Scholarships and Financial Aid

One of the most important items in your journey to college is figuring out how to pay for college. If it is not on your “journey to college” checklist, then you might want to put it on there. Going to school is fairly expensive, but I will outline a few things you an do to pay for your education.

One of the first things you should do before anything else is complete your FAFSA!

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid; the keyword in the acronym in FREE.

You can apply online at If possible, do not use any other application, because those will most likely have you pay for an otherwise FREE application. By filling out FAFSA, the schools that you apply to (hopefully, CU Denver!) will receive the information you gave in the application and decide what types of aid you should receive. This can be anything from grants, to loans, to work-study. Once you receive your financial aid package you can choose to accept certain grants or loans and even just accept certain amounts if you do not want all of the package.

Just as a reminder, the FAFSA is FREE, so it cannot hurt to apply. Please visit our Office of Financial Aid for more information on FAFSA.

Another way to pay for college is with scholarships. Scholarships are usually merit, skill or characteristic based money awards that students can apply for. The best thing about scholarships is that you do not need to pay them back! They can help either pay for school in full or at the very least help reduce the burden of student loans. You can find scholarships everywhere; from churches to gas stations to non-profits organizations and more.

Most universities offer scholarships based on merit including CU Denver. Be aware, there is some work on your part to get these scholarships. You will need to apply for most scholarships and applications usually involve some kind of written statement or essay. Some even require formal interviews, but they are easily worth it.

So, apply for as many scholarships as possible. Scholarships can be large or very small, but if you are awarded enough you could possibly get school paid for in full. How could would that be?

For more information on scholarships, visit our Office of Financial Aid or our Scholarship Resources Office.

Mel – Senior Biology Student at CU Denver