Financial Aid Department
The offices of Student Advising and Financial Aid work together to ensure that students are well informed of all enrollment steps.
The office of Financial Aid provides access, financial support, and advisory services for the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design community to facilitate student recruitment, enrollment, and retention at RMCAD. We strive to eliminate financial and other barriers to higher education. We make a conscious effort to reach out to those with exceptional economic and educational needs. We are dedicated to providing high-quality service in a fair, sensitive, and confidential environment to all individuals, regardless of background, culture, or lifestyle.
In Financial Aid our goal is to aid students in the pursuit of their academic goals with the help of institutional resources. The RMCAD Financial Aid Department supports the school’s mission, vision, values and institutional learning outcomes by fostering the following core values:
- Professionalism and Etiquette
- Loyalty and Reliability
- Effective communication
- Integrity and Ethics
- Continuous improvement in financial aid
RMCAD uses the designation “semester” to indicate the parent 16 weeks that house two 8-week child “terms”.
Student Accounts Office
Representatives in the Student Accounts Office are responsible for managing the billing of tuition and fees to student accounts throughout the student’s program. They also distribute stipends, process refunds and help students with payments and setting up payment plans.
Student Financial Services, Rights, + Responsibilities
As a RMCAD student, you have the right to:
- Know all the types of financial assistance available to our students, including federal, state, and institutional sources.
- Reduce or decline any financial aid awarded.
- Appeal financial aid eligibility including a financial aid award.
As a RMCAD student, you have the responsibility to:
- Accurately and honestly complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Use financial aid solely for expenses related to attendance at RMCAD.
- Be admitted in a degree-seeking program in order to receive financial aid.
- Maintain at least half-time enrollment per semester (16 weeks) to receive financial aid.
- Maintain eligibility requirements found on rmcad.edu for renewal of scholarships and grants.
- Keep your address updated with the college.
- Notify your Financial Aid Advisor if you are concurrently attending two or more schools (financial aid cannot be received from multiple schools simultaneously).
- Read and understand the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy, the Registration , and other general policies related to financial aid.
- Officially withdraw from RMCAD if unable to attend classes.
- Report all scholarships that you receive to the Financial Aid Department. (All scholarships are counted as financial aid and may impact other aid awarded.)
- Review published disbursement schedules.
- Pay any balance to RMCAD not covered by financial aid.
- Monitor your RMCAD email account for Financial Aid Department information.
- View your balance due, financial aid award, and other individual student information via the Student Portal.
- Complete an exit interview during your final term prior to graduation or withdrawal from the College.
Tuition + Fees
RMCAD has a $50 fee due at the time of application unless waived for promotional reasons. This application fee is nonrefundable.
Tuition Rates 2020-2021
Tuition is established by the RMCAD Board of Directors prior to the start of each academic catalog year. Standard tuition rates for the 2020 - 2021 academic year are $693 per credit for campus undergraduate students, $544 per credit for online undergraduate students, and $631 per credit for graduate students. These rates include Audit/Non-Credit enrollment. Please refer to rmcad.edu for more information about tuition charges.
$250 Cost Per Credit Hour for Active Duty Service Members
Students serving Active Duty, National Guard and Reservists and are receiving Military Tuition Assistance qualify for the Active Military Scholarship. This scholarship will reduce the cost of tuition and fees down to $250 per credit hour.
Student fees cover services, campus resources, security, maintenance, assessment, and other software provided to students throughout courses at RMCAD. Student fees are subject to change. Please check the most current Academic Catalog for updated fees. Students will incur the following fees applicable to each sixteen (16) week semester enrolled:
|Undergraduate Program Services Fee
|Undergraduate Program Services Fee
Fashion Design Equipment Fee: $1,650
The online Fashion Design BFA at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, provides to its new students a mandatory equipment package valued at $1,650.
The Equipment Fee includes:
- Professional Juki Machine
- Dress Form
In the first semester and prior to taking the first construction course, online Fashion Design students will receive the appropriate industrial sewing machine and dress form through the school. RMCAD will send this equipment to the address that the student provides. The student will be responsible for the cost but may be able to use financial aid to cover all or part of the cost.
* All equipment subject to alteration based on availability.
