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Financial Aid

It is our goal to make Colorado College affordable to all admitted students who apply for assistance on time. Financial assistance is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and student employment. Approximately 60 percent of Colorado College students receive some form of financial aid from the college or other programs. We award Colorado College grant assistance based on financial eligibility and admission credentials. Once we have determined the official eligibility for Colorado College grants and scholarships, we will make a four-year commitment to the student and family.

For students who remain in good academic standing with the college, we will renew the Colorado College grants from the four-year award automatically each year at the same level as the official offer of financial aid. Consideration will be given to families with special circumstances such as unemployment, siblings in college, and medical expenses. For these individuals, a one-year award would be offered. The college also provides a limited number of merit-based awards.

Qualification for Financial Aid

Financial aid at Colorado College is administered primarily on the basis of demonstrated financial aid eligibility. Eligibility is the difference between the cost of a student’s education and the family’s ability to meet that cost. The amount of the family contribution is calculated by using a standard method under the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998 (Public Law 105-244 as amended) and an institutional methodology developed by members of the College Board and amended by college policy. Complete information on the college’s financial aid policies may be obtained in the Financial Aid Policies Handbook available at

Application and Eligibility

First-year students and returning students who have not received financial aid at Colorado College must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Board’s PROFILE application to their respective processors by February 15. Early Action and Early Decision candidates must submit the PROFILE form at earlier deadlines. If a student’s natural parents are separated or divorced, the noncustodial parent must submit the Noncustodial Parent Statement through the College Board’s PROFILE service according to the published deadlines.

For first time financial aid applicants the financial aid office requires signed copies of parent and student federal tax forms and W-2 forms from the latest tax year, and we also require prior year tax returns from early admission applicants. We require a federal verification worksheet from students whose FAFSA is selected for verification. All financial aid applicants who file the CSS/PROFILE should submit tax forms and W-2 forms directly to the College Board’s IDOC service by March 1. All students who indicate an interest in applying for financial aid on their admission application are expected to follow through and submit the required financial aid forms by the published deadlines. Students who have incomplete financial aid applications or who apply late may be eliminated from consideration for both financial aid and admission. By submitting these forms, students are applying for all sources of assistance — federal, state, and institutional. Information provided to the college on these forms is kept confidential. Financial aid recipients must be accepted for admission as full-time, degree-seeking students, but applicants should note that they must initiate the financial aid application process well before any admission decision is made.

Returning students must reapply for aid each year to determine continued federal and state eligibility. In most situations we only require the FAFSA form from returning students who have had a prior year aid award. Students must maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree as defined in the Academic Policies section of this catalog and in the Financial Aid Policies Handbook. Eligibility for Colorado College financial aid extends for eight semesters (usually four years) or through the completion of a semester in which 32 units of credit are earned, whichever comes first. All credits earned and accepted by the registrar’s office are used to determine aid eligibility except Advanced Placement (AP) credits, International Baccalaureate (IB) credits, half-block, adjunct, and extended-format credits. An appeal to extend eligibility must be made to the director of financial aid. If not granted, a further appeal may be made to the Committee on Financial Aid Appeals. The financial aid office normally provides Colorado College financial aid only for fall and spring semesters. Summer Session aid may be available directly from the Summer Session office and from federal sources.

Students must enroll as full-time students (at least three blocks each semester) to qualify for CC based-aid. If students drop to less than full-time enrollment status, the financial aid office will review their eligibility status and continuance of aid. Students who are less than full time may utilize Federal Pell Grant funds and Federal Student Loans, but Federal Stafford Loans require at least half-time enrollment. Students must report any change in enrollment, financial, or marital status to the financial aid office as soon as possible. Such a change may affect the calculation of financial aid eligibility and the resulting assistance offered.

The academic curriculum is designed and courses are scheduled in such a way that a student may complete the all-college and major requirements, as well as explore the breadth of the liberal arts and sciences, within four years of enrollment. However, some students prefer to graduate after only three years (particularly if they attend the Summer Session) or after five years (often including study and travel abroad). Either term of enrollment is acceptable, but the financial aid office provides only eight semesters or 32 units of CC financial aid eligibility as stated above. Students should carefully review their course selections with their faculty advisers and inform the registrar’s office of their enrollment plans. Counseling is available in the financial aid office.

