Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

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We begin processing aid applications in late February for the following school year. Students should receive an award letter from the Financial Aid Office approximately four to six weeks after electronically submitting the FAFSA to the Department of Education. 

Yes, you must re-apply annually. The Financial Aid Office recommends that you submit the FAFSA by February 15th every year because many awards are made on a first-come, highest-need basis.

When you are enrolled in 12 credit hours or more, financial aid automatically credits your bill. After the bill is paid in full, any extra money will be available to you at the beginning of the term. You should bring at least enough money to purchase books, unless you are positive that your bill will be covered and enough extra money to buy books will be available right away.

Yes, however out-of-state students pay substantially higher tuition.  There are not ample resources available for out-of-state students with a low family income. This is especially true for students who miss our recommended early application date. 

Click here to review our merit scholarships for first time freshmen. If you have high financial need, apply early so you will receive an offer well in advance of attendance.  Carefully consider our offer to determine if it is sufficient to meet your anticipated expenses for the period of enrollment.
Out of state Native American students may be eligible for our Native American Tuition Waiver.  They must still pay fees, room, board, books, transportation and personal/miscellaneous expenses.


Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the United States Department of Education every year to apply for financial aid. The FAFSA results are the basis of your financial aid file. Submit it as soon as possible after January 1, by the recommended application filing dates if possible. The address for FAFSA on the web is  If you plan to attend Fort Lewis College, designate our school as one of the colleges to receive your information.  Our six digit federal school code is 001353 and our address is:  Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301-3999.
You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) after you submit your FAFSA.  The SAR confirms that the Department of Education received and processed your FAFSA. If you need to make corrections, follow the instructions on the SAR. 
To check the status of your FAFSA application, you may call 1-800-4FEDAID
(1-800-433-3243) or check on-line at

Scroll up to the top of the page and mouse over "SCHOLARSHIPS" in the dark blue bar on the left .  You should start research for scholarships as early as October to be considered for the school year beginning the following September.

You must accept Federal Stafford Loans or Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) electronically through WebOpus on the Fort Lewis College website.  If you are a first time borrower at Fort Lewis College, you must also complete loan entrance counseling and sign your Master Promissory Note online.  Please apply early for loans to allow processing time.

We encourage you to use actual tax return data when you apply for financial aid. If that is not possible, estimate the information from tax documents such as a W-2 form. 

Full time for financial aid purposes is generally 12 or more credit hours per semester.  You are expected to pass a minimum of 12 credit hours and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better each semester you receive any type of financial aid.  Students enrolled in at least 6 credit hours may borrow student loans and receive a pro-rated Pell Grant, if eligible.

If you expect to graduate in four (4) years, you should plan on completing an average of 15 credit hours per semester.  Completing college in four years is less expensive than attending five or more years before completion.  Maximum student loan limits increase as you progress through college.


The Department of Education determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on your FAFSA information; then we determine your financial need by subtracting your EFC from the cost of attending our college.  
Even when a family is not eligible for need-based aid, the student may qualify for the unsubsidized Stafford loan and/or the parents may qualify for the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).  Therefore, all families may benefit from applying for financial aid.  We recommend you apply for financial aid regardless of family income. 

The Department of Education selects approximately 35% of financial aid applicants for verification. If you are selected for verification, we must receive and review documents to verify the data on your FAFSA before we can determine your eligibility for need-based aid. The following are examples of documents we may request: 

  • Student's and/or parent's IRS tax transcript.
  • Parents’ and/or students’ W-2(s) 
  • Verification Worksheets 
  • Copies of social security cards 
  • Birth certificates 
  • Marriage licenses 
  • Income and expense statements 
  • Asset statements 
  • Eligible non-citizen status documents

Work-study recipients must find a job (usually on campus) and work to get paid. Come to the Financial Aid Office the first week of school to pick up your employment contract. Be prepared to confirm your eligibility to work in the United States by providing a driver's license and social security card, or other acceptable documents.  Click here for more information about the work study programs at Fort Lewis College.

You will be considered for all federal, state and institutional aid; including grants, loans, and work-study employment.

The following web sites provide a variety of information about financial aid:

Loans must be paid back.  Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid, although a portion of "unearned" aid is subject to repayment if you withdraw before the midpoint of the term. Please see our Refund Policies for Return of Funds in the Financial Aid Handbook for more detailed information.

Make sure that you are enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours). Contact the Financial Aid Office to see if Fort Lewis College has received your FAFSA information and/or a check from your scholarship donor. Ask the Financial Aid Office about your Satisfactory Progress status.  Remember you must accept the Terms and Conditions of your financial aid electronically on your WebOpus account.  Click here for instructions on how to do that. 


Not necessarily - your financial eligibility may be different due to:  changes in family size or income, missing the recommended submission date (February 15th of each year), not meeting the required criteria for renewal of your scholarship(s), or other circumstances.