Ready to find out what MSU Denver can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
Scholarships are awarded to qualified students who have applied for a scholarship and have been selected by the scholarship committee. Most scholarships are based on merit (your GPA). Please read about campus-based scholarships at our Scholarship page. You can also do a scholarship search on the Internet at http://www.fastweb.com.
Grants are need-based aid. If your income (or your parents’ income, if you are dependent) was too high based on the number of people in the family and the number attending college at least half time, you will not be eligible for grant aid.
If there has been a significant change in your family finances, please consider completing the INCOME Appeal located on our Student Forms page.
The Federal Government has guidelines that determine whether you are dependent or independent. Generally, if you are under the age of 24, not married, have no dependents, have not been in the military, are not an orphan, and were not a ward of the court until you were 18, you are considered a dependent student and must include your parent’s information on the FAFSA.
Students who are unable to obtain all of the required parental information for the FAFSA may have access to borrow a Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan only. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.
Although your status is based on Federal guidelines on dependency status, it may be possible for you to be independent through a process called “professional judgment.” If you have extenuating family circumstances, independent status may be granted.
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by the Federal Government. The EFC is used by the University to determine your financial aid eligibility and awards. The information you provide on your FAFSA (taxed and untaxed income, assets and benefits such as unemployment or Social Security and family size) is considered in the formula.
Your EFC is not the amount your family will be expected to pay to the University for your education nor is it the amount of aid you will receive.
If you still feel this number is not representative of your family or if there has been a significant change in the income or household, please contact the Office of Financial Aid about our Income Appeal.
Most students do not get the full amount of their budget in aid. Student financial aid is intended to help students to gain a college education. Because there is not enough money to fully fund every student, aid is awarded based on need.
Please note if you are awarded aid, we assume full-time enrollment (12 credit hours for undergraduate; 6 credit hours for graduate students) otherwise you may receive a pro-rated amount or none at all.
It is our policy to require every first-time borrower at MSU Denver to complete the federal entrance counseling.
As an undergraduate student, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours at MSU Denver each semester you wish to receive a loan.
As a graduate student you must be enrolled in at least 3 graduate level credits to be eligible for a student loan.
Although you do not need to be registered to turn in an aid application (FAFSA), your application will not be processed until you are enrolled in at least half time at MSU Denver. Your loan funds will not be disbursed to you if you are not enrolled in at least, 6 credits as an undergraduate student or 3 graduate level credits as a graduate student, when your Direct Loan funds are transmitted to MSU Denver.
If you withdraw from all your classes and/or receive all F’s you will go through a calculation determining how much aid you earned and how much you will owe back. For a more detailed explanation as to the policy and procedure of withdrawals please refer to our website at https://www.msudenver.edu/financial-aid/undergraduate-students/#manage-aid
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.
All Financial Aid forms can be found on the Student Forms website.
Various departments may place holds on a student’s record that prevent the student from registering for classes, ordering official transcripts, or even prevent awarding a degree. You can learn more about all active holds and how to resolve them on the Student Holds website.
You will be placed on SAP and will not be eligible to receive financial aid at MSU Denver for one or more of the following reasons:
Student’s can view their awards on the Student Hub by following the steps below:
*This is also where you can accept the Terms & Conditions (TIVATH).
You can set-up a Payment Plan through the Bursar’s Office. Find more information on the Payment Plan website.
FP – Financial Aid Proration Hold
Reason for Hold:
Per federal regulations, graduating seniors who are only attending one semester of an academic year must have Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans prorated.
Resolution: Students planning on graduating at the end of the fall semester should submit the Graduating Seniors Loan Proration (FAPRO) form found on our Forms Page.
GR – Possibly Graduating Hold
Reason for Hold:
Records indicate that the student may have graduated and is no longer degree seeking
Resolution: Complete the GRADTE form found on our Forms Page.
