Parent Financial Aid Information
Parents and guardians are important partners in this endeavor and we want to be sure you have the information that you need. We’ve compiled some information to provide you with tips and resources. We hope that you will feel welcomed into the Bear family and that this information will answer your questions you may have about the financial aid process or your student's account.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
We encourage all students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year. The FAFSA opens October 1 and should be completed by March 1, using UNC’s school code, 001349 at FAFSA.GOV. If you student is considered a dependent student for FAFSA purposes, you'll need to help your student fill out the FAFSA.
Before you help your student file their FAFSA, you'll need to get an FSA ID. An FSA ID serves as your electronic signature and gives you access to Federal Student Aid's online systems. To create an FSA ID visit the Federal Student Aid site. Once you have an FSA ID, you can help your student file the FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval tool to pull your completed 2018 taxes into the 2020-21 FAFSA.
Estimated award letters are sent in December to newly admitted students who complete the FAFSA and all required paperwork in a timely manner. Official award letters are sent early March. Remind your student to check their Ursa and BearMail accounts frequently for aid updates. Your student should accept or deny his or her financial aid award through Ursa by June 15.
UNC Scholarship Application
UNC’s Scholarship Application opens in early January. Your student should complete the application every year by February 1 to be eligible for any UNC scholarship. Your student can search scholarships offered at unco.edu/ofa/scholarships.
Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) Stipend
If your student is a Colorado Resident have your student apply for the COF stipend. If your student doesn't apply for the stipend, then your student will pay the full tuition rate. Here are the steps your student needs to take to apply:
- Gather the following documents before starting the application process:
- Social security number.
- Colorado driver’s license number or Colorado identification number.
- If applicable, U.S. Military card, U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card or Native American tribal document.
- Visit College Opportunity Fund to complete the short application. Apply as soon as possible.
How to Read Your Student's Bill
Reading your student's bill can be often times be confusing. UNC has created this sample bill to help answer some questions you may have. If you still have questions you can always contact the Bursar's office.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment) deals specifically with the education records of students, affording them certain rights with respect to those records. For purposes of definition, education records are those records which are:
- Directly related to a student and
- Maintained by an institution or party acting for the institution
FERPA gives students who reach the age of 18 or who attend a post secondary institution the right to inspect and review their own education records. The right to request amendment of records and to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from these records shifts from the parent to the student at this time.
FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been in attendance in post secondary institutions, including students in cooperative and correspondence study programs, video conference, satellite, internet or other electronic forms. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or to deceased students.
Records may be released to the parent only under the following circumstances:
- Through the written consent of the student (students may sign a FERPA release form).
- In compliance with a subpoena.
- By submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax return.
Here’s what cannot be released without written permission from your student:
- Student’s Bear number
- Grades/exam scores
- Grade point average
- Social security number
- Parent address/phone
- Detail of registration information (i.e., courses, times)
- Race, ethnicity or nationality
- Date of birth
- Total credits
- Number of credits enrolled in a quarter
- Emergency contact information
- Specific financial aid amounts
- Financial aid satisfactory academic progress status
For more details on FERPA visit the Office of the Registrar.