Frequently Asked Questions & Glossary
- What kinds of financial aid are available?The Office of Financial Aid processes a wide variety of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid. For more information, see the Types of Aid page.
- Do I qualify for financial aid?
- 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.
- Does UAA enter into Consortium Agreements with other schools?
A Consortium Agreement exists between two higher education institutions (a primary "home" campus and a secondary "host" campus) to grant financial aid to a student concurrently attending both schools. UAA does 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 UAA will need to budget private funds to do so.
UAA will enter into consortium agreements on behalf of students attending UAA as their host campus.
- Is there financial aid available for the summer semester?
To request summer financial aid, please complete a Summer Revision Request form (see the Financial Aid Forms 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 limit, and grade level.
When UAA students apply for financial aid, most are awarded financial aid for the fall and spring semesters only. If you plan to attend school in the summer, you may need to budget your aid at the beginning of the academic year. If you need any guidance planning your summer aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
- What is a Financial Aid hold?
A Financial Aid hold is a hold placed on your student account to prevent aid from being released to you. Some holds are temporary, such as a hold where we are waiting on confirmation from the federal government on how much aid you received during the academic year at another college, and others may require some action from you. Some holds seem like the Financial Aid Office placed them but are actually placed by another department. For example, the Office of the Bursar places holds on student accounts when student charges are not paid by the payment deadline. When in doubt, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
Cost of Attendance FAQ
Is the Cost of Attendance the actual amount of money I have to pay to UAA for classes?
The Cost of Attendance is not the amount that you need to pay UAA.
The Cost of Attendance is an estimate of your educational expenses for a given period of enrollment (typically an academic year). Your period of enrollment includes the semesters listed on your award letter. Your cost of attendance should not be confused with your Student Account Statement, or bill.
Your cost of attendance includes both direct and indirect costs associated with your enrollment as a student.
- Direct Costs: These are mandatory charges you must pay directly to UAA. Direct costs include tuition, student fees, and course fees. If you choose to live on campus, your on-campus housing and UAA meal plans are also considered direct costs.
- Indirect Costs: These are estimated costs incurred by you while you attend UAA, but not paid directly to UAA. Indirect costs include off-campus room and board, textbooks and supplies, loan fees paid to a lender, and transportation to/from class.
Financial Aid funds received in excess of "direct costs" will be refunded to the student (and/or parent, if applicable) to help pay for indirect costs. You can consider creative ways to reduce these costs, like choosing to live with family/roommates, renting or borrowing textbooks, taking free public transport or biking.
- Why are there different tuition rates?
Tuition rates are determined by the University of Alaska Board of Regents and are based on the following conditions:
- Residency Status: Alaska resident, non-resident, or Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Western Regional Graduate Exchange (WRGP). Alaskan resident applicants with a pending residency status should complete an Alaska Residency Application through the Admissions Office.
- Degree Level: Undergraduate lower division (A050-A299), undergraduate upper division (A300-A499), and graduate level (A600-A699)
- Special Rates: Specific degree programs with "super tuition" rates and campuses with reduced rates
- Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver
For additional details, please refer to the UAA Catalog - Academic Policies and Processes: Tuition and Fees.
- How does the number of classes I take affect my cost of attendance?
Your cost of attendance varies depending on many factors, including how many credits you're enrolled in each semester. For example, if you enroll in 15 credits you'll have higher associated costs (fees, tuition, books, etc.) than a student that is enrolled in 6 credits. When you receive your initial award offer, it will be generated using your estimated cost of attendance based on the number of credits you are enrolled in at the time we calculate your awards. If you are not enrolled at the time we generate your award letter, we will estimate your awards based on full-time (12 credit) enrollment.
After the fall semester add/drop period has passed we review all cost of attendance and awards for those students whose enrollment has changed. Example: if you're enrolled in 9 credits at the time your award letter is generated and later enroll in an additional class, we'll increase your cost of attendance but not necessarily your awards unless the aid program allows for the adjustment. If you have reduced your enrollment since the time your award letter was generated, we are required by federal law to review any financial aid that you received for possible overawards and return funds to the respective programs.
- What should I do if I change my enrollment after I receive my financial aid?
You must notify the Office of Financial Aid if you add or drop classes after receiving a disbursement of financial aid money. Failure to notify our office of a change after you've received a disbursement, may result in repayment of financial aid that you are no longer eligible to receive.
