Apr 15, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

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At CU Denver, we have a longstanding belief that finances should never stand in the way of motivated, talented individuals who want to better themselves and make a positive impact on the world around them. Through a tradition providing strong financial assistance and aid programs, we enforce this belief every day.

Tuition and Fees

Bursar: Evan Icolari
Office: Student Commons (AB1) 5123
Telephone: 303-315-1800
E-mail: bursar@ucdenver.edu
Website: www.ucdenver.edu/bursar/

Front Counter: Student Commons (AB1) 5123
Manager: Debra Blanton
Telephone: 303-315-1820

Bursar’s Office Phone Center  

303-315-1800 Fax 303-315-1805

  • Application fees payments by credit card
  • College Opportunity Fund
  • Departmental deposit transactions
  • Payment of tuition and fees
  • Refunds and Direct Deposits
  • Student account reconciliation
  • Third-party billing and payments

All tuition and fee rates are established by the Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Colorado, in accordance with legislation enacted annually by the Colorado General Assembly. The regents set tuition rates and fees at a budget retreat each spring for the coming fall, spring and summer terms, but reserve the right to change rates at any time. Rates for the current year are available online to assist prospective students in anticipating costs. Please refer to the Web site at www.ucdenver.edu/bursar in July for new rates.

Registration Advance Payment

All new or re-admitted University of Colorado Denver students taking classes on the Denver Campus are required to make a registration advance payment of $200.00 before they may register for classes. The ONLY two exceptions to this requirement are when:

  • The Financial Aid Office has received a student’s FAFSA data.
  • The student has not been admitted to an academic program at University of Colorado Denver and is only taking Extended Studies courses.

If a student withdraws from all of their classes before the first day of class, the $200 registration advance payment will be refunded (after the census date). If a student withdraws from all of their classes on or after the first day of class, the $200 registration advance payment will be forfeited to the University. If a student does not withdraw from all of their classes, the $200 registration advance payment will be treated as a deposit toward the student’s tuition and fees.

For more information, please visit www.ucdenver.edu/bursar.

Drop Charge

Beginning the second Tuesday of the fall and spring terms until census date (the sixth day of summer term), a $100 drop transaction charge will be assessed each time a student drops a course. This includes student initiated drops done in order to change sections within a course. Section changes done for an administrative purpose through the deans’ offices will be exempted from drop charges. If a student withdraws (therefore dropping all classes), a drop charge will be assessed for each course.

For more information, please visit www.ucdenver.edu/bursar.

Special tuition rates are available for non-degree graduate students taking undergraduate courses only.

Contact the Office of the Registrar at 303-315-2600 to request this special tuition rate.

Payment of Tuition and Fees

All tuition and fees (except the application fee) are due on the day indicated on your billing statement. Students have an option to choose a payment plan available through QuikPAY, our payment processor. Specific information on the payment plan is included on the Web site, published before each semester.

Students who register for courses are liable for payment of tuition and fees if they withdraw from school after census date. Refund policies for students who withdraw from the university both before and after census date are included in the academic calendar. A student with financial obligations to the university will not be permitted to register for any subsequent term, to graduate, to be issued transcripts or to be listed among those receiving a degree or special certificate. The only exception to this regulation involves loans and other types of indebtedness that are due after graduation. Personal checks are accepted for any university obligation. Any student who pays with a check that is not acceptable to the bank will be assessed an additional charge. Students may also pay tuition and fees by credit card at the Bursar’s Office, or through the UCDAccess portal by credit card or an electronic withdrawal directly from a checking or savings account.

The University of Colorado Denver is committed to providing students and their families a range of options for paying their educational expenses. The credit card payment method has become prohibitively expensive due to the fees charged by credit card companies to CU Denver for credit card transaction processing. This expense has been covered by University tuition revenues, and reduces the tuition dollars available for academic programs and services for all students. Therefore, a service fee of 2.75% of the payment amount will be assessed for all credit and debit card transactions.

Click here for more information on Credit Card Fees.

Students who register in a non-degree status and who later apply and are admitted to a degree status for that term, are responsible for the difference in tuition between the non-degree program and their applicable degree program and will be billed accordingly.

Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is the standard method of issuing student account refunds to CU Denver students with credit balances. Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit well in advance of any anticipated student account refunds, and may do so online via the “Finances” section of the UCDAccess portal.

Students who do not sign up for direct deposit will receive a paper refund check through the mail. Refunds will only be issued via direct deposit or through the mail. Students are not allowed to pick up their refund check from the Bursar’s office.

