Skip to main content Skip to main content

Disbursement of Aid

How Financial Aid Awards are Disbursed

All financial aid funds can be used for your educational expenses, including living expenses, while you are in school. 

It is our intent to have your financial aid credited to your student account as early as 10 business days before the first day of class for each term. In accordance with federal regulation, this is the earliest date that aid can be disbursed. You must, however, have a complete application on file in our office to have your aid disbursed. If you apply late or do not complete your file promptly, your financial aid funds may be delayed. Almost all financial aid awards (with the exception of out-of-state loan checks, alternative loan checks, consortium checks, and some scholarship funds) are disbursed into your student account by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Contact our office for more information regarding the schedule of disbursements.

Things You Should Know about Disbursement

  • In order for a disbursement to occur: you must have a complete file, must be registered for the minimum credits required for your awards, must not be on financial aid suspension, and you must have no holds on your financial aid file.
  • Aid will be canceled if not disbursed by census date each semester. Census date is the “Last Day to Add/Drop Full-Semester Classes with 50% Refund” date as published in MSU Denver’s Academic Calendar.
  • If you must buy books or if you need other financial assistance before your financial aid funds are available, you may be able to obtain a short-term loan against your pending financial aid award. Please visit the Short Term Loan Program page for more information.
  • Disbursements for the current semester occur more frequently than disbursements to reimburse students for prior term awards. For example, during the spring semester, we disburse spring financial aid awards more frequently than we disburse the prior fall semester’s awards.
  • Students can enroll to have their refunds deposited into a personal bank account. For information on enrolling in Direct Deposit please visit the Office of the Bursar webpage at
  • For first-year, first time Federal Stafford Loan borrowers, the first loan disbursement of the semester can occur no earlier than 30 days after the start of the semester. Please Note: If you have already taken out a Federal Stafford loan at Metropolitan State University of Denver, then you will not have your loan funds delayed.
  • If you are a Freshman (less than 30 credit hours completed) and have never borrowed a Federal Direct Loan before, under Federal regulation your first scheduled disbursement must be delayed by 30 days from the start of the semester. You can view this scheduled payment date by visiting Student Hub.


Proration of Financial Aid Awards

All students will initially receive an aid package quote that is based on full-time enrollment status (12 or more credit hours each semester) even if you indicated three-quarter time (9 to 11 credit hours) or half-time (6 to 8 credit hours) anticipated enrollment on your FAFSA. However, if you make any changes to your enrollment status prior to the census date (which is the “Last Day to Add/Drop Full-Semester Classes with 50% Refund” date as published in MSU Denver’s Academic Calendar for each semester) your entire aid package will be prorated if your enrollment status drops to less than full time. Likewise, if you increase your enrollment status upward from half- or three-quarter time enrollment prior to the census date, your award package will be prorated to the appropriate enrollment level. Please note that each time you adjust your enrollment status before census date, your aid award will be prorated and your student account will be adjusted for necessary increases or decreases in tuition charges and financial aid awards. The example below illustrates the proration of a full-time award package. Note that the amount of your actual financial aid award package depends upon your calculated need.

The following is only an example.

Pell Grant $1,350 $1,013 $675
State or Federal Grant $400 $300 $200
Stafford Loans $2,000 $2,000 $2,000

*Generally, the amount of your Federal Stafford Loan will not be changed or prorated. If you are enrolled for less than 6 credit hours, you may only be able to receive a portion of your Federal Pell Grant, depending on your eligibility. Federal Pell Grants are prorated based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the number of credits you are taking each semester.


Late Start Classes

A late start class is a class that starts AFTER the regular semester has already begun. Please be advised that if you drop a late start class after census date and it is removed from your academic record, The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will determine if you established attendance in that course. If it is determined that you did not establish attendance in the course, you may be subject to grant proration and bill back along with potential bill back of your student loans. Please remember you MUST be at least a part-time student in order to receive student loans and part-time status for an undergraduate is 6 credits per semester. 


Enrollment Status and Aid Proration Freeze Date

Proration of aid ceases after each semester’s census date. At that time, your aid package and the amount of aid credited to your student account will be held at the appropriate amounts based on your recorded enrollment status on census date. No increases or decreases to your aid award will be made after the census date based on changes to your enrollment status. However, if you reduce your enrollment hours after the census date, you will be subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regulations governing the completion rate for that term. All aid proration activities will be reflected on your student account billing statements. Therefore, we encourage you to change your enrollment status as little as possible.

Please note: If our office receives your FAFSA after the census date of the semester, aid will be disbursed according to your current enrollment rather than frozen hours. Federal Stafford Loans are ALWAYS disbursed according to current enrollment.


Frozen Hours Appeal

You may request that the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships review your registered hour status if you are actually enrolled in more hours than our office indicates as frozen on your file. Federal regulations dictate that you may only have your frozen hours reviewed if you did actually begin your attendance in your classes prior to census date but due to a registration issue you were not able to have the credit hours posted onto the system before census date.

Repeat courses are covered by financial aid if the course has not been already completed once with a passing grade and then completed again. 030 remedial courses such as MAT 030 (math), EGL 030 (English), are not covered by financial aid. Please visit the highlighted pages for more information.

To obtain a Frozen Hours Appeal (FRHRS) please contact our office directly.


Accepting and Rejecting Financial Aid Awards

Offered grants and institutional scholarships will automatically be accepted for you once you are registered for a given term. 

Any aid not disbursed by census date for a semester, will be cancelled and awarded to another eligible student. This date typically falls within the third week of any given semester.

Work-Study is offered to students. To have this award accepted, you will need to turn in an annual work-study (WK) form after it is filled out by your supervisor and yourself. This form can be found on the Forms Page.


Satisfactory Academic Progress 

Please visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Section of our Website.


Edit this page