Student Spotlight

Zach Wagner, OMS III

Class of 2019

  • Hometown: Napa, CA
  • Undergraduate Studies: Physiology / Developmental Biology, Brigham Young University
  • Clubs and Activities: SGA, Vice President of Student Welfare (Class of 2019)

Why did you choose RVU? I was excited about RVU’s innovative curriculum and quiet rooms for the babies to watch lectures too. What do you like...
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Faculty Spotlight

Brian Schwartz, PhD, MLIS

Director of Library Sciences; Associate Professor of Medical Humanities

  • Hometown: Denver, CO
  • Undergraduate Studies: English and Philosophy
  • Graduate Studies: Masters in Library and Information Science; Doctorate in Information Management

What class do you teach? Evidence-based medicine and a few guest shots in Primary Care Medicine Why did you...
Read More

Student Financial Services

Welcome to the Office of Student Financial Services! The Office of Student Financial Services is available to assist students with any financial matters related to their attendance at Rocky Vista University. While their primary focus is financial aid, the office is also responsible for tuition and fee billing and payments, military scholarships, veterans programs, student health insurance, and scholarships.

The Office of Student Financial Services at Rocky Vista University is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct. Their goal is to provide information and advice determined solely by the best interests of our students.

Code of Conduct (PDF)

Consumer Information Disclosure (PDF)

Tuition and Fees

College of Osteopathic Medicine

The 2017-2018 tuition for the College of Osteopathic Medicine is $53,380.00. Additional program fees may apply and may be announced by the administration at any time. The following annual fees will also apply to all COM students:


Student Services: $200
Student Health Insurance: $4,137


Student Services: $200
Pathophysiological Overview Course Fee: $1,178
Student Health Insurance: $4,137


Student Services: $80
Pathophysiological Overview Course Fee: $490
Student Health Insurance: $4,137


Student Services: $80
Student Health Insurance: $4,137

The University reserves the right to change tuition and fees at any time without advanced notice.

Students will be billed for tuition and fees for each semester approximately 30 days prior to the beginning of each term. Tuition and fees must be paid in full by the first day of class. Late tuition payments or failure to make arrangements to pay tuition will result in the student being removed from class and/or clinical rotations.

All students are required to obtain health insurance prior to matriculation and maintain their individual health insurance throughout their time of enrollment at the University. Students are automatically enrolled in the RVU Student Health Insurance plan and will be billed for the annual premium with their fall tuition. Students may waive RVU insurance if they can document equivalent coverage. Refer to the section on Student Health Insurance for more information.


Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

The 2017-2018 tuition is $25,770.00. Additional program fees may apply and may be announced by the administration at any time.

The following annual fees will also apply to all MSBS students:

Student Services: $200
Student Health Insurance: $4,137


Tuition Payment Information:

Tuition and fees are due and payable in full by the first day of the fall and spring semesters unless the student has sufficient financial aid awarded to cover the balance due. RVU does not offer a tuition payment plan.

Tuition payments may be made by check, credit card, or ACH transaction. Matriculated students will have access to a payment portal for credit card or ACH payments. Any checks submitted must indicate the student’s name and student number, and should be made out to “Rocky Vista University.”


Tuition Refund Information:

A student who withdraws (either voluntarily or involuntarily) before the first day of class of a semester for which they have already paid their tuition and fees will receive a 100% refund for that semester, with the exception of any non-refundable deposits which will be retained by the University.

Students who matriculate into the University, begin classes or rotations, and subsequently withdraw (either voluntarily or involuntarily) within the first seven calendar days of a semester shall receive a refund equal to the amount of their tuition for that semester less $4,000. Fees may be refunded with the exception of charges already incurred as of the date of withdrawal.

Students who withdraw (either voluntarily or involuntarily) from the University after the first seven days of class or rotations but before the thirtieth calendar day of the semester shall receive a refund of 50% of the amount of tuition paid for that semester. No fees will be refunded. Important Note: All dismissals are deemed involuntary withdrawals from the University. Students who are on a voluntary or administrative leave of absence will not be eligible for refunds. Any exceptions to this refund policy must be made by the Dean of the College.

Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Services is available to assist students with finding the financial resources needed to achieve their educational goals. While the primary responsibility for meeting educational costs rests with the student, the Office of Student Financial Services can help students bridge-the-gap between the cost of their education and their own financial resources.

