How to Apply for Financial Aid

All students are required to apply for financial aid every year. Start the process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

List Western State Colorado University's school code of 001372 on your FAFSA.

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for financial aid which includes grants, loans, work-study and other need-based assistance. Although applying for financial aid is basically the same for all students, there are additional requirements and/or rules for different populations. 

Incoming Freshman/Transfer Students

It is ideal for students to plan all of their financial aid activity a year in advanced. The FAFSA is available January 1 of every year for the upcoming school year which begins in Fall (August).  Here is some useful information to help you apply for financial aid for the first time at Western State Colorado University.

  • We encourage you to complete the FAFSA by March 1 to ensure that you will get full consideration for limited funds.
  • The FAFSA requires student and parent information if the student is Dependent, student and spouse information if the student is married, and just the student’s information if the student is Independent and single.
  • Check your Western email often and use your MyWestern account to stay on top of your financial aid status. If we need additional information to complete your financial aid application, we will notify you via Western email.  Email is the primary means of communication at Western State Colorado University. Students are expected to check their Western email accounts regularly for all administrative and class communications. The institution will not communicate with you through your personal email address or give you a phone call except in the case of an emergency.
  • Beginning mid-March, we will mail an Estimated Financial Aid Award letter, which will provide you with a financial aid estimate for your planning purposes.  You must be an admitted student of Western in order to receive an award letter.
  • Grants, scholarships, and work-study are automatically accepted for you.
  • Loans must be accepted through your MyWestern account.
  • Federal Stafford and Parent PLUS loans require entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) to be completed by the borrower, but typically this only has to be signed the first time a loan is borrowed while at Western. Both can be completed at studentloans.gov.
  • Check with our office if you have had a change in your family income or some other special circumstances.

Late applicants can face hardships in receiving their financial aid including, but not limited to:

  • Longer processing times
  • Delayed aid disbursement
  • Missing tuition payment deadline and receiving late fees
  • Having to pay out-of-pocket for books and supplies
List Western State Colorado University's school code of 001372 on your FAFSA.

Continuing Students

Applying for financial aid is a little bit easier if you are a continuing student. You still have to complete the FAFSA, but there are fewer steps to complete the entire process.  Here is some useful information to help you apply for financial as a current student at Western State Colorado University.

  • The FAFSA must be filled out each year to be considered for federal, state and institutional assistance.
  • We encourage you to complete the FAFSA by April 1 to ensure that you will get full consideration for limited funds.
  • The FAFSA requires student and parent information if the student is Dependent, student and spouse information if the student is married, and just the student’s information if the student is Independent and single.
  • Check your Western email often and use your MyWestern account to stay on top of your financial aid status. If we need additional information to complete your financial aid application, we will notify you via Western email.  Email is the primary means of communication at Western State Colorado University. Students are expected to check their Western email accounts regularly for all administrative and class communications. The institution will not communicate with you through your personal email address or give you a phone call except in the case of an emergency.
  • Mid to end of May your Estimated Financial Aid Award letter will be emailed via your Western email.
  • If you borrowed federal Stafford loans all you have to do is accept the loans through your MyWestern account.
  • If your parent has already borrowed Parent PLUS loans, they do not have to complete another MPN, but they do have to complete the necessary forms to accept the loan.
  • We do check your academic progress at the end of each semester, so review the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy to make sure you are not in danger of losing future financial aid.

Late applicants can face hardships in receiving their financial aid including, but not limited to:

  • Longer processing times
  • Delayed aid disbursement
  • Missing tuition payment deadline and receiving late fees
  • Having to pay out-of-pocket for books and supplies

List Western State Colorado University's school code of 001372 on your FAFSA.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are only offered student loans.  There is the Federal Stafford unsubsidized loan which is non-need based and requires students submit the FAFSA.  Another option is the Graduate PLUS loan.  This loan is credit based and repayment begins 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed.

