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.

Updated: 6/1/2020

New Students

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.

Financial aid offers are typically canceled in late May for students who have not confirmed.

  • 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.

Admissions Information
For more information about COVID-19 and its impact to applicants, prospective students and new admits, view the Admissions COVID-19 webpage.

Sudden Loss of Income & Appeals

Spring 2020

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.

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021

If your financial situation recently changed due to a loss of income or high medical expenses, you may now 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 additional loan eligibility. Please do not make changes to your 2020-21 FAFSA unless our office requests you to do so.

Emergency Funds

Please visit the Student Emergency Fund for information about emergency assistance available through CU Boulder and how to apply. The deadline to apply for Spring 2020 funds is Friday, June 5, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (MST). Summer 2020 applications continued to be accepted.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act is a new federal law that provides emergency funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This fund creates emergency financial aid grants for students with education expenses related to COVID-19.
  • Eligible expenses may include things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, medical expenses related to COVID-19 and child care.
  • Priority will be given to students who experienced a loss of income from employment and who have financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled, degree-seeking (graduate or undergraduate) students at CU Boulder and be eligible for federal financial aid. International and ASSET/DACA students are not eligible, but may be considered for a CU Boulder-funded grant.
  • You must be meeting the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Students enrolled exclusively in an online program before March 13, 2020, are not eligible.
  • For more information and to apply, visit the Student Emergency Fund webpage. Applicants will be considered for either federal funds, if eligible, or emergency funds provided by CU Boulder.
  • You may view our CARES Act Compliance Report for information on how the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) are being distributed.

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.


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.

Tuition, Payments & Refund Information
For information on COVID-19 impacts to tuition, fees, payments and refunds, view the Bursar’s webpage.

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.

We’re currently reviewing our options and will post updates to this webpage as we have new 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.

  View the latest updates on campus efforts regarding COVID-19.