- Where do I find my overall Cost of Attendance, so I know how much financial aid I
For your student specific Cost of Attendance go to UAOnline; click on Financial Aid> Award> Award by Aid Year (select the appropriate year)> Award Overview.
- How are Cost of Attendance budgets created?
UAA's Cost of Attendance budgets are determined bi-annually, and are estimates using survey and local consumer price data. These figures represent the typical expenses incurred by students; however there may be special circumstances that warrant an evaluation of individual costs. For example, aviation students with expensive flight fees or students who live with parents but must pay rent. Students may request an evaluation of their specific cost of attendance by completing a Cost of Attendance/Budget Adjustment Request Form (see Financial Aid Forms).
Important Note: Tuition and student fee charges per credit are available in the UAA Catalog, in the Academic Polices & Processes chapter. Tuition charges are identified by student type, i.e., undergraduate level, graduate, non-resident, professional development, and WUE.
- Will I receive a tuition discount if I'm selected for either the Western Undergraduate
Exchange (WUE) or Western Regional Graduate Programs (WRGP) at UAA?
Undergraduate Students who qualify for the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program pay 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
Graduate Students who qualify for the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) pay the in-state tuition rate on select participating programs.
Please note: If you accept the WUE or the WRGP tuition waiver you cannot count the time you attend as a WUE student toward the time required for establishing Alaska residency.
- What should I do if my actual expenses exceed the estimate UAA has provided on my
financial aid award package?
There are many reasons a student's actual expenses may exceed UAA's estimate. Students admitted in special programs, like aviation, welding or nursing may have to purchase fuel for flight time, special equipment or uniforms. In addition, some students receive free or reduced-price housing provided for them, like Residence Life room advisors (RAs) and active-duty military personnel.
To request an amendment to your cost of attendance, submit a Cost of Attendance/Budget Adjustment Request Form to the UAA Financial Aid Office for review (see Financial Aid Forms).
It's important to understand that increasing your Cost of Attendance does not automatically mean you'll qualify for more financial aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to review your options.
- Some of my funding was returned because I "received additional resources"...why?
"Additional resources" are any sources of money 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 were offered and/or disbursed to you (this does include grants, scholarships, and loan funding).
If you have exceptional, "allowable" costs beyond those that the federal government rules determine as reasonable, you can submit the Cost of Attendance Budget Adjustment Form (see the Financial Aid Forms) and provide documentation to have your cost of attendance budget raised. This does not necessarily make you eligible for larger grants or loans, as those have annual limits set in regulations.
All or part of certain federal, state, or institutional funds may be returned to the source if additional resources become available to you that were not originally considered when eligibility for the aid was determined. In the case of federal and private loan funds, returned money 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 (see the Financial Aid Forms).
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.
Completing the FAFSA FAQ
- What is the FSA ID and how do I get one?The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is a username and password combination you use to log in to U.S. Department of Education (ED) online systems. The FSA ID is your legal signature and shouldn't be created or used by anyone other than you—not even your parent, your child, a school official, or a loan company representative.
To get one, you create an account with Federal Student Aid.
Do I have to use the IRS data retrieval tool?
While you are not required to use the IRS data retrieval tool, we highly recommend that you do. It lets you pull in your tax information directly from the IRS and helps you avoid errors that could cause processing delays. Check out our short video about How to use the IRS Data-Retrieval Tool.
- What documents will I need to complete the FAFSA?Information from government-issued forms of identification and submitted tax documents.
- When is the deadline to fill out my FAFSA?
The deadline for the FAFSA is at the end of the academic year. 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:
- 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 15 prior to the start of the academic year.
- The State of Alaska uses your FAFSA to determine eligibility for the Alaska Education Grant and the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) if you complete it before June 30.
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, by February 15th, so you can apply for UAA scholarships.
- How do I avoid common mistakes when filing my FAFSA?
Making mistakes on your FAFSA can delay your application or even prevent you from receiving financial aid. Here are the most common errors to avoid when filing your FAFSA:
- 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 FSA ID from the FAFSA. Your FSA ID is your electronic signature and will always be assigned to you only. If you are dependent, your parent must also have a FSA ID to sign your FAFSA electronically.
- Entering the wrong address: Your permanent address is not your campus or summer address.
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 academic year. For a more detailed answer, see Federal Student Aid Dependency Status.
Note: Parental FAFSA information only affects your student financial aid. Official IRS definitions have no bearing on your FAFSA.
