Confused About Your Financial Aid? 

Try finding your questions in the list below,
and we may be able to give you a quick answer!

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at 786-1480, or just stop by the One Stop Kiosk at the University Center!
 



 

What kinds of financial aid are available?

UAA offers many different types of financial aid. The Office of Student Financial Assistance participates in a wide variety of Federal Title IV programs, and fosters a continuing relationship with the community through a dynamic list of local and international scholarships.

 

Do I qualify for financial aid?

Check here to make sure you meet the aid requirements of the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

To qualify for further aid, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The basic requirements of federal aid can be found on the the studentaid.ed.gov Eligibility page.

 

Do I need to report my parents information on the FAFSA?

This question can cause a great deal of confusion. The simplest answer is "yes" if you are 24 years of age or younger by December 31 of the award year. Click here for a more detailed answer.

Note: parental FAFSA information only affects your student financial aid. This has no bearing on official IRS definitions, or whether you physically live with your parent(s). The U.S. Department of Education uses a definition assigned by the Congress of the United States to allocate finite funds to a large population of applicants.

 

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial aid at UAA, see our Financial Aid Checklist!

 

When is the deadline to fill out my FAFSA?

The simple answer is that there is no deadline to fill out the FAFSA. However, since the FAFSA is the most important requirement for Financial Aid at UAA, filling out the FAFSA early in the year is important for these two reasons:

  1. The University of Alaska uses the FAFSA to determine eligibility for some of our institutional scholarships. You should therefore complete the FAFSA and the UAOnline Scholarship Application by February 15th prior to the start of the academic year.

  2. The State of Alaska uses your FAFSA to determine eligibility for the AlaskAdvantage Education Grant and the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) if you complete it before June 30th.

The FAFSA requires much of the same information as your taxes, so we suggest that you fill out both your taxes and your FAFSA early in the year, and before February 15th, so that you can apply for UAA scholarships. If you aren't able to complete your FAFSA with current tax information, remember that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool lets you use estimates of your tax information from the previous year, and correct your FAFSA later, when you do your taxes. Completing your FAFSA early will prepare you for many wonderful Financial Aid opportunities!

 

How can I avoid making mistakes on my FAFSA?

Making mistakes on your FAFSA can delay your application or even prevent you from receiving financial aid. The most common errors people make are listed below. As you complete the FAFSA, try to avoid these errors.

  • Leaving blank fields: Please enter a "0," "NA," or "not applicable" instead of leaving a field blank. Too many blanks may cause miscalculations and an application rejection.

  • Using commas or decimal points in numeric fields: Always round to the nearest dollar.

  • Listing incorrect Social Security Number or Driver's license number: Double-check these entries and have someone else check them, too. If your parent is completing the FAFSA for you, make sure they do not enter their own SSN when the application is asking for your (the student’s) SSN.

  • Entering the wrong federal income tax paid amount: Obtain your federal income paid amount from your income tax return forms, not your W-2 form(s). Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when possible.

  • Listing Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) as equal to total income: These are not the same figure. In most cases, the AGI is larger than the total income. This mistake is particularly common.

  • Listing marital status incorrectly: Only write "yes" if you are currently married. They want to know what your marital status is on the day you sign the FAFSA, or Renewal FAFSA.

  • Listing parent marital status incorrectly: The custodial parent's marital status is needed; if they've remarried, you'll need the stepparent's information too.

  • Forgetting to list the college: UAA’s federal school code is 011462.

  • Forgetting to sign and date: If you're filling out the paper FAFSA, be sure to sign it. If you're filing electronically, be sure to obtain your PIN from www.pin.ed.gov. Your PIN is your electronic signature and will always be assigned to you only. If you are dependent, your parent must also have a PIN to sign your FAFSA electronically.

  • Entering the wrong address: Your permanent address is not your campus or summer address.

  • Sending in a copy of your income tax returns: You will be contacted if your information needs verification; you don't need to send a copy of your tax returns in with your application.

 

What is verification?

Verification is a process that the Department of Education uses to ensure that applications are accurate. Approximately 30% of all applications are selected for verification. If you are selected, we may require submission of:

  • A signed, completed Verification Worksheet
  • Copies of your tax return transcripts
  • Information related to untaxed benefits such as social security or military housing (for those who are active duty only)
  • Documentation of family size
  • Receipt of Food Stamps and child support paid
  • Any other documents that may be needed for your specific situation. 

We compare this information with the data you reported on the FAFSA. If there are discrepancies, we must then correct the data and transmit it to the Department of Education. Click here to view an example of an IRS Tax Return Transcript.

