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Frequently Asked Questions


    What are Independent Study courses?

    Colorado State University-Pueblo is committed to providing high quality and fully accredited digital and print-based correspondence courses for students whose learning needs are not readily met by traditional on-campus offerings We take education out of the classroom and deliver it to your door. Our Independent Study courses consist of a challenging curriculum that will enable you to learn at your own pace. Our courses are taught by CSU-Pueblo faculty members and qualified subject-matter experts within our community who possess both a postgraduate degree and college or university teaching experience in their field. All of our instructors and curriculum are reviewed and approved by the chair and dean of the respective departments. Independent Study provides you with flexibility and convenience. You can enroll at almost anytime during the year and study where and when it inconvenient.

    How long are classes?

    Learn by Term courses combine the advantages of self-paced correspondence courses with web-based tools to complete your course work in 15 weeks. Courses follow the traditional semester schedule and are financial aid eligible for those who qualify. If you choose to utilize financial aid to pay for your courses you must abide by the term dates for the course. Extended Learning courses (self-pay) allow for more flexibility. Self-pay students have six months from date of registration to complete a course through web or print-based assignments. Courses may not be completed in less than two weeks (14 days) per credit hour. (ie. A minimum of 6 weeks or 42 days, for a 3 credit hour course.)

    When are payments for courses due?

    At the time of registration, students using financial aid or third party payments will be liable for any unpaid balances. Proof of payment or confirmation of pending aid from the Financial Aid Office, Veteran Success Center, or Athletic department is due at registration. Students with outstanding balances after the payment date will be subject to a DROP for nonpayment from the courses for which payment was not received. Students who have been dropped for non-payment can usually be reinstated in the course if full payment is received within 14 days of the drop. It is the responsibility of the student to work with any third-party payer or the financial aid office to ensure that funds have been credited to their account prior to the drop for non-payment deadline. Payment may be made in the form of a check, money order, or credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or Discover). All checks must be payable to CSU-Pueblo. There will be a charge of $25.00 for any returned checks.

    Does it cost more to take a course if I live outside the United States?

    If you live outside the United States (excluding APO-FPO addresses) and indicate that you want your syllabus mailed to you, you will need to pay an additional fee of $45 for airmail postage at the time of registration. The Division of Extended Studies sends all United States mail, including mail to APO and FPO addresses, by air.

    Should I make copies of my work when ready to submit to my instructor?

    It is important that you retain a copy of everything you send to your instructor. Postal mail can be lost in the many processes it goes through to get to our University.

    Will I get a University email address when I become a degree seeking student?

    CSU-Pueblo uses its campus email system as its official mode of communication. Consequently, all students, staff and faculty are required to utilize their assigned campus e-mail account. Students are expected to read and respond to messages in a timely, consistent manner. Students are asked to communicate with their instructors from their CSU-Pueblo e-mail whenever possible. If you need assistance accessing your e-mail, contact the CSU-Pueblo IT Help Desk at 719-549-2002 or

    Who can take CSU-Pueblo Independent Study courses?

    Anyone can take Independent Study courses. You do not need to be a degree-seeking student to enroll in one of our more than 100 academic courses. Please note that enrolling in an academic correspondence course at CSU-Pueblo does not constitute admission to the University. To learn how to be formally admitted into one of our three degree Bachelor of Science Degree programs (Sociology, Criminology, Interdisiplinary Studies) please contact our Office of Admission at: 719.549.2462 or

    How do CSU-Pueblo students register for an Independent Study course?

    If you are a CSU-Pueblo student and you wish to enroll in an Independent Study course, you will need to see your advisor so they can help select the appropriate course the student needs for their degree program. Registration forms can be obtained in the Extended Studies office or online by visiting our website at:

    Print-based students may request that a registration is sent to them via postal mail.


    How do I know what courses will be offered per term?

    Not every course is available every semester for student registration. Please call ahead for course availability. A copy of our available courses can be found at:


    How do I purchase my textbook from the University bookstore?

