Updated: July 9, 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
For the fastest service, we encourage students and their families to contact us remotely as in-person staffing remains limited at this time. For billing, residency status and admission questions, view Enrollment Services Hours & Contact Info.

New Admits for 2021-22

  • If you defer admission until Spring 2022, the spring portion of your financial aid offer will still be available. You must contact admissions in order to defer, otherwise your aid may be canceled.
  • If you defer admission until Fall 2022, 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 2022-2023 FAFSA will be available beginning October 1, 2021. 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.

Applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial aid. Our office won’t know your financial aid amount until you are admitted and have submitted any additional requests for information to complete your financial aid application. While you wait, we recommend using the FAFSA4caster for an estimate of your federal student aid.

Applicants are encouraged to complete the CU Boulder Scholarship Application before they are admitted, however, a student must be admitted in order to be selected for a scholarship. Automatic consideration scholarships are only offered at the time of admission.

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.

Sudden Loss of Income & Appeals

If your financial situation recently changed due to a loss of income from employment or high medical expenses, you may submit a 2021-22 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 Special 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 2021-22 FAFSA unless our office requests you to do so.

Emergency Funds

The application for Summer 2021 is available. Applications for spring term are no longer accepted. For information on emergency assistance available through CU Boulder, and how to apply, visit the Student Emergency Fund.

The Higher Education Emergency Fund (HEERF) is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economics Security Act (CARES), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) and American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARP). This fund created emergency financial aid grants for students with education expenses related to COVID-19. Grants are offered through the Student Emergency Fund application.


View our Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Compliance Report for information on how emergency funds are distributed.


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.

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.

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 June 1 for the summer semester. If you won’t start working until after this date, contact Student Employment to request a hold on your award.

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.

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 special circumstances.