Award Policy

Important Reminder: You must apply for financial aid every academic year. The new year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available on October 1st annually at

Who Gets Awarded First?

Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis. A financial aid award package normally includes a combination of grants and self-help (work-study or loan) awards, depending on your EFC.

Priority Awarding

Priority Awarding means that if you complete your financial aid file by April 15th for the upcoming fall semester, you are guaranteed consideration for all forms of funding available based on your eligibility and EFC. Work-study, FSEOG and CSG funds run out quickly. It’s simple, complete your financial aid files before April 15th and you are awarded first!

If you complete your FAFSA and it is selected for a process called verification, you must also submit all required documents by April 15th to remain eligible for Priority Awarding.

Awards Based on Credit Hours

  • 12+ Credits: All financial aid awards are offered based on full-time enrollment.
  • 6-11 Credits: Part-time students receive a prorated, reduced portion of the full-time award amount, if eligible.
  • The Federal Pell Grant and most other programs consider 6 to 8 credits to be half-time (about 50 percent of an award) and 9 to 11 credits as three-quarter time (about 75 percent of an award).
  • 5 or less: If you are attending less than half-time (taking 5 or fewer credits in a semester), you may not qualify to receive the financial aid awarded to you. Depending on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA, you could possibly receive Federal Pell Grant funding if you are taking less than 6 credits but generally would not qualify to receive any other form of aid.

If you have borrowed a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, you must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours per semester. Loan amounts do not change based on the number of credits you are taking, as long as you maintain the six credit minimum.

You must be a Colorado resident to receive Colorado-specific funding like the Colorado Student Grant (CSG).

If you have earned a bachelor's degree, federal and school regulations dictate that you may only qualify to borrow Federal Direct Loans.  Work-study and grants will not be an option for you at CCD.

Time Frame

CCD's Financial Aid Office processes your documents faster than most schools. We will receive your FAFSA 3-5 business days after you submit it online and generally process all submitted documents within one week after we receive your completed paperwork (incomplete documents will delay processing times).  Keep in mind that turnaround times for you to be awarded may depend upon several factors:

  1. the date we receive your FAFSA,
  2. the date we receive supplemental documents,
  3. the term for which financial aid is requested, and
  4. the time of year.

How does the verification process delay my award?

Verification is a process in which the U.S. Department of Education selects a financial aid applicant's FAFSA to be audited. This may entail a review of federal income tax return transcripts from the IRS, a verification worksheet and other documentation. We will email your CCD-issued student email account to notify you if you are selected for verification. Once verification documents are received and processed by the Financial Aid Office, we may be required to make corrections to your FAFSA, which generally take one week to be confirmed by the Department of Education.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you will not be awarded financial aid until you submit the required documentation and it is processed by our office. If this is the case, the Financial Aid Office will send an email (via your secure CCDConnect email account) informing you of the additional requirements. These requirements will also be posted as red flags on your CCDConnect account under the Student Finance tab.

Final Steps

Once your financial aid file is complete, the awarding process begins. Verification can delay an award, so it is important for you to plan to complete your financial aid documentation as early as possible. All requested documents must be received at least two weeks before the end of the term for you to receive financial aid for that term. If an award has not been offered before the tuition payment deadline for the semester, you are responsible for making tuition payment arrangements and making a payment through your CCDConnect account. Be sure to check your student email frequently to ensure there are no additional financial aid requirements.

CCD reserves the right to review, change and cancel awards at any time. All financial aid awards depend on the availability of funds.