1. Apply for Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is usually available on October 1, but for just this year, the application for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 is expected to open in late December. Students will use tax information from 2022 to submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Complete your application as soon as possible to be considered for the most financial aid.

Get updates on the 2024-25 Financial Aid Application Delay

The FAFSA application is required for all federal student aid, state and locate government aid, most institutional aid, and many scholarship providers. There is no cost for filling out the FAFSA, and you should not pay someone to prepare it for you. 

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!

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Located in Lynx Central

CU Denver

Student Commons Building

1201 Larimer Street


Denver, CO 80204



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