Policies, Regulations and Rules
The Budget Forecast or Need Sheet is a document indicating the estimated cost of attendance for a student to attend the university during a specific award year. The Budget Forecast is used to indicate to private scholarship organizations the student's anticipated cost as well as what funds have been awarded. Forecasts are processed in the order that they are received.
Scholarship organization's deadlines are not necessarily the same as UAA deadlines. During the peak times of year, Budget Forecasts take between 5-8 business days to process.
Conditions for Requesting a Change of Dependency Status
The Federal Department of Education has defined a list of requirements for dependency.
Process for Requesting a Dependency Override
Students with unusual circumstances that may qualify them to become independent of their parents for financial aid purposes must submit the following documentation:
- A Professional Judgment: Change of Dependency Status Form
- A letter from you describing the circumstance in detail and
- A signed statement from two professionals, on letterhead, (counselor, MD, clergy, caseworker, etc) who know your circumstances
(Note: income does not constitute an
unusual circumstance, and a parent's unwillingness to pay is not a
reason to apply for a dependency override, as stated in DCL GEN-93-11, May 1993)
The Office of Student Financial Assistance takes up to 30 days to review an appeal. After the request is reviewed, a written decision will be emailed to the student. The request for dependency override comes under the regulations dealing with Professional Judgement (Higher Education Act, sec. 479A(a)); the decision is therefore final, and cannot be appealed. You must reapply each year if your request is approved.
A Consortium Agreement is an official agreement between two higher education institutions (a primary/"home" institution, and a secondary/"host" institution) to grant financial aid to a student concurrently attending both schools. The Office of Student Financial Assistance will not enter into consortium agreements on behalf of admitted UAA students with institutions outside the University of Alaska system. Therefore, students needing to take courses outside of UA will need to budget private funds to do so.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance will enter into consortium agreements on behalf of students attending UAA as their host campus.
All federal financial aid, most scholarships, and most tuition waivers awarded by university departments are applied directly to students' billing account at the beginning of each term, or once students have fulfilled all requirements to receive their funds.
Final grant and scholarship calculations for each term are made at the end of the add/drop period. Payment will be based on your credit load at that time.
After current charges on the student's billing account have been paid, any excess financial aid is disbursed to students in the form of refund checks, or deposited to their personal bank accounts via direct deposit*.
All refund checks will be mailed to the address listed in the Registrar's Office. Students can verify and list alternate addresses on UAOnline.
Student loan and scholarship checks from external agencies are available in the Disbursements Office for students to sign once the checks have been received and processed.
Students can check to see if money has been applied to their student accounts in UAOnline under the "Student Account" tab
*If the student has set up a direct deposit.
If a student's payment period includes two terms, all disbursements must be split into two equal installments — one for each term, with neither installment exceeding more than half of the loan. A payment period is traditionally the same length as the academic year. There are exceptions to this, however.
Students may request all of their loans within one term as an exception to policy. Such requests will be considered on a case by case basis, and based on the following conditions:
- The student is not graduating*
- The student is not on a study abroad or international studies program
- The student’s one semester budget will accommodate the full loan amount requested, and the student submits written explanation of extenuating circumstances necessitating their request
Students must be aware that if they request all loan awards in the Fall, they may have far less financial assistance in the Spring. All Fall scholarships will be compared against the Fall budget; subsequent loan returns might occur if further aid creates an overaward situation for that term.
Students in the Fall/Spring academic year may request Fall and/or Spring loans independent of each other. For example, a student who wishes to borrow $1000.00 in Subsidized loan money for Fall, and $2000.00 in Spring cannot accept their loans through UAOnline, and must instead submit a Revision Request Form.
* Undergraduate students are subject to specific proration requirements when graduating from a payment period less than a full academic year (end of Fall) Proration of loans is calculated based on credit load and loan eligibility aggregates. Students must notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of intent to graduate via Revision request Form so this proration can be processed.
For all Federal Programs, a student must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, a national, or other eligible non-citizen
- Not be in default on any Federal Student Loan or owe a a refund or repayment on a Federal Pell Grant, State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). This also applies to parents applying for Federal PLUS loans
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree or certificate program at UAA
- Comply with U.S. Selective Service registration requirements, if a male over the age of 18
Have a high school diploma from an accredited high school, or a GED
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements as outlined in UAA's SAP policy.