Financial Aid Awards

Once we determine an eligible student’s eligibility for financial aid, we utilize various types of financial aid to meet the aid eligibility. Financial aid awards consist of two main types of assistance — gifts (scholarships and grants) and self-help (loans and work). Below are a few of our scholarship and grant funds available.

Colorado College grants and scholarships are made possible for students from general revenues of the college and through endowments and gifts to the college. More than 250 endowments and gifts underwrite the college’s financial aid program and account for a significant part of the funds awarded to students. A few examples will serve to indicate the breadth and diversity of these scholarships. The college administers these funds; students do not need to apply for them specifically unless noted in the description below.

Merit scholarships include:

Trustee Scholarships at $3,500 per semester, Presidential Scholarships at $2,500 per semester, and Leadership Scholarships at $5,000 per semester are awarded for four years to a limited number of outstanding first-year students. Students are chosen based on their application for admission, and their high school record of academic and extracurricular achievement.

Otis A. and Margaret T. Barnes Scholarships are awarded to outstanding first-year students planning to major in chemistry (including biochemistry). These scholarships, which cover full tuition, may be renewed for three additional years. Applications must be submitted to the CC chemistry department by January 15 prior to the applicant’s first semester at CC. Application procedures are available on the college’s financial aid office website, from the admission office, and from the chemistry department.

Margaret T. Barnes Scholarships are awarded to outstanding first-year students planning to major in one of the natural sciences other than chemistry (biology, environmental sciences, geology, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, and psychology). The scholarship, which covers full tuition, may be renewed for three additional years. Application procedures are available on the college’s financial aid office website, or from the admission office. January 15 is the application deadline.

Colorado College National Merit Scholarships® are awarded to entering first-year students who have been named finalists by the National Merit Scholarship® Corporation and who indicate Colorado College as their first choice. The minimum National Merit® award is $1,000 with the college providing additional funds to bring the total for National Merit® finalists to $2,000 per year for four years.

Crown-Goodman Presidential Scholarships provide assistance to students in their senior year at Colorado College who demonstrate financial aid eligibility, have a significant amount of student-loan debt, and have demonstrated an impressive record of achievement and academic success. The recipients of this award will use the proceeds
to reduce their student loan debt for their senior year. A scholarship selection committee nominates students. The president of the college awards these scholarships at the Honors Convocation.

Athletic scholarships are awarded to a limited number of male ice hockey players and female soccer players; both sports are in the NCAA Division I. Other sports at the college belong to the NCAA Division III and do not award athletic scholarships. Interested individuals should contact the CC athletic department.

Federal and State Grants

  • Federal Pell Grants are based on eligibility as indicated on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Awards range from $555 to $5645 per year for a full time student who qualifies for this federal assistance.
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are available for students who receive federal Pell Grants and have high financial need. Grants may range from $100 to $4,000.
  • Colorado Student Grants (CSG) are appropriated to Colorado College by the Colorado General Assembly and are awarded to Colorado residents on the basis of financial eligibility as determined by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and institutional policies. The financial aid office uses information from the FAFSA to calculate a student’s eligibility, and awards these Colorado state funds as part of the regular financial aid process. There is no additional application process for Colorado state funds.

Students who are awarded any state of Colorado funds must complete the Colorado residency questionnaire, and the financial aid office must process that information before funds are disbursed.

Federal Loans

Federal Perkins Loans are long-term, low-interest federal loans awarded by the college on the basis of eligibility. No interest is charged while the student is in college. The interest rate after completion of studies is 5 percent. Students must complete the FAFSA form.

Federal Stafford Loans enable students to borrow as much as $5,500 for the first year, $6,500 the second year, and up to $7,500 third and fourth year. The interest rate on an undergraduate Subsidized Stafford Loan will be 6.8 percent as of July 1, 2013, unless changed by Congress. The interest rate on an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for undergraduates and graduate students is 6.8 percent.

