Frequently Asked Questions: Prospective Students
How do I apply for Financial Aid?
Colorado School of Mines uses the results of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine a student’s Financial Aid package. A FAFSA is not required for the merit scholarship, but it is required for federal, state, and institutional grants, loans, and work study. Mines does not use the CSS Profile.
Do I have to apply for Financial Aid every year?
Yes. Financial situations can change markedly from one year to the next, so the U.S. Department of Education requires you to complete the FAFSA for every year that you wish to receive aid. The priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 1 for incoming students and April 1 for continuing students. Federal aid is still available after these deadlines, but state or institutional grants and work study can be affected by filing the FAFSA late.
Do I have to apply separately for scholarships?
The merit scholarship does not require a separate application. If there are scholarships available that require an application, prospective students will receive an email with information regarding the application dates and deadlines.
What is Verification?
Verification is the process established by the Department of Education to ensure that certain data elements are accurately reported on the FAFSA. If your FAFSA was selected for verification the Office of Financial Aid will send an email requesting the student access their Trailhead account to review which documents are outstanding. Once we receive the documentation we will compare the data with what was reported on the FAFSA. If there are corrections to be made, we will update the information and notify you if changes are made to your financial aid award.
NOTE: federal, state, and institutional funds (grants, loans and work study) will not be credited to your account until all outstanding documents are received and processed.
To view the requirements in Trailhead*:
- Go to trailhead.mines.edu. Log onto your Trailhead account.
- Click on Self-Service (upper right)
- Select Financial Aid
- Click on Financial Aid Status
- Select the Award Year
- Click on Student Requirements
*Access is provided only if a student has confirmed enrollment. An E-Key will be mailed to the student with instructions on how to set-up their email and Trailhead accounts.
I looked at my award notice and all I got was loans and work-study. Why didn't I get any grants?
Loans and work-study are two components of financial aid. Grants are reserved for those students who are most in need of financial assistance and are generally based on the FAFSA.
How do I view and accept my Financial Aid Award?
About a week after you have been accepted, you can activate your Trailhead account. Follow instructions on the Welcome page to activate Trailhead. To view your awards:
- Go to trailhead.mines.edu and log in.
- Click on Financial Aid (blue left-hand toolbar)
- Your options and instructions are in Awards, in the green section
Is Cost of Attendance what I will owe Mines?
No! Cost of Attendance is a budget for how much it will cost the student to live and attend Mines for nine months. These include direct expenses paid directly to Mines like tuition and indirect expenses that are out of pocket like books. The cost of attendance is the maximum a student can receive in financial aid from all sources. Your bill reflects the costs that are payable to Mines, like actual tuition and room and board if you live on campus.
How do I pay for my books?
You should arrive on campus with enough resources to purchase your books from the Mines Bookstore. Financial Aid funds in excess of the amount owed to the school will be available after classes begin. If you are receiving financial aid in excess of your bill, you may be able to use a bookstore voucher to buy your books before your refund has been issued. You may contact the financial aid office up to two weeks before classes begin to obtain a voucher.
Contact the Bursar Office for details on receiving your refund.
Do I have to accept a new loan offer every year?
Yes. We do not assume that you want to borrow money each year that loans are awarded. You need to tell us that you want to borrow and how much you want to borrow by accepting or declining your loan(s) via Trailhead.
How do I waive my health insurance?
If you have health coverage through another source, you will be able to waive your health insurance using Self-Service through Trailhead. Click here for information regarding health insurance through Mines.
Does Mines participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)?
No, Mines does not participate in WUE.
How do I establish Colorado Residency for tuition purposes?
The Mines Admissions Office makes the initial determination of a student’s residency status for tuition purposes. After a student is enrolled, the Registrar’s Office is responsible for residency decisions. The determination of residency is generally based on the student’s intent to make his or her permanent domicile in Colorado, not simply to obtain the lower, in-state tuition rate. The decision on whether or not to grant residency is based in part on parental support of the student. The amount of support a student may receive is extremely low and includes funds borrowed on their behalf, e.g. PLUS loans. Read more about in-state tuition classification.
What if I get Colorado residency - am I automatically emancipated (self-supporting) for financial aid?
Even though a parent may declare the student emancipated as part of the residency qualification process, this does not automatically meet the federal and Mines requirements for a student to be considered self-supporting. Generally parent information is still required on the FAFSA.