The Emergency Loan Fund (ELF) is designed primarily to assist students with funds for books or other school-related costs during the first three weeks of the semester. The maximum loan amount for full-time students is $600; for three quarter-time students, $400; for half-time students, $200. The ELF application may not be faxed or e-mailed.
If Federal Work Study is included in a student's award offer, he/she may apply for an open position on one of the UAA campuses. Having an award does not guarantee the student a position. The amount of a student's award is the maximum he/she is eligible to earn. Please note that FWS funds are paid to students in a physical paycheck if they get a qualifying position. Earned money will not be credited toward paying the student's school bill.
Financial Aid Code of Conduct
Financial Aid Code of Conduct
Financial Aid Revisions
Under certain circumstances, revisions can be made to a student's Financial Aid Award.
For example, if a student has been offered a Loan or Work Study and initially turned it down, but has now changed his/her mind, the student must turn in a Revision Request form stating requested changes and the total amounts requested per fund type.
Note that there is a separate Revision Request Form for the summer semester. The Office of Student Financial Assistance cannot process a summer revision requests until the student is registered for summer classes.
Students who have requesting a grade level change, to receive an increase in their loans, their FAFSAs may be selected for verification. Verification must then be completed before any future disbursements can occur. This may result in a decrease of Financial Aid for the entire academic year.
The Financial Aid Authorization form allows the use of Title IV funds* to pay non-institutional charges such as:
- Library fines
- Parking fines
- Health Center charges
- Housing fees
- Lost keys
- Damage charges
- Accounting fees.
Without this authorization, Title IV funds* can only be used to pay for tuition and fees at the university. This form is also used to allot funds for deposit to your Wolfbucks account.
*(includes Pell, SEOG, and Stafford Subsidized, Unsubidized, and PLUS Loans)
Gainful Employment Disclosure
The U.S. Education Department's gainful employment regulations require the university to disclose certain program information to current students and prospective students. Gainful employment programs are those "that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." Public institutions are required to report this information for all undergraduate and graduate programs that are Title IV eligible and lead to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates, or specialist awards. Reporting is not required for undergraduate certificates and diplomas less than 16 credits, and graduate certificates and specialist awards that are less than 8 credits.
Gainful employment regulations require disclosure of the following information for each "gainful employment" program:
- Information on occupations that the program prepares students to enter
- Program costs including tuition and fees and book and supplies
- Median federal and private loan debt of recent graduates (when more than 10 students have graduated in the aid year)
- On-time completion rate of recent graduates (when more than 10 students have graduated in the aid year)
- Job placement rate of recent graduates.
Information for each of the "gainful employment" programs offered at University of Alaska Anchorage can be found on UAA's Gainful Employment Website.
Students may not be awarded any financial aid over the estimated Cost of Attendance. If additional resources become available to a student, the Office of Student Financial Assistance may reduce previously paid or anticipated awards to keep the student's aid package within the estimated cost. If additional resources become available in excess of a student's eligibility for assistance, federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Assistance to reduce previous awards offered or disbursed (including grants, scholarships, and loan funding).
All or part of any loan funds may be returned to the lender if additional resources become available to a student that were not originally considered when eligibility for the loan was determined. Returned funds will therefore be applied to reduce the student's loan debt. Undisbursed, anticipated loan funds may also be canceled or reduced prior to disbursement, if these resources exceed the individual need calculation.
Release of Information
In accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Financial Aid Office will not release information about a student to anyone, (including to parents and spouses), without the specific written consent of that student. If students wish to share this information with someone, they must complete a Authorization to Release of Educational Information Form stating the particular individuals they wish to authorize. No information may be released until the student signs and dates the form.
As of July 1st 2011, Federal Regulations specify that students may receive federal financial aid funding for one repetition of a previously-passed course.
Repeated coursework may be included if:
Determining enrollment status in a term-based program if a student needs to meet an academic standard for a previously-passed course, such as a minimum grade.
If a student passed a class once, is then repaid for retaking it, and withdraws the second time, that withdrawal does not count as their paid retake, and the student may receive financial aid for another attempt.
