Submitting a FAFSA can be one of the most intimidating steps in the application process. To help you assist students, we've compiled tools, resources and handouts below.
- pdf Paying for College Handout (English) (309 KB)
- pdf Paying for College Handout (Spanish) (311 KB)
- Financial 101 PowerPoint presentation template
- CDHE FAFSA Completion Tool
- Hosting FAFSA Completion Events
- Why does FAFSA completion matter?
College In Colorado Paying for College Handout
Whether your hosting FAFSA Workshop or reviewing the application process in class, make sure to distribute our Paying for College bi-fold in pdf English (309 KB) and pdf Spanish (311 KB) . This resource includes helpful information on the types of aid available, FAFSA application steps and fillable financial planning checklists.
CDHE FAFSA Completion Tool
With the support of The Kresge Foundation, the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) has developed an online FAFSA Completion Tool to help counselors, principals and mentors provide targeted assistance to their students.
What is it?
By logging onto fafsa.highered.colorado.gov, a visitor can track the FAFSA submission and completion percentages across Colorado by year.
What information from a student’s FAFSA submission are visible on the FAFSA Completion Online Portal?
The tool includes High School Name, student first and last Name, birthdate, FAFSA Status, Date FAFSA Submitted and verification indicator as permitted by the Federal Student Aid Office.
Who can receive “authorized user” access?
The district's Designated Signatory or Superintendent determines the authorized users and their level of access. Superintendents, principals, counselors, data technicians, workforce development mentors and administrators are the most common authorized users of the FAFSA Completion Tool. Only after signing a data agreement with CDHE does an authorized user have access to student level information on FAFSA completion status. Each cohort is securely matched to ISIR data showing a “complete,” “not complete,” “student signature,” or “parent signature” status.
How can my district receive access?
If your district is not yet using the FAFSA Completion Tool, you can work with CDHE and your district superintendent to establish a data agreement.
- Identify authorized users and complete a fillable PDF Data Agreement at fafsa.highered.colorado.gov/Resources/Contact
- Receive secure access from CDHE.
- Check in weekly for updated data.
- Follow policies and guidelines outlined in data agreement. Once this is established, your district can continue using the portal in future years.
FAFSA Guidance for DACA and/or ASSET Recipients
Students who are undocumented or protected under Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) do not qualify for federal financial aid; however, you may still receive private financial aid from institutions or other organizations.
If you are protected by DACA or are undocumented, you may take the following steps.
- Option 1: Contact your institution of choice
If you are uncomfortable filing the FAFSA, you can call the financial aid office at your institution of choice and inquire about private financial aid options. In some cases, you may need to submit an alternative aid application designed for undocumented and/DACA students to the institution.
- Option 2: File the FAFSA
Even if you are undocumented or protected by DACA, you may still submit the FAFSA. Enter your DACA-assigned social security number (SSN), or, if you don’t have one, enter a stand-in SSN using zeroes (000-00-0000). Although you will be denied federal financial aid, the institution that receives your FAFSA application may contact you and offer private aid opportunities. In this case, you will likely need to submit an alternative aid application designed for undocumented and/DACA students to the institution.
Why does FAFSA completion matter?
The FAFSA is students' ticket to receiving scholarships, grants work study and more. The class 2017 left more than $2.3 billion in aid on the table last year, and we want more Colorado students to get the financial support they deserve!
What's more, completing the FAFSA significantly increases the odds that students will continue their education—especially among low-income and minority students. In Colorado, 85 percent of high school graduates who complete a FAFSA enroll in college within 12 months. Boosting our FAFSA completion rates will boost our college-going rates, too.