 

What are the differences between grants, scholarships, and loans?

Grants and scholarships are both “Gift Aid” — money that you do not have to earn by working and generally does not need to be repaid.

  • A grant is primarily based on financial need

  • A scholarship is usually based, at least in part, on merit. 

    • A tuition waiver is a specific type of scholarship that only pays for tuition — not fees or any other student expenses.

  • A loan is a type of financial aid that must be repaid with interest by the student. The repayment is usually after the student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

 

I have recieved an award letter, and I have accepted my award... Now what?

Financial Aid awards are disbursed approximately ten days prior to the start of the semester. The actual date that you receive your check/direct deposit can vary.

If you have accepted Federal Stafford loans you will need to go to the Direct Loans website and complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). You must complete a separate MPN for each of the following loan-types you borrow:

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Loans
  • Graduate PLUS loans
  • Parents PLUS loans

If you need additional funds, see our Alternative Loans page. If you need some extra help understanding all the loan terminology, go to our Loan Information webpage.

 

What are the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

The federal government pays the interest of Subsidized Loans while you are enrolled in school at least half-time or during other approved deferment periods. 

An Unsubsidized Loan begins accumulating interest from the time the loan is disbursed. Students have the option of paying the unsubsidized interest before they enter repayment, otherwise the interest will be capitalized.

Capitalization of Interest is the process of adding unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. This increases the outstanding principal amount due on the loan, and may cause your monthly payment amount to increase. Interest is then charged on that higher principal balance, increasing the overall cost of the loan.

 

What is Loan Entrance Counseling?

Entrance Counseling is designed to inform you of the rights and responsibilities associated with your student loan. All first-time borrowers at UAA are required to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling before their loan can be disbursed. This process can be completed online in about 20 minutes.

 

What is Loan Exit Counseling?

All students who drop below half-time status, withdraw, or graduate, must also complete a Direct Loan Exit Counseling session.

 

How do I transfer Financial Aid?

Strictly speaking, Financial Aid does not transfer from one school to another. Federal Pell Grant eligibility is largely constant, but all other awards must be re-evaluated at the new school. First, you must send your FAFSA information to the new school. You can do this by logging on to the FAFSA website, and adding the school's information. Alternatively, if you have your Student Aid Report (SAR) you can call 1-800-4-FED-AID and tell them where you want the information sent. You will need the Data Release Number (DRN) from the upper right corner of the SAR. 

After you have sent your information to the new school, contact them and find out what other documents they will need. Make sure you disclose to both schools that you have studied elsewhere, especially if you were disbursed any financial aid during that award year.

 

Why has the Financial Aid Office decreased my loan due to grade level?

The Financial Aid Office packages loan amounts/limits based on the grade level you have indicated on your FAFSA (i.e. Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior). If we determine that your actual grade level differs from what you have reported, the Financial Aid Office must revise your loans accordingly. Students who have a Junior/Senior standing but are admitted into a two year/associates' degree program can only receive loans at a Sophomore level.

 

Where can I get information about scholarships?

The best source for information on UAA scholarships is the UAA Scholarship website. The deadline for application to UAA and UA Statewide Scholarships is February 15th before the start of the academic year. The main scholarship application is available via UAOnline. If you are an Alaskan Native, check with your corporation for more information about specific scholarships they may offer. If you are Native American from outside Alaska, check with your Tribal Government. You can also look in the local areas such as your high school counselor, Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs. Be aware of deadlines when you are applying for scholarships.

 

My financial aid is more than my tuition bill, so what happens to the extra money?

If the total of your financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, etc.) is greater than the amount of your bill, you will receive a refund. You may select to have your refunds sent to your bank account by setting up a direct deposit via UAOnline. Otherwise, we will mail a refund check to the permanent address you have given UAA. It is therefore very important to keep your address up to date on UAOnline. Excess financial aid can not typically be used to pay for previous balances, per Federal Regulations. If you owe an outstanding balance, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for the best advice on your available options.

 

How do I know if my refund has been direct deposited?

You can check to see if your financial aid refund has been directly deposited via UAOnline. To do so:

  • Log in to UAOnline
  • Select the "Personal Information" Tab. 
  • Select "Financial Information"
  • Select "Direct Deposit Services"
  • Select "Review your direct deposits"
  • Select the fiscal year from the drop down menu that you wish to view and then hit "Display"
  • Each direct deposit that has been applied to your bank account will be listed.  The "Process Date" is the date the money was deposited.
 

Where's my refund? I was told my financial aid would disburse today but I don't have my check or a direct deposit.

