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Determining Your Financial Aid Eligibility

We determine if you are eligible for a financial aid affordability plan by evaluating the difference between the cost of attendance and our analysis of resources available from you, your family, and other sources. The estimated family resources include parent and student contributions and are based on need-analysis procedures specified in the Federal Higher Education Act and by the Institutional Methodology (IM) as calculated by the College Board CSS PROFILE. We have amended the standardized IM formula in some cases. The main factors in the need-analysis formula include family size, the cost and number of children pursuing undergraduate studies, parent income and assets, and student income and assets. If your biological parents are separated or divorced, we also require information from the non-custodial parent. Included in the family contribution is generally at least $1,800 which the student is expected to contribute to their education from either summer earnings and/or savings. If our analysis indicates you qualify for some type of financial assistance, we make every effort to meet your eligibility. Depending upon your eligibility level and your admission credentials, you may be eligible only for loan or work-study. If you have remaining financial aid eligibility after we award self-help aid (loans and work-study), Federal Pell and other federal grants, and state grants, we will attempt to meet your remaining eligibility with Colorado College grants, scholarships, and endowed funds. Please note that federal aid amounts and loan origination fees are conditional and subject to change based on pending Congressional action. We often award Colorado College grants in students’ initial awards but later replace these generic grant funds with funds from a specific endowed or gift scholarship fund. See the following link for more

Your Financial Aid Award

To make Colorado College affordable, it is our goal to provide a financial aid award by evaluating the results of the financial aid application process. Your financial aid award may be the four-year affordability plan award, a one-year award or an award only for your eligibility for federal financial aid. Based on the results of your application for financial aid, we are providing one of these awards which is indicated on your award letter.

Four-Year Affordability Plan Award
A Four-Year Affordability Plan means that we will renew the total value of your Colorado College grants and scholarships annually at an equal amount as on your final financial aid award. The affordability plan will assist your family as you plan college financing during your four consecutive undergraduate years at Colorado College. You must re-apply each year with the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal and state aid (federal and state grants, loans, and work-study). Your loan amounts may increase slightly each year based on the additional federal loan amounts available and your family’s eligibility.

You must be a full-time student at CC and remain in good academic standing to receive Colorado College funds all four consecutive years. If you study abroad, and the program costs are lower than the cost at Colorado College, your award will be adjusted accordingly. You may take a leave of absence up to one semester without affecting your eligibility for the renewal of your CC grants or scholarship funds.

One-Year Award
A One-Year Award means that due to your family’s circumstances, we are providing a need-based award for the 2014-15 year but we will require that you re-apply for need-based financial aid annually. To re-determine aid eligibility, you must complete a full financial aid application process each year that includes completing the CSS PROFILE and the FAFSA as well as submitting tax returns, W-2s, and other information as requested. If your family’s financial situation changes significantly at some point, you may also submit additional information to the financial aid office as an appeal.

Federal Financial Aid Award
A Federal Financial Aid Award means that you are only eligible for federal financial aid. Since you are not eligible for need based grant aid from the college’s funds, we have indicated your eligibility for only federal financial aid on your award. Federal aid will be available to you each year if you re-apply with the FAFSA. If your family’s financial situation changes significantly at some point, you may re-apply by completing the full financial aid application process and by submitting additional information to the financial aid office as an appeal.


Please view our "Understanding Financial Aid" brochure for other general information regarding financial aid.

Back to the Financial Aid Policies Handbook Table of Contents »