The federal government pays all interest charges while the borrower is in college if the borrower is eligible for the interest subsidy. Otherwise, students without financial eligibility may borrow the funds as an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford, which begins accumulating interest immediately

Federal PLUS Loans are established for parents of dependent undergraduate students as well as graduate students. Parents and graduate students may borrow PLUS loan funds up to the full cost of attendance minus any financial aid awarded as long as they qualify. The interest rate on a Federal PLUS Loan is a fixed rate of 7.9 percent. Payment of the amount borrowed may be deferred while the student maintains full time enrollment in a post secondary educational institution. Repayment of the interest must begin within 60 days of disbursement of the loan.

Student Employment

Campus jobs are available during the first block of each semester only to federal or state work-study-eligible students. After this time, campus jobs are available to any student regardless of their work-study eligibility. Campus employers must inquire with the financial aid office for exceptions to this policy. Student employees who work over the summer are not automatically rehired the following academic year. The college has a limited number of off-campus community service work-study placements available only to students who are eligible for federal or state work-study. Students are placed in direct service positions with nonprofit community service agencies or school districts. The financial aid office administers the student employment program.

Off-Campus Study

Currently, CC has a policy that all students will pay Colorado College the actual program costs for any off-campus study program that is on the college’s approved list. Students receiving aid with Colorado College grants and scholarships will receive aid for the program costs in the same proportion to the grants and scholarships they receive at CC, up to the cost of CC. If the program costs more than CC’s costs, the college will not provide more than it would have to attend CC.

Scholarship funds are available from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Grant, the Coit Family Scholarship Fund and the Selig Fund for Global Study for the study abroad programs. Applications are available in the financial aid office for the Johnson and Coit Scholarships and the dean of the college’s office for the Selig Fund. Students also may be eligible for additional loan assistance for off-campus study. Details are available on the financial aid website at

Payment of Awards

Financial aid is received as a credit to the student’s account in the business office. Awards are usually disbursed in two equal payments, one at the beginning of each semester. If a student’s aid exceeds his or her charges the credit balance is provided as a refund to the student. First-time Stafford Loan or Perkins Loan borrowers must sign a promissory note and must complete a loan counseling session before their loans can be credited to their student account.

Withdrawal from the College

If a student officially withdraws from the college during the year, the portion of the Colorado College financial aid and any federal, state, or private aid will be refunded to the college and appropriate federal, state, or private agencies according to the Return of Title IV Funds policy of the Department of Education and the college’s policies. Refer to the refund policies in the Financial Obligations section of this catalog. Examples of the refund and return of funds policy are available in the financial aid office. Except in cases involving medical problems or other personal emergencies approved by the dean of students, a student withdrawing or taking a leave of absence during a semester in which they receive college funds will lose a semester’s eligibility of financial aid unless the student repays the amount of the Colorado College scholarships used for that semester.


Students have the right to appeal any decision concerning financial aid policy to the Committee on Financial Aid Appeals through the director of financial aid. Financial aid counseling and procedures for appeals are available in the financial aid office.

Veterans’ Education

Students planning to enroll who have VA benefits should apply before registration for a certificate for education benefits through the Veterans Administration. A veteran planning to attend under the provisions of Public Law 894 (Vocational Rehabilitation Act) is required to furnish a letter of authorization from the Veterans Administration. The first payment to students enrolled under Title 38, United States Code, is normally delayed until the second month. Subsequent payments are made on the first day of the month, paid in arrears.

Colorado College seeks to provide a broad education. The college therefore requires students to gain some knowledge and experience in a variety of areas and to study at least one academic discipline in depth. During the second year at the college, a student chooses a major field in which to take concentrated work. The major may be in one of the following academic fields: anthropology, art, Asian studies, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, classics, comparative literature, computer science, dance, drama, economics, English, environmental science, environmental policy, feminist and gender studies, French, geology, German, history, mathematics, music, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, Romance languages, Russian, sociology, Southwest studies, and Spanish. Students may take a business concentration within the economics major. Many other majors allow special concentrations within broad disciplinary study.

The college also offers several combined or distributed majors for students whose interests require concentrated work in more than one department. Such major fields are classics–history–politics, comparative literature, history–philosophy, history–political science, and political economy. Self-designed majors are possible under the heading of liberal arts and sciences.

Requirements for graduation in each major field are listed under the appropriate titles in the Departmental Courses section.