- I match the FAFSA definition of a "Dependent Student" but my parents won't complete
the form and/or provide additional information. What should I do?
If your parent refuses to fill out the FAFSA and they do not support you financially, you may still be eligible for financial aid. These reasons are not enough for a dependency override, but we may be able to offer you an unsubsidized loan only. See our Special Circumstances page and contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information as to whether or not your circumstances would apply.
Find answers to other common FAFSA filing questions on the Federal Student Aid FAFSA Help page.
- During the verification process, I needed to make a change to my FAFSA, what should
I expect now?If a verification resulted in making changes to your FAFSA, you will receive an email from the U.S. Department of Education with a new response with your verified eligibility.
- I was not initially selected for verification but then I made changes to my FAFSA
and was subsequently selected for verification. What does this mean?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.
- I've been selected for verification and filed IRS taxes, how do I send in my Tax Return
- Your UAOnline account will show you what documents you need. If we’re requesting a tax return transcript, you must upload it and attach it to your Verification Worksheet (the link to your Verification Worksheet is in UAOnline). If you’re a dependent student and we’re requesting your parent’s tax transcript, your parent will attach their tax return when they complete their portion of the electronic Verification Worksheet.
- Your financial aid administrator will compare information on these documents and make corrections to your FAFSA as necessary. Once completed, UAA will proceed to packaging resources available for your use.
- Continue to check your Financial Aid Status on UAOnline and UAA email frequently. After reviewing your verification paperwork, we may request additional information in order to resolve conflicting information or other issues with your FAFSA.
Awards Process FAQ
- I have received 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 StudentAid.gov 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
- Parent PLUS loans
For more information on loans, see our Loans page.
- I submitted my FAFSA, so why haven't I been awarded yet?
There are many possible reasons. 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. Check UAOnline to see if you need to submit additional information.
- You have not submitted your admissions application for UAA.
- You are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
- What are the differences between grants, scholarships, and loans?
Grants are “free” need-based financial aid that you do not have to pay back. Learn more about federal and state opportunities.
Scholarships are “free” merit-based and sometimes need-based financial aid that you do not have to pay back.
Loans are financial aid that you do have to pay back and accrue interest.
Learn more about how to apply and maintain eligibility for grants, scholarships and loans on the Types of Aid page.
- Where can I get information about scholarships?
Find out more information about scholarships opportunities on the UAA Scholarships page.
Federal Loans FAQ
- What are the differences between Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and Federal Direct
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans: These loans are available to undergraduate students who have financial need. Interest on the principal loan does not accrue while you are enrolled in college at least half-time.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students or those pursuing a professional degree. You do not have to show financial need to receive this loan. Interest begins to accrue as soon as you receive the funds, although you may choose to defer paying on the interest until after you have graduated. You have the option of paying the unsubsidized interest before you enter repayment, otherwise the interest will be capitalized.
For more information about federal student loans, see the Loans page.
- What is Loan Entrance Counseling?
Loan 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 a Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)" on the Federal Student Aid website before the loan can be disbursed. This process can be completed online in about 20 minutes.
- Why has the Office of Financial Aid decreased my loan due to grade level?
The Office of Financial Aid 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 Office of Financial Aid must revise your loans accordingly. Students who have a junior or senior standing but are admitted into a two year associates' degree program can only receive loans at a sophomore level.
Disbursements & Refunds FAQ
- My financial aid is more than my tuition bill, so what happens to the extra money?
If the total of your financial aid 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. For this reason, it is very important to keep your address up to date on UAOnline.
According to federal regulations, excess financial aid typically cannot be used to pay for previous balances. If you owe an outstanding balance, contact the Office of Financial Aid 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 direct deposited via UAOnline. To do so:
- Log in to UAOnline.
- Select the "Student Services & Account Information" Tab.
- 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.
The disbursement date for financial aid is the date that UAA can request the money and apply it to your UAOnline student account. It is not the day that you should expect to receive a refund. The earliest that UAA can disburse your financial aid is ten days before the first day 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.
- I received a non-UAA scholarship. Where should the donor send the check, so it can
be applied to my student account?
Donors of private scholarships should follow the instructions on the Office of Bursar Student Sponsorship page.
- I can see that a scholarship I received from a non-UAA donor is on my UAOnline award
screen. When will it be deposited into my student account?
See the Office of Bursar Student Sponsorship page for more information about when your scholarship will be deposited into your student account.
