Frequently Asked Questions for Undergraduates

After I apply for financial aid, when will I hear from you?

We begin processing aid applications for the upcoming school year each November. We begin mailing out award letters in November once the student financial aid file is complete and you have been admitted to the college. Only new students will receive a mailed letter, but all students can view their financial aid award via their WebOPUS account.   

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes, you must complete a new FAFSA application for each academic year.  

What is the FAFSA priority deadline?

Fort Lewis College recommends you complete the FAFSA application no later than November 15 to be considered for the most financial aid available.  It is still possible to complete the FAFSA after November 15, although the financial aid offered to you could be less when you file after November 15.

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial aid, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the United States Department of Education every year. The FAFSA results are the basis of your financial aid file. Submit it as soon as possible after October 1, or by the recommended application filing date 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 U.S. 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

What types of financial aid am I applying for when I complete the FAFSA?

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

What if I haven't filed my tax return(s) yet?

The FAFSA application uses tax information from two years prior to the school year you are applying for. Therefore, you should have tax information available to use. We recommend that you use the IRS Data Retrieval tool (DRT) in the FAFSA application to obtain your tax information. This tool will download your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA application.  If you and/or your parents were not required to file a tax return you will be asked for other verification documents. 

Do I need to bring any money with me when classes begin?

When you are enrolled in 12 credit hours or more (for undergraduate students; 9 credit hours for graduate students), financial aid automatically credits to your bill. After the bill is paid in full, any extra money will be available to you in a refund at the beginning of the term. You should bring at least enough money to purchase books and supplies, unless you are positive that your bill will be covered and enough extra refund money to buy books will be available right away.

Do you offer financial aid to out-of-state residents for tuition purposes?

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

Click here to review our institutional tuition scholarships for first time students and transfer students. 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, campus room, campus board, books, transportation and personal/miscellaneous expenses.

How do I apply for scholarships?

You should start researching scholarship opportunities as early as October for the school year beginning the following September. Click here to view institutional scholarship opportunities.

I've been awarded a Federal Direct Loan. Do I need to do anything else to receive this loan?

You must accept Federal Direct 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.  Parents must apply for the PLUS loan online and sign the Master Promissory Note.  Please apply early for loans to allow processing time.

What should I do if I am awarded and accept work-study?

Go to the college Skyhawk Station office to confirm your eligibility to work in the United States by providing a driver's license and social security card, or other acceptable documents such as your birth certificate or U.S. passport.  The documents must be originals, not photo copies.  You will pick up your employment contract at the Skyhawk Station as well. The work study contract must be signed by the supervisor of the department you will be working for, and returned to the Skyhawk Station by Census.  Click here for more information about the work study programs at Fort Lewis College.

Why aren't my grants and/or scholarships reflected on my bill?

Make sure that you are enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduate students). 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 to download the instructions

What is considered full-time attendance?

Full time attendance for financial aid purposes is generally 12 or more credit hours per semester for undergraduate students. You are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better each semester you receive any type of financial aid.  Undergraduate 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.

What is the income cut-off for financial aid eligibility?

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 Direct 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. 

What is verification?

The Department of Education selects approximately 40% 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


Where can I find more general information about financial aid?

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

Which types of financial aid do I have to pay back and which ones do I not have to pay back?

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 left side bar of the financial aid website for more detailed information.

Will I be awarded the same amount this year as last year?

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