All RMCAD tuition and fee charges may be paid online through the Student Portal (https://rmcadportal.rmcad.edu/) using the following methods:
- American Express
Students may also pay by check, money order, cash or via the RMCAD website (https://www.rmcad.edu/admissions/financial-aid-tuition/student-payments/tuition-payment/). Check or money order payments by mail must be received by the due date. Make checks and money orders payable to Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and mail to:
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
Attention: Student Accounts
1600 Pierce Street
Lakewood, CO 80214
Students will receive electronic bills that are sent to the email address provided by the student prior to the start of the term. Tuition and fees will be applied on the student’s ledger on the first day of the semester. Payment is due prior to or by the first day of class, unless another payment option has been approved. If payment or payment arrangements have not been made prior to the start of the semester, students may be administratively dropped from their course(s). Students may also check their account balance through the Student Portal.
Unless approved for another financing option prior to the start of the term, students are required to pay the balance due for their current semester (and past due from previous semesters if applicable) prior to or by the first day of class.
Automated monthly payment plans are available. Plans are set up on 4-month schedules from the start of each semester to cover the tuition and fees in full or the gap amount not covered by other financial aid awards or scholarships.
The Federal Financial Aid programs offered at RMCAD include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans. Not all students will qualify for all types of Financial Aid available, and student eligibility is determined based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please see the “Federal Financial Aid” section for more information.
Good Financial Standing
A student is considered to be in good financial standing with the college if:
- Current term payment has been made or arrangements to pay are on file
- There is no prior term balance
- There is no current financial related hold on the student record
- No outstanding account balance has been referred to a third-party collector
Outstanding Account Balances
Students with unpaid tuition as of the first day of class may have a registration and/or transcript hold placed on their account unless a deferred payment option or payment plan has been approved. Students with an approved deferred payment option have until the end of the semester or when payment has been scheduled, whichever is sooner; at which time, a registration and/or transcript hold will be placed on their account.
Students will be offered the option of setting up a payment plan for past due balance. Students will not be allowed to register and/or may be removed from future registrations if the outstanding balance is over $1,000.
Any account not paid within 120 days after the end of a semester for inactive students will be referred to a collections agency. Any student sent to an outside collections agency will be responsible for any collection fees.
Delinquent Student Accounts
Students are subject to any or all of the following actions if they have a delinquent debt to RMCAD:
- Administrative withdrawal
- Transcripts withheld
- Degree withheld
- Diploma withheld
- Unregistered from current or future course(s)
- No future course registrations allowed
- Turned over to a collection agency
Reasonable collection/legal costs will be added to the amount due. A a $35.00 NSF fee will be assessed for insufficient funds when payments are electronically processed. A $35.00 fee will be assessed for returned checks. Students who have been referred to an outside collection agency will be required to pay all charges by the first day of the semester in which they wish to return or will not be re-admitted.
Tuition Refund Policy
A course may be dropped on or before the third day (census date) of the term without penalty. If the student drops a course on or before the drop date for a term, the amount of tuition for the dropped course will be refunded to the student’s account.
Tuition will not be refunded if the student withdraws from the course after the drop date for the term.
The student will be responsible for unpaid tuition charges and the paid admission application fee will not be refunded. If a student drops a course(s) prior to the drop date for the term, and has already paid tuition charges for the course, a refund will be processed within 30 days of the withdrawal.
The refund policy may be impacted by state law where a student resides, and RMCAD will adhere to any state specific laws in the case of refunding tuition.
New students starting courses in their first term must contact their Admissions Counselor in order to cancel their course registration; continuing students may cancel registration by contacting their Student Advisor and completing the appropriate form. Registration in courses must be canceled by the drop date for the term or tuition will be assessed for each course in which the student is registered. Registration cancellation and add/drop dates can be found in the Academic Calendar .
Students who received financial aid are subject to specific federal, state, and RMCAD withdrawal policies regarding tuition, financial aid, and repayments.
A withdrawal may require an immediate repayment of financial aid funds by the student according to Return of Title IV funds guidelines or other policies in place. Repayments are calculated according to standard financial aid regulations. The date of a student’s withdrawal, financial aid disbursements, RMCAD charges, and payments by the student or a third party are used to calculate the repayment amount. Students are advised that they may have to repay funds that are in excess of an amount determined to be reasonable for their length of enrollment.
All calculated refunds and repayments will be allocated to financial aid programs first, followed by the remaining amount repaid to the student.
