Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) administers and distributes aid in the form of grants, scholarships, employment and loans to help students (families) meet college costs (tuition, fees, books, room, board and transportation). For more information, visit the financial aid office web page at The OFA administers federal, state, institutional and private sources of aid.

Applying for Financial Aid

Most UNC financial aid at the graduate level consists of Federal loans, institutional Graduate Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants with limited scholarships and state graduate grant funding. To qualify for Federal loans, students should complete the FAFSA form online at With completion of the FAFSA, the university will consider a student to have applied for all federal and state aid programs. The FAFSA should be completed by June 1 priority deadline each year to maximize the amount of aid a student can receive. UNC scholarships can require both need and merit evaluation (see Apply for Scholarships for information on applying). FAFSA or UNC Scholarship applications processed after June 1 are considered late, and the applicant will have limited funding opportunities.

Apply for Scholarships

Students must be admitted to UNC and complete the UNC Scholarship Application by June 1 to be considered for most scholarships. Even though eligibility for some UNC scholarships is based on information obtained from the admission application, students are strongly encouraged to complete the UNC Scholarship Application each year before the June 1 deadline. The application can be filled out online through Ursa. A listing of all scholarships available through UNC is located at

Comprehensive lists of local and national scholarships are available through web searches. Students are encouraged to use a free and reputable search site for scholarship listings on the internet. Research your choices and use caution. Contact the financial aid office if you have concerns.

Scholarship funds do not have to be repaid and as stated earlier, are awarded on the basis of academics, talent and/or performance. Other criteria often exist for an individual scholarship and are set by the donor.


Financial aid is awarded based on need and may include a package of grants, scholarships, employment and loans. Most 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).

Summer session financial aid may be available. Please consult the OFA website in March of each year to determine appropriate steps to take. A FAFSA is required for each academic year. The student’s academic progress, as well as financial need, determine the continuance of funding.

Grant Funds

Grant funds are awarded based on financial need. The core grant fund available at UNC is the Colorado Graduate Grant. This grant is funded by the Colorado General Assembly. Eligibility for this grant is based upon CO residency, demonstrated need (FAFSA) for specific programs. Program eligibility is determined by the state of CO.  Grant funds do not require repayment unless a student fails to complete the term of enrollment.

Graduate Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants

Graduate assistantships are available through individual academic and administrative departments after a student has been admitted to a graduate degree program at UNC. Awards are comprised of a monthly stipend and/or a tuition waiver, based proportionally in exchange for a work assignment. These tax qualifying awards are disseminated according to individual program budgets. For more information, students should contact their program.

Graduate Assistantship Policies

Graduate teaching assistants may not provide instruction to other graduate students without the faculty member of record present. Students appointed as Graduate Part-time Instructors of Record may provide instruction as the faculty of record to undergraduate students. Students holding GTA-B appointments may support graduate faculty in graduate classes but are not to be solely responsible for class instruction or grading. Students classified as GTA-A Graduate Part-time Instructors of Record and GTA-B must attend the mandatory Graduate Teaching Assistant Conference each fall or forfeit a portion of the stipend.

All GTAs new to UNC must attend the New Graduate Student Orientation scheduled prior to the start of classes unless they are in an exclusively online program. Online students are to review the New Graduate Student Interactive Orientation,

Students' tuition and partial fee waivers are posted to billing accounts at the beginning of each term after the add/drop deadlines. Students who add or drop credits after the initial posting of the assistantship waivers will see an adjustment to their account after add/drop (e.g., additional charges when credits exceed those covered by the agreement; refunds when previous credits are reduced if such credits were covered by the agreement).

Students on academic year (AY) agreements (mid-August to mid-May or 34 weeks) work 17 weeks in each of the fall and spring terms. The student must report no later than the week prior to the start of the term (fall and spring). Students confirm the start date with the department/unit. Students on AY agreements work during non-university holidays (Presidents', Columbus and Veterans days). Students on AY contracts may take  fall and spring break or winter break (between the fall and spring terms) but not both. Students working over winter break may work on campus or from home with the consent of their supervisor. With a fiscal year agreement (July 1–June 30), the student’s schedule follows the UNC calendar, including working during spring, fall and winter breaks.