Repeated coursework that may not count towards a student's enrollment status for the purpose of financial aid eligibility include:
Retaking a passed course more than once. If a student receives a 'D' in a course and decides to repeat the course, he/she may repeat this passed course one time. If this student wishes to repeat it a second time, the course would not count toward the student's enrollment status.
If a student passed a class once, is then repaid for retaking it, and fails the second time, that failure counts as their paid retake, and the student may not be paid for retaking the class a third time.
Certain course descriptions listed in the UAA Catalog may state that a specific course "must be repeated for degree" or "may be repeated for credit if content differs." A student may receive financial aid for these courses as long as the course content differs, regardless of receipt of a passing grade.
(Appeal for Reinstatement of Financial Aid)
The Office of Student Financial Assistance's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy requires that students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to retain financial aid eligibility — regardless of whether they are presently receiving financial aid. All federal, state, and institutional aid is contingent upon SAP.
If students fail to maintain SAP, their financial aid will be suspended until a SAP Appeal is accepted or their SAP is reinstated*. The purpose of the Appeal process is to grant SAP policy exemptions for students that have had exceptional circumstances prevent them from maintaining the minimum progress. Exceptional circumstances may include:
- Personal illness or injury
- The death of a loved one
- Other special circumstances
However, any circumstances deemed similar to those experienced by most successful students will not constitute unusual circumstances, and such appeals will not be approved. For example, appeals citing the following reasons will not be approved:
- Youthfulness or immaturity
- Lack of childcare — unless a student can document an unexpected and unavoidable change to childcare situation that occurred after the start of the semester and a thorough explanation of why it could not be resolved in a timely manner
- Medical reasons that were known to the student prior to the beginning of the semester — unless the student can document unforeseeable complications
- Employment conflicts
Students must clearly demonstrate and document the reasons they are non-compliant with the policy, and demonstrate a clear plan for reinstatement. Appeals received without any documentation will be denied. Required documentation depends upon each student's specific reasons for insufficient SAP. All documentation must originate from an objective "third party" perspective on the student's circumstances. Supporting documentation may include:
- Letters from doctors
- Court documents
- Letters from employers
- Death certificates
- Funeral programs
- Documentation from the Disability Support Services
Letters of support from friends or family members are not sufficiently objective.
Students must meet with an academic adviser and create a degree plan as part of the SAP Appeal process. All students whose appeals are approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation, and must comply with the requirements of their academic plan. Students must maintain
- A 100% term completion ratio (i.e. successfully completing all classes attempted)
- A term GPA of over 2.0 for undergraduates, or 3.0 for graduates.
Failure to meet the terms of this academic plan will result in Financial Aid Suspension. Subsequent appeals are unlikely to be approved.
Additionally, students who are submitting an appeal, or are on probation with an approved appeal, are permitted to take only courses that are required for their primary degree program, and therefore are not permitted to pursue dual majors, or electives that are not required.
Appeals can be submitted up to two weeks before the end of semester for which the student is appealing. Incomplete appeals may be denied.
Scholarships might affect the level of other financial aid that students are eligible to receive. Students must notify the Financial Aid Office once they are aware that they will be receiving a private Scholarship. Financial holds may be placed on the student's account if they do not submit this information.
Tuition Awards may affect the level of other financial aid you receive, and may not be combined with other types of tuition-only awards (employee reimbursement, Chapter 33 GIBill payments, Seawolf Opportunity Scholarship, etc.) Please notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance once you are aware you will be receiving a tuition award. Students with tuition awards must pay additional fees by the applicable payment deadline. The Office of Student Financial Assistance has a limited amount of need-based tuition awards available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students experiencing a financial hardship may submit a Tuition Award Request Form, available on the Financial Aid Forms page. For more information on eligibility requirements, visit our Types of Aid website. Many academic departments also offer tuition awards to students in their program.
Unusual Enrollment History
Some Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) are flagged for "Unusual Enrollment History" by the U. S. Department of Education if the student has received federal Pell Grants at multiple institutions in recent years. The Office of Financial Assistance is required to review the student's enrollment history and determine whether the student is enrolling only long enough to receive cash refunds of federal student aid.
