1. Apply for Financial Aid

Once you determine your eligibility for financial aid, you should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is not only the application required federal student aid, it is also required for nearly all financial aid from the state and local governments, from higher education institutions, and many scholarship providers. There is no cost for filling out the FAFSA, and you don’t need to pay someone to prepare it for you. To be considered for the best aid available, submit your FAFSA by the Priority Deadline (March 1st).

2. Complete Your Forms

After you complete the FAFSA, monitor your UCDAccess student portal To-Do List and CU Denver email for updates. Your To-Do List will identify additional actions you may need to take to complete your application. We will notify you by email if you need to submit any additional paperwork.

3. Review Your Cost of Attendance (COA)

Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of how much it will cost a student to live and attend school for a semester or a nine-month academic year. The estimate includes both direct and indirect costs of attending the university.

Direct costs are expenses students pay directly to the university, such as 

  • Tuition and fees
  • On-campus housing

Indirect costs are for educational-related expenses, such as 

  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation
  • Medical/dental expenses
  • Personal expenses
  • Off-campus housing and food
The initial estimated COA for an academic year assumes you will be enrolled full-time for fall and spring. Your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) may help you determine the amount of loan funds you may need to accept to help meet your expenses.

To find your cost of attendance (COA), follow these steps:

4. Accept Your Financial Aid

The initial financial aid offer for an incoming student is sent to the email address used on your FAFSA.

Once you have applied for financial aid, all future communications about your application will come through your university email account.

Check out detailed information about your application in your UCDAccess student portal:

  • Financial aid is paid into your university account no sooner than ten days prior to the beginning of each semester, with excess funds being refunded to you the first ten days of the semester.
  • Regularly monitor your UCDAccess To-Do List for possible additional items added throughout the year
  • The View Your Financial Aid link allows you to view your financial aid awards when they become available (we'll send an email to notify you).
  • The Accept/Decline Awards link lets you view and accept, reduce, or decline the awards you have been offered. When accepting your award for the aid year, the amount that you accept will be split in half to cover the fall and the spring semesters. If you don't know what you'll need for the spring semester, double the fall amount. The spring amount can be adjusted as late as early January so that you receive only what you need

Your financial aid package is subject to change at any time, even after disbursement.

5. Confirm Financial Aid has Been Applied

If all items have been successfully completed, financial aid is applied to tuition bills approximately 10 days before the start of the Fall and Spring semesters. If you aid has not been applied to your tuition bill, check your To Do List in your UCDAcess student portal to confirm all items have been completed. Please contact us 1 week after the last item has been completed if your aid has not been applied.

Other Resources

There are many more resources available to CU Denver students for financial aid and other assistance. Check out some of them below!