Financial Aid

We help students and their families finance their education at CHU. From applying for aid to managing unmet financial cost, we’ll provide you with guidance, resources and advice at every step along the way. Financial aid available for those who qualify and apply.

The Financial Aid Office (FAO) administers a variety of federal and institutional programs. If you are in need of financial assistance, you are highly encouraged to complete the necessary paperwork by the appropriate deadlines. This website has been designed to provide you with information you may need about types and sources of financial aid, deadlines, how to contact staff and links to other important resources.

If you need additional information don’t hesitate to contact us.
Phone: 303-937-4202
Fax: 303-937-4224


Cost of Attendance

The Financial Aid Office (FAO) provides you with a list of anticipated expenses on your Award Notification. These expenses, referred to as your Cost of Attendance (COA) or budget, reflect costs you may encounter during the regular nine month academic year for undergraduate and graduate program and twelve month certificate program and may include:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Books and Supplies
  • Room and Meals
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous Personal Expenses

The total COA is not the amount that you owe the university for the year.

Direct vs. Indirect Costs

Direct Costs: The costs you pay directly to the university and include tuition and fees. Room and meals are direct costs for those living in campus housing.
Indirect Costs: Costs you will likely face during the academic year but which are not owed directly to the university. Indirect costs include books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Room and meals are indirect costs for those not living in campus housing.

Your COA includes actual figures such as tuition and fees, as well as estimates for books and supplies, room and meals, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Please keep in mind that these are only estimates and will vary from student-to-student based upon their particular situation.


The Aid Process

You must have ‘financial need’ in order to be eligible for need based financial aid.

Financial Need

Your financial need is determined using your Cost of Attendance (COA) and your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the result of a formula developed by the U.S. Congress that calculates the information you submit on your FAFSA. Your EFC is not the amount that you must pay the university.

Financial Need Calculator

COA (Cost of Attendance) – EFC (Esitmated Family Contribution) = Financial Need


To be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, you must:

  • File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid at each year.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or an Eligible Non-citizen (see below).
  • If male, be registered with Selective service at with very few exceptions.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED high school equivalency diploma.
  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking or approved certificate program.
  • Not be in default on any federal educational loans or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • Make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined in the course catalog.
  • Be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours (half-time) if you are an undergraduate or graduate student and full-time if you are in the Intensive English TOEFL® Program (IETP).
  • Have not completed your degree requirements. Once you have completed your degree requirements, even if you do not accept your degree, you are ineligible for additional financial aid for that particular program. This rule applies if you completed your degree in any country in the world.

In addition to the eligibility criteria outlined on this page, each program may have additional requirements such as Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), financial need, etc.

Penalties for Drug Law Violations

The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study).

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FAFSA Application

In order to be awarded financial aid at CHU, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year at


You and your parent, if applicable, must have a Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to be able to sign your electronic FAFSA. Get your PIN online at

CHU’s School Code: 032893

You must list CHU’s school code on the FAFSA. Otherwise, CHU will not receive your FAFSA information and cannot award you financial aid.

Student Status

Students are considered dependent or independent based on information provided on the FAFSA. Most undergraduate students are considered dependent. All graduate students are considered independent. Dependent students must report parental income information on the FAFSA. Dependency is not a status of choice. Dependency status for financial aid is not based on whether or not a student lives with a parent; it is not based on whether or not a student is financially self-supportive; it is not based on whether or not parents claim a student as a dependent on their taxes.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

After receiving your FAFSA, the federal processor will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR) electronically. The SAR lists all the information you submitted on the FAFSA and explains the EFC calculated from that information. Review the SAR for accuracy. To make any corrections, log on to the

Verification and Additional Documents

CHU begins to process FAFSA’s received from the federal processor within the one week form the SAR received date. Some students must submit additional information to the FAO in order to verify information they reported on the FAFSA. If additional information is required, the FAO will call you or send you an email requesting specific documentation. It is important that you submit any required documentation in a timely manner and no later than <strong>two weeks before the class start date</strong>. You cannot be awarded aid until all required documentation is received and processed.


Verification is the process by which FAO reviews student financial aid applications for accuracy. If you are selected for verification, CHU must collect the documents you used to complete the FAFSA and compare them with the information you provided on the FAFSA. All applications selected by federal processor for verification will be verified. You will not be able to receive financial aid until the verification process is complete. Requested documents must be submitted within two business weeks from notification by CHU that you have been selected for verification. Verification of required documents is generally completed one week before the first day of class.