OA – Potential Over-Award Hold
Reason for Hold:
Placed when financial aid awards may be over their unmet need and/or Cost of Attendance.
Resolution: No action required from students. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will review your awards and cancel the hold.
OV – Annual Loan Limit Review
Reason for Hold:
Placed on student files where a student appears to have Federal Direct Loans at multiple schools within the same financial aid award year.
Resolution: The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will conduct a review of your loan eligibility after you have completed any outstanding requirements, have received an initial financial aid award, and are registered for classes. Once we have completed the review of your eligibility, any necessary revisions or reductions to your loan offers will be made and the hold on your account will be expired.
SS – Social Security Number Hold
Reason for Hold:
Placed on student files that have different SSNs reported for the student in Banner and their FAFSA.
Resolution: Submit a copy of your social security card or a document from the Social Security Administration Office that has been signed by an authorized person.
TM – Transfer Monitoring Hold
Reason for Hold:
Placed on each student’s financial aid account at least 7 days prior to the beginning of a semester. During this time, our institution will upload current information from the National Student Loan Data System.
Resolution: This hold expires automatically after 7 days. No action is required.
UE – Unusual Enrollment
Reason for Hold:
Placed on student files flagged for potentially unusual enrollment history by the U.S. Department of Education.
Resolution: The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will conduct a review of your academic transcripts and financial aid history records. If MSU Denver has not received transcripts from all schools where a student received a federal student aid disbursement, or if a student failed to earn academic credit at a school where they received federal student aid, they may be required to submit an Unusual Enrollment History Appeal (UEHAP), which can be found on our Forms Page.
UW – Unofficial Withdrawal
Reason for Hold:
Placed on student files due to failing to complete any credits during the previous semester and may be subject to Return of Funds calculation.
Resolution: The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will review your records and cancel the hold. Students will be contacted via email if further actions are required.
Aid Year (academic year): The academic year starts in the Fall, typically in August and ends in May for most students. Students who take summer courses are still counted under the same aid year for classes that run from June 1 to July 31.
Aggregate Loan Amounts: The lifetime limit on the amount of loans a student can receive in subsidized and unsubsidized loans. See the Debt Management Loan Limits page for more information. Additional Resources: Debt Management
Annual Loan Limits: The amount in loans a student is eligible for during a school year. See the Debt Management Loan Limits page for more information.
Award: The funds available to the student for the school year based on FAFSA. Used interchangeably with package (awards package). See the Understanding Financial Aid page for more information.
Budget: The cap placed on the amount of funds a student can receive in a school year to cover tuition, fees, and other qualifying necessities such as books and room and board. Used interchangeably with Cost of Attendance. See the Understanding Financial Aid page for more information.
Cost of Attendance: The cap placed on the amount of funds a student can receive in a school year to cover tuition, fees, and other qualifying necessities such as books and room and board. Used interchangeably with budget. See explanation here: https://www.msudenver.edu/financial-aid/cost-of-attendance-coa/
Default: Default occurs when a student who is required to repay their student loans fails to do so for several months and becomes delinquent. If the loan delinquency exceeds 270 days the student is considered to be in default. Default makes the loan due in full immediately. Default appears on the student’s NSLDS record and prevents the student from receiving any federal aid until the default is cleared. Clearing default requires communication between the company holding the loans and the student. It typically requires a nine (9) month consecutive payment plan.
Note: Default is damaging to a student’s credit and it can lead to the garnishment of wages, withholding of tax refunds and possible legal action. Additional Resources: Debt Management
Dependent (student): A student who is determined by federal regulations to partially or totally rely on parental support. These students are:
Additional Resources: Student Dependency Questions
Dependent (household): Any person who the student or the student’s parents support more than 50% who also lives in the household. A child cannot be counted in the household if the student or student’s parent pays child support.
Disbursement: The delivery of funds from their source (i.e. Department of Education, banks, employers, etc.) to the institution to pay for tuition and fees with the leftovers to be given to the student. Additional Resources: Disbursement and Accepting Aid.