    You will need to buy your own textbook(s) and other supplies. We recommend that you purchase your textbooks through the CSU-Pueblo Bookstore. You can order your books by:

     Telephone: (719) 549-2146
     Online:
     Print-Based Mail: A book order form is included in each syllabus
     Learning Management System (Blackboard)

    Be sure to use the correct edition of the textbook, as specified in your syllabus.


    Can I use the University Library?

    We encourage our Independent Study students to use CSU-Pueblo’s library. You will have access to many services including catalogs and databases, inter-library loans, and reference services. For more information about the resources available through CSU-Pueblo's library, call our library at: 719.549.2333

    How do I get technical support for Blackboard, PAWS or student e-mail?

    You can contact the CSU-Pueblo Independent Studies Coordinator at 719-549-2316. If the Independent Studies Coordinator is unable to help you can contact the CSU-Pueblo IT help desk at 719.549.2002 or e-mail for support at The HelpDesk can also help you with your Personal Access to Web Services, better known as PAWS. PAWS allows you to see your electronic bill you have with the University, update your personal information, and utilize the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). DARS has two components, the degree audit and transfer evaluation. The degree audit is an automated process for tracking your academic progress toward completing an academic program. The transfer evaluation reports the courses completed at another institution.

    Can I use the University’s Online Writing Center?

    The Online Writing Center is available to Independent Study students to provide tutoring in all types of writing: essay, scientific, business, or creative. (Although the Writing Center offers a 24-hour turnaround time, it is not a proofreading service.) Take advantage of this free service at

    Do any of your courses require placement exams and/or prerequisites?

    If you are a degree-seeking student at CSU-Pueblo, some courses have prerequisites that must be met before enrollment. A prerequisite is a course, courses, or test score that must be successfully completed before you register for a specific course. Proof of prerequisite completion may be required at the time of enrollment based on the CSU-Pueblo Academic Catalog. For example, you may need to take a placement exam prior to registering for English 101 and Math 109. English 101 requires the successful completion of English 099, satisfactory ACT/SAT Verbal score from within the last five years, or a passing score on the CSU-Pueblo Accuplacer exam. Math 109 requires the successful completion of Math 099, or a satisfactory ACT/SAT Math score from within the last five years, a passing score on the CSU-Pueblo Accuplacer exam. Please contact Extended Studies for additional information.

    How many courses can be taken at one time?

    Enrollment is capped at 18 credit hours per semester.

    Can I work with someone else to complete my course?

    No. Any use of unauthorized assistance in preparing materials that students submit original work is considered cheating and constitutes grounds for dismissal.

    When will my grade appear on my transcript?

    Grades are entered on the transcript after your instructor has graded all of your coursework. If you do not complete your coursework by the completion date for an Independent Study class for which you registered, a grade of incomplete (IN) will appear on your transcript until the instructor has submitted a final grade or you reach your completion date. An incomplete course must be satisfactorily completed within the time frame stipulated by both Extended Studies and the instructor but no later than one calendar year from the date the IN was given. An incomplete not removed within one calendar year shall revert to the pre-assigned grade of an "F- failed" and be included in the computation of the student’s grade point average. Re-enrollment of a course is not allowed while the IN is still outstanding for that course.

    What if I am not able to meet the completion deadline?

    Courses have distinct enrollment and completion periods. If you will not be able to complete your Learn by Term course by the last day of the campus term, you must file a Request for Incomplete form with your instructor and the Independent Studies office. Requests for Incompletes will only be granted in cases in which the student can demonstrate the following:

     The student has completed at least 60% of the course work with a passing grade.
     Unforeseen circumstances which substantially interfered with the student's ability to complete the course in a timely manner
     A detailed plan for completing the remaining work within 60 days of the end of the term.

    If due to family responsibilities, employment commitments, or unforeseen circumstances, you are not able to meet your completion deadline for an Independent Study course, you have the opportunity to apply for a one-time six-month extension. An extension request form must be on file at least 14 days prior to the original completion deadline. This form is located in the forms packet and should be mailed to our office with the $20.00 extension fee per credit hour.

    VA Students:

    If you cannot complete your coursework during the originally allotted timeframe and you elect to take a two-month incomplete, the Department of Veteran Affairs will not continue to pay VA benefits during this period. If you have questions regarding VA policies, please contact the CSU-Pueblo Veterans Office at 719.549.2910.