In the case of a student death, a refund of tuition and fees may be made to authorized beneficiaries only within six months.
Application fees are not refundable.
RMCAD will consider requests for adjustment to tuition and fee charges when a student can document extenuating circumstances. Appeals must be made no later than thirty (30) days past the end of the eight-week term in question. Students may obtain an appeal form by contacting their Student Advisor and must submit the completed form to the Dean of Students. No adjustment or refunds of tuition and fees will be made to a student who is suspended, dismissed, or expelled for a breach of discipline, or to students who have received Title IV up to the cost of attendance. Tuition waivers must be added to a student’s financial aid package, which could impact current or future award amounts.
Federal Financial Aid
Financial aid is a resource for students seeking monetary assistance to help defray the costs of higher education. Eligible students may receive assistance from private entities or from the federal government in the form of grants, loans, and/or scholarship funds. RMCAD is currently eligible to administer the following Federal student aid programs:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- Federal Work Study
- Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
- Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans
Students may obtain more information from their Student Advisor or online at rmcad.edu.
For financial aid purposes, an Academic Year is defined as 32 weeks and 24 credit hours for undergraduate students or 24 credit hours for graduate students. Each academic year is comprised of two (2) semesters or four registration terms. A student’s academic year begins with the term in which the student takes his or her first course and runs for 32 consecutive weeks. Please see the “Academic Calendar “and “Continuous Enrollment ” sections for more information regarding the academic schedule and requirements for maintaining and renewing grants and scholarships.
If a student does not provide the financial aid department accurate documentation in a timely manner and as a result, the school is unable to draw federal title IV funds, the student will be personally responsible for his/her balance.
Enrollment Status for Financial Aid Purposes
Students who begin attendance in a term as less than half-time will not qualify for a financial aid disbursement. In order to qualify for a financial aid disbursement during that term, they must achieve an enrollment status of half-time attendance or higher.
Full-Time: 12 credit hours per semester
Three-Quarter Time: 9-11.5 credit hours per semester
Half-Time: 6-8.5 credit hours per Semester
Less than Half-Time: less than 6 credit hours per semester
Master of Arts Students:
Full-Time: 12 credit hours per semester
Half-Time: 6-11 credit hours per semester
Graduate Certificate Students:
Full-Time: 6 credit hours per semester
Half-Time: 3-5 credit hours per semester
Cost of Attendance
The cost of attendance includes tuition, books, and estimated indirect costs (also referred to as living expense allowance), which includes housing, food, and personal expenses, as well as estimated loan fees. Indirect costs (living expense allowance) are based upon the suggested monthly amounts based on the guidance from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). Students who are enrolled less than half-time have a separate cost of attendance, which does not include room and board allowance. Incarcerated students will only have tuition, technological equipment, and fees included in their budgets.
Original budgets and packaging is based on the assumption that full-time students attend all semesters or all eight (8) months of the academic year.
Federal Financial Aid Application Steps
To be considered for financial aid, students must be accepted for admission in a degree program and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. Students may apply online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov When prompted, the RMCAD school code for the FAFSA is 013991.
Students need to calculate all tuition and fees that include books, lodging, supplies, etc., for the FAFSA. A Financial Aid counselor can help with this process.
All Title IV funds need to be factored into the FAFSA. A Financial Aid counselor can help with this process.
Once the FAFSA has been processed, students will receive a Federal Student Aid Report from the U. S. Department of Education, which will be submitted electronically to all the schools listed on the FAFSA.
Students whose data has been selected for verification will be required to submit documentation (within the timeline given) based on the items selected by the Department of Education. All required documentation will be available in the document center of the Student Portal. Students that submit documentation after this deadline may not be eligible for disbursement until the following semester or, at minimum, disbursements may be delayed for the current semester.
Once all required information is received, eligible students receive a financial aid award offer. Reasons students may not receive financial aid include:
- Not enrolled in a degree-seeking program;
- On Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP);
- Exceeded Maximum Time Frame (MTF);
- In default on a federal student loan;
- Owe money on a federal student grant and have not made satisfactory arrangements to repay it;
- Ineligible non-citizen or not a permanent resident of the United States;
- Convicted of a drug charge that affects eligibility (contact a Student or Financial Aid Advisor)
Students who wish to borrow federal student loans must complete Entrance Counseling and the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note through https://studentloans.gov before loans will be approved.
