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Understanding Your Award & Next Steps You Need to Take

After you apply for financial aid, you'll receive an email when your financial aid award is available for you to view online. Use the following resources to help understand your award and determine the next steps you need to take in order to secure your financial aid.

When to Expect Your Award Letter:

When you receive your award letter depends on when and how you applied. See below for an estimate as to approximately when you can expect to receive word on your financial aid award.

  • Early Decision I applicants: Early December
  • Early Action applicants: Late December
  • Early Decision II applicants: Late February
  • Regular Decision applicants: Early March
  • Transfer students: Rolling basis after admission
  • Current students: Early June

We continue to send award letters on a weekly basis to students who recently submitted the FAFSA or were recently admitted to DU.

Next Steps to Receive Your Aid in the Fall

Once you review your financial aid award, there are additional steps you need to take to receive your aid.

> Print a PDF of the Checklist

  • Accept/Decline Your Awards

    In order to receive any type of aid, it must be accepted in PioneerWeb. To view and accept or decline the financial aid offered to you:

    1. Sign into PioneerWeb.
    2. Go to your Student tab.
    3. Click on "View and Accept Award Offer" in the "Financial Aid Awards" box.
    4. Select the 2019-2020 Aid Year from the drop-down menu.
    5. Click on the "Terms and Conditions" tab, review and click "Accept".
    6. Click on the "Accept Award Offer" tab.
      1. Choose "Accept" or "Decline" in the drop-down menu next to each award (most DU scholarships will already be accepted on your behalf).
      2. If you wish to only accept a portion of a loan, type that amount in the "Accept Partial Amount" box. Remember that any amount you accept will be split evenly over your terms of enrollment—i.e. fall, winter and spring quarters.
  • Apply For an Additional Loan (if needed)

    If you need to apply for an additional loan to help cover your costs, a Federal Parent Plus Loan or a Private Education Loan is available.

    Learn More

  • Complete Loan Requirements

    If you accepted a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized loan and are a first-time borrower, there are additional steps you must take to secure that funding:

    1. Sign into using your Federal Student Aid ID. Then,
    2. Complete Entrance Counseling, and...
    3. Complete the Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN).
  • Sign Up for a Payment Plan (if desired)

    DU offers a no-interest payment plan that may help you cover a portion of your bill. Utilizing this plan can reduce the amount you may need to borrow in loan funding.

    Visit the Bursar's Office to learn more.

  • Sign Up for Direct Deposit

    If your financial aid is more than the total of your charges, you'll receive a refund from the Bursar's Office. To expedite your refund, we recommend setting up direct deposit through PioneerWeb.

    1. Sign into PioneerWeb.
    2. Go to the Student tab.
    3. Click on the "Direct Deposit Info" link in the "My Statement / Payment" box.
    4. Select "Insert New".
    5. Enter bank account information. Please refer to a check to fill out the bank routing number and account number information.
    6. Check the "Student Refund/Accounts Payable" box.
    7. Save.
  • Accept or Waive DU's Health Insurance Plan

    Most students are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Program. If you are covered by another health insurance plan, you may waive participation in this program. To accept or waive DU's health insurance...

    1. Sign into PioneerWeb.
    2. Go to the "Student" tab.
    3. Click on the "Accept/Waive Health Insurance" link in the "Advising and Registration Tools" box.

    Visit the Health & Counseling Center to learn more.

picture of student studying

Understanding Your Award Letter

Your DU financial aid award letter will include information about estimated costs, the awards offered to you, and what you can expect to pay out of pocket for the academic year. We do not assume students will take classes in the summer, so your initial award letter will not include costs or aid for the summer quarter (a separate application for summer aid is available in April each year).

> View a sample award letter

Estimated Total Cost of Attendance

The estimated cost of attendance listed on your award letter reflects the typical costs of an undergraduate student attending DU, and is broken down by direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are charges that are billed by DU, such as tuition, fees, and housing and meals (if you plan to live on campus). Indirect costs are estimates for additional items including books, supplies, and personal expenses such as laundry, toiletries and clothes. You are not billed for indirect costs.

Because DU uses estimates for indirect costs as well as housing and meals, your actual costs may be lower or higher. Awards are not adjusted based on actual costs.

Grant, Scholarship and Waiver Eligibility

This section of your award letter will list any merit scholarships you were offered at the time of admission to DU, as well as any additional grants and scholarships you're eligible to receive for the academic year. Many of these are automatically accepted on your behalf.

> More about grants and scholarships

Student Loan Eligibility

Most students are automatically offered at least one type of federal student loan in their financial aid award letter. Loans are optional and are offered to you, which means you have to actively accept them if you'd like to borrow that additional funding. You can also choose to only borrow a portion of a loan offered to you, or not accept them at all. Remember that after you graduate, you'll have to repay any loan you borrowed during your time at DU. 

> More about student loans

Estimated Out-of-Pocket Direct Costs

This section of your award letter provides an estimate of the amount you will pay directly to DU for the academic year. The first estimate shows what your out-of-pocket cost might be after all of your scholarships and grants are applied, without borrowing any loans. The second line shows your estimated cost if you choose to borrow the full amount of loans offered to you.

If you'd like a more specific estimate of your amount due each quarter, use our estimated billing worksheet.

picture of campus

Additional Resources

  • Guide to Your Financial Aid Award: Our financial aid award guide is available to ensure you fully understand your rights and responsibilities as a recipient of financial aid at DU.
  • Award Comparison Worksheet: Compare the aid and costs for DU with those of other schools you've been accepted to.
  • Estimated Billing Worksheet: Use the estimated billing worksheet to get an idea of what your balance due will be each quarter after your financial aid has paid to your DU student account.
  • Next Steps Checklist: This worksheet will help you determine your next course of action now that you've received your financial aid award letter.



Financial Aid