    Can I drop or withdraw from a course?

    You may drop a course for a full refund within 21 days of your registration. You may withdraw from a course after the drop period, or 10 weeks from registration date, for Independent Study students (self-pay - six-month completion) or 8 weeks from registration date for term-based students (utilizing government financial aid or scholarships).

    Is CSU-Pueblo an accredited institution?

    Colorado State University-Pueblo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL, 60602-2501, Phone 800-621-7440.

    Who do I contact if I have a problem in the course?

    Students should always contact their instructor first to attempt to resolve any issues related to the course. If the student is unable to resolve an issue with the instructor, they should next contact the Extended Studies office at 719-549-2316. Additional information regarding formal appeal processes and information on how to register a complaint with our accrediting agency, the State of Colorado or your home state is available at:

    How do I sign up for graduation once I have completed my degree requirements?

    Graduation Contracts for fall and spring semester are due no later than the fourth week of the graduating term. Graduation Contracts for summer session are due no later than the third week of the of the 12-week summer session. Students unable to complete degree requirements within the University deadlines will be required to submit a new Graduation Contract to the Registrar’s Office in order to establish a new tentative degree conferral date.

    Will I need a proctor to take exams?

    Yes; you will need an authorized proctor. Many courses require one or more proctored exams. Proctors serve an important role in maintaining the academic integrity of our program. Proctors are responsible for confirming the identity of a student and supervising the student while taking a test to ensure that all testing rules are followed. After completing the test, the proctor returns the test, usually by U.S. Mail, to the instructor for grading. Students are responsible for identifying an acceptable proctor within the first two weeks of a course. Proctors must be approved by the Division of Extended Studies office before exams will be sent, so it is a good idea to submit your proctor information early to ensure testing is not delayed.

    PLEASE NOTE that in response to new federal guidelines, our proctoring process has changed and some proctors may no longer be eligible to administer exams. Some states require out-of-state institutions to be separately authorized to serve students as their acceptable proctors are a testing center, military education officer or designee, Extended Studies administrator, public librarian or approved web-based proctoring service better known as ProctorU. Proctors cannot be: a coworker, peer or friend, subordinate or direct supervisor of the student, relative, Extended Studies student or student employee. Questions regarding the appropriateness of a proctor should be directed to the Extended Studies office.
    Students living in the Pueblo or Colorado Springs area are encouraged to utilize proctoring services available at no charge through the CSU-Pueblo Extended Studies offices. Proctoring on the CSU-Pueblo campus outside of the Extended Studies office may only be conducted by the instructor of the course or under special permission from the Extended Studies office.

    Students should be aware when selecting a proctor that many proctoring services charge a fee for each test administered. Fees commonly range from $20- $50 and are set by the individual provider. Students are responsible for paying any fees related to proctoring exams in addition to the cost of tuition for the course.

    Some states require that proctoring for distance education courses be conducted electronically. Students taking courses which require proctoring in Oregon, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Rhode Island are required to utilize the online proctoring service Proctor U to administer exams. Proctor U is a fee-based service which proctors exams over the internet via a webcam. Additional information about this proctoring service is available from the Extended Studies office or in the syllabus packet provided at registration. Students who have difficulty identifying an acceptable proctor in their local area should contact the Extended Studies office for assistance.


    Can I take Independent Study Courses if I am incarcerated?

    Courses can be taken via print-based correspondence while a student is incarcerated. For print-based course work and materials, Independent Studies utilizes the U.S. Postal system.

    Students will need to be aware of their intuition’s policy about sending and receiving documents and course materials, including textbooks. Textbooks and materials are not included in the cost of the course and will need to be purchased separately through the CSU-Pueblo Bookstore or third party vendor. It is advised that incarcerated students find an advocate to speak on their behalf. A sponsor can assist communicating educational needs and in processing registration or other correspondence. Students using a sponsor will be required to complete a FERPA privacy release to allow University personnel to communicate with the advocate regarding the student’s educational record.