Terms and Conditions of the Assistantship Agreement

Tuition and partial fee waivers associated with a graduate assistantship are considered student financial resources, and an adjustment may be necessary in other financial aid received from the university through the Office of Financial Aid, the Graduate School, or your program (i.e. total loan amount awarded may be reduced).

Stipend is deemed taxable compensation. Any tuition remission shall be in the form of financial aid, provided independently of the stipend as qualified tuition reduction given for educational purposes, and shall not be deemed taxable compensation pursuant to section 117 of the Internal Review Code of 1986. You can view your tuition information at

The student agrees to not accept any additional offers for the academic year covered by this agreement such as:

  • Assistantships from any other graduate programs or administrative units the director/chair/supervisor of the appointing unit is notified of such an offer and the student has received a written release from this agreement from the director/chair/supervisor.
  • If a student is permitted to accept a second assistantship appointment, the combination of the two appointments must not exceed a total of 20 hours per week.
  • Students holding a full-time graduate assistantship in any form may not engage in other positions for stipend at the university. Students holding a half-time graduate assistantship in any form may secure other positions for salary at the university not to exceed 30 hours.

The assistantship is conditional upon:

  • Admission to the Graduate School and a graduate degree program at UNC.
  • Maintenance of good academic standing at UNC (at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average) each semester. The student may not be on academic probation and must attend class on a regular basis throughout the semester. Should a student’s GPA fall below the 3.0 standard at the close of the term, the assistantship for the following semester will be reassigned to another student to allow the former graduate assistant to improve their GPA.
  • Continuous enrollment in credits related to the degree program – between 3 and 10 graduate credit hours during each fall and spring semester — while the agreement is in effect.
  • Fiscal year agreements pay up to 6 credit hours in the summer term. Students must be registered on the first day of classes, or their stipend and tuition will not pay until they are registered. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved in writing by the college dean or assistant vice president of the appointing unit and the dean of the Graduate School.
  • Students who enroll only in dissertation credits (799) will be allowed to hold an assistantship for a maximum of two consecutive semesters provided they are enrolled for a minimum of six hours of 799 each semester. Students are ineligible for any assistantship when they have three consecutive semesters in which they have enrolled only in 799 credits.
  • Student completion of all duties assigned by the appointing unit(s) in a satisfactory manner and within compliance of the UNC Code of Conduct.

The stipend is not a scholarship award, but rather compensation for the performance of services. Failure to perform the assigned services, withdrawal from the university, or failure to meet the above described conditions may be grounds for termination of this agreement, which shall terminate the stipend payable under this agreement. Such termination shall also result in forfeiture of further tuition remission, and may result in repayment requirements, as noted in the university policy on withdrawal/cancellation of charges. If payments of stipend or tuition are accepted after the date of termination, the student is responsible for repayment.

Student Employment

UNC offers several employment opportunities for graduate students. Federal work study programs can provide on- and off-campus jobs to graduate students demonstrating financial need. Students must contact the Office of Student Employment to evaluate consideration for this type of assistance. Students who do not qualify for work study programs can find part-time hourly positions both at the university and off campus. Aid received as part of a work program does not need to be repaid.

Educational Loans

UNC participates in the following programs:  Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Eligibility for all loans is determined by completion of FAFSA. Federal Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans are not based on need. PLUS loans require approved credit by the U.S. Department of Education. Loan funds plus applicable interest must be repaid, usually after graduation. Each loan should be evaluated carefully and the terms and conditions regarding interest and repayment understood. Some loans have cancellation and deferment provisions. After being awarded a loan, a student must accept the loan on Ursa. Students will need to complete a master promissory note, counseling on the Federal Direct Loan website.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Under federal regulations, The Office of Financial Aid is responsible 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, plus transfer credits. To be eligible to receive financial aid, the student must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree program, regardless of whether they have previously received financial assistance. For a more detailed explanation of these policies, the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress is available in the financial aid office and on the OFA website.

Refund and Repayment

Tuition adjustments resulting from a complete withdrawal (official or unofficial) from the university may affect the financial aid the student receives. Any student withdrawing from the university who has received  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”  at Credit balances generally are returned to financial aid accounts. Students can refer to for more explanation.