Current students finance their educational costs with a combination of federal and private loans, scholarships and their own resources. The financial ability of applicants to complete their education at the University is important because of the limited number of positions available in each class. Applicants should have specific plans for financing each year of education, including tuition, fees, living expenses, books, equipment, clinical rotation travel, expenses related to taking COMLEX and USMLE exams or other professional examinations, and miscellaneous expenses. Coursework at Rocky Vista University is rigorous, and students should not expect that they will be able to finance their education through part-time employment.

The Office of Student Financial Services will communicate financial aid information and awards to individual students by electronic means. Any student who wishes to receive paper copies of award letters or other financial aid correspondence may opt out of electronic communications by providing a written request to the Office of Student Financial Services.


How to Apply for Financial Aid:

Students who wish to apply for a loan must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Students should go to to complete the online FAFSA and use the RVUCOM school code 042189. RVU students are strongly encouraged to complete their FAFSA prior to April 1.

The Office of Student Financial Services will determine the financial aid eligibility for each student annually. RVU will receive FAFSA information directly from the Department of Education. In some cases, additional documentation may be required, based upon edits in the FAFSA system or information in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). We may also request other information from students in order to ensure we award financial aid in compliance with federal rules and regulations.

Accepted and matriculated students will have access to an on-line Financial Aid Portal which will provide information about any missing documents and awards offered.

FAFSA website


How Aid is Disbursed:

Students will receive information about their financial award through their individual online Financial Aid Portal. They must accept, reduce or cancel each award before a disbursement can be scheduled.

Most financial aid awards are equally split between the fall and spring semester. Financial aid funds are usually sent to RVU near the beginning of each term and will be applied to the student’s account. Institutional charges such as tuition, fees, and health insurance will be paid first. If a credit balance remains after payment of the outstanding balance, a refund will be issued to the student within fourteen days of the creation of the credit balance.

Refunds are normally disbursed through the RVU E-Refund process and are direct deposited into the student’s personal bank account. Instructions on how to set up an E-Refund account will be explained to new students during Orientation.

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the cost of attending RVU and maintaining a modest but adequate standard living. The COA includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, health insurance, living expenses, transportation and miscellaneous costs. The COA varies by year in school and is updated annually.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete a personal budget and only borrow the minimum amount needed to cover their actual costs. Many RVUCOM students are able to live on less than the COA by budgeting carefully and reducing their expenses for room, board, personal and transportation costs. Note that the COA does not include living expenses for a student’s spouse or other dependents.

Total loan amounts borrowed and scholarships awarded cannot exceed the COA minus any other aid received.

2017-2018 Cost of Attendance – COM (PDF)

2017-2018 Cost of Attendance – MSBS (PDF)

General Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for most types of federal student aid, you must:

  • Be an accepted RVU student.
  • Be degree seeking.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Make satisfactory academic progress, as defined by RVU and the Department of Education, towards the completions of your degree.
  • Register with selective service, if required.
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan and not owe money back on a federal student grant.

Budget Adjustments (Professional Judgment)

Sometimes students may need extra funds for expenses necessary for them to complete their education. It is important to note that additional funds may be granted only for non-discretionary expenses allowed by federal regulations. Students must submit a written request and document their need for additional funds. Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Services for more information about policy, procedures and forms. Note that adjustments may be restricted to specific maximum amounts.

In general, funds may be granted for expenses related to:

  • Dependent care costs
  • Computer purchase
  • Clinical rotation expenses
  • Audition/Interview rotation expenses
  • Global rotation expenses

Additional funds cannot be granted for:

  • Car payments
  • Consumer indebtedness (credit card payments, prior student loan debt, etc.)
  • Living expenses for dependents
  • Mortgage payments in excess of Cost of Attendance housing allowance
  • Expenses that are covered (or could be covered) by insurance
  • Pet expenses

Student Loans

Federal loans available to graduate medical students include the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Direct Grad/PLUS Loan. Interest rates on federal loans are set annually but then remain fixed for the life of the loan. Both of these loans have loan origination fees. The Grad/PLUS loan also requires that students have no adverse credit history. For more detailed information about federal loans, includ¬ing the current interest rates, loan fees and repayment terms go to or contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

Private educational loans are also available to students. Private loans may have fixed or variable interest rates and may charge loan origination fees. All will require a credit check and many may require a cosigner to get a lower interest rate. Private loan applicants should understand that they may qualify for federal Title IV loans which may have more favorable terms than the provisions of a private educational loan. Students are strongly encouraged to review the interest rates, fees, loan terms and repayment options described in the promissory note before making a decision to select a private loan.