    Most courses require proctored exams. Students who are incarcerated should be aware of their institution’s policies and procedures regarding the proctoring of educational exams within their institution. Print-based exams are available for all courses when required.

    It is advised that the students identify a source of third-party payment for funding. CSU – Pueblo does not assist in finding third party funders.

    Our financial aid office can be contacted by the following address:

    Student Financial Services
    Administration Building, Rm 212
    2200 Bonforte Blvd. Pueblo, CO. 81001
    By phone at 719-549-2088
    By e-mail at


    How do I order an Official Transcript?

    Official transcripts are issued by the Registrar’s Office at the signed request of the student. There is a non-refundable fee for each official transcript. Check with the Registrar’s Office for current fees. Transcript fees must be prepaid before official transcripts will be released. Acceptable methods of payment are cash, personal check, money order, VISA, MasterCard and Discover. Special fees are charged for special handling (Priority, Express, International mail, and faxing).

    All accounts with Colorado State University-Pueblo must be settled before an official transcript can be issued.

    Transcripts are processed as rapidly as possible and are usually issued within five working days from the date the signed request is received in the Registrar’s Office. Students should allow extra time for issuance near the end of term. Due to the processing of grades, transcripts (official or unofficial) for enrolled students will not be released during the week of finals and the following week. CSU-Pueblo does not accept e-mail or telephone transcript requests.

    Faxing of Transcripts

    A pre-paid fee is required for an unofficial transcript to be faxed to a destination within the United States; there also is a higher pre-paid fee required for a transcript faxed outside the country. Since faxed transcripts are considered as working (unofficial) documents only, the fax will be followed up by an official (hard copy) version to follow by first class mail within five working days.

    How to Order a Transcript

    Signed transcript requests should include the following information:

     Student’s full name (including maiden or another name if applicable)
     Student’s current address and phone number; • Student ID number
     Date of birth
     The last term the student was enrolled at CSU-Pueblo
     Instructions on whether the current term grades or degree conferral; are to be included (this is important when a transcript is ordered near the end of a term)
     The complete name and address of the agency, school, or individuals to whom transcripts are to be sent
     The student’s signature (this provides CSU-Pueblo with the necessary authorization to release the transcript to the designee
     Payment method.


     If someone other than the individual named on the transcript has been authorized to pick up the document in person, they must provide a signed release from the person named on the transcript.
     If payment is to be made by credit card, please provide type (VISA, MasterCard or Discover), credit card number, expiration date, 3-digit CVV code on back of the card, name of cardholder, address of cardholder, and daytime phone number.
     If the order is for a faxed transcript, the following information is also needed:

    1.The fax number and name of the person to whose attention the transcript is to be sent.
    2. The name and address to which the subsequent official, hard copy transcript will be mailed.

    For more Information, you can contact the Registrar’s Office at 719.549.2261 or email at


    Can I use Military Benefits for Independent Study tuition?

    Independent Study Courses are designed to provide time and logistical flexibility to students and can be completed via e-mail for postal mail regardless of where you may be stationed.

    For assistance with VA benefits, you will need to contact CSU – Pueblo’s Veterans Education Benefits office at:

    Colorado State University-Pueblo
    Military and Veteran Success Center
    2200 Bonforte Blvd., Rm. 114 (OSC)
    Pueblo, CO. 81001
    By phone at 719-545-2910
    By e-mail at

    For assistance with TA benefits, contact CSU—Pueblo at Ft Carson
    1661 O’Connell, Bldg 1012, Ste 213
    Ft Carson, CO 80913

     Students utilizing TA benefits, excluding GoArmy, are considered self-pay students and can register any date before the end of the semester.
     GoArmy students may register for courses up to 15 days before the semester ends.


    Am I eligible for Financial Aid if I am incarcerated?

    Pell Grant Eligibility for Incarcerated StudentsRecent legislation signed into law on December 27th, 2020 included, among other things, a repeal to the ban on Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students. This change should go into effect by July 2023, at the latest. Independent Study is aware of the eligibility change, however we are currently waiting for the U.S. Department of Education to release more details. We appreciate your patience and will provide more information as it becomes available.

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