Mentoring & Resources
You belong at DU. As the first person in your family to attend college, you are part of a group of dedicated students, faculty and alumni who know what it means to take this step for themselves and for their families. In the CAHSS First-Generation College Student Program, we want to ensure that you have the resources you need to accomplish your goals and a community to support you and cheer you on.
Through ongoing mentorship, you'll receive guidance throughout your time at DU. Mentors walk alongside students at every stage, from adjusting to college life to preparing for graduate school or careers. Your mentors will be DU students and faculty who were themselves first-generation students or are first-gen allies. They'll be available to discuss any challenges or concerns and to help you access campus resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know that you might have questions about DU, the college experience, academic resources and more. This guide is meant as a starting point. Talk to your mentor or reach out to the offices linked in the answers below for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Submit your question using the button below and the CAHSS First-Gen Program will respond as soon as we can.
There are multiple types of aid in my financial aid letter. What do I need to know about the different kinds?
Financial aid at DU can include grants and scholarships, work-study, student loans and summer aid, as well as aid for undocumented students. In the table below, you'll find information about some of the most common forms of financial aid. You can access comprehensive information about types of aid through the Admission and Aid website.
How to Apply
Gift or Loan?
Automatically considered with DU application
Enrolled as full-time student (12 credits or more) and retain Satisfactory Academic Progress
Resident Hall Grant
Automatically considered with DU application; awarded with merit scholarship
Enrolled full-time and living on campus
Federal Pell Grant
Awarded based on Expected Family Contribution on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Gift (except in certain circumstances)
Maintain enrollment and fill out FAFSA annually
Colorado Student Grant
Awarded based on Expected Family Contribution on FAFSA
Maintain at least half-time enrollment (6 credits)
Awarded based on need as assessed through FAFSA
Neither; you must work to earn it, but you don't have to pay it back
Submit FAFSA and maintain financial aid eligibility
Federal Student Loans
Available to any student who submitted a FAFSA
Loan (you must pay it back)
Submit FAFSA and remain in a degree-seeking program
What is work-study, and how do I find a work-study job?
Work-study is a form of financial aid, distributed according to need, that allows you to earn money by working on campus. You will learn if you've qualified for a work-study position when you receive your financial aid letter from DU. For more information, visit the undergraduate work-study site.
Once you've learned that you've qualified for a work-study position, you can explore the student employment positions in PCO, DU's job listing website for students, to find and apply for available work-study positions on campus.
Work-study jobs pay at least minimum wage, and the money is distributed to you as a paycheck. Having a work-study award doesn't guarantee you that amount of money; it just means that you can earn up to that amount as a work-study student.
What if I run out of work-study funds, but my employer still has hours they'd like me to work, and I would like to continue working?
There are two options. Either your employer can choose to pay you out of their team's budget, if they have the funds to do so, or, sometimes, the financial aid office has additional work study funds they're able to distribute later in the school year. You can contact the financial aid office to find out if they are able to increase your work-study award.
What is a registrar? What is a bursar?
The Office of the Registrar supports students with things related to course enrollment and degree pathways. Examples of their services include:
- Registering for classes
- Adding/dropping classes
- Providing transcripts (the official record of what classes you've taken), degree verification or enrollment verification (the University confirming that you are a student in a degree program; may be needed for some scholarships or other opportunities)
- Transferring credits* (such as credit from AP or IB courses in high school, courses you took at another school prior to enrolling or courses taken while studying abroad)
- Declaring or changing your major(s)/minor(s)
- Applying for graduation
- Providing degree audits (a tool to help you understand what courses and requirements remain for you to complete your degree; can be used on your own or with the support of your academic advisor
*Prior to taking non-DU courses and/or whenever possible, it is best to work with an academic advisor to find out if any courses you might take outside of DU will transfer and what, if any, requirements they might fulfill.
The Bursar's Office supports students as they pay for tuition and other academic charges, as well as supporting the distribution of some federal grants.
What is MyDU?
MyDU is a secure portal through which DU students can register for courses, pay tuition and student fees, access grades and request transcripts and so much more. In addition, students who work on campus (including student work-study employees) can access employment information, their timecard and W-2 forms. This is the portal you'll use to access most personal or sensitive information during your time as a student at DU.
How do I choose a major or minor? What if I want to change later?
You'll choose a major or minor based on your interests and through conversation with faculty mentors. Once you're ready to declare a major or minor, you will need to complete the Application to Declare or Change Undergraduate Degree/Major/Minor and submit your completed form to the Office of the Registrar.
If you decide later that you want to change your major or minor, or add an additional major or minor, you will need to complete the Application to Declare or Change Undergraduate Degree/Major/Minor again and submit that form to the Office of the Registrar.
For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar.
I've had a sudden financial setback. Where can I turn for support?
The office for Student Outreach and Support has some emergency funds available for students, including emergency loans and grants.
In addition, in some situations, you may qualify for adjustments to your financial aid. In cases such as job loss or major medical expenses, you may submit an appeal to request your aid package be adjusted based on your change in circumstance. Visit the Admission and Aid website to find a full list of situations that may qualify and instructions for the process.
Glossary of Resources
Financial Aid Office and Types of Undergraduate Financial Aid (located in University Hall): Learn about the types of aid described in your financial aid letter, including scholarships, work-study, grants and loans, and how DU distributes this financial aid.
Student Outreach and Support Funding Opportunities (located in the Community Commons): The Student Outreach and Support office offers small funds to support students who may be experiencing temporary financial hardship, or who could access academic opportunities with financial support.
Tutoring and Writing Support
Language Tutoring, Center for World Languages and Cultures (Currently Online): If you're studying a language at DU, you can work with language tutors online through the Center for World Languages and Cultures (CWLC).
The Math Center (located in the Anderson Academic Commons): Math assistants are available to support and guide you as you work with fellow students enrolled in math courses at the University of Denver.
Research Services (located in the Anderson Academic Commons): When you're starting a research process, the DU librarians can help you navigate the databases and research guides to find the sources and materials you need.
Science and Engineering Center (located in the Anderson Academic Commons): Staffed by undergraduate and graduate learning assistants, the Science and Engineering Center offers a support system where you can learn from fellow students and TAs.
University Writing Center (located in the Anderson Academic Commons): You can bring in your work at any stage of the writing process, and undergraduate and graduate consultants will discuss your writing with you and help you develop your skills and practices.
Academic and Career Advising
Career and Professional Development (located in the Burwell Center for Career Achievement): As you begin your career search, come talk to a career advisor who can help you look for positions, develop your materials and prepare for interviews.
The Office of Academic Advising (located in the Community Commons): In addition to the advising support offered by your faculty mentor, academic advisors help you with strengths-based learning goals, navigating the four-year process and more.
Disability Services Program (located in Ruffatto Hall): To facilitate equitable access for all DU students, DSP offers and facilitates no-cost accommodations for students with a documented disability.
Health and Counseling
Health and Counseling Center (located in the Ritchie Center): Healthcare, vaccinations and mental health supports are available for DU students; healthcare costs are greatly reduced for students who pay the Health and Counseling Fee and most services are fully covered for students who have the Student Health Insurance Plan.
- Counseling Services: A professional staff of licensed therapists and psychologists can help you navigate mental health concerns to support your academic success. In addition to their range of in-person services, the HCC provides students with free 24/7 access to Telemental Health.
- Medical Services: Our team of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners and specialists provides care to DU students. Services include same-day appointments for illness or injury, preventative care and more.