Students receiving loans for the first time must complete loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note before any funds will be disbursed. In addition, all new students who are receiving loans are required to complete an additional loan counseling presentation during their first semester of attendance. Enrolled students are encouraged to meet annually with a financial aid counselor to discuss their cumulative debt and repayment options. All students who have received any type of educational loan must participate in loan exit counseling during their last semester as a requirement for graduation.

Student Loans website

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)


RVU Scholarships

The University and the RVU Alumni Association offer several scholarships to incoming students each year. These scholarships are offered in the form of partial tuition waivers. Scholarship information and applications are available annually, during the spring prior to matriculation. Scholarship applicants must complete a separate application and supply all required supporting documentation for each individual scholarship they are applying for by the deadline. Award recipients are announced in July.

  • Brandon Trusell Service Scholarship: this scholarship will be awarded to two incoming students who have demonstrated a commitment to service. Each recipient will receive a tuition waiver of $5,000 ($2,500 per semester). This is a one-year award.
  • Robert Bruce Told Scholarship: this scholarship will be awarded to an incoming student who grew up and graduated from high school in a rural community. Preference will be given to applicants who plan to return to a rural community to practice medicine. The recipient will receive a tuition waiver of $10,000 ($5,000 per semester) and the award is renewable for three additional years.
  • RVU Challenge Scholarship: this scholarship will be awarded to two incoming students who demonstrate that they have had to overcome previous or ongoing hardships to get to where they are today. Each recipient will receive a tuition waiver of $5,000 ($2,500 per semester). This is a one-year award.
  • RVU Healthcare Leaders Scholarship: this scholarship will be awarded to an incoming minority medical student. For purposes of this scholarship, a minority is defined as a student of Black/African-American, Native American, Asian/Pacific, or of Hispanic ethnic origin, as defined by the American Osteopathic Foundation. The recipient will receive a tuition waiver of $10,000 ($5,000 per semester) and the award is renewable for three additional years.
  • RVU Hope Scholarship: this scholarship will be awarded to an incoming student who is the first person in his or her immediate family to attend college. The recipient will receive a tuition waiver of $10,000 ($5,000 per semester) and the award is renewable for three additional years.
  • RVU Opportunity Scholarship: this scholarship will be awarded to an incoming student who grew up and graduated from high school in an inner city community. (Inner city is defined as “the usually older, central part of a city, especially characterized by crowded neighborhoods in which low-income, often minority groups predominate.”) Preference will be given to applicants who plan to return to an inner city community to practice medicine. The recipient will receive a tuition waiver of $10,000 ($5,000 per semester) and the award is renewable for three additional years.


Outside Scholarships

  • Colorado Medical Society: The Colorado Medical Society Education Foundation offers the opportunity for interested pre-matriculating medical students in Colorado to apply for a Foundation scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to pre-matriculating medical students with financial need who demonstrate commitment to a future practice in either a medically underserved area and/or a rural community. To apply or learn more about this scholarship, click here: Colorado Medical Society Education Foundation Scholarship Application (Doc)
  • Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation: Ensuring the future of Osteopathic Medicine in Colorado begins by supporting today’s Osteopathic medical students. The Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation is proud to award up to five $10,000 scholarships to students entering their third year at an AOA accredited College of Osteopathic Medicine. These scholarships are renewed automatically for $10,000 each for the fourth year as long as the students are in good standing with their College of Osteopathic Medicine. Scholarships are for tuition unless the selected recipients receive a fellowship. In addition, the Walter S. Strode, D.O. Memorial Scholarship has been established. To apply or learn more about this scholarship, click here: Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation
  • Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP): The Military Health Profession Scholarship Program is offered through the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force. This scholarship program helps cover direct educational costs and provides a monthly stipend to each recipient. In return, there is a service commitment of one year of active duty service for each year of participation in the program, with a minimum commitment of three years.


General Scholarship Search Engines and Information

Remember: Never pay for a scholarship search. Don’t fall prey to scholarship scams!

  • College Board: This online tool will help you locate scholarships and grants that match your educational level, talents, and background.
  • Department of Labor: The Federal Government’s scholarship search engine.
  • Website has in-depth information on scholarships, loans and all types of financial aid. Links to other scholarship websites, unusual scholarships, information on how to apply as well as how to avoid scams.
  • FastWeb: The largest and most complete source of scholarships available with personalized matching of scholarships to your unique profile. You can also look for college profiles and search jobs or internships.
  • Peterson’s College Search: Includes a graduate scholarship search.
  • Sallie Mae: A Sallie Mae website with thousands of private scholarships, grants, tuition waivers, internships, and fellowships.