Students in a SAP Warning or SAP Probation status are required to complete Financial Awareness Counseling through https://studentloans.gov
If there is a balance created by tuition/fees minus Title IV funds, RMCAD refunds the balance within 14 days after disbursement.
If the student pulls down a Plus loan or other Title IV funds at any time in the semester and it bumps the Title IV fund amount over the total billed, RMCAD must disburse stipends within 14 days of disbursement.
ALL non-Title IV/FSA funds will be disbursed to the student after the end of the second week of their second term. These funds include balances created by private loans, scholarships, and grants any time in the semester throughout this time period.
Financial Aid Withdraw + Refund Policy
Students who unregister for classes during the drop period in the first term of the semester will receive a 100% tuition refund for that semester and will not qualify for a financial aid disbursement.
Students who withdraw after the drop period for the semester will be responsible for 100% of tuition and fee charges, regardless of eligibility for financial aid funds.
The Return of Title IV funds calculation determines the amount of aid the student earned based on the percentage of time the student participated in coursework during the term. If it is determined that the student has not earned the full amount of the financial aid that was disbursed, RMCAD will return the unearned portion of funds to the U.S. Department of Education. This may create a balance of unpaid charges with the college for which the student is responsible. Please see the “Outstanding Account Balances” section for more information.
Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws
RMCAD must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance students earn if they withdraw from school. The Title IV programs offered by RMCAD that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Stafford Loans, and PLUS Loans. The Return to Title IV calculation is based on the date the school determined the student to have withdrawn.
Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reimburse the individual federal programs from which a student has received the aid. Any unearned Title IV aid will be returned in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan or Grad PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
Students who withdraw for the term are considered “official” withdrawals for financial aid purposes, and the withdrawal date for the calculation will be the date that the school was notified of the student’s intent to withdraw, or the student’s last date of attendance from all courses within the term per RMCAD’s absence policy. Please see the “Attendance ” section for more information. The calculation for official withdrawals is based on the percentage of time attended in the payment period prior to the date of withdrawal. For students who officially withdraw and receive grades of W for all courses within a term, the amount of assistance earned is determined on a pro rata basis using the date of withdrawal. For example, if a student completed 30% of the payment period, they earn 30% of the assistance originally scheduled to be received. Once more than 60% of the term is completed, the student earns all the assistance scheduled to be received for that period.
Unofficial + Automatic Withdrawal Title IV Information
Students who fail to attend class during the official, three-day Add/Drop period will be withdrawn from their courses scheduled for that term, and no Title IV Funds will be requested from the U.S. Department of Education. Students who are assigned a “W” grade according to the attendance policy and those who have received an “FN” grade assigned by the Office of the Registrar according to the attendance policy may have a portion of their Title IV Funds returned to the U.S. Department of Education.
If the student did not receive all of the funds earned, they may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If a post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the student must give permission before the funds can be disbursed.
If a student qualifies for a post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds, RMCAD will automatically apply these funds toward tuition and fees.
- The institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds
- The entire amount of excess funds
The school must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of Title IV program funds. Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reimburse the individual federal programs from which a student has received the aid. Financial aid returned (by RMCAD and/or the student or parent) must be allocated, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan or Grad PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Other Federal Loan or Grant Assistance
If RMCAD is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining portion. Returned loan funds from the student (or parent for a PLUS Loan) must be repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note with scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that must be repaid is half of the grant funds the student received or was scheduled to receive. Students are responsible to make arrangements with RMCAD or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The refund requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from any institutional refund policy of the school. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to RMCAD to cover unpaid institutional charges for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return.
Students who have questions about Title IV program funds should call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). Text Telephone (TTY) users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Federal Financial Aid Disbursements
Financial aid awards are scheduled each term to coincide with financial charges. Disbursement amounts and dates are subject to change based on changes to a student’s enrollment status, credit load, and/or cost of attendance. Disbursements will not occur until after the census date each semester. A student will not receive a disbursement during any semester unless they are attending that semester.
