Financial Aid Overview & Eligibility

Learn how grants, loans and work-study can help pay for your college education

Colorado Mountain College believes that a college education may be the most important investment a student will ever make. The investment of time, money and commitment to obtain a good education will be a critical factor in determining the kind of career a student will have in addition to lifestyle and future. A student should not be denied the opportunity to achieve educational and career goals because of financial resources. All students have different needs. CMC’s Office of Student Financial Aid feels strongly that the student’s need should be met with a distribution of grants and self-help aid (loans and work-study).

Get started with these Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is eligible to apply?
When should I apply?
How do I apply?
What should I expect after applying?
How do I keep my financial aid from semester to semester?
When is financial aid distributed?

Who is eligible to apply? 
All students who wish to be considered for federal financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applications can be completed starting January 1 for the following academic year by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to apply. Please review the chart below to see if you may be eligible for financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility

Demonstrate financial need
High school diploma or GED certificate or pass a test approved by the US Dept. of State
Enrolled/accepted at an eligible school
Enrolled/accepted in a degree or certificate program
US citizen or eligible non-citizen a
Valid Social Security number a
Make satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the school
Sign statement of educational purpose (on FAFSA)
Sign statement that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money back on a federal student grant (on FAFSA) a
Registered with the Selective Service, if required
Not convicted of possession/selling drugs while receiving federal financial aid
a Both the parent borrower and the student on whose behalf he/she is borrowing must meet eligibility requirements.

Caution:  Some information may change as the US Department of Education continues to issue new regulations in 2013-2014.  Stay in contact with the Office of Financial Aid.

When should I apply?
Complete FAFSA on the Web (www.fafsa.ed.gov) as soon after January 1 as possible. The priority date at CMC for applying for financial assistance is March 31 for the following academic year (fall through summer semesters).

FAFSA Renewal
Financial Aid awards are made for one year or less. All recipients must reapply for assistance each academic year.

How do I apply?

  1. Complete  your Colorado Mountain College admissions application.
  2. Complete your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov/. You can print a worksheet from the website to help you compile your information.
  3. Check with CMC to determine whether there are any other forms you should complete.

• Don’t forget to include CMC’s school code – 004506
• Don’t forget to sign your FAFSA with your PIN (if you are a dependent student, one parent will also need to sign with their PIN as well).

What should I expect after applying?
Within 5 to 7 days the Department of Education will send to you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If you provide your e-mail address, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to your online SAR.

Your financial aid office will use the information received from the processing agent to construct your Financial Aid Package.  The financial aid office will contact you electronically using your CMC email account and your award will be available to view on your CMC WebAdvisor.

You should respond to the Award Notification immediately by going to your CMC WebAdvisor to accept all, part, or none of the Financial Aid Package offered on your Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. For more information on the types of awards offered, see the Financial Aid Guide.

If scholarships and grants are not sufficient to cover your expenses, a loan may fill your remaining financial need. Check with your financial aid specialist to discuss student loan options.  If loans are accepted, entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed for CMC (school code 00450600) at www.studentloans.gov.

In addition, you may use Federal Unsubsidized and/or PLUS Loans for part or all of your Expected Family Contribution.

Sometimes the Department of Education will require the Financial Aid Office to collect personal financial information from the student (and parents/spouse if applicable) to verify the information included on the FAFSA. This is called Verification. See the CMC Financial Aid Guide for more information.

How do I keep my financial aid from semester to semester?
You will need to remain in good standing for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP); you can read the SAP policy in the Financial Aid Guide.  You will only need to complete the FAFSA for each academic year.  Complete the FAFSA on the Web as soon after January 1 as possible. The priority date at CMC for applying for financial assistance is March 31 for the following academic year (fall through summer semesters).

When is financial aid distributed?
Financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships and loans will first be applied toward your outstanding semester balance owed to the college. Financial aid awarded in excess of outstanding semester balance will be disbursed by check to you approximately two weeks into the semester, unless eligibility requirements are not met.

Exception: For first time borrowers, disbursement of loan funds will occur 30 days after the beginning of the semester. For students receiving a one-semester loan, two disbursements will be made. The first half will disburse two weeks (or 30 days for first time borrowers) after the semesters begins; the second half will disburse at the middle of the semester.

It is important to note that federal financial aid can only pay for coursework fully acceptable to the eligible degree program in which you are enrolled. If you do not begin attendance in any class, your financial aid may be reduced. This may happen before or after disbursement. If financial aid is reduced after disbursement for non-attendance, you may owe a repayment back to the federal student aid programs. Failure to repay can lead to ineligibility for federal student aid nation-wide.

Any credit balance from the PLUS proceeds will be paid to the parent unless the parent authorizes CMC to pay the balance to the student (See Section B on the Parent Borrower Form).