adjustments made to your financial aid.

About 2020–21 COF

If you're a continuing student, you may notice that the 2020–21 Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) stipend on your bill appears to be less than it was last year. The amount of tuition you'll pay has not increased (learn about CU Boulder's Tuition Guarantee); all you need to do is make sure you've applied for and authorized COF for the 2020–21 academic year. As always, if for some reason you don't authorize COF, you will pay more in tuition.

Previous Semester COVID-19 Information

Sudden Loss of Income & Appeals

Your financial aid for Spring 2020 is based on income from 2017. The Office of Financial Aid can only review a loss of income that occurred in 2019 for the current semester, but if you need emergency assistance, please visit the Student Emergency Fund.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Selecting the pass/fail grading option for Spring 2020 will not result in changes to your current financial aid. However, receiving a failing grade may impact your eligibility to continue receiving financial aid in future semesters. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) includes minimum GPA requirements, which may be negatively affected if you receive a failing grade (F). If you receive a passing grade of P or CR, this will count as a completed course for SAP purposes.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a policy required by federal financial aid regulations and is not related to campus academic probation standards. SAP is determined not only by GPA, but also by program completion rate and maximum timeframe. Students on SAP Warning status are still eligible for financial aid, but must meet the SAP requirements in future semesters to maintain eligibility. Students on SAP Probation are ineligible for financial aid, but may appeal if they experienced unusual circumstances. 

  • If you’re receiving a scholarship from a college, program or outside private donor, please contact them for details and requirements on maintaining your scholarship.
  • For campus scholarships, taking classes with the pass/fail grading option does not affect your eligibility to renew as long as you earn a passing grade (P); the credit hours will still count toward meeting the renewal requirement. If you earn a failing grade (F), the credits are not counted toward renewal requirements and the failing grade will factor into your GPA. As long as you still achieve the minimum cumulative GPA required to renew your scholarship at the end of the spring term, which includes your letter graded and/or pass/fail graded courses, you will meet the GPA requirement.
  • We continue to evaluate whether additional changes to scholarship renewal requirements will be made, and we will provide guidance to affected scholarship recipients as it becomes available.

Withdrawals

We encourage you to continue your coursework in order to minimize academic disruption and any negative impacts to your financial aid. If your enrollment drops to part time anytime after March 16, 2020, your financial aid will not be adjusted, however, it may impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and affect your eligibility to receive financial aid in future semesters

On-Campus Housing Credits

Students receiving an on-campus housing credit will not have adjustments made to grants, loans, and most scholarships.

  • Athletes receiving financial aid will require review in accordance with NCAA guidelines.
  • Resident Advisors will have their housing waivers adjusted and will not receive a refund.

Work-Study & Student Employment

If you did not formally quit your position and you expect to return to it when the campus resumes normal operations, you can be paid administrative leave until the end of the semester or until your work-study is fully exhausted. Contact your supervisor for more information.

  • Student employees who can work remotely, either entirely or partially, should do so under the direction of their supervisor. Student employees who work remotely will continue to be paid through the end of the semester.
  • If remote work is not possible, you will keep your job and receive “administrative leave” for your scheduled hours. For more information, please visit the HR webpage and review information for Biweekly Employees.

Student employees are typically not eligible for unemployment, though we’re continuing to evaluate whether they will be eligible for under these circumstances.