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Financial Aid 101

Overview of the Process and Application Tips

University of Denver Financial Aid

The 2021-22 FAFSA and CSS Profile are available! That means you can start completing your financial aid application. We have an online guide that lays out all the steps you need to take to apply for need-based aid at the University of Denver. But read on, as this email includes tips and how-to's to make the application process easier.


Overview of the Financial Aid Process

One of the first steps in understanding how to finance your education is learning how the overall process works. Here's a broad overview of what you can expect over the next year:

When: What:
All Students
Throughout the Fall and Winter Research and apply for private scholarships.
Early Action and Early Decision I Applicants
October Complete the steps to apply for financial aid by November 15th.
November We'll process your financial aid application and let you know if we need anything else.
December You can expect to receive your financial aid offer around the same time as your admission decision.
Regular Decision and Early Decision II Applicants
January Complete the steps to apply for financial aid by February 1st.
February We'll process your financial aid application and let you know if we need anything else.
Late February and Early March You can expect to receive your financial aid offer around the same time as your admission decision.
All Students
March and April Review and compare your financial aid offers from all schools.
May Take the next steps outlined in your financial aid offer; accept your aid and complete student loan requirements.
June If needed, determine the ways you will manage the costs not covered by your financial aid offer.
July Consider additional financing options such as a DU payment plan or a Parent PLUS loan.
Fall of 2021 Move into your residence hall and attend Discoveries Orientation! The fall quarter portion of your financial aid will automatically pay toward your DU bill.

We'll go into more detail about many of these items throughout the rest of the Financial Aid 101 series. 


Tips for Applying for Financial Aid at DU

Apply by the priority deadline.
To be considered for both federal and institutional aid, you must complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications. If you submit them by the priority deadline, you can expect to receive your financial aid offer around the same time as your admission decision. The priority deadline is November 15th for Early Action and Early Decision I applicants, and February 1st for Regular Decision and Early Decision II applicants.

Complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile at the same time using the same information.
We highly recommend that you complete both applications on the same day and use the actual information from your tax return and other financial documents. Doing so may prevent you from having to submit further documentation to our office.

Use your 2019 tax information.
The 2021-22 FAFSA and CSS Profile applications ask you to enter tax information from 2019. Although families ask if they can enter 2020 information instead, both applications require 2019 data.

Correctly report the number of family members in college.
Do not include parents in college or any siblings in high school who are taking college classes. When we calculate your financial aid eligibility, consideration is given to each sibling enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program.

Don't leave fields blank.
If a question does not pertain to you, enter a '0' instead of leaving it blank. Too many blanks can cause miscalculations and a rejected application.

Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, if you can.
Most students and parents can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import tax data directly into the FAFSA. If you and/or your parents filed a 2019 tax return, we strongly encourage you to use this tool, as it may prevent you from having to submit further documentation.

Be sure to sign your FAFSA!
To complete your FAFSA, both you and your parent must sign it. Submitting the FAFSA without signatures will delay the processing of your financial aid application.

Do not update your FAFSA unnecessarily. 
Once you've submitted your FAFSA, you shouldn't make any changes unless you have been specifically instructed to. The information you report is supposed to be a "snapshot" in time, so there's no need to update elements that have changed after you initially completed the application (such as the amount in your checking account). 

Pay attention to emails from our office.
We can't stress this enough. Our primary method of communication to students is email, so be sure to read any message we send you. We may need additional documentation before we can process your financial aid application.

Want more?
We have additional tips and information about the application process on our website. You can also find resources for completing the CSS Profile on the College Board's website.

 

Up next week: Checking Your Status and When to Expect Your Financial Aid Offer

Questions?

We're here to help you.

Send us an email at finaid@du.edu
or call us at (303) 871-4020

Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:30pm MST

www.du.edu/financialaid

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