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Application Process

DU offers substantial financial aid to students among a wide range of family income levels. Our goal is to ensure an accurate and timely award with the maximum amount of financial aid possible to all who apply. We'll provide you with the resources and guidance you need to complete every step of the application process.

DU School Codes:
  • FAFSA: 001371
    Determines your eligibility for need-based federal and state financial aid.
  • CSS Profile: 4842
    Determines your eligibility for need-based institutional financial aid.

Steps to Apply

  1. Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID: Both you and at least one parent should apply for a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, which will be used every year on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and on Master Promissory Notes (MPNs) for federal student loans. If you're a current student and have previously submitted the FAFSA, you should already have an FSA ID.

    > Create a New FSA ID 
     
  2. Complete the FAFSA: The FAFSA uses your and your family's financial information to determine eligibility for need-based federal and state financial aid. Plan to set aside 30-60 minutes to complete this application. DU's school code for the FAFSA is 001371.

    Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA is highly recommended as it will minimize the amount of additional documentation you may have to submit.

    > Submit the FAFSA 
     
  3. Complete the CSS Profile: The CSS Profile, administered by the College Board, is used to determine your eligibility for institutional need-based aid. This application takes a more in-depth look at your family's financial and household profile. If you've taken the SAT, use that login to start the application. If you haven't taken the SAT, you'll need to create an account before starting the CSS Profile. If your parents are divorced or separated, the Noncustodial Parent must complete a separate CSS Profile. DU's school code for the CSS Profile is 4842.

    There is a $25 College Board fee to send the CSS Profile to one school and an additional $16 fee for each additional school. However, some students are eligible for a fee waiver. For more information about fee waiver eligibility, visit the College Board website.

    > Submit the CSS Profile 
     
  4. Submit Supporting Documentation: If there is conflicting information between your FAFSA and CSS Profile, or if you have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education for verification, you will need to submit additional documentation in order for us to verify that your application is correct. If we need further information, we'll send you an email. You must submit all requested documents before we can finalize your financial aid award, so be sure to get them to us as soon as possible.

Prospective students can view their financial aid checklist on their application status page. Current students can see outstanding requirements on the student tab of PioneerWeb.

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Priority Deadlines

The priority deadline to submit financial aid applications depends on the type of student you are:

Type of Application Date
Early Decision I and Early Action Applicants Nov. 15
Early Decision II and Regular Decision Applicants Feb. 1
Current Students March 15
Transfer Students When you submit your admission application

What happens if I miss the priority deadline?

If you miss the priority deadline, you'll decrease your chances of receiving sought-after financial aid awards such as work-study (which draw from a limited pool of funding), and there may be a delay in receiving your financial aid award letter. However, you should still apply as soon as possible!

Using The IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows you and your parents to transfer tax return information directly into the FAFSA. If data retrieval is used when completing your FAFSA, we won't need a copy of parent tax returns. 

The 2019-20 FAFSA uses 2017 tax return information, so most users will be able to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Parents who are married and filed their 2017 tax return as Married Filing Separately, are married and filed as Head of Household, or filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

> Learn more about Data Retrieval

  • How to Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
    1. Go to https://fafsa.gov. If you're completing the FAFSA for the first time, click Start Here. If you've already submitted the FAFSA, click Log In.
    2. On the "Financial Information" tab, you'll be asked a couple questions to determine if you're eligible to use the tool. If you are, click Link to IRS then Proceed to IRS Site.
    3. Enter your FSA ID. (Note: The person whose tax information is being transferred should enter his or her own FSA ID. Students will not be asked to enter their FSA ID if they entered an FSA ID to begin their FAFSA.)
    4. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS website.
    5. Enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return. If you get an error that there's no match, double check your information, including the exact mailing address on your return.
    6. Once authenticated with the IRS, you'll have the option to transfer your information form the IRS.

    If you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your tax return information from the IRS, that information will not display on your FAFSA. For your protection, the answer to each question is replaced with "Transferred from the IRS."

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When to Expect Your Award Letter

If you complete your financial aid application by the priority deadline and are admitted to the University of Denver, you can expect to receive your award letter via email around the same time as your admission decision. A packet of information will also be mailed to you.

The timeline for receiving your award letter will depend on when you applied for admission:

  • Early Decision I Applicants: Early December
  • Early Action Applicants: Mid-December
  • Early Decision II Applicants: Late February
  • Regular Decision Applicants: Early March


If you're a transfer student and have completed the financial aid application process, we'll send you a financial aid award letter 2-3 weeks after you're admitted to DU.

If you're a current DU student and have completed all application requirements, you can expect to receive your award letter via email in early June.

Verification and Conflicting Information

If there is conflicting information between your FAFSA and CSS Profile or you have been selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, we must collect further documentation before we can offer you a financial aid award. We'll notify you via email if we need additional information.

Learn More

Noncustodial Parent Information

Our policy is to require financial information from both biological/adoptive parents of students when applying for financial aid. The custodial parent is expected to provide income, asset and other information on both the CSS Profile and FAFSA. The noncustodial parent is also expected to provide information on a separate CSS Profile application. If either parent is remarried, the stepparent's information must be included.

  • Determining the Custodial Parent

    The custodial parent is defined as the parent the student spent more time living with during the 12 months prior to applying for aid. If the student lived with neither parent during the prior 12 months or lived equally with each parent, the custodial parent is the parent from whom the student received more financial support during the 12 months.

    In determining custodial parent status, it doesn't matter which parent claims the student as an exemption for tax purposes.

  • Noncustodial Parent CSS Profile

    If your parents are divorced, separated or were never married to each other, you'll be prompted to share your noncustodial parent's email address while competing the CSS Profile. The College Board will use this email address to contact your parent with information about filling out a separate CSS Profile using his or her own login credentials. We recommended you and your custodial parent complete the CSS Profile application before your noncustodial parent does so. For more information on creating an account for the Noncustodial Parent CSS Profile, view the College Board's how-to guide.

    The noncustodial parent's information is kept secure and is shared only with the colleges authorized by the student. Neither the student nor the custodial parent has access to the noncustodial parent's information unless the noncustodial parent chooses to share his or her password. DU will not release, electronically or otherwise, the income and asset information of a divorced/separated parent to the other parent.

  • Special Circumstances and Appeals

    We recognize extenuating circumstances may make it impossible to obtain noncustodial information. If your noncustodial parent's whereabouts are unknown or if there are other extenuating circumstances, we may exempt you from the Noncustodial Profile requirement. However, a parent's refusal to provide information or financial support will not, on its own, constitute sufficient justification for a waiver of this requirement.

    To request a waiver of this requirement, you must complete and submit, with the necessary third party documentation, a Noncustodial Profile Waiver Request. We understand the sensitive nature of many of these circumstances—all information will be used solely for the purpose of considering a waiver and will be kept confidential. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee reviews waiver requests on an individual basis, but submission for review does not guarantee a waiver request will be granted.

    Any incomplete request forms will not be accepted or reviewed until all necessary documentation is provided. Once the request is submitted, you'll be notified via email of the outcome within three weeks. We cannot offer any institutional need-based aid until your noncustodial parent's CSS Profile is received or a waiver is approved.

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