FA: What Is It & How Do I Apply?
What Is Financial Aid?
The money awarded to you is intended to help you pay for costs associated with being a college student. Any financial aid you may receive will first pay into your CCD tuition/fees balance after the last day to drop a class (Census Date).
What Is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is simply your application for all types of federal and state financial aid. CCD also uses the FAFSA to qualify students for state and institutional aid. Early applicants may have a better chance of being offered more financial aid.
Based on the information you provide on your FAFSA, the United States Department of Education determines whether or not you qualify for financial aid as well as the types of aid you may qualify to receive, such as grants, loans and work-study. The FAFSA is also used to determine your eligibility for many scholarships, but scholarships also require a separate application.
How Does Financial Aid Pay My Tuition Balance?
Accepted financial aid is released into eligible students' school accounts to pay their balance of tuition/fees after the last day to drop a class (Census Date) each semester. Even though the payment deadline is the Monday before classes start each semester, you won't be dropped due to non-payment if you have enough offered financial aid to cover your balance within $340 (work-study is not included in this calculation). Because you will not receive financial aid funds until about one month after the first day of the semester, the Financial Aid Office automatically releases up to $500 in book advance funds to eligible students every Friday as early as one month before classes begin.
Do I need to pay for my classes if I have financial aid offered to me?
As long as you've been offered enough financial aid to cover your balance for the semester (not including a work-study offer), you are not at risk of being dropped from your classes due to non-payment and you are not required to set up a payment plan.
Do I Qualify?
Most students qualify to receive some type of financial aid and we encourage all U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens to apply. Once we receive your FAFSA, we'll know what additional information we need from you in order to offer you financial aid.
What Is Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
When you complete the FAFSA, you will learn your EFC, which represents what you or your family should expect to contribute towards the cost of your education.
Your EFC does not indicate your real out-of-pocket expenses but this number helps determine your financial “need” and indicates if you or your family are able to assist in your living expenses while attending school.
This number also sets what types of assistance you may receive such as:
- need-based aid like grants that you do not need to repay or
- non-need-based aid like unsubsidized loans that accrue interest while you are enrolled.
Remember, you are not expected to pay the EFC amount directly to the school. Your EFC is provided on your Student Aid Report (SAR) after you've completed the FAFSA.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is how the U.S. Department of Education determines your eligibility for federal financial aid. CCD also uses the FAFSA to qualify students for state and institutional aid. The amount of financial aid offered to you may depend, in part, on the date you complete the FAFSA. Early applicants may have a better chance of being offered more financial aid.
Step 1. Apply Online
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. CCD's school code for the FAFSA is 009542.
Contact the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at 303.352.TRIO to request assistance completing the FAFSA. When possible, CCD recommends completing the FAFSA using the option to "link to the IRS." You can do this as early as two (2) weeks after filing federal taxes electronically. Doing so could decrease processing times.
How to Fill out the FAFSA
How to Sign the FAFSA Online Using Your FSA ID/What to Do if You Forgot Your Username/Password - for Students & Parents
Step 2. Apply for the College Opportunity Fund (COF)
The College Opportunity Fund is not considered financial aid but it provides a stipend to eligible undergraduate students who are Colorado residents. COF reduces your balance by $75 per credit hour each semester. In order to be eligible, you must be admitted and enrolled in classes at CCD. Contact CCD's Office of Registration & Records with any COF or residency-related questions you may have.
Step 3. Complete Your Financial Aid File
Students required to submit high school credentials from a country outside of the United States may be required to have their credentials professionally translated and then evaluated by one of the NACES organizations listed here. Students who are having difficulty obtaining high school credentials from a country outside of the United States should request their credentials here.
Step 4. Review Your Student Aid Report (SAR)
After you have submitted your FAFSA, you will receive your SAR in the mail within two to four (2-4) weeks. This report summarizes your FAFSA and indicates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Review your SAR and make sure that the information is correct. If you need to make corrections, you can log in to the FAFSA website to do so. Make sure to keep a copy of your SAR for your personal records.
Step 4. Check Your Email and Follow up with the Financial Aid Office
CCD should receive your FAFSA within one week after you submit the application online. Follow up with our office or check your file online via CCDConnect to see what your next steps are.
The CCD Financial Aid Office, and sometimes the Department of Education, will communicate with you primarily through email. Initial notifications and award letters will be sent through postal mail, but your student email account is the primary means of communication for all CCD departments so be sure to check your CCD-issued student email account regularly. Any requests for additional information must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office before the end of the semester in order to receive financial aid for that term.
In order to receive financial aid, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen,
- Enroll in an eligible degree or certificate program at CCD,
- Meet CCD’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requirements,
- Must not be in default on a student loan or owe a refund to a Title IV financial aid program,
- Have a High School Diploma or GED, and
- Male students must be registered for Selective Service.