How Need-Based Aid is Determined

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an estimate of the parent’s and/or student’s ability to contribute toward college expenses.  The EFC is calculated based on responses to questions on the FAFSA, such as family size, number of family members in college, taxable and non-taxable income, and assets.

The student’s budget is an estimate of what the annual expenses will be while attending Colorado School of Mines.  The budget includes:

  • Direct educational expenses (tuition and mandatory fees)
  • Indirect educational expenses (books, supplies, room, board and personal)

The EFC is subtracted from the budget to determine the student’s financial need.  The maximum amount of need-based financial aid that you may be eligible for is determined by a simple formula:

 Student’s Cost of Attendance (budget)
– Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

= Financial Need


Types of need-based aid are grants, scholarships (institutional and outside), federal or Colorado work study and subsidized student loans. Mines may or may not be able to fulfill this need depending on the extent of the documented need and the availability of funds.  Mines will also offer non-need-based funds, such as unsubsidized student loans and parent loans, to help provide funding options to our families. 

The FAFSA must be filed each year in order to receive financial assistance other than scholarships.  Your financial need may increase or decrease significantly each year depending on the family’s financial situation.

Special Circumstance/Professional Judgment

If your financial situation has changed since you filed the FAFSA, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Contact Info

Mailing address:
Colorado School of Mines
Financial Aid Office
1301 19th Street
Golden, CO 80401
Toll-free: 1-888-446-9489

For scholarship questions, email

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Students Right to Know

More information:

For billing issues contact: Bursar's Office 303-273-3158

For health insurance waivers contact: Student Health Insurance 303-273-3388

For College Opportunity Fund contact: Registrar's Office 303-273-3200

For information on Veteran Affairs contact: Registrar's Office 303-273-3200