Application Process

While the financial aid application process can sometimes seem intimidating, we'll provide you with the resources and guidance you need to complete every step of the way.

Steps to Apply

  1. Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID: Students will sign up for a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, which will be used every year on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and for Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) for federal student loans.

    Create an FSA ID
  2. Complete the FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid and is required if you wish to tap into federal student loans. DU's school code for the FAFSA is 001371.

    (Which FAFSA should I submit? If you're applying for aid for the 2020 fall term, submit the 2020-2021 FAFSA. If you're applying for aid for the 2020 winter, spring or summer terms, submit the 2019-2020 FAFSA.)

    Submit the FAFSA
  3. Submit Supporting Documentation: We sometimes need to ask for additional documentation in order to verify that the information on your application is accurate. If we need further information, we'll send you an email. You must submit all requested documents before we can finalize your financial aid offer. Outstanding requirements can also be viewed on the Student tab of PioneerWeb.


Anderson Academic Commons

Priority Deadlines

  • Incoming students applying for fall admission: January 15
  • Incoming students applying for winter, spring or summer admission: no priority deadline — apply as soon as possible
  • Returning students: March 15

Why apply by the priority deadline?

For new students, applying by the priority deadline means that if you're admitted to DU, you'll receive your aid offer in late February or soon after you're admitted (whichever comes later). For continuing students, it means you can expect to receive your aid offer in early June. If you miss the priority deadline, you'll decrease your chances of receiving sought-after types of financial aid such as work-study, which draw from a limited pool of funding. You should still apply as soon as possible to get your aid offer!

Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students to transfer tax return information directly into their FAFSA and makes completing the application much easier. Review our Guide to Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for step-by-step instructions.

Learn more


If you have been selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, we must collect further documentation before we can send you a financial aid offer. We'll notify you via email if we need additional information.

Learn More

When to Expect Your Financial Aid Offer

Once you have completed the requirements to apply for aid, we will send you a financial aid offer via email. We'll start sending 2020-21 aid offers to new admitted students in late February. We'll continue to send award letters on a weekly basis to students who were recently admitted and submitted the FAFSA. If you're a returning student, you can expect to receive it in mid-June for the 2020-21 academic year.

Students who are applying for admission in the winter, spring or summer terms of 2020 and have submitted the 2019-20 FAFSA can expect to receive their award letter 2-3 weeks after being admitted.

students walking on campus

Frequently Asked Questions