Financial aid is awarded to assist students and parents with meeting college costs such as tuition, fees, books, food, housing and transportation. The Office of Financial Aid (www.unco.edu/ofa) administers several types of state, institutional, and federal aid programs including grants, loans, employment, and scholarships.
Educational Loans. UNC participates in the following programs: Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Eligibility for Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans is based upon need, as determined by the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), www.fafsa.gov. PLUS Loans, while not based upon need, do require approved credit by the US Department of Education. Loan funds plus interest must be repaid, usually after graduation. Some loans have cancellation and deferment provisions.
Grant Funds. Grant funds are awarded on the basis of financial need. These funds do not require repayment unless the student does not complete the term in which the funds are received. Grant funds available at UNC include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Colorado Student Grant, and the Colorado Graduate Grant.
Student Employment. UNC offers a number of employment opportunities. Federal and State Work Study programs provide on- and off-campus jobs to students demonstrating financial need. Colorado No-Need Work Study is available on a limited basis to undergraduate Colorado residents who do not qualify for other forms of financial assistance. Students who do not qualify for Work Study programs can find part-time hourly positions both at the university and off-campus.
Scholarships. Scholarship funds do not have to be repaid and are usually awarded on the basis of academic performance, talent, athletic ability and other criteria determined by the donor.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
The Office of Financial Aid is responsible under state and federal regulations for establishing and monitoring minimum acceptable progress for the continuation of financial aid. The standard of satisfactory progress must include a student's total academic history at UNC.
In order to be eligible to receive financial aid, the student must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree program, regardless of whether he/she has previously received financial assistance. For a more detailed explanation of these policies, the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress is available in the Office of Financial Aid and on our web site.
Applying for Financial Aid
To qualify for need-based programs, the student must demonstrate financial need, which is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance and what the family (both student and parents, where applicable) can reasonably afford to pay toward that cost. The family’s income and assets are reviewed to calculate the expected family contribution (EFC) in a process called "Need Analysis". UNC uses the FAFSA to initiate this process. Completion of the FAFSA means the student is applying for all state, federal, and institutional need based aid programs offered at UNC with the exception of scholarship programs.
The FAFSA form is available on-line at www.fafsa.gov. To receive the maximum amount of funding, the application must be completed by March 1 prior to the award year. An application processed after March 1 is considered late and the applicant will have limited funding opportunities. To apply for a Federal Direct Stafford or Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, students must accept the loan on URSA. Students and/or Parents will also need to complete a Master Promissory Note on the Federal Direct Loan website.
Apply for Scholarships
Students must be admitted to UNC by March 1 to be considered for most scholarships. Eligibility for some scholarships is based on information obtained from the admission application. Students are encouraged to complete the UNC Universal Scholarship Application each year before the March 1 deadline. The application can be filled out online through Ursa. A listing of all scholarships available through UNC is located at www.unco.edu/ofa. Many local libraries offer a comprehensive list of local and national scholarships. Students are also encouraged to use a free and reputable search site for scholarship listings on the internet.
Financial aid is awarded on the basis of need and may include a package of grants, loans and employment. Financial aid is available in limited amounts to help students finance school expenses. However, while college costs continue to rise, federal and state aid does not rise at the same rate. Consequently, families must increasingly rely upon their own funds to pay for school. Students are expected to arrive on campus with funding for books, tuition, fees, housing and utility deposits as well as other expenses associated with the beginning of the year. Financial aid funds are usually available at the beginning of each semester as a credit to charges on the student’s bill. A refund will be deposited in the student’s checking account if the aid exceeds all institutional charges. Financial aid awards are typically offered for an academic year (Fall/Spring).
A separate brief internal application is required for funding during the summer session; students should visit the office for more details. Renewal of financial aid is not automatic. A FAFSA must be completed for each academic year before the March 1 priority date. The student’s academic progress as well as financial need determine the continuance of funding.
Refund and Repayment
Tuition adjustments resulting from a complete withdrawal from the University may affect the financial aid the student has received. Credit balances are generally returned to financial aid accounts. Students can refer to www.unco.edu/acctservices/bursar/accrec.htm for more explanation.
Any student withdrawing totally from the University who has received her/his financial aid for that semester may be required to repay the financial aid. For a more detailed explanation of these policies, refer to “Return of Title IV Fund Policy" on the website at www.unco.edu/ofa.