FAQ: Financial Aid Overview and Eligibility

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?

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 October 1 for the following academic year by going to FAFSA.gov to apply. Please review the checklist below to see if you may be eligible for financial aid.

To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must:

  • Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number. (Students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are exempt from this requirement.)
  • Have a high school diploma (or equivalent) or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling. If you don't you may still be eligible for federal student aid if you were enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012. For more information see studentaid.ed.gov.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
  • Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System, if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S, Armed Forces. (Students form the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau are exempt from registering; see Selective Service System for more information.)
  • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans). If you have such a conviction, you must complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet to determine if you are eligible for aid or partially eligible for aid.

Many types of federal student aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant or subsidized loans where the government pays the interest while you are in college, also require you to have financial need. Additionally, once you have a bachelor's degree or a first professional degree, you are generally not eligible for Pell or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

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

When to apply?

Complete the FAFSA beginning October 1st each year. The priority date at CMC for applying for financial assistance is March 31 for the following academic year (fall through summer semesters).

FAFSA Renewal
You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every school year you want to be considered for federal student aid. The Renewal FAFSA is a way for you to save time and reapply without having to fill out the whole application each year. Much of your information is carried forward into a Renewal FAFSA.

If you submitted a FAFSA last year, you may be able to start a Renewal FAFSA using your FSA ID. You must update any pre-filled information that has changed since last year and provide the financial information requested.

How to apply?
  1. Complete a Colorado Mountain College admissions application.
  2. Complete the FAFSA application. Print a worksheet from the website to help compile information.
  3. Check with CMC to determine whether there are additional forms to complete.

Remember to include CMC’s school code – 004506.

Remember to sign your FAFSA using your FSA ID (if you are a dependent student, one parent will also need to sign with their FSA ID as well).

It's important to understand that the student and the parent may not share an FSA ID: Your FSA ID is your signature, so it has to be unique to you. If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA form electronically.

What to expect after applying?

The US Department of Education will send a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted.

You might see a note on the SAR indicating your FAFSA has been selected for verification. Verification is the process your school uses to confirm the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate. Specific information regarding verification is available on FA Self Service through Basecamp.

The financial aid office will use the information received to calculate your financial aid package. The financial aid office will notify you via your CMC email account. Financial aid awards are available to view, accept, or reject on Financial Aid Self-Service through Basecamp.

The financial aid office can help bridge the gap between your financial aid awards and the remaining cost of attendance. Contact the financial aid specialist at your campus to discuss additional options.

How to maintain eligibility?

Students must maintain certain academic standards to remain eligible for financial aid. These standards include GPA, completion rate, and progress toward a degree or certificate. CMC has established these guidelines for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP);

Submit a FAFSA Renewal each academic year beginning October 1st. 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.