Tuition Appeals

Students are responsible for abiding by the published deadlines. Tuition is not refundable when students drop or withdraw from courses after the published deadlines. If circumstances beyond the student’s control have made the late drop or withdraw necessary, the student may file a tuition appeal.

Instructions and forms for submitting a tuition appeal are available on the registrar’s website or in the Office of the Registrar. Completed tuition appeals packets must be submitted to the tuition appeals coordinator in the registrar’s office within three months following the end of the term being appealed.

Past Due Tuition and Fees

Past due student accounts are referred to the Student Debt Management. If accounts are not paid in full, a 20% internal collection fee will be assessed on the unpaid balance, this is in addition to the 1.75% service charge per month all past due accounts are subject to. An overdue student account may be referred to a third party collection agency and reported to one or more credit bureau reporting services; the student explicitly authorizes CU Denver to release personal and financial information under those circumstances. To the extent permitted by applicable law, the student agrees to reimburse the University of Colorado Denver the fees of any collection agency, which may be based on a percentage at a maximum of 40% of the debt, and all costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, we incur in such collection efforts.  In addition, while you maintain a past due balance with the University of Colorado Denver, a hold will be placed on your record preventing any future registration and the release of official transcripts.

College Opportunity Fund (Vouchers)

An act of the Colorado state legislature in May 2004 established a new way for the state to provide state tax dollar support for higher education at the undergraduate level. The state is no longer appropriating monies to institutions for undergraduate education, but is providing direct funding to undergraduate students through the College Opportunity Fund (COF). This program is also known as “vouchers” or “stipends.” If an undergraduate in-state student applies for and authorizes use of the voucher, COF vouchers will be applied to the student’s university bill. For details, see www.CollegeinColorado.org.

Residency Classification for Tuition Purposes

Tuition classification is governed by Colorado statutes that apply to all state-funded institutions in Colorado. Institutions are bound by the provisions of this statute and are not free to make exceptions to the rules set forth.

Students are initially classified as in-state or out-of-state for tuition purposes at the time of application. The classification is based upon information furnished by the student and from other relevant sources. After the student’s status is determined, it remains unchanged in the absence of satisfactory evidence to the contrary.

Once a student is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes, the student must petition for a change in classification. Petitions must be submitted NO LATER THAN THE FIRST OFFICIAL DAY OF CLASSES of the term for which the student wishes to be classified as a resident. It is preferred that petitions be received 30 days prior to the beginning of the term. Late petitions will not be considered until the next semester. Specific information may be obtained from the Office of Admissions.

The final decision regarding tuition status rests with the university. Questions regarding residence (tuition) status should be referred only to the tuition classification officer. Opinions of other persons are not official or binding upon the university. Additional information is available in the brochure Classification of Students for Tuition Purposes, which may be obtained from the admissions office.

Basic Requirements

The statute provides that an in-state student is one who has been a legal domiciliary of Colorado for one year or more immediately preceding the beginning of the term for which the in-state classification is being sought. Persons over 23 years of age or who are emancipated establish their own legal domicile. Those who are under 23 years of age and are not emancipated assume the domicile of their parent or court-appointed legal guardian. A non-emancipated minor’s parent must, therefore, have a legal domicile in Colorado for one year or more before the minor may be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes.

Establishing Domicile

Domicile is established when one has a permanent place of habitation in Colorado and the intention of making Colorado one’s true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation. The tuition statute places the burden of establishing a Colorado domicile on the person seeking to establish the domicile. The question of intent is one of documentable fact and needs to be shown by substantial connections with the state sufficient to evidence such intent. Legal domicile in Colorado for tuition purposes begins the day after connections with Colorado are made sufficient to evidence one’s intent. The most common ties with the state are (1) change of driver’s license to Colorado, (2) change of automobile registration to Colorado, (3) Colorado voter registration, (4) permanent employment in Colorado and most important, (5) payment of state income taxes as a resident by one whose income is sufficient to be taxed. Caution: payment or filing of back taxes in no way serves to establish legal domicile retroactive to the time filed. In order to qualify for in-state tuition for a given term, the 12-month waiting period (which begins when the legal domicile is established) must be over by the first day of classes for the term in question. If one’s 12-month waiting period expires during the semester, in-state tuition cannot be granted until the next semester.