Other Required Documentation

Sometimes the federal processor flags a student’s FAFSA and requires additional documentation to verify FAFSA data. Students might be required to submit documentation regarding:

  • Citizenship
  • Selective Service
  • Bankruptcy
  • Loan Default
  • Loan Discharge
  • Veteran Status
  • Social Security Number/Name/Date of Birth Discrepancies
  • Alien Registration Number or I-94 Number
  • Federal Aid Overpayments

If any of this additional documentation is required, the FAO will send you a request via email.

Award Notification

Once your FAFSA and any additional required documents have been processed, the FAO will offer you financial aid award. You will receive an email instructing you to view your Financial Aid Offer online via Make sure you regularly check your university email for notifications from the FAO. Accept your Financial Aid Award Offer as soon as you receive notification.

Important: Unless noted otherwise, initial financial aid award notifications are based upon full-time enrollment. Awards will be adjusted after the add/drop period has concluded each semester based upon actual enrollment. Please be aware that if you have been given a refund based upon full-time enrollment, but do not enroll full-time, you will be billed back after the add/drop period for any refund/financial aid for which you were not eligible.


Award Adjustments

Be aware that your financial aid awards can be adjusted at any point during the year. Your aid can be adjusted for a variety of reasons – if the FAO learns of outside financial resources (including tuition waivers and scholarships), if you do not submit all required documentation to the FAO, if corrections are made to your FAFSA data, etc. The FAO may increase, decrease, or cancel awards. If your aid is adjusted, you will receive an email informing you of a Revised Award Notification online.


The FAO begins disbursing aid no earlier than the start of each semester. All aid is credited to your CHU student billing account each semester. Please be aware that based upon notification of other awards, changes in enrollment, etc. your financial aid and bill can change at any time (even after the semester has concluded). By accepting your financial aid award offer or by them being disbursed to your student account, you are accepting all terms and conditions associated with each award. It is your responsibility to make sure you have reviewed and fully understand the terms and conditions.


If your aid is greater than the charges assessed on your student account, the Business Office will issue you a refund for the surplus. If you are using financial aid funds to purchase books, you must do so after you have accepted your financial aid award offer.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require financial aid recipients to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a recognized degree or certificate. SAP applies to all undergraduate, graduate and certificate students who receive federal and institutional financial aid administered by university. At the conclusion of the session for the certificate program or semester for undergraduate and graduate programs, the FAO will review all currently enrolled CHU students’ financial aid recipients to verify they are meeting the SAP requirements. Click here to learn more about the SAP Program.
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Student Rights and Responsibilities

As a financial aid applicant or recipient, you have certain rights and responsibilities. You should clearly understand them before you accept financial aid.
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Student Rights

You have the right to:

  • Know what financial aid is available, including information on all federal, and institutional financial aid programs.
  • Know the procedures and deadlines for financial aid, including when and how your aid will be disbursed.
  • Know how your financial need is determined.
  • Expect fair and equitable treatment from the FAO staff. It is our goal to assist you promptly and professionally throughout the financial aid process.
  • Know the interest rate on any educational loan(s) you have, the total amount you must repay, the length of the repayment period, and when repayment begins
  • Know how Satisfactory Academic Progress (link to SAP policy) is measured and how you can reestablish eligibility for federal financial aid if you fail to meet one of the standards.

Student Responsibilities

You and your parents/spouse have the primary responsibility for meeting your educational expenses at CHU. The FAO expects that you and your family will make every effort to provide a reasonable contribution toward your education.

You are responsible for:

  • Filing the appropriate applications and forms for each type of aid that you wish to receive by the established deadlines.
  • Providing all requested information to the FAO accurately and promptly.
  • Regularly checking your university email account for important updates and notifications from the FAO.
  • Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) according to established university policies and standards.
  • Reporting all financial assistance, such as scholarships, received from any outside source to the FAO.
  • Reporting any changes in your name, address, or attendance status to the appropriate office within the university.
  • You must complete entrance counseling at prior to receipt of your first Federal Direct Stafford Loan.
  • Upon graduation, withdrawal or enrollment less than half-time you will also need to complete exit counseling at
  • Understanding the withdrawal and refund policy of CHU. Please be aware that based upon the withdrawal date and refund calculation, the FAO may need to return funds to the appropriate federal or institutional financial aid accounts.
  • Paying your CHU billing charges, finance charges, and late fees if you apply late for financial aid or if you do not submit required documents to the FAO in a timely manner.



