FAQ's for Undergraduates

What forms do I need to submit to apply for financial aid?

If you wish to be considered for all forms of federal and institutional need-based financial aid, you must complete and submit the federal government's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form cannot be completed until January 1 prior to the upcoming academic year. Complete your federal tax return before completing the FAFSA. International students must fill out an International Student Financial Aid Application, found under Steps to Apply.

How will my eligibility for need-based financial aid be determined?

Your financial aid will be determined by subtracting your family's ability to pay for your educational expenses for the year (as determined by the FAFSA) from your estimated total costs for the year.

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

What is an "Aid Package"?

When you submit the FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for all types of need based aid offered by Naropa and the federal government. Aid may be in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and/or work-study. Your aid package will consist of one or more of these funds. When combined, all sources of aid must not exceed your cost of attendance or financial need. The exception is with PLUS or unsubsidized loans, which may replace the EFC.

Will my financial aid award vary from year to year?

Probably. Your award may change if any of the following components change:

  • The cost of education
  • Your family's income
  • Your student loan eligibility increases as you progress through school
  • Your household size or number of family members in college may change
  • The amount of available funding changes
  • You miss the priority filing date
  • When you change class levels, i.e. first-year student to sophomore

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?


What and when is the priority filing date?

March 1 is the priority filing date for all current students and those entering in the fall. Oct 1 is the priority filing date for all students entering in the spring and for those who did not apply for aid for the fall. By filing for aid by these dates, you will be considered for the greatest amount of available financial aid.

How and when will my aid be disbursed to me?

Any aid you are awarded is first used to offset any charges you owe for the semester, and any amount you receive in excess of your charges will be refunded to you. For current students, financial aid funds cannot be refunded to you until the first day of classes each semester. New students expecting a refund may receive it at the end of the first week of classes, with the following exceptions:

First-year student students have a thirty-day delay after the start of classes before the first disbursement is made.

For one semester only loans (e.g. students who are entering in spring, or graduating in December), funds are subject to multiple disbursements. This means that whatever amount you are borrowing for the semester will be sent to the school in two installments, one at the beginning of the semester and one in the middle of the semester. These situations may affect the timing of refunds.

What does "selected for verification" mean?

The federal government selects approximately 30% of all aid applications for verification. This means that Naropa's Financial Aid Office must verify the information on your FAFSA by collecting tax returns and other documents. You will be notified by financial aid to send in the appropriate documents. You should submit all requested materials promptly to avoid delays in processing your application and ensure you are fully considered for all forms of aid.

What if I have special circumstances that are not addressed on the FAFSA?

There is an appeals process. Contact the financial aid office to see if this will apply to your situation. For more information see Policies.

Do I have to accept everything that is awarded to me? For example, I was awarded grants and loans, but I only want grants. Is that okay?

You may accept or reject all or part of your financial aid award.

I have received an additional scholarship after my financial aid award package has been sent to me. How will this impact my aid award?

If you receive an outside or institutional scholarship, those funds must be included in your total aid package. Depending upon the amount of the scholarship you receive, it is possible that other components of your financial aid package may have to be reduced.

When do I start repaying my loan(s)?

You are responsible for repaying your federal Stafford Loans after your six-month grace period. Your grace period begins after you graduate, start a leave of absence, withdraw or drop below half-time (6 credits/semester).

If you have borrowed a Federal PLUS loan (Parent, or for Grad Student), repayment begins sixty (60) days after the last date of disbursement. You may request an in-school deferment for PLUS loans; in which case, your repayment will begin immediately following graduation or dropping below half-time (6 credits/semester) status.

Can I keep the money I earn through the Federal Work-Study Program?

Yes. You will receive a monthly paycheck that can go toward your personal expenses.

What is the difference between a Subsidized and an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

A Subsidized Stafford Loan is a federal loan awarded to students who demonstrate financial need as a result of filing the FAFSA. The government pays the interest on the Subsidized Stafford loan while the student is in school and during the six month grace period. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is identical to the Subsidized Stafford in terms of interest rates and the application process. The only difference is that interest on the Unsubsidized Stafford is never paid by the government. Students who are not eligible for the Subsidized Stafford Loan based on need, will still qualify for Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and graduate students and independent undergraduate students may qualify for unsubsidized funds in addition to the annual Subsidized Stafford loan limits. The student has the choice to either make interest payments while enrolled (this is the better choice), or defer the interest and have it added onto the principal loan amount when the loan enters repayment.