Summer Financial Aid FAQ
- Which FAFSA should I complete for summer?
At UAA, the summer semester is considered an extension of the academic year that came before it. To be considered for eligibility for the summer sessions, you need to complete the FAFSA for the school year prior. Complete the FAFSA for more information about how to file your FAFSA applications.
- When is the last day I can fill out a FAFSA for the current award year?The last day you can fill out the current award year FAFSA is June 30.
- What other options are available if I already borrowed all my Federal Student Loans?UAA offers payment plans to students to help spread out their balance over monthly installments.
Or you have the option of applying for a private, alternative loan if you have exhausted all of your Federal Student Loans for the year or if you need additional assistance covering costs such as aviation flight fees or study abroad. Alternative loans traditionally have a higher interest rate so you should consider all other possible resources before borrowing. Always borrow wisely and only what you need!
For more information about these other options, see the Additional Ways to Pay page.
- If I add more classes after the add/drop deadline (census date) will I be able to
get more money?
For grants like the Federal Pell Grant and Federal SEOG, your eligibility is determined based on enrollment as of the "census date" which is the same date as the add/drop deadline for full length (i.e., 10-week) summer classes. Any classes added after that date will not increase grant eligibility.
Federal student loans require you to be in at least half-time enrollment status (six credits for undergraduates or five credits for graduates). Classes added after the census date count toward your half-time enrollment status. If you start the semester as less than half-time and were not eligible for loans but add a class after the census date, you will be eligible to receive your federal loan if you're meeting all other eligibility requirements.
- Academic Transcript: Official document describing the academic history of a student.
- Academic Year: Combination of the Fall and Spring semesters. Many types of Financial Aid apply to the academic year as opposed to one semester. Summer is not considered part of the Academic Year, and Summer Aid therefore falls within a different type of aid.
- Additional Resources: Any sources of money that students have received which were not factored into their cost of attendance estimate.
- Admission: Formal recognition as a student in the university.
- Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary Education (ACPE): ACPE Website
- Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS): Alaska Performance Scholarship Website
- Aggregate Loan Limit: The maximum amount you can borrow in Federal Student Loan money over your lifetime.
- Aid Offer Letter: Letter sent each award year to students informing them of their award status and policies.
- Award Year: The year for which a student receives a specific type of financial aid. For federal aid, award years usually begin on July 1 and end on June 30.
- Budget Forecast: Estimation of the cost of attendance of a student to attend the university during a specific award year.
- Capitalization of Interest: The addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. When the interest is not paid as it accrues during periods of in-school status, the grace period, deferment, or forbearance, your lender may capitalize the interest. 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.
- Census Date (Add/Drop Deadline): The date that enrollment and the Federal Pell Grant award amount are locked for financial aid purposes. UAA's "census date" is at 5 PM on the Add/Drop Deadline.
- Certificate Program: A program that results in a certificate upon completion (as opposed to a degree.)
- Consortium Agreement: 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.
- Cost of Attendance or "Budget": An estimate of how much money the university expects a student will need to pay for college — including living expenses — throughout an academic year.
- Data Retrieval Tool: Simple Steps to Transfer Tax Information into FAFSA.
- Default: Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. For most federal student loans, you will default if you have not made a payment in more than 270 days. You may experience serious legal consequences if you default.
- Deferment: A postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. All other federal student loans that are deferred will continue to accrue interest. Any unpaid interest that accrued during the deferment period may be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of the loan(s).
- Degree-Seeking: A student who is formally admitted into a program that results in a degree upon completion (as opposed to a certificate).
- Delinquent: A loan is delinquent when loan payments are not received by the due dates. A loan remains delinquent until the borrower makes up the missed payment(s) through payment, deferment, or forbearance. If the borrower is unable to make payments, he or she should contact his or her loan servicer to discuss options to keep the loan in good standing.
- Dependency: Dependency status refers to whether a FAFSA applicant is dependent or independent.
- Direct Consolidation Loan: Allow borrowers to combine one or more of their Federal education loans into a new
loan that offers several advantages:
- One Lender and One Monthly Payment: With only one lender and one monthly bill, it is easier than ever for borrowers to manage their debt. Borrowers have only one lender, the U.S. Department of Education, for all loans included in a Direct Consolidation Loan.
