Overview: In 2019, the General Assembly passed H.B. 19-1196, Financial Aid For Students With In-state Tuition, which allows state aid to be awarded to students who do not have lawful immigration status but have resided in the state for at least three years before graduating from a Colorado high school or passing a high school equivalency exam.
The Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA) is the application by which students that meet the qualifications can apply for this aid. Students who do not have lawful immigration status and who do not meet the qualifications listed above are also encouraged to apply for institutional aid using the CASFA. Students who are eligible for Federal Title IV aid by completing the FAFSA should not complete the CAFSA.
Q: Who can apply for CASFA:
A: CASFA is a safe, easy way to apply for state financial aid if you are a Colorado ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Tomorrow) student. Non-U.S. citizen resident and non-resident students can use the CASFA to apply for institutional aid.
Q: What is the purpose of CASFA:
A: The purpose of the CASFA is to determine need for financial aid awarding purposes to students historically left out of receiving state and federal financial aid. CASFA positively supports families and is a logical next step in efforts to erase equity gaps and put college in reach for the families who benefit most from a postsecondary education. CASFA also supports the department’s efforts to make college more affordable by reducing the cost of obtaining a credential and maximizing a student’s higher education investment.
Q: When can I submit my CASFA application?
A: On October 1, 2020, students can apply for the CASFA. Click here to fill out an application.
Q: What if I am not a citizen?
A: Non-U.S. citizen resident and non-resident students can file a CASFA to qualify for institutional aid.
Q: What is the benefit of applying for state aid:
A: State aid, including grants and work-study funds, help open the door to higher education for students who have attended high school in Colorado but who are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Q: What is the difference between state aid and institutional aid?
A: State funded aid is financial aid that is funded by the state of Colorado. Institutional aid is financial aid that is comes from the institution of higher education where the student is enrolled.
Q: I have a question about the CASFA application, who do I contact?
A: Please contact the financial aid office at the institution you’re applying to if you should have any specific questions about the application. Should you have any technical difficulties with your account contact CASFA@dhe.state.co.us. CDHE will not be able to answer detailed questions about the application at this time.
- News Release: CDHE partners with Regent Education on a solution that provides undocumented Colorado students with equitable online experience when applying for state financial aid (March 2021)
- News Release: CDHE se asocia con Regent Education en una solución que brinda a los estudiantes indocumentados de Colorado una experiencia equitativa en línea cuando solicitan ayuda financiera estatal
- News Release: New portal allows Colorado ASSET students to apply for state financial aid (Oct. 2020)
- Fact Sheet
- Recorded Webinar
- Professional Outcome on My Colorado Journey
- MCJ Discuss and Learn: CASFA
- CASFA Checklist
- Paying for college: CASFA 101 (Feb. 12, 2021)