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Financial Aid 101:
Determining Unmet Cost

University of Denver Financial Aid

If you completed the first steps to apply for financial aid by submitting the 2016-17 CSS PROFILE and 2014 parent tax returns and W-2s, you can expect to receive your financial aid award estimate within the next week or so. Included in the packet you will receive in the mail is an estimated billing worksheet. Use this sheet to gain a better understanding your out-of-pocket cost to attend DU the first year.

How Unmet Cost is Calculated
The basic formula for determining unmet cost is:

Direct Costs minus Financial Aid = Unmet Cost

What are direct costs? These are the costs that are billed to you by the University of Denver, such as tuition, fees, meal plans and housing charges (if you live on campus). Since the tuition rates for the 2016-17 academic year will not be released until March, your financial aid estimate will list costs for the 2015-16 academic year. But, based on information from prior years, you should anticipate a small increase in tuition fees next year.

After subtracting your estimated financial aid, you'll get your unmet cost, which is an estimate of how much you will have to pay or borrow to attend DU (we'll address how to cover this cost next week). Remember: this number is only for 2016-17 academic year. If your family financial situation remains the same, DU will make every effort to provide you with a similar financial aid package each year, presuming that you apply for aid on time and there are no significant changes in available federal and state funding. Therefore, you should expect your unmet cost to be similar each year you attend DU.

Although cost is an important factor to consider, we also believe value should warrant your consideration as well. Learn more about the value of a DU education through the Admission website.

Up next week: Managing Unmet Cost

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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