Resident Tuition for Active Duty Military Personnel

The Colorado legislature approved resident tuition for active duty military personnel on permanent duty assignment in Colorado and for their dependents. ELIGIBLE STUDENTS MUST BE CERTIFIED EACH TERM. Students obtain a completed verification form from the base education officer and submit the form with their military ID to the admissions office after they have registered but before the end of the drop/add period. At the time the verification form is certified in the admissions office, the student’s bill will be adjusted to reflect the resident tuition rate. Students who have been certified remain classified as nonresidents for tuition purposes and must petition to change their status once they establish permanent ties to Colorado.

Financial Aid

Director of Financial Aid: Justin Jaramillo
Office: Student Commons Building, 5105
Telephone: 303-315-1850
E-mail: financialaid@ucdenver.edu
Website: www.ucdenver.edu/finaid

Student Financial Aid Information

The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office delivers more than $128 million in financial aid awards to qualified students at the Denver Campus each year.   Graduate Students will be considered for a financial aid award package primarily made up of student loans with a limited number of grant funds awarded to students enrolled in specific graduate programs.  Some work-study funding is available to graduate students as well.  


All financial aid applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.FAFSA.gov and any additional items required by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office before financial aid eligibility can be determined.  Required items are listed in initiated status on the UCD Access Portal at www.ucdenver.edu/ucdaccess under the student’s “to do list”.  

Students must complete a new FAFSA every year to be considered for financial aid for the upcoming academic year.  Graduate students are considered independent for federal student aid purposes, therefore; no parental information is required on the FAFSA.

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure his/her financial aid application is complete. Students are encouraged to check their UCD Access Portal and their assigned University email account regularly for important updates and additional information required by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.  Students are also encouraged to contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office with questions. Students may also obtain important information on-line at www.ucdenver.edu/finaid. All financial aid policies and procedures are subject to change due to revisions in federal and state laws, regulations, guidelines and applicable institution policies.


Each student must meet the following eligibility criteria to quality for financial aid:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  2. Have a valid social security number (SSN).
  3. Be classified as a degree-seeking student by the University of Colorado Denver Office of Admissions
  4. Be enrolled at least half-time which is 3 credits hours for graduate students.
  5. Meet financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
  6. Not be in default on any student loan or owe a refund on any educational grant.
  7. Male applicants must be registered with the Selective Service.
  8. Sign the statement of educational purposes on the FAFSA application.


Financial Aid eligibility is largely based on the concept of financial need. Financial need is calculated as the Cost of Attendance (tuition, fees, books, and living expenses) minus the Expected Family Contribution or EFC (student and spouse contributions towards the education). A student’s EFC is assigned directly from the information provided on the FAFSA application.

The Cost of Attendance, or COA, is the estimated annual cost to attend CU Denver, including tuition and fees, room, board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office determines standard COA based upon average tuition and fees charged and other budget items established by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE). Current COA figures are available on the website www.ucdenver.edu/finaid. 

The contributions from the student and spouse (if applicable) are calculated by a standardized formula that is determined by the FAFSA data and is required by federal law. The formula considers income, savings and other assets, family size, number of children in postsecondary school and other factors and then assigns a student an EFC.

Financial Aid is intended to supplement and not replace financial contributions from the student/spouse. If the EFC is equal to or greater than the COA, then the student will not qualify for need-based financial aid, but can still receive non-need based financial aid such as Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans or Direct Graduate PLUS Loans up to but not exceeding their COA.  Please note that Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans comprise the majority of all graduate students’ financial aid award packages regardless of financial need.  

Graduate students will be sent an email notification to their secure University email account when their award package is available. The email notice advises students to review the award on the UCD Access Portal. The information provided includes the types and amounts of aid awarded and the minimum number of semester hours required each term to receive the awards.  

All student loans will be in offered status and a student must accept any that he or she would like to receive on the UCD Access Portal.  Students who have not borrowed a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan since July 1, 2010 will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at www.StudentLoans.gov before the loans will disburse. Graduate PLUS loans are credit based and if this loan is denied, an email will be sent to the student informing them. 

Graduate students must be enrolled in at least 3 credit hours per semester in order to be eligible for most financial aid awards including the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

Notice for Graduate Students:  The financial aid definition of half-time enrollment may differ from the academic definition of half-time enrollment based on degree programs. See a financial aid advisor for more information.