Information on Individual Scholarships

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers a scholarship to students interested in pursuing a career as a primary care physician. This scholarship program covers tuition, fees, other reasonable educational costs, and provides a monthly living stipend. In return, the recipient must serve one year for each year of support at an approved site after completing a primary care residency. There is a minimum commitment of two years.

Other federal, state, and local scholarship programs may be available for qualified students.

Loan Forgiveness Programs

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers two types of loan repayment assistance programs to those pursuing careers as primary care physicians. The NHSC Loan Repayment Program is open to licensed primary care health providers who are employed at an NHSC approved site.  Recipients can receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment for a two year commitment. The NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program is open to students pursuing careers as primary care doctors that are in their final year of medical school.  Recipients may receive up to $120,000 for a minimum of 3 years of service. In return, students commit to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) with the greatest need.

Other state loan repayment programs may be available for those who qualify.

National Health Service Corps Programs

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

Federal regulations require that RVUCOM establish, publish and apply standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) which students enrolled in the University must meet in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. This policy applies to all students applying for or currently receiving Federal, State, or institutional financial assistance.

RVUCOM – Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients (PDF)

MSBS – Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients (PDF)

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) policy applies to all students enrolled at RVUCOM who are eligible to receive financial aid from Title IV funds and who totally withdraw, are dismissed, take an approved leave of absence, drop out or stop attending all classes during a semester. These students may be required to repay a portion of their federal financial aid. Refer to the link below or contact the Office of Student Financial Services for more information.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy (PDF)

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student who receive financial aid have certain rights and responsibilities.

As a student, you have the right to know:

  • What financial aid programs are available and how to apply for them;
  • The criteria used to determine financial aid eligibility and calculate need;
  • The type and amount of assistance you will receive, and how you will be paid;
  • The terms and conditions of any financial aid you accept;
  • The interest rate and terms of repayment of any loan you accept;
  • The procedure for increasing, decreasing or cancelling your student loan;
  • The Cost of Attendance, Tuition Refund and Return of Title IV funds policy;
  • How Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid is determined;
  • The process, requirements and consequences of any withdrawal, dismissal or leave of absence from the University;
  • That all application information will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality;
  • Your rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA);
  • To request a review of your financial aid package if family and/or financial circumstances have changed;
  • That the Office of Student Financial Services will communicate financial aid information and awards to you by electronic means unless you provide a written request asking us to provide paper copies;
  • That RVU will submit your enrollment and loan information to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) as required by the federal government.
  • Campus security and crime statistics.

As a student, it’s your responsibility to:

  • Establish plans to meet your educational and living expenses;
  • Submit all documentation and forms requested by the Office of Financial Aid or your lender in a timely and accurate manner;
  • Read, understand, and retain copies of all information and/or forms that are sent to you and all other documents you sign;
  • Comply with the provisions of any aid received, as well as any promissory note(s) and all other agreements you sign;
  • Notify RVU of all resources (especially outside resources) you receive that are not listed on your award letter;
  • Keep RVU informed of any change of address, name or marital status while you are a student, and until all loans have been repaid in full;
  • Use aid only for educational expenses related to attending the University;
  • Comply with deadlines for the payment of tuition;
  • Register and attend classes for the number of hours required for your aid disbursement;
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress;
  • Provide written permission before personal information can be released to outside parties.
  • Reapply for student financial aid every year.
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with a financial aid counselor during your first semester if you are receiving a student loan.

Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling

Students who borrow under the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to complete exit counseling before they graduate or drop below half-time.

Exit counseling must be completed online at

Once you have completed exit counseling, the Office of Student Financial services will receive an electronic notification.

Loss and Regaining of Eligibility after a Drug Conviction

Loss of Eligibility Due to A Drug Violation:

A student who is convicted of a state or federal drug offense while enrolled in school and receiving federal student aid is ineligible for federal student aid. The chart below explains the period of ineligibility for federal student aid funds:

                                Possession of illegal drugs                          Sale of illegal drugs

1st Offense        1 year from date of conviction                   2 years from date of conviction

2nd Offense       2 years from date of conviction                 Indefinite period

3+ Offenses       Indefinite period


Regaining Eligibility after a Drug Conviction:

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when they successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program.

A drug rehabilitation program is considered qualified if it includes at least two unannounced drug tests and meets one of the following requirements:

  • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government.
  • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company.
  • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court.
  • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it by successfully completing a rehabilitation program or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record.

