The primary source of funding for Financial Aid comes from federal and state sources. Financial Aid is awarded through grants, work study, loans and scholarships. For students not qualifying for aid, payment plans are available. Otero encourages students to take advantage of the many scholarship opportunities available to them.
Application & Deadline for FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application used by nearly all colleges to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid, including grants, student loans, and work-study programs. The FAFSA must be renewed every year you are in college. New year applications are available January 1 of each year.
The deadline date for submitting the FAFSA application is June 30 each academic year. Students who are seeking financial assistance are urged to submit their completed applications well in advance of the anticipated semester of registration.
It is the intent of the Otero College Department of Financial Aid to provide some aid to all eligible students, regardless of any state-initiated priority deadline. Most students will receive a combination of financial aid based upon their financial need and the availability of funds.
The financial aid department will receive notice of the completed FAFSA within seven days of application submission. The student will receive an award letter or a request for further information within ten business days, via their student issued email.
Complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the renewal application. The school code for Otero is # 001362, you will need this for your FAFSA application.
Colorado Opportunity Fund
The College Opportunity Trust Fund (COF), created by the Colorado Legislature, provides a stipend to eligible undergraduate students. The stipend pays a portion of your total in-state tuition when you attend a Colorado public institution or a participating private institution.
Eligible undergraduate students must apply, be admitted and enroll at a participating institution. Both new and continuing students are eligible for the stipend.
Qualifying students may use the stipend for eligible undergraduate classes. The stipend is paid on a per credit hour basis to the institution at which the student is enrolled. The credit-hour amount will be set annually by the General Assembly.
Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
To receive aid, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program.
- Maintain "Satisfactory and Measurable Progress"
- Not be in default on a student loan or owe a refund to a Title IV financial aid program.
- Demonstrate financial need for need-based funds.
- Be academically ready for study at the college level (automatically qualify if you have a high school diploma or GED).
- Be 16 years of age or older and not be enrolled in high school.
AVOIDING STUDENT AID SCAMS: You never have to pay for help with your federal financial aid or student loans.
Which is the Real FAFSA web site? Many websites claim that you can file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through them. But, there is only one real FAFSA web site, and it is the one that is provided by the U.S. Department of Education:
Western Undergraduate Exchange
Students who are residents of states participating in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of Colorado resident tuition at Otero.
WICHE members include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Note: The WUE reduced tuition rate is not automatically awarded to all eligible candidates. Eligible students must complete a WUE Participation form in Student Services to receive the discount.
For more information regarding WUE and WICHE, please visit http://www.wiche.edu/wue.
The Colorado Application for State Financial Aid is for 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 CARES Act is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for Higher Education. Otero was awarded funds that were required to be used only as direct grants to students to provide emergency relief aid for hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic as they look to continue their education.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)Section 18004 (E) of the CARES Act Reporting and Disclosure