How Financial Aid Works
For the purposes of determining financial aid, our office follows the Colorado Department of Higher Education 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 and estimated averages for room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal (miscellaneous) expenses. Remember; these are estimated averages; your costs may vary.
The tuition costs for undergraduate Colorado residents’ budget figures include only student share of tuition. Be sure to apply for the College Opportunity Fund (COF) stipend, or you will pay more for tuition.
Financial Aid Timeline
Determining Need (Level of Eligibility)
Your need for financial aid, or need based aid eligibility, is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Cost of Attendance (or budget).
Your EFC is determined by the Department of Education, who analyzes the information you provide on your FAFSA about your family’s income, assets, and debts.
The Cost of Attendance is determined by the university and includes estimates for tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation and other costs associated with attending UNC.
The only way to determine your financial aid eligibility is to apply.
The U.S. Department of Education has a FAFSA4caster to help you and your family plan for college by providing an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student assistance.
Financial Aid Qualifications
To receive aid from the student aid programs offered at UNC, you must:
- Complete the Free Application for FStudent Aid (FAFSA) as well as any and all required follow`up information requested.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Register with the Selective Service, if required
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or meet other standards your state establishes that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education. See your financial aid administrator for more information.
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
- Make satisfactory academic progress
- Sign a statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
- Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money on a federal student grant
Expected Family Contribution
You and your family have the primary responsibility to pay as much as possible toward your education. Financial aid is intended to supplement what your family is expected to contribute in paying your costs of attending college.
Your Expected Family Contribution is determined by an analysis of several factors taken from information reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is an amount estimated by a federally defined formula called “federal methodology.” The factors considered in this analysis include:
Number of students in college
Number of working parents
Age of older parent
Students are expected to help pay for educational expenses as well. It is assumed that savings from summer employment will be a major source of this contribution.