Military and Veterans Programs Review

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine is approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for the certification of students eligible to receive VA educational benefits. The Office of Student Financial Services is responsible for submitting certifications verifying veterans’ enrollment at RVUCOM. The DVA determines a veteran’s eligibility for specific GI Bill programs. For more information about programs and procedures for applying please go to or call 1-888- GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551). Once the DVA has determined that you are eligible to receive GI Bill benefits, you must submit the following documents to the Office of Student Financial Services:

  • A copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (provided by the DVA)
  • A completed Request for a Change of Program or Place of Training (DVA Form 22-1995) if you have received benefits previously at another school.
  • A Request for GI Bill Certification form. (This form must be completed each semester if would like us to certify your enrollment with the DVA.)

Veterans will pay the same tuition and fees as all other students. Rates can be found under the Tuition and Fees tab above. Veterans should contact the certifying official at the Office of Student Financial Services for any questions or concerns about their attendance at RVUCOM. We are here to help you!

Student Health Insurance

All students are required to obtain health insurance prior to matriculation and to maintain their individual health insurance throughout their time of enrollment at the University. Students must participate in the University sponsored health insurance program or submit an approved waiver with documentation of alternative equivalent coverage. If a student’s insurance is scheduled to expire during the academic year, they must obtain a new waiver form with proof of new insurance at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their old insurance. Any student who has a lapse of health insurance coverage will be summarily removed from classes and or rotations and may be subject to dismissal.

The RVU Student Health Insurance program is in effect from August 1 to July 31 each year and the total annual premium is billed at the start of the fall semester. The current cost of the Student Health Insurance program may be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Services.

Financial Wellness

It is a known fact that debt and financial strain are one of the main causes of stress which could result in a loss of focus in medical school. Financial wellness is very important before medical school, during medical school, and after graduation. The prescription for financial wellness is budgeting and good debt management which can lead you on a path to success. Save yourself money! You can lower the amount you borrow in student loans by creating a budget and changing your spending habits.


Budgeting can be a challenge since you are not able to work during medical school. However, it is necessary. Creating and following a budget can help you avoid borrowing more loan funds than what you actually need. It can also help you manage your student loan funds so you don’t run out of money before your next disbursement is scheduled.

Steps to creating a budget:

  1. Calculate your total monthly income.
  2. Determine your monthly expenses.
  3. Compare your income to your expenses. Your income should be equal or more than your monthly expenses. If it isn’t, you will need to cut back on your spending.
  4. Use one of the many on-line sources to create a budget and track your spending.

Here are some budgeting tips:

  • Differentiate between needs and wants.
  • Be realistic.
  • Stick with it.
  • Have an emergency fund set aside for unexpected expenses such as medical bills or car repairs.
  • Be conservative.
  • Review often and revise as needed.

Ways to Cut Spending:

  • Don’t buy things you cannot afford.
  • Get a roommate.
  • Carpool or bike to school.
  • Avoid eating out.
  • Make your own coffee.
  • Avoid ATM fees.
  • Shop smart.
  • Don’t impulse buy. Wait on purchases.

Online Budgeting and Money Management Resources We Recommend:





My Money

Better Money Habits

Great Lakes

FedLoan Servicing


Practical Money Skills

Money Management Tips


Credit Scores

Credit scores are important because they rate your credit worthiness. The higher your score, the more likely you will get approved for future loans. A low score could impact many areas of your life such as Graduate PLUS loan eligibility, employment opportunities, and housing.

Ways to Improve Your Score:

  • Pay bills on time.
  • Keep balances low on credit cards.
  • Manage credit cards responsibly.
  • Don’t close unused accounts.
  • Don’t open numerous credit accounts.
  • Check credit report for mistakes.

Credit Reporting Agencies:




You can also request a free copy of your credit report online at



The IRS offers tax breaks for higher education. For more information visit:




Student Loan Repayment

It is important to plan out how you will repay your loans once they go into repayment. Start planning before, during, and after graduation. The decisions you make now will affect how you will be able to live your life later.

  • Take a realistic approach.
  • Estimate what your take-home pay will be during residency and beyond. There are many free online net pay calculators you can use.
  • Keep a close eye on your loan balances by visiting
  • Calculate what your monthly loan payments will be. We recommend using the following websites to calculate your future monthly loan payments:

Federal Student Aid


There are many Direct Loan Repayment Plans available to choose from once your loans enter repayment. You can find detailed information on the following websites:

AAMC First

Federal Student Aid

You can also contact your student loan servicer(s) to discuss your repayment plan options.