Financial Aid

Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships help make college or career school affordable.

There are three main categories of financial aid:

  1. Scholarships and grants – money or tuition waivers that do not need to be repaid
  2. Student Loans – money that does need to be repaid
  3. Work Study programs – money earned working within the university

Financial Aid is available in the form of grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships, all of which help to make your college education more accessible and affordable. Even if you think you would not qualify for financial aid, completing the FAFSA/CASFA can help you also be eligible for merit based aid.

The process of receiving financial aid starts with submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the CASFA (Colorado Applicant for State Financial Aid- the form for financial aid for Dreamers & International Students). This is a standardized application provided by the U.S. Department of Education that becomes available yearly. Complete and submit the FAFSA/CASFA as early as possible to be considered for the best aid available. Financial aid is awarded based on need, which is determined in part by annual income.

The information you submit via the FAFSA/CASFA will allow MSU Denver to determine how to help you meet your financial needs. To continue to receive financial aid throughout your academic career, you must submit the FAFSA/CASFA every year.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and Grants are a form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid (though there are some unique forms that do require service terms or graduation, so double-check the conditions). These are probably the most appealing form of financial aid for the lack of debt you’ll assume. Some scholarships and grants are awarded by MSU but private institutions and organizations can also offer these, so it is definitely worth investigating. Review the Scholarship and Grant guide for more.

Student Loans

Students loans are money borrowed for the purposes of attending a college or university. If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your financial aid offer. A loan accrues interest and must be paid back, which contributes to your debt. It is important to fully understand your repayment options so you can successfully repay your loan and determine what type of loan is a good fit for you. The Student Loan Guide can offer you more direction on how to apply for and manage student loans.

Work Study Programs

Work study programs are administered both at the federal and state level. Eligibility for these programs is dependent on applying for financial aid; considerations for whether you qualify and for how much you can earn depends on when you apply, your level of financial need, and the amount of funding available to the university. The Work Study Guide provides more information about this form of aid.