First of all, the disbursement date for financial aid is the date that UAA can request the money and apply it to your student account. It is not the day that you should expect to receive a refund. The earliest that UAA can legally request a disbursement of your financial aid is ten days before the start of each semester. After that, the Disbursement Office must generate a check or direct deposit. This generally takes between 5 and 7 business days. 

Therefore, if your financial aid is in order before the scheduled and published disbursement date (i.e. you have no outstanding paperwork to be completed, you are admitted, in good SAP, etc.), you should expect to see your refund no earlier than the first day of class.

 

If I withdraw from a class, how will this affect my financial aid?

Financial Aid recipients are required to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The consequences of withdrawing from a class vary, and can only be determined by looking at the your current SAP standing and course load. Generally speaking, if you are currently making SAP, you must complete at least two thirds (66.6%) of your required credits and maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative* GPA.

  • Example: During your first term of attendance you are enrolled in 12 credits. You would need to complete at least 8 of those credits to have completed the term at > 66.6% and have a 2.0 to be in good standing. 

  • At the end of your second term you are again taking twelve credits and you only complete 6. Your cumulative (all terms combined) completion ratio would be 14 earned credits out of 24 attempted (58%). Because you have dropped below 66.6%, you will be placed on "warning". After your first semester of warning, if you do not meet the minimum GPA and completion ratio, you will become ineligible for future financial aid. It is therefore very important to pass all the classes you attempt. You can view your current academic progress status by regularly checking your UAOnline account.

*All terms combined
 

What does it mean to "complete your program within a 150% timeframe"?

One of the main components of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the "150% rule." When you attempt more than 150% of the credits required for your primary degree program, you can no longer receive financial aid. For example, if you are in a baccalaureate program, you must complete the program before attempting 180 credits or else your financial aid will be suspended. Many students who return to UAA for a second degree will be considered in violation of the 150% rule. Students in violation of the 150% rule may appeal the suspension of their financial aid through the SAP appeal process. For more information, visit the Financial Aid Policies webpage.

 

What's the difference between financial aid probation and academic probation?

Financial aid probation, under the terms of our Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, goes into effect when a student's SAP Appeal is approved. If you are on financial aid probation, you are eligible for financial aid disbursements. You will continue on financial aid probation until you reinstate your eligibility by meeting the minimum standards outlined in our policy. However, if you fail to complete any of your courses or deviate from your academic plan, you will once again become ineligible for financial aid at UAA.

Academic probation has no bearing upon your financial aid status. For more information, please contact the Registrar's Office.

 

I submitted my FAFSA, so why haven't I been awarded yet?

There are many possible. Some of the most common are:

  • Forgetting to list UAA's Federal Title IV code (011462) on the FAFSA
  • Not responding to requests for information. Generally all work stops on your file until the requested information is received
  • Lack of an Admissions Application
  • Poor Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
 

Is there Financial Aid available over the Summer?

To request summer financial aid, please complete a Summer Revision Request form on Forms section of the Financial Aid page, shortly after Summer registration is made available. Do not submit a Summer Revision form if you are not registered in the classes for which you are requesting aid. The amount of aid offered, the budget, and the eligibility for additional funding are based on your summer credit load, your living arrangements, as well as other variables including residency, aggregate loan limits, and grade level.

When most UAA students apply for financial aid, they are awarded financial aid for the Fall and Spring semesters only. If you plan to attend school in the summer, it is important to budget your aid at the beginning of the academic year. If you need any guidance planning your summer aid, please contact your academic adviser and the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

 

Some of my funding was returned because I "recieved additional resources"... Why?

"Additional resources" are any sources of many that you have received which were not factored into your cost of attendance estimate. If additional resources become available to you, the Office of Financial Aid may reduce previously paid or anticipated awards in order to keep the student's aid package within the estimated cost. If additional resources become available to you at any time during the enrollment period that exceed your eligibility for assistance, federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to reduce previous awards that have been previously offered and or disbursed (this does include grants, scholarships, and loan funding).

All or part of any loan funds may be returned to the lender if additional resources become available to you that were not originally considered when eligibility for the loan was determined. Returned funds will therefore be applied to reduce your loan debt. Undisbursed, anticipated loan funds may also be canceled or reduced prior to disbursement, if these resources exceed the need calculation.

 

What if my income has been reduced due to life circumstances, or I've lost my job?

  • If you have already completed the FAFSA and your income has been reduced due to life circumstances or because you have lost your job, you can complete the Request for Income Override Form.

  • Make sure you complete the FAFSA and answer all the questions prior to submitting your Request for Income Override Form. Remember that a blank field is not automatically counted as 0 when entering dollar amounts into your FAFSA.