How to resolve:
All students with whose FAFSAs are flagged are required to provide an Unusual Enrollment History Verification form and academic transcripts or grade reports from all colleges and universities attended during the review period. If the student received Pell Grants and did not earn credit hours with passing grades (A - D) at each institution attended during these award years, the student may be determined ineligible for further federal financial aid.
Appealing the ineligibility determination:
Students who have been determined ineligible for federal student aid on the basis or lack of documentation, may appeal their determination by contacting the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Regaining federal student aid eligibility:
Students whose aid eligibility is denied eligibility can be re-considered for federal student aid after:
- Meeting with an academic adviser
- Enrolling for one academic term only in courses that are required by their degree program
- Not dropping or withdrawing from (officially or unofficially) any courses after the term begins
- Meeting the University's standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Verification is the process used to "confirm" the accuracy of the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA).
If a student is selected for verification, he/she must submit certain information. This may include:
- Household size
- Number of household members in college
- Taxable and non-taxable income
- Asset information
- Other data elements reported on the FAFSA
Students whose FAFSA is selected for verification, are required to submit a Verification Worksheet and federal tax transcripts — if they did not use the IRS data retrieval tool when completing their FAFSA. Depending on the verification group they are assigned, and other information reported on their FAFSA, we may require students to submit additional documentation. Students selected for verification will be notified through email and UAOnline as to what documentation is required. Financial Aid awards cannot be generated or disbursed until verification is complete. Students that are not initially selected for verification may be selected after they make changes to their FAFSA. If this happens, any financial aid previously awarded will be canceled until the verification process is complete. There is no guarantee that the equivalent types and amount of financial aid will be available when you are repackaged.
The deadline to submit completed verification documents is 30 days from the last date of enrollment, or the last business day in August — whichever comes first.
Failure to submit all required documents will cause processing delays. Not only will it delay all disbursements of federal aid but it will also prevent disbursement of several types of state and institutional aid. Lastly, Students are required to put their UAA ID number on each page of all documents you submit to the Financial Assistance Office.
Eligibility for aid must be recalculated for a student who withdraws from all classes prior to completing 60% of an enrollment term, based on the percentage completed. This Return of Title IV Funds Calculation is based on the number of calendar days a student attended*, divided by the number of days within the enrollment term. The Office of Student Financial Assistance has up to 30 days to determine the "last date of attendance", and as such, may place a hold on the student's account.
* For distance education courses, "attendance" is based on "participation in academically-related activity".
Types of Total Withdrawals
Student-Initiated Total Withdrawal: When the student, either through direct or indirect action, is removed from all courses in a given term. In cases of indirect action, when faculty elect to withdraw the student from a course due to lack of regular attendance/participation, the recalculation will include the faculty-determined "Last Date of Attendance" to determine the percentage of federal financial aid earned. If faculty report that the student did not begin attendance in a class, zero (0%) federal financial aid is earned for this course and may be subject to full return, leaving a debt on the student account. Students may dispute the reported "Last Date of Attendance" within five business days of email notification. The student must resolve the issue with the reporting faculty in order to have a change made to the official semester registration record and/or in the recalculation of federal aid eligibility.
Unofficial Withdrawal: When the student fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course during a given term, it is the Office of Student Financial Assistance's responsibility to determine if this fits the definition of an "unofficial withdrawal". Grades of AU, F, W, NB, NC, and NP indicate unsatisfactory completion of courses for financial aid purposes. (Courses with a status of I and DF grades are not considered withdrawals, because academically-related activity is still in-progress). In cases of unofficial withdrawal, the student received more aid than he/she was eligible for, based on the percentage of the term completed. Until the calculation of the correct amount is completed, an "Unofficial Withdrawal Hold," will be placed on the student account, preventing disbursement of future financial aid funds.
Types of Financial Aid Holds
"Drop Before Census" Hold: A hold will be placed on the UAOnline account, preventing future financial aid disbursements, for a student who received federal financial aid in a term and dropped all classes prior to the add/drop deadline (i.e. census date). To remove the hold, the student must submit an academic progress report to the financial aid office verifying attendance (and/or active participation in distance education coursework) after the add/drop period.
"Unofficial Withdrawal" Hold: A hold will be placed on the UAOnline account, preventing future financial aid disbursements, for a student who fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course in a given term. This hold will remain in place until the recalculation of federal financial aid eligibility has been completed.