Students admitted under conditional or provisional admission status without all official transcripts cannot receive financial aid disbursements until all official transcripts have been processed. Conditional Admit students must be fully admitted into the program before they will become eligible for a financial aid disbursement. Students will be responsible for all tuition charges for any term(s) in which they are not eligible to receive financial aid. In order for a student to be eligible for a disbursement of Federal Direct and Federal Direct PLUS loans, the student must have a valid ISIR on file; have completed a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling; be attending at least half-time for the semester (determined for each term based on all courses completed within that period as long as the student received a grade other than W or F); and be attending at least one course during the semester of disbursement. If a student decides to take a term off, the aid scheduled will be canceled. Students who receive an “F” grade may be placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) probation. If they are unable to get off of probation, the subsequent enrollment period is not eligible for financial aid.
In order for a student to qualify for a Federal Pell Grant disbursement, the student must have a valid ISIR on file, have submitted all required verification or clearance documents, and meet the enrollment status based on courses attended each semester.
Financial Aid Credit Balance
In the event that financial aid exceeds all the expenses for a semester, a credit balance is created for the amount due back to the student. If there is a credit balance created by tuition/fees minus Title IV funds, RMCAD refunds the balance within 14 days after disbursement and tuition is posted on the account. ALL non-Title IV/FSA funds will be disbursed to the student after the end of the second week of their second term. These funds include balances created by private loans, scholarships, and grants at any time in the semester throughout this time period.
Authorization for Use of Title IV Funds
Recipients of Title IV Federal Student Aid have options regarding how their funds are applied to their Student Account by RMCAD, including but not limited to authorizing funds be utilized for fees. Students must complete the Financial Aid Credit Balance Authorization form to authorize the college to apply these additional Title IV funds to their account. Students may request to rescind or grant these authorizations at any time by submitting a new authorization form or other written notification. For compliance purposes, RMCAD must assume any blank response or failure to submit the form as implication that authorization has not been granted. Authorizations or changes become effective on the date the written notification is received and cannot be applied retroactively.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
For full details please go to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) section of the catalog.
Impact on Financial Aid
Federal and state regulations require that all students receiving Title IV federal financial aid at the college meet standards for satisfactory academic progress to maintain eligibility for their financial assistance. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) applies to all students and denotes successful completion of coursework towards a degree in each semester. Students who fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and/or course completion rate (CR) in a Maximum Time Frame (MTF) will face loss of eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid. The following table outlines Title IV fund eligibility based on a student’s academic status:
||Eligibility for Title IV Funds
|SAP FA Warning
|SAP FA Termination
|SAP FA Probation (Appeal Granted)
|SAP FA Termination – Permanent
|SAP – Completion Rate Exceeded
Any account not paid within 120 days after the end of a semester for financial aid students will be referred to a collections agency.
Deferment Requests/National Student Loan Data System Reporting
Students who have loans from prior schools may choose to complete the In-School Deferment Form (obtained from their lender) and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. An in-school deferment request will not be certified until the student is enrolled at least half-time for the term.
Enrollment statuses are reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) every 30 days. Students who are not attending courses during a term are reported as less than half-time for that term. Enrollment status reporting through NSLDS can affect eligibility for in-school deferments and grace periods on Federal Direct loans.
Private + Alternative Loan Programs
Students may apply for private or alternative loan programs through their preferred lenders. Private loans will not be certified for more than the student’s cost of attendance minus other financial resources that the student is receiving. Further, students are subject to the criteria as determined by the individual lender.
It is recommended for students to apply for federal aid before applying for private or alternative loans to ensure that they can be informed on all available educational financing options. Other restrictions or requirements may apply in order for a private or alternative loan to be disbursed. Students should contact their Financial Aid Advisor for more information regarding the requirements to obtain a private educational loan.
Scholarships + Grants
All Institutional Scholarships and Grants (https://www.rmcad.edu/admissions/financial-aid-tuition/scholarships/) are applied to tuition and fees only and are not paid directly to students. Institutional scholarships are non-transferable and have no redeemable cash value. RMCAD does not include scholarships and/or grants in stipends. Institutional Scholarships and Grants are only used to fill balance gaps for tuition and fees and are not applicable to cost of living or other similar expenses unrelated to the institution. Institutional Scholarships and Grants require full-time status (i.e., 12 credits per semester except for summer when the student may take at least 6 credits per semester to receive a pro-rated scholarship amount. See the RMCAD scholarship link for GPA eligibility requirements). Please contact the Offices of Admissions or Financial Aid for information regarding Scholarships and Grants.