Jul 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Graduate students at Metropolitan State University of Denver will be considered for a financial aid award package primarily made up of student loans with a limited number of grant fund awarded to students enrolled in specific graduate programs. Some work-study funding is also available to graduate students.

Federal, State, and Institutional Aid

Graduate students can apply for loans and work-study through the federal aid programs. Complete the following steps in order to apply for federal aid:

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must submit the FAFSA each academic year to be determined eligible for most loan, work-study, or need-based scholarship programs. Financial aid applicants are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by February 15 prior to the academic year you will attend.

  • Apply using FAFSA on the web (www.fafsa.gov). If you’ve applied other years, use your FSA ID to log in.

Tips in completing the FAFSA:

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver Title IV Code is 001360.
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver Financial Aid address: PO Box 173362, Campus Box 2, Denver, CO 80217.
  • Ensure that all information you provide on the application is entered correctly.
  • Enter your name as it appears on your social security card
  • Provide all required signatures; use your FSA ID as a signature.
  • Do not send tax documents or other materials with your application or signature page.
  • If you provided an e-mail address on the FAFSA, you will receive an e-mail with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you did not provide an e-mail address, you will need to return to the FAFSA website to view your Student Aid Report (SAR). Review your SAR and make any necessary corrections.
  • The Office of Financial Aid uses the official student email account to alert students of the need to provide additional materials, if required. Certain applicants are requested to provide documents to verify information reported on the FAFSA. Examples of what might be requested are verification forms, citizenship documentation, and IRS tax retrieval/tax return transcripts.
  • You may be required to complete an electronic Master Promissory Note, or to complete loan entrance counseling requirements.
  • Award acceptance: Once processing of your application is complete, your award information will appear on the Student Hub. You may accept, reduce, and decline your awards on the Student Hub.

Eligibility Requirements

The following is a summary of the most common criteria affecting student eligibility for financial aid.

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and receive an official Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Enroll for the minimum number of credit hours required by the aid program. For example, to receive a Direct Loan, a graduate student must be enrolled in at least 3 credit hours/ semester that apply directly towards a graduate degree. Students’ enrolled less than full-time (6 credits) may see a reduction in financial aid.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (see detail on following pages).
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen. Federal financial aid is not available to international students attending Metropolitan State University of Denver on a student visa.
  • Have a valid social security number
  • If you are male, you must be registered with Selective Service.
  • You must not owe a repayment of any federal aid to Metropolitan State University of Denver, to any other school previously attended, or to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • You must not be in default on a federal student loan.
  • Submit all materials requested by the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible, but no later than the specified deadlines.
  • You must meet all other eligibility requirements. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.


Financial Need

Financial Aid eligibility is largely based on the concept of financial need. Financial need is calculated as Cost of Attendance (tuition, fees, books, and living expenses) minus the Expected Family Contribution or EFC (student/spouse contribution and parents’ contribution for dependent students). 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 Metropolitan State University of Denver, including tuition and fees, room, board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. The Financial Aid Office determines standard COA based upon average tuition and fees charged and other budget items established by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE).

The EFC from the student/spouse and from the parents (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 and parents. 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 Loans or Direct Parent PLUS Loans. Students may appeal for special consideration if they are experiencing unusual or extenuating circumstances that are negatively impacting their finances such as a job loss.

The following section describes a sampling of financial aid programs for which Metropolitan State University of Denver students may be eligible. Since different types of aid carry different obligations, we recommend that you discuss your options with a customer service representative in the Financial Aid Office.

Determining Dependency Status

The federal government provides specific guidelines that define dependency status for federal financial aid purposes.

Dependency status is determined by a series of questions on the FAFSA application that can be reviewed at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Students classified as dependent are required to provide student and parent household and financial information when applying for financial aid. If a student is classified as independent, then the student’s parental information is not considered when the calculation of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is made. Current law defines an independent student as one who meets at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Age 24 or older (born before January 1, 1998)
  2. A Graduate student
  3. Married (at the time of applying for the FAFSA)
  4. Student with legal dependents other than a spouse
  5. Student who has children who receive more than half their support
  6. Veteran of the U.S. armed forces or currently on active duty
  7. At age 13 or older was an orphan, ward of the court, or in foster care
  8. Student is an emancipated minor or in a legal guardianship in their state of legal residence
  9. On or after July 1, 2019 was an unaccompanied homeless youth or considered an unaccompanied, self- supporting youth at risk of becoming homeless

A dependency status may be appealed to the financial aid office if unusual circumstances exist. Contact the office for appeal guidelines.

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

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.

Sources of Financial Aid

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans

Unsubsidized Direct Loans are long-term loans available to graduate students. The interest rates on newly originated Direct Loans for 2019-2020 is 6.08%. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized 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 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 for graduate students and a student cannot be awarded above that in an academic year. To apply, complete the FAFSA, available at www.fafsa.gov.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program does not require 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 annual or lifetime (whichever limit is reached first) aggregate amount of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan is awarded (see above). The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan and a student must be approved to receive it.

Federal PLUS Loans are available to graduate students. These loans are available to graduate students who still have an unmet cost of attendance after borrowing through the Direct Loan program, plus any other sources of aid. Other differences between the Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students and other federal loan programs include:

  • Applicants for the Federal PLUS Loan must not have an adverse credit history, as reported by a national credit reporting agency. Applicants with an adverse credit history may still qualify with an eligible co-signer.
  • Repayment begins within 60 days of the last disbursement of the award year. There is no six-month grace period. Borrowers may request a deferment while enrolled at least half-time.
  • The interest rate changes annually; the rate for 2019-2020 is 7.08%.
  • Annual loan limits are determined by subtracting all other sources of aid from the estimated cost of attendance figure.
  • A separate PLUS Master Promissory Note must be completed and signed.
  • Recipients must complete separate PLUS loan counseling requirements. In addition to the requirements reported above, a student must meet all other eligibility requirements.

To apply, complete the FAFSA, available at www.fafsa.gov.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

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. FWS aid is awarded to selected graduate students who show financial need. Students receive payment based on hours worked. Payment is typically through direct deposit by the payroll office.

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 Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Metropolitan State University of 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.

Financial Aid for the Summer Session

The university has limited financial aid available for the summer session. Please note, also, that your FAFSA for the preceding academic year must be submitted 4 weeks prior to classes to ensure your summer aid is ready before your summer classes begin.

Financial Aid for International Students

As part of the admissions process, international students must demonstrate that they have sufficient funding to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver for one academic year. International students are ineligible for financial aid provided by the U.S. government or State of Colorado.

Change in Enrollment Status

Any change in your enrollment status may affect your ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress (see Satisfactory Academic Progress below).

Partial Withdrawals

Adjustments to your enrollment after disbursement of financial aid may impact your financial aid eligibility. Please be aware that withdrawals from classes will negatively impact your satisfactory academic progress performance.

Complete Withdrawals

In general, students receive no refund of tuition and fees if they withdraw from the university after the 10th day of classroom instruction (is this true for all parts of term? Generally, we use census date to indicate the difference between a drop and a withdraw.) . Federal financial aid regulations require that financial aid is recalculated whenever a student withdraws from Metropolitan State University of Denver, either officially or unofficially. The recalculation determines the amount of aid a student has “earned,” by prorating according to the percent of the term completed before withdrawing.

For example, a student who withdraws after completing only 30 percent of the term will have “earned” only 30 percent of aid eligibility. A student who completes more than 60 percent of the term is considered to have “earned” 100 percent of his/her aid eligibility. In addition, any student attending a shorter session (a “module”) may need to re-confirm future attendance in that term; otherwise, a withdrawal calculation will be done. Any financial aid considered “unearned” may be returned to the US Department of Education resulting in a repayment of aid a student has already received.

Once a student officially withdraws, the Financial Aid Office will determine if/what is owed and will provide notification of adjustments to financial aid funding. If you have questions about what will happen when you withdraw, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Unofficial Withdrawals

The University verifies attendance for any student who unofficially withdraws or receives all F grades for a term. If attendance cannot be verified, students will be required to immediately repay all financial aid received for that term. Satisfactory Academic Progress Review

Students applying for or receiving financial aid must meet satisfactory academic progress standards at the University. These requirements are reviewed at the end of each semester once the semester’s grades are made official. Your academic progress is considered satisfactory if you:

  • maintain a minimum comprehensive GPA consistent with University requirements. The University requires all graduate students to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Programs may have more stringent requirements.
  • pass 75% of all credit hours attempted while enrolled as a graduate student at the University.
  • complete your degree requirements within the maximum time allowed.

The University reviews financial aid files at the end of each term. If you are not making satisfactory academic progress or do not meet the semester completion requirements, you will be ineligible for financial aid until you are once again making satisfactory academic progress.


If extenuating circumstances impacted your ability to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, you may submit a written appeal to request reinstatement of your financial aid eligibility. Examples of extenuating circumstances include the death of a family member, illness, injury to the student or similar circumstances. In filing an appeal, you must document any extenuating circumstances that prevented you from making satisfactory academic progress.