Grants, Loans and Work-Study 


  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program does not require the student to document financial need, but a valid FAFSA application is required. Eligibility is calculated as the Cost Of Attendance (COA) minus other financial aid awarded. Interest is not paid by the federal government for the Stafford Unsubsidized Loan program and interest begins to accrue after the loan is disbursed. The student may elect to pay the interest now or to allow the interest to capitalize on the total principal loan amount.  The yearly aggregate on this loan is $20,500 and a student cannot be awarded above that in an academic year.
  2. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan- The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program does not required the student to document financial need, but a valid FAFSA application is required.  Interest is not paid by the federal government and begins to accrue when the loan is disbursed.  The student may elect to pay the interest now or allow the interest to capitalize on the total principle loan amount. Graduate PLUS Loans are awarded after the full yearly or lifetime (whichever limit is reached first) aggregate amount of the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is awarded (see above). The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit based loan and a student must be approved to receive it. 
  3. Federal Perkins Loan-The Perkins Loan is a federally funded need-based loan program with a fixed interest rate currently at 5 percent. No repayment of interest or principal is due until nine months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time or graduates.  Perkins Loan funds are very limited.


  1. Colorado Graduate Grant (CGG)- The CGG is a state funded grant program awarded to high-need students (determined by the FAFSA application) who are Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) majors.  In order to be considered eligible for this grant, students must be residents of Colorado and enrolled in a minimum of 4 credit hours per semester.  Student eligibility is re-assessed every year.  Amounts vary each year depending on funding and the number of eligible students.
  2. Federal Teach Grant- The Teach Grant program is a federally funded grant program available to students enrolled in specific programs who intend to teach in a public or private school that serves students from low-income families. Students can be considered for up to $4000 per academic year, if eligible. More information can be found on the https://teach-ats.ed.gov.


  1. Federal College Work-Study- This is a federally funded, need-based work-study program that allows students to work on a part-time basis (on campus, off campus or at nonprofit agencies) to help meet their educational costs.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

For continued aid eligibility, students must be making satisfactory progress towards graduation. Therefore, students must meet the University of Colorado Denver’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards in compliance with federal regulations and defined by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office. If a student is not meeting the SAP standard, then they may be ineligible for financial aid and scholarship awards. Therefore, it is important for all students to be familiar with the University of Colorado Denver’s SAP policy. For more information, students should review the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Policy at www.ucdenver.edu/finaid.

A student may appeal a financial aid suspension by submitting a SAP Appeal to the SAP appeals committee located in the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office by mail, fax or in person.  The SAP appeal needs to document the extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s suspension. All appeals must include third party supporting documentation in order to be considered. Appeals will be reviewed within three weeks of receipt and the student will receive a written response of the comittee’s decision by mail or email. The decision of the appeals committee is final.

Withdrawals and Repayments

Federal Financial Aid is disbursed based on the assumption that a student will attend courses for the entire semester and earn passing grades.   A student who withdraws from or fails all courses (for any reason) and received federal financial aid must have a Return of Title IV calculation performed to determine the percentage of aid that was actually earned based on the amount of time the student attended their courses.  Students are entitled to aid that was earned. The University will return any unearned aid to the appropriate Federal Title IV program.  This could create a balance owed to the University of Colorado Denver.  

CU Denver is required to verify that a student began attendance in any course a student withdraws from or fails.  If the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office receives notification that a student never began attendance, or is unable to document that a student began attendance in a course, then their financial aid will be adjusted appropriately.  


The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office awards over $18 million dollars in scholarships annually. For a complete listing of the many scholarships offered at the Denver Campus, go to www.ucdenver.edu/scholarships. In addition, many Internet search programs are available to help students identify scholarships for which they may be eligible. One of the largest is www.FastWeb.com. You may also research www.finaid.org. 

Find It Here

Not sure of the difference between the our various student service departments? Here’s a quick guide to finding what you need.

CU-Denver Building Annex, 200
Application: pick up, drop off, application fee payment, admission status
Residency forms
Information about establishing domicile for tuition classification
General transfer credit information
Information about CU Denver
Scholarship guides
Talk to an admission counselor

Student Commons Building
Room 5123
Application fees payments by credit card
Audit Registration Card
College Opportunity Fund (vouchers)
Departmental deposit transactions
Payment of tuition and fees
Student account reconciliation
Student Service Center-one-stop processing for bursar, financial aid, registration and admission functions
Third-party billing

Financial Aid
Student Commons Building, Room 5105
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) www.fafsa.gov
Grant, work-study and student loan information
Financial aid and special circumstances appeals
How to apply for financial aid (see the Admissions Office about scholarships)

Student Commons Building
Room 5005
Class registration
Course descriptions
Enrollment verification
Grades and GPA
Schedule adjustment (drop/add) forms
Schedule Planner (online course schedule)
SMART (online registration system)
Tuition appeals

Student Debt Management
North Classroom, 1005
Past-due tuition collection
Student loan processing