We know parents are often key partners in financing a student's DU education. We welcome the opportunity to help you and your student, but we also encourage you to be proactive and talk to your student about budgeting and planning as they are ultimately responsible for managing their financial aid.
A Note on Privacy
We're committed to the safeguarding and accurate maintenance of student records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 provides students with a number of rights regarding their educational records. One of those rights is the option to consent to any release of their educational records. As such, we're unable to release information like grades and financial aid information to parents without the student's consent.
The Application Process
To maximize available financial aid resources and to be considered for all types of funding, your family should apply for financial aid as soon as possible after October 1 of every year. Review our tips for completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile to help make the process easier!
Want more information? Check out Financial Aid 101, an email series designed to help prospective students and parents fully understand the financial aid process at DU.Steps to Apply for Aid
Payment, Disbursement and Refunds
10 days before the first day of classes, aid for the quarter will disburse to your student's account and will pay toward their charges, as long as all financial aid requirements have been satisfied.
If your student's financial aid is more than the total of their charges, they may be eligible for a refund to pay other non-billable expenses. Refunds are typically generated by the Bursar's Office 2-3 business days after disbursement.
If you borrowed a Parent PLUS loan, any refund owed will be sent directly to you via mailed check. However, if your student's financial aid (without the PLUS loan) is greater than the bill, those excess funds will first be refunded directly to the student. Then, the additional PLUS loan amount will be refunded to you unless otherwise requested. If you wish to have the refund from a Parent PLUS loan sent to your student, please contact our office to make that request.
Visit the Bursar's Office website for more information about billing and payment.
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 that 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 a student's parents are divorced, separated or were never married to each other, the student will be prompted to input the noncustodial parent's email address. The College Board will use this email address to contact that parent with information about filling out a separate CSS Profile using his or her own login credentials. For more information on creating an account for the Noncustodial Parent CSS Profile, review 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 the noncustodial parent's whereabouts are unknown or if there are other extenuating circumstances, we may waive 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.
To request a waiver, 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, the student will be notified via email of the outcome within three weeks. We cannot offer any institutional need-based aid until the noncustodial parent's CSS Profile is received or a waiver is approved.
Parent PLUS Loans
The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Parent PLUS loan) is a credit-based loan available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Students will not have this loan offered on their award letter. Parents must apply separately for this loan via StudentAid.gov and may borrow up to the student's total cost of attendance, minus all other financial aid.
The Parent PLUS loan is available to credit-worthy parents of dependent undergraduate students who have submitted a FAFSA, regardless of financial need. To be approved, the parent must not have an adverse credit history.
Conditions that result in an adverse credit history include:
- One or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent or that have been placed in collection or charged off (written off) during the two years preceding the date of the credit report.
- Having been subject to any of the following conditions during the five years preceding the date of the credit report:
- Default determination
- Discharge of debts in bankruptcy
- Tax lien
- Wage garnishment
- Write-off of a federal student aid debt
Students are considered to be independent if they are...
- At least 24 years old.
- Have children.
- A graduate student.
- A veteran.
- A member of the armed forces.
- An orphan, ward of the court or homeless.
If none of those apply, they are considered to be dependent for federal student aid purposes.
Options if Denied
If you are denied a Parent PLUS loan because of adverse credit, you may...
- Reapply with a credit-worthy cosigner.
- Appeal the denial with the Department of Education if there are extenuating circumstances related to your credit history that you can document.
- Contact us, as your student may be eligible for an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan.
Interest Rates and Fees
Interest Rate: Parent PLUS loans offer interest rates that remain fixed for the life of the loan.
- For loans borrowed during the 2020-21 academic year: 5.30%
- For loans borrowed during the 2019-20 academic year: 7.08%
- For loans borrowed during the 2018-19 academic year: 7.60%
- For loans borrowed during the 2017-18 academic year: 7.00%
Interest accrues while the student is in school, during any grace period and during repayment. You can pay the interest as it accrues if you wish. Unpaid interest will be capitalized when repayment begins.
Origination Fee: A loan origination fee is deducted at disbursement of each installment of the loan. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed.
- For loans with a first disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020, the fee is 4.236%.
- For loans with a first disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2020 and before Oct. 1, 2021, the fee is 4.228%.
How to Apply
To apply, visit StudentAid.gov. Under the "Apply for Aid" drop-down menu, click on the "Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan" link.
A credit check will be conducted once you begin the loan application process. If you were initially denied the Parent PLUS loan but have since qualified by obtaining an endorser or documenting extenuating circumstances, you will also be required to complete PLUS Counseling through StudentAid.gov.
Once you're approved, the Department of Education will send confirmation of your loan approval and the details of the requested amount. The loan will be added to your student's financial aid offer after processing.
Repayment begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan. However, repayment can be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional 6-month grace period after the student graduates. Payments are made to your Direct Loan servicer [link to Graduation and Repayment] each month. The minimum payment is $50, but that amount will likely be higher depending on the total amount borrowed.
The standard repayment period is 10 years but can be as long as 25 years depending on total borrowing and chosen repayment plan.
Special Circumstances and Financial Aid Appeals
Sometimes, after your student receives their financial aid offer, your family may experience an unexpected change to your financial situation. In these circumstances, you may appeal for a re-evaluation of your student's aid. All special circumstances requests must be approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, and appeals are processed only when an initial award letter is issued and all additional documents are received.Learn More
Financial Aid and the College Decision Process
High School Night Presentation
Learn the basics of financial aid—from how to get organized, to the types of aid available, to how financial need is determined—with our high school FAFSA night presentation.
2197 S. University Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80210
M - F 8am-4:30pm
FAFSA Code: 001371
CSS Profile Code: 4842