EFC: The acronym for “Expected Family Contribution”. This is the number calculated through the FAFSA based on the student’s (and parent(s)’ when applicable) tax and other financial information. This number determines the student’s award eligibility. Additional Resources: Understanding Financial Aid.
Enrollment Status: Enrollment status is determined by the number of credits a student is enrolled in. The different statuses are:
Additional Resources: Enrollment and Proration Information under Disbursement of Aid
Entrance Interview (Stafford): The Entrance Interview requirement is designed to educate students on the loans they are accepting, repayment of those loans, and forbearance/deferment options. If this requirement is not met, no student aid will be disbursed. Students only accepting grants are not required to do an Entrance Interview. The Entrance Interview is external to MSU Denver and financial aid. Students must go to www.studentaid.gov to complete this process.
Excess: When a student is considered in excess, NSLDS shows that the student has borrowed more than the aggregate loan amounts. Excess prevents students from receiving any federal student aid. See the Debt Management Loan Limits page for more information. Additional Resources: Debt Management
FAFSA: The acronym for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. Available at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. This application is required to receive any federal loans or grants and certain types of work-study. It calculates the student’s need based on the prior-prior year’s tax forms and other financial information. Some educational funding such as certain scholarships and tuition reimbursement programs do not require a FAFSA. Additional Resources: Types of Aid under Federal/State Self-Help Aid.
FERPA: The acronym for “Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act” . This law dictates what information the institution is and is not able to release without the student’s permission. Please see the FERPA for more information. Additional Resources: FERPA (Office of the Registrar)
Financial Aid Suspension (separate from Academic Suspension): Financial aid suspension occurs under the SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) policy. It requires students to maintain certain criteria in order to receive or continue to receive financial aid. Please see the Satisfactory Academic Policy for Undergraduate and Graduate students for more information.
Grace Period: After a student graduates or otherwise falls below six (6) credit hours they enter grace period which is a series of months during which the student does not have to begin paying back their loans. It is six (6) months for Stafford loans and nine (9) months for Perkins loans. PLUS loans do not have a grace period.
Grant: Grants can be federal or private aid that, unlike loans, students are not required to pay back. These are typically need-based aid. At this time, there are not any grants available for graduate students. For a list of federal grants available and their requirements please see the Types of Aid page.
Independent (student): A student who is determined by federal regulations to support themselves without a required assistance of a parent. These students are any combination of:
Student Hub: The Student Hub is designed to give students the convenience of being able to handle their financial aid and other administrative services without having to be on campus. From the Student Hub students are able to:
Note: MSU Denver’s official means of communications is campus email. It is important to habitually check your email, which is available through Student Hub.
Need: Is the amount of funding that the student can possibly receive after EFC, awards, and resources are subtracted from the student budget. It is the “room” left over for more money to possibly pay in if the student is eligible and funds are available. Additional Resources: Understanding Aid and Types of Aid.
Official Withdrawal: Official withdrawal occurs when a student formally drops all of the courses they are taking in a semester. Formally dropping classes requires the student to follow the procedures outlined by the Registrar. Official withdrawal students are required to go through Return of Funds. See the Withdrawals page for more information. Additional Resources: Satisfactory Academic Progress Undergraduate and Graduate.
Overlapping loans: Overlap occurs when NSLDS reports that a student is attempting to take financial aid out at two different schools during the same loan period. Since students are only allowed to receive aid at one school at a time, it is their responsibility to make sure that all aid is cancelled off when they transfer out of one institution to another in the middle of an aid year. Overlapping loans prevents all federal aid from disbursing. Additional Resources: Undergraduate Transfer Students.
Package (packaging): The funds available to the student for the school year based on FAFSA. Used interchangeably with award.
