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Financial Aid 101:
When to Expect Your Award Letter

University of Denver Financial Aid

What exactly is an award letter?
A financial aid award letter (sometimes called a financial aid "package") is a document that will list all of the types of financial aid (or "awards") your student is eligible to receive from the University of Denver. The aid listed may be provided by a combination of federal, state or institutional sources.

What do we need to do to receive an award letter?
As an Early Action applicant, your student has the choice to complete a portion of the financial aid process now to receive an estimated award letter in early February. If you and your student wish to receive an estimated award letter, we need to have received the 2016-17 CSS PROFILE (and Noncustodial PROFILE, if applicable) by January 4th.

To receive a final award letter, your student's "file" must be complete. That means both the 2016-17 FAFSA and CSS PROFILE have been submitted, and if your student has been selected for verification, all requested documents have been submitted and reviewed by an advisor.

So when will we receive it?

  • If the CSS PROFILE was submitted by January 4th:
    • Your student can expect to receive an estimated award letter in early February via standard mail. This packet will include additional information and resources to help your family understand the financial aid options at the University of Denver. We'll also send your student an email when the award letter can be viewed online.
    • Provided all requirements have been met, your student will receive a final award letter via email in early April.
  • If you did not submit the CSS PROFILE by January 4th, you'll receive a final award letter via standard mail in mid-to-late March. In addition to the mailed packet, you'll receive an email with instructions for viewing your aid package online.

How are awards determined?
The types of aid listed on an award letter are based on a combination of factors, including the information supplied on the financial aid application and your student's planned enrollment. Aid listed on the estimated award letter (if applicable) will be based only on the CSS PROFILE application. Aid listed on the final award letter will be based on the CSS PROFILE, the FAFSA, and updated tuition costs for the 2016-17 academic year. We'll provide much more information on this topic in a future Financial Aid 101 email.

Anything else I should know?
Many of the awards in your student's final financial aid package will be offered. This means that if your student doesn't want to borrow a loan, for example, he or she doesn't have to. Some types of financial aid will also require you to take additional steps before your student can receive funds.

Additionally, please be aware that in accordance with University of Denver policy, we cannot negotiate financial aid packages. However, if your family has an extenuating circumstance that is not reflected on your aid application, please let us know!

In two weeks: Using IRS Data Retrieval and Federal Verification

Want to review past Financial Aid 101 emails? Check out the archives!

Contact Us:

Financial Aid • University Hall 255 • 2197 S. University Blvd • Denver, CO 80208

Ph: 303.871.4020 • Fax: 303.871.2341 • Email:

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