Policies & Maintaining Aid Eligibility

In order to maintain eligibility for your financial aid, you must meet the requirements below while enrolled at DU.

  • Enrollment Requirements
    • All financial aid funds for undergraduate students are available only to students enrolled in degree programs and taking quarter classes.
    • Students must maintain full-time enrollment (12 credits or more) to remain eligible for certain types of aid, including the Residence Hall Grant, the DU Educational Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG).
    • Amounts are pro-rated for less than full time enrollment for the Pell Grant. Merit scholarships may be prorated for students enrolled less than full time during their last term prior to graduating.
    • Students must maintain at least half-time enrollment (six credits or more) to use work-study and to receive the Colorado Student Grant or any direct loan.
    • The requirements for gift, endowed and private scholarships will vary depending on the department or the donor. Some awards have a minimum GPA requirement. Contact your department or your private scholarship provider for information on specific policies.
  • Implications for Dual-Degree Students
    • Undergraduate Aid: As a dual-degree student, you are considered an undergraduate during the first four years of your program, and you should file your FAFSA and CSS Profile as such. You're eligible to receive your undergraduate scholarships and grants for those four years as well.
      • Institutional Aid: The Office of Financial Aid expects first-time, first-year undergraduate students to be eligible for consideration for institutional merit or need-based undergraduate financial aid for a maximum of four academic years from the point of initial enrollment (excluding summer and interterm periods) or until the student earns the bachelor's degree, whichever comes first. For institutional aid eligibility for dual degree students the university defines four academic years as up to 12 quarters of fall, winter, spring enrollment. Students who receive any amount of credit in a quarter are considered to be enrolled. If a student is not receiving aid in one or more of those enrolled quarters, the timeline for 12 quarters of aid eligibility continues.
      • Federal Aid: For federal aid purposes, dual degree students automatically become graduate students in the next enrollment period after attaining 198 hours of earned or accepted credit. Any dual degree student who has completed their undergraduate degree requirements is considered a graduate student regardless of the number of quarters of prior enrollment.


    • Graduate Aid: Students enrolled in dual degree programs are considered graduate students for federal financial aid purposes after attaining 198 credit hours, even if the student does not meet the undergraduate degree requirements. Federal regulations do not allow students in dual degree programs who complete four academic years (defined as 198 credit hours) to continue to receive undergraduate federal aid. Students in the law school dual degree program are aided as graduate students after three undergraduate academic years (149 hours for federal aid purposes). You should file your FAFSA as a graduate student (no CSS Profile is needed) and contact your graduate program about any merit-based aid they have available. Federal loan eligibility will increase for most students because of the higher graduate student borrowing maximum.


    • Exceptions:
      • Students in the six-year bachelor/JD program with the Sturm College of Law are considered an undergraduate student during the first three years of the program and are then considered a graduate student during years 4-6.
      • Boettcher and Daniels Fund scholars are eligible to have their tuition covered through the fifth year of a dual-degree program.


    If you have specific questions about how your financial aid may be affected, please contact our office.

  • Financial Aid Eligibility for Study Abroad Programs

    For more information on specific program costs, budgeting for study abroad and additional scholarships, please visit the International Education website.

    DU Partner Programs:

    Students are eligible to receive their merit scholarships, institutional need-based grants and federal and state aid (excluding work-study) to help pay for DU Partner programs. The billing and financial aid disbursement occurs as if you were on campus, regardless of your program start date.

    If you're participating in a spring semester DU Partner Program (that overlaps winter and spring quarters), you will be charged program costs for winter quarter and your aid will disburse as if you were attending DU winter quarter. Spring semester study abroad students may also receive a disbursement of the spring term aid (federal and state only) as if they are attending DU. Please contact our office to discuss your specific aid package.

    Important note about departmental scholarships: Some departmental scholarships cannot be used to pay for study abroad charges. Be sure to check with our office and/or department directly to see if your scholarship can be used for your study abroad program.

    Use the Cost Planning Worksheet to help you calculate what you will be billed for study abroad and how that might be different from what you usually pay at DU.

    Unaffiliated Programs:

    Institutional financial aid is not available for students attending an unaffiliated program. Only federal and state aid (excluding work-study) may be awarded. Complete a Consortium Agreement to request financial aid for your unaffiliated program. The financial aid for which you are eligible will be released to you by DU on DU's disbursement schedule. However, you are responsible for paying the bill at your host school by the due date.

    Use the Cost Planning Worksheet to help you calculate the total cost for study abroad on an unaffiliated program.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to maintain eligibility for all types of aid. This means:

    • You must maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.00 (2.50 for BS in accounting students).
    • You must complete and pass a minimum of 66.6 percent of all courses attempted. This is known as your Cumulative Completion Rate (CCR).
    • You must complete your degree within 150 percent of the minimum credits required to graduate. This is known as the Maximum Time Frame (MTF) limit.

    Learn More

  • Return of Title IV Funds (Withdrawal Policy)

    Students who begin classes at DU, apply for financial aid, complete all requirements and then withdraw from classes may have their financial aid adjusted according to federal, state and institutional regulations.

    Learn More

  • Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

    A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student from federal financial aid funds.

    (Please note that this policy is no longer in effect beginning with the 2022-23 academic year.)

    A conviction for any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs, during a period of enrollment when receiving federal aid, will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work-study assistance. A conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed does not count, nor does one received as a juvenile, unless tried as an adult.

    The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for federal financial aid programs. Please note that eligibility is dependent upon the nature of the conviction and the number of prior offenses.

      Possession of Illegal Drugs Sale of Illegal Drugs
    1st Offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
    2nd Offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite Period
    3+ Offenses Indefinite Period Indefinite Period

    Pursuant to federal law, a conviction for the sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs. Moreover, those students convicted of both selling and possessing illegal drugs will be subject to ineligibility for the longer period as prescribed under the circumstances.

    A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again for federal financial aid programs.

    Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program as described below. Furthermore, eligibility can be regained if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for the sale or three convictions for the possession of illegal drugs remain on the student’s record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to certify to the College that a qualified drug rehabilitation program has been completed.

    For purposes of financial aid eligibility, a qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

    • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program.
    • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company.
    • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court.
    • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.

    For more information regarding illegal drug convictions and financial aid eligibility, visit the Federal Student Aid website.



Financial Aid