- Flexible Repayment Options: Borrowers can choose from multiple plans to repay their Direct Consolidation Loan, including plans that base the required monthly payment amount on the borrower's income. These plans are designed to be flexible to meet the different and changing needs of borrowers. With a Direct Consolidation Loan, borrowers can switch repayment plans at any time.
- No Minimum or Maximum Loan Amounts or Fees: There is no minimum amount required to qualify for a Direct Consolidation Loan! In addition, consolidation is free.
- Reduced Monthly Payments: A Direct Consolidation Loan may ease the strain on a borrower's budget by lowering the borrower's overall monthly payment. The minimum monthly payment on a Direct Consolidation Loan may be lower than the combined payments charged on a borrower's Federal education loans.
- More information about consolidation loans may be found at Federal Student Aid Consolidating Student Loans.
- Direct Loan: A federal student loan, for which eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans and Direct Consolidation Loans are types of Direct Loans.
- Direct PLUS Loans: Made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. The borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. A credit check is required for the borrower.
- Direct Subsidized Loans: Based on financial need, the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school or deferment status. (Interest accruing during your grace period depends on when your loan was dispersed. Check with your loan servicer for more info on your specific loan(s) and grace period interest accrual). If offered, take these out first.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: The borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest, regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan. Financial need is not required. A credit check is not required.
- Disbursement: The process of "disbursing" or applying financial aid to a student's UAA account.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC): A measure of your family's financial strength, calculated from your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security).
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
- Federal Student Loan: A student loan funded by the federal government to help pay for your education. A federal student loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest.
- Financial Aid Authorization: A form that allows students to authorize the use of Federal Financial Aid to cover non-institutional charges such as: housing damages, parking permits, or any charges not directly tied to taking a class. This form also allows students to authorize use of Federal Financial Aid to prior-year charges.
- Financial Aid Probation: Status of students whose SAP Appeals we were permitted to approve but are not yet officially reinstated. Students on probation must meet with an advisor and follow a strict degree plan created for them in UAOnline - DegreeWorks.
- Financial Aid: Assistance in the form of money for students attending the university.
- Financial Need: The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is determined by your completed FAFSA. While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend.
- Forbearance: A period during which your monthly loan payments are temporarily suspended or reduced. Your lender may grant you a forbearance if you are willing but unable to make loan payments due to certain types of financial hardships. During forbearance, principal payments are postponed but interest continues to accrue. Unpaid interest that accrues during the forbearance will be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of your loan(s), increasing the total amount you owe.
- Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA): Free form used to assess federal and many non-federal aid award amounts.
- Gainful Employment Disclosure: Disclosure of information regarding post-educational employment.
- Gift Aid: Aid that is given to a student which does not need to be repaid.
- Grace Period: A period of time after borrowers graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment where they are not required to make payments on certain federal student loans. Some federal student loans will accrue interest during the grace period, and if the interest is unpaid, it will be added to the principal balance of the loan when the repayment period begins.
- Grade Level: A measure of the amount of their education that a student has achieved, similar to class standing.
- Grant: Gift aid based on financial need.
- Interest: The cost to borrow money. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan.
- Interest Rate: The rate at which interest is paid by a borrower for the use of money that they borrow from a lender. Specifically, the interest rate is a percentage of principal to be paid.
- Lender: The organization that made the loan initially; in the case of Federal Direct Student Loans, the lender is the U.S. Department of Education.
- Loan Fee: A fee charged for each student loan you receive that is a percentage of the total loan amount you are borrowing (gross amount). The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan. This reduces the actual loan amount you receive (net amount).
- Loan Servicer: A company that collects payments, responds to customer service inquiries, and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a federal student loan on behalf of a lender. This is who your loan payments go to.
- Minimum Monthly Payment: The smallest payment you can make towards your unpaid balance to remain in good standing with the credit card company. Making the minimum monthly payment on time will avoid late fees and positively affect your repayment history on your credit report. The amount of the minimum monthly payment is calculated as a small percentage of your total credit balance and you can find this on your monthly statement.
- Overaward: When students are inadvertently awarded more financial aid than their cost of attendance.
- Overaward Refund: Return of funds over the estimated cost of attendance. This risk can happen throughout the semester if some awards, like private scholarships, are received after federal or state aid has already been released. In some cases, a return of federal/state aid is required. UAA will do everything we can to try to avoid returning funds and creating a debt on a student account.
- Principal: The total sum of money borrowed plus any interest that has been capitalized.
- Professional Judgment (PJ): A Financial Aid administrator's judgