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Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Did you know that approximately 70% of all UNC students receive some form of financial aid assistance? Understanding the financial aid process is an important step toward fulfilling your educational goals. Take the first step to receiving financial aid by filing your FAFSA. Learn more about all your options and completing your next steps by reviewing the below information.

The Graduate school offers various Assistantships and other forms of tuition help. The Graduate School has additional and helpful information on graduate funding and costs

Important Dates

  • October 1 – FAFSA becomes available (December for the 2024-25 FAFSA aid cycle)
  • November 1 – UNC Scholarship Application is available through your Ursa account
  • June 1 –  FAFSA and UNC Scholarship Application Deadline
    • File by the June 1 deadline to have full consideration
  • June 15 – Accept or decline financial aid award amounts through Ursa
    • Remember, you will only have 20 days to make a decision or all aid will be forfeited
  • September 2 – Fall tuition payments are due
  • File Your FAFSA

    Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will need to be submitted for the upcoming academic year to receive federal loans. Remember the FAFSA is a free application. Stay away from sites requesting payment for completing the application.

    To complete the FAFSA:


    Have your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) ready


    Use UNC’s School Code 001349


    IRS Data Retrieval Tool is  now available and recommended for 2023-24.

    Expedite your application by using the IRS Data Retrieval Option


    Apply at fafsa.gov

    Submit the FAFSA by the March 1 priority deadline to maximize your amount of aid you receive. You should use your 2021 tax information for the 2023-24 academic year. If you you have not filed your taxes for 2021, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid.

    You will receive a confirmation email from the U.S. Department of Education with your Student Aid Report (SAR). Make sure to verify that all of your information is correct. If you need to make corrections, you may do this online at www.fafsa.gov. Be sure to check your spam folder for your FAFSA confirmation if you do not receive it within a week.

    Students may submit documentation of any unusual or extenuating circumstances not reflected on the FAFSA. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information about this process. 

    Helpful Links for Applying 


    As you begin the process of applying for financial aid for the academic year, the UNC Office of Financial Aid offers these tips.


    Details on completing the FAFSA.

    Federal Aid Resources

    Online  resources from the Department of Education. 


  • UNC Scholarship Application

    The UNC Scholarship Application can also be found under the Financial tab in Ursa. Use this quick and easy application to apply for UNC Foundation scholarships.

    Find UNC Scholarships

  • Checking your Ursa and BearMail Accounts

    Ursa is your student account that will detail information such as financial aid, credit requirements and GPAs. Be sure to check your BearMail account, this is where you may view your UNC emails. The Office of Financial Aid will send your award email and information to your BearMail account.

  • Accepting or Declining your Aid on Ursa

    If you have completed all required paperwork, after the first week of March, you should be able to accept or decline your award letter.

    To accept your award letter please follow these steps:

    • Accepting, Reviewing or Declining Your Aid:
      1. Log in to Ursa at ursa.unco.edu.
      2. Select "Financial" tab and click "View/Accept Award Offer."
      a. Select "Select Award Year" drop-down menu at the top right of the page to select year.
      3. Your financial aid offer is available below the "Cost of Attendance on the Award Offer."
      4. Click on the "Take Action" column and pick from the "Select" drop-down menu to accept, decline or modify.
      5. If you choose to modify, you may have the option to accept both or one of the terms, as well as change the amount to a lesser value.
      6. Once you have accepted, declined or modified your aid, confirm your selection by clicking either the "Submit" or "Confirm" button at the bottom.
      a. Click the "I acknowledge these terms and conditions" button at the very bottom of the Terms and Conditions. This will turn the "Accept Award" button to blue, and you will be able to click to complete.
      7. Click the "Home" tab. Any outstanding requirements will be listed on this tab. Outstanding requirements will need to be completed prior to aid paying out.

    • If you mistakenly accept or decline certain loans on your account and you want to change your award letter, please email the office at ofa@unco.edu with your name, Bear number and what loan and amount you want to accept or decline. Your request will be processed within 3-5 business days.
      NOTE: If you have NEVER borrowed Federal Direct Stafford loans with UNC before, you will need to complete some additional steps at StudentLoans.gov such as; the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  • Viewing your Bill

    Your student bill can be viewed on Ursa under the “Financial” tab.  Located on the top left, the account balances for your terms at UNC can be seen; at the bottom will be your account balance. Click on each term to see a detailed list of term credits and payments.

    Learn more about reading your bill.

  • Summer Aid

    Processing will begin April 20 for all students registered for summer classes that have a current year FAFSA on file. The deadline for summer aid is July 20. Summer aid will be accepted through Ursa under the View/Accept Award Offer tab.

  • Determining Your Costs

    For the purposes of determining financial aid, our office follows the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and federal guidelines to develop an estimated, average cost of attendance (budget) for different student classifications (commuter/non-commuter, undergraduate/graduate, resident/nonresident, etc.).

    Budgets include estimated figures for tuition and mandatory fees as well as estimated averages for room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal (miscellaneous) expenses.

    View Estimated Costs Information

  • Maintaining Your Aid 

    warning NOTE: The deadline for Fall 2022 appeals was November 11, 2022.

    Federal regulations require that the University of Northern Colorado establish a policy to monitor the academic progress of students who apply for and receive financial aid. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward their academic objective in order to maintain their eligibility for financial aid.

    Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

    The Standards for SAP and the associated policies may have changed for the next academic year. All students need to read this material carefully, and direct any questions to the Office of Financial Aid at 970-351-4862.

    SAP Policy

    Please note: Academic Suspension appeals policy expectations differ from the Financial Aid Ineligibility Appeal Policy and have a separate application process. View instructions for academic appeal.

    Ineligible for Aid

    If you receive notification that you are Ineligible for Aid, you cannot to receive financial aid through UNC. Being Ineligible for Aid does not prohibit your enrollment at UNC, but you will be responsible for all charges incurred. Ineligibility remains in effect unless overturned by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. If you are academically suspended and then are readmitted to the university, you must still appeal your financial aid Ineligibility. If financial assistance is received and you were not eligible for it, repayment of that aid is required immediately. The entire financial aid Refund/Repayment Policy may be obtained upon request from the Office of Financial Aid.