Proration: Proration is the calculation of certain awards, such as grants based on the number of credits a student is enrolled in. Please see the Enrollment and Proration Information under Disbursement of Aid.
Professional Judgment (PJ): The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has to ability to reevaluate a student’s file based on extreme or unusual situations and circumstances. Students are able fill out a PJ or “Consideration for Professional Judgment” form (available on the Forms Page). Submission of this form does not guarantee any changes or an increase of a student’s financial aid. Additional Resources: Extenuating Circumstances under Managing Aid.
Promissory Note: A promissory note or master promissory note (MPN) is a legally binding contract signed by the borrower agreeing to pay back any loan money borrowed as dictated by the terms and conditions outlined in the note. The promissory note is external to MSU Denver and financial aid. Students must go to www.studentaid.gov to complete this process. Additional Resources: Understanding Financial Aid.
Repeat Coursework (Financial Aid): MSU Denver ascribes to a Last Grade Stance policy which allows a student to replace a grade they received in a class by retaking that class. For financial aid purposes, a failed course can be repeated with financial aid coverage multiple times until a passing grade is received. Courses that have ever received a passing grade may be retaken only once more and be covered by financial aid. Any additional repeats of the course will not be eligible for financial aid. Please see the Repeat Coursework Policy for Undergraduate and Graduate under Disbursement of Aid for more information.
Return of Funds (ROF): Return of Title IV funds occurs when a student has officially or unofficially withdrawn from classes in the middle of the semester. ROF determines whether or not a student is required to pay back a portion of federal aid received for the semester not to exceed 50%. Professors are required to report last date of attendance for all students who fail their courses. Depending on the date specified the student may not have to pay back any of the aid they received. See the Withdrawal page for more information. See the information about Withdraws here: https://www.msudenver.edu/financial-aid/undergraduate-students/#manage-aid
SAP: The acronym for “Satisfactory Academic Progress”. Students are required to meet certain educational criteria in order to receive federal and institutional aid. These criteria include:
Additional Resources: Withdrawals
SAPAP: Short for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal. It is a requirement to submit an appeal when a student fails to meet the terms outlined in the SAP policy. Students should make sure to turn in all relevant documentation and statements for the appeal process. Please see the Satisfactory Academic Policy for Undergraduate and Graduate for more information
SAR: The acronym for “Student Aid Report”. It is a summary of the information put into the FAFSA. It indicates any Pell eligibility and contains the EFC.
Subsidized Loan: Subsidized loans have interest that is “subsidized” or paid for by the federal government during the time the student is in school. Interest does not accrue or gain until after the student is out of school and out of his or her grace period. All loans are required to be repaid. Additional Resources: Debt Management and Types of Aid
Title IV Funding: Any aid distributed by the federal government. Includes Stafford Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans, and Pell and SEOG grants. Additional Resources: Types of Aid
Unmet Need: There are instances when a student receives all of the aid that they are eligible for through the initial packaging, but it does not cover all of their need (COA – EFC = Need). This gap is called unmet need (COA – EFC – Award package = Unmet need).
Unofficial Withdrawal: A student is considered to have unofficial withdrawn from classes when he or she does not formally drop them. Essentially an unofficial withdrawal is when the student stops going to class and does not contact the University about formally dropping the classes. Students who unofficially withdrawal are required to go through Return of Funds. Additional Resources: Undergraduate Withdrawals and Graduate withdrawals.
Unsubsidized Loan: Unsubsidized loans do not have interest “subsidized” or paid for by the federal government while the student is in school. Interest accrues while the student is in school, deferment, and grace period. Students are typically offered the opportunity to pay the interest on unsubsidized loans monthly while in school. All loans are required to be repaid. Additional Resources: Debt Management and Types of Aid
Verification: This process ensures that all of the information reported on the FAFSA is reported correctly. It requires taxes and W-2’s, and the appropriate form to be filled out completely. No aid will disburse without the completion of a requested verification packet. Additional Resources: Forms