Financial aid is complex. Here are the high-level pieces to the puzzle.
Who Receives Aid?
Everyone who completes the FAFSA (and any additional information requests) will be offered the federal financial aid they are eligible for. At CU Boulder, our policy for university funds gives priority to the neediest students, as determined by the FAFSA.
October 1 - early spring
- The first step in applying for financial aid is to submit the FAFSA each academic year (get more info on how to apply). The FAFSA helps us determine your eligibility for grants, loans, work-study and need-based scholarships. The FAFSA opens Oct. 1 each year. We strongly recommend you complete the application by mid-February in order to be considered for all types of aid. After February, we might start running out of funding such as grants and work-study.
- Learn more about the types of aid you may be eligible for.
- View aid details for you. Certain people & programs have unique aid eligibility and/or requirements.
- Between the time you apply for financial aid and the time you start classes at CU Boulder, you may be asked to provide additional documentation to determine your financial aid eligibility. This process is called verification. It's important you complete this process because we cannot give you aid without it.
Estimated Cost & Financial Aid
February & March, but depends on when you complete the FAFSA
- In early February, the Office of Financial Aid begins sending newly admitted students an estimate of their financial aid. We offer estimates as a way for families to plan for paying for college. Students will only begin to hear from us once they're admitted.
- In early March, continuing students and all newly admitted students begin to receive financial aid offers for the upcoming school year.
- Learn how aid is determined, estimate your college expenses and see example budgets.
Receiving Your Aid
One week before classes begin
- Once you recieve your financial aid offer, you will also get a "financial-aid guide" with resources for understanding your aid.
- As long as you have completed all to-do items from our office, your aid will apply to your university bill one week before the first day of classes (usually a Monday). Any remaining aid will be refunded.
- In order to keep your aid, it's important to understand the financial aid policies.