5 Things to Know About College Financial Aid

College Financial Aid Students CMC Leadville

Paying for college is intimidating but you are not alone! Most students at Colorado Mountain College receive at least one form of financial aid (grants, loans, scholarships, etc.) while in school. We sat down with Kellee Rickenbach, CMC Leadville’s Financial Aid Specialist, to outline the most important things to know about CMC’s financial aid process – 5 Things to know about College Financial Aid. Check out CMC’s Financial Aid Checklist for more guidance.

If you are a current or future student at CMC Leadville and have questions about scholarships or financial aid, connect with Kellee at klrickenbach@coloradomtn.edu or call 719-486-4293. 

  1. FAFSA is the First Step

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a requirement for all CMC students seeking financial aid and scholarships. EACH year, a FAFSA application is required for current and prospective college students to determine eligibility for student financial aid. Eligibility is based on many factors and the application will ask for tax information from 2 years prior. Before you start a FAFSA application you’ll need: a FSA ID (which you can obtain here!), the CMC school code #004506, social security numbers (or alien registration number) for student and parent(s), student’s tax return, parent’s tax return, records of investments, bank statements, and records of untaxed income. Once you’ve gathered this info log onto FAFSA.ed.gov to start your application or make an appointment with Kellee for help filling out your FAFSA.**note if you or your parent does not have a social security or alien registration number that does not automatically mean you do not qualify for aid. Please contact Kellee to discuss your situation, she has many resources!

2. Financial Aid Dates & Deadlines

There are three main deadlines you need to be aware of: your state, school, and federal deadlines. FAFSAs are accepted as early as October 1. Students seeking financial aid for the 2017/2018 school year will need to submit a FAFSA by June 30, 2018. Students seeking financial aid for the 2018/2019 school year will need to submit a FAFSA by June 30, 2019. CMC’s priority deadline for financial aid applications is March 31. Many scholarship opportunities close after March 1.

3. Student Aid Report (SAR) & Estimated Family Contributions (EFC)

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will include an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), as determined by your FAFSA. This information will be sent to you as well as any schools you listed on the application. Colorado Mountain College will use this report to build a financial aid package that includes federal and state grants, loans, and work study eligibility. You’ll get an award notification via email to your CMC issued email address, which will prompt you to login to Basecamp. In Basecamp, you will verify or correct the information provided. You must respond immediately that you either accept ALL, PART, or NONE, of the financial aid package offered.

4. Verification Process

The federal government randomly chooses one third of all FAFSA applications for a process called verification. It is their way of verifying the information that has been entered on a FAFSA. Each verification can vary, but the federal government will ask for specific documents that the school needs to request from the student to then verify that the information on the FAFSA application was entered correctly. If you are chosen for verification you will get an email from CMC to your student email, and the financial aid section of your Basecamp will also reflect the documents that CMC is asking for on behalf of the federal government. If changes to your FAFSA application need to be made, the EFC that appeared on your FAFSA confirmation email could be different. It is very important that you check your student email on a regular basis, even before you start classes, so that you don’t miss important financial aid notifications. The verification process can delay your financial aid award if you miss emails!

5. Apply for CMC Scholarships

The Colorado Mountain College Foundation offers over 400 scholarships for students pursuing a CMC degree or certificate program.The 2018 Scholarship process opens on November 1, 2017 and the deadline for most scholarships is March 1, 2018 – though some deadlines vary.

Step 1. Complete the CMC admissions application.

Step 2. Log into CMC Basecamp and select “Scholarships” link, located under MY CMC APPS

Step 3. Upload the requested documents and information to your application: Transcript, name & email of two references, FAFSA SAR, or first page of your most recent tax return or W2.

Once your application is submitted via Basecamp, you will be automatically matched to ALL qualifying scholarship opportunities. That means one application for over 400 potential scholarships!

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