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.

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 you were 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:

*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.

1. Go to inside.mines.edu

2. Click on the Trailhead logo at the top of the page

3. Log onto your Trailhead account.

4. Click on Self-Service (upper right)

5. Select Financial Aid

6. Click on Financial Aid Status

7. Select the Award Year

8. Click on Student Requirements

Do I have to apply separately for scholarships?

Generally, no; with the exception of athletic, ROTC and E-days scholarships, your admissions information is sufficient.

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.

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.

How do I view and accept my Financial Aid Award?

*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.

1. Go to inside.mines.edu

2. Click on the Trailhead logo at the top of the page

3. Log onto CSM Trailhead

4. Click on Self-Service (upper right)

5. Select Financial Aid

6. Click on Award, then Award for Aid Year

7. Select the applicable Award Year

8. Click on Accept Award Offer

For more detailed instructions, see Loan Instructions for Students.PDF versionText only version

Is Cost-of-Attendance what I will owe Mines?

No. Cost of Attendance is an estimate of how much it will cost the student to attend Mines for nine months. These include room and board; personal items such as shampoo, deodorant, snacks; entertainment; etc. Your bill only covers the costs that are payable to the university, which include tuition, fees, and room and board if contracted through Mines.

How do I pay for my books?

You should arrive on campus with enough resources to purchase your books from the CSM Bookstore. Financial Aid funds in excess of the amount owed to the school will be available after classes begin.

Contact the Cashier 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 CSM 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 immediately prior to the first week of classes.  More information regarding health insurance through CSM.

How do I establish Colorado Residency for Tuition Purposes?

The CSM Admissions Office makes the initial determination of a student's residency status for tuition purposes.  After a student is enrolled at CSM, 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.  Further information.

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 CSM requirements for a student to be considered self-supporting.

Does CSM participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)?

No.