  • We encourage you to complete the FAFSA by March 1 to ensure that you will get full consideration for limited funds.
  • The FAFSA requires student and spouse information if the student is married.
  • Check your Western email often and use your MyWestern account to stay on top of your financial aid status. If we need additional information to complete your financial aid application, we will notify you via Western email.  Email is the primary means of communication at Western State Colorado University. Students are expected to check their Western email accounts regularly for all administrative and class communications. The institution will not communicate with you through your personal email address or give you a phone call except in the case of an emergency.
  • Beginning mid-March, we will mail an Estimated Financial Aid Award letter, which will provide you with a financial aid estimate for your planning purposes.  You must be an admitted student of Western in order to receive an award letter.
  • Loans must be accepted through your MyWestern account.
  • Graduate PLUS loans require entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) to be completed by the borrower, but typically this only has to be signed the first time a loan is borrowed while at Western. Both can be completed at studentloans.gov.
  • Check with our office if you have had a change in your family income or some other special circumstances.

Late applicants can face hardships in receiving their financial aid including, but not limited to:

  • Longer processing times
  • Delayed aid disbursement
  • Missing tuition payment deadline and receiving late fees
  • Having to pay out-of-pocket for books and supplies

List Western State Colorado University's school code of 001372 on your FAFSA.

Veteran Students

Students who are eligible to receive veterans educational benefits will work with Veteran Services to have their benefits certified.

Students Eligible under Colorado ASSET Bill

Students who are unable to prove they are legally present in the United States, may qualify for in-state tuition and may apply for some types of financial aid if all the eligibility criteria are met.  Here is some useful information to help you apply for financial aid for the first time at Western State Colorado University

  • Submit all Residency Documents.  You will need to provide Western State Colorado University with documentation that you attended a Colorado high school three years before you graduated or earned a GED as well as submit a signed affidavit to College Assist saying you are currently seeking legal status or will seek it as soon as you are eligible.
  • Apply for College Opportunity Fund (COF) which is a state benefit that reduces the amount of in-state tuition you pay.
  • Apply for Financial Aid by filling out the FAFSA.

Tips on completing the FAFSA:

  • You should enter your social security number if you have one. If you don't have a social security number, enter 001-01-0001.
  • When asked if you are a U.S. citizen, select "No, I am not a citizen or eligible noncitizen."
  • If your parents are also not legally present in the U.S. enter all 0's for their social security number(s).
  • You need to enter your and your parent's income; however, you will not be able to use the IRS data retrieval tool on the FAFSA. If we need to verify income, we will ask you to submit a tax return transcript and/or other documentation.
  • You will not be eligible to apply for a federal PIN to electronically sign the FAFSA, so you and your parent will need to sign and mail or fax the original signature page to our office.
  • Submit the FAFSA electronically without signatures (you may get an error message, but submit it anyway)

List Western State Colorado University's school code of 001372 on your FAFSA.

International Students

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid. If you become an eligible non-citizen, you may apply for federal aid by completing the FAFSA.

Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college.  Students applying for federal financial aid must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be degree seeking
  • Be admitted to Western State Colorado University

The FAFSA requires the following:

  • Student and parent information if the student is Dependent (students are considered Dependent until the age of 24 regardless of parental support).
  • Student and spouse information if the student is married.
  • Just the student’s information if the student is Independent and single (students is over the age of 24).

Tips for filling out the FAFSA

  • Request a PIN from the U.S. Department of Education. Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your financial aid application. One parent will also need to apply for a PIN separately. Your PIN can be used each year to electronically apply for federal financial aid and to access your federal financial aid records online.
  • The FAFSA is available beginning January 1 for the upcoming academic year.  Fill out your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1.  Use "estimated" income information if taxes are not filed.
  • List Western State Colorado University's school code of 001372 on your FAFSA.
  • Print and keep a copy of your submitted FAFSA form for your records.

 For additional information visit the FAFSA webpages