When you withdraw, two separate processes occur – the FAO prorates your financial aid and the Business Office prorates your tuition. The law specifies how schools must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school.  When you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula.If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a prorata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period. If you receive (or your school or parent receive on your behalf) excess Title IV financial aid funds that must be returned, the FAOmust return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

Dropping vs. Withdrawing

If at any point you “drop hours” and your tuition assessment is adjusted, your financial aid may be adjusted. Withdrawing hours after the add/drop period (provided that you do not fully withdraw) does not affect your current term aid or your enrollment hours; however you will receive a grade of “W” for the course(s) withdrawn. Withdrawing hours after the add/drop period (provided you don’t fully withdraw from the university) will not affect your current term aid, but could impact your future eligibility by lowering your completion ratio.


Types of Aid

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded program designed to assist students from low income families. Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. The amount of the award varies based on the estimated family contribution (EFC) as calculated by the FAFSA.

Federal Pell Grant awards are based upon actual attendance in the classes for which a student is registered. If the student doesn’t begin attendance in all of his or her classes, resulting in a change in the student’s enrollment status, the Federal regulations require that the Federal Pell Grant be recalculated based upon the student’s lower enrollment status.

Direct Loans

Student Loans, unlike grants or scholarships, are borrowed funds that must be repaid. These loans cannot be cancelled, even if you do not like your university experience, do not obtain a job in your field of study, or are facing financial hardship.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the U.S. Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans. You may contact the Ombudsmen Office in the following ways:

U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman
830 First Street, NE
Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20202-5144
Phone: 1-877-557-2575
Fax: 202-275-0549

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford loan program allows students to borrow low-cost educational loans from the federal government. To be eligible for a Direct Stafford loan, students must be enrolled at least 6 hours. There are 2 types of Federal Direct Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. For detailed information about Federal Direct Stafford loans, visit the US Department of Education at

Subsidized (Undergraduates Only)

Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford loans are need based loans. They are subsidized in that the federal government pays the interest on the loan until repayment begins.


Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans are not need based. Interest begins accruing from the date of first disbursement. You can choose to pay the interest quarterly while in school, or you can allow it to accumulate and be capitalized when repayment begins.

Interest Rates and Origination Fees

Interest Rates: There are a variety of interest rates for Federal Direct Stafford loans, depending on date of disbursement, subsidized/unsubsidized, undergraduate/graduate, fixed/variable rates. The rates can range from around 3%-8%. See interest rate chart here

Origination Fees: There is an origination fee for Federal Direct Stafford loans.This fee is deducted from the total amount you borrow.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

First time CHU borrowers of Stafford loans must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to pay back the loan to the federal government, with interest, according to the terms of the program. You must complete the MPN online here

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling is REQUIRED for first-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers. This counseling session and quiz, helps students understand their loan responsibilities. Entrance counseling must be completed prior to any Direct Loan funds being disbursed to your student account.

Direct Loan Exit Counseling

When you leave school you will be required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling which will give you additional information regarding loan repayment

Annual and Aggregate Limits

Federal regulations limit the amount of Stafford loans you can borrow each academic year and over your entire student career. Limits are listed in the chart below. Please note that other financial aid resources and cost of attendance restrictions might prevent you from borrowing up to the annual limit in any given year.
Annual Limits for Stafford Loans are listed at

Alternative Loans

Many lenders offer private loans to students to cover allowable educational expenses. These loans are often referred to as “private loans” or “alternative loans” and are not part of the federal government loan programs. Prior to borrowing such a loan, you should apply for Federal Student Aid (FSA), if you have not already done so.

CHU does not have a preferred lender list or any type of preferred lender arrangement. Students are free to select any lender of their choosing.Please keep in mind that for most alternative loans, a credit check of the applicant and/or the cosigner is required, and repayment sometimes begins immediately.

Alternative loans are not government loans and require many additional steps. Therefore, please allow at least 3-4 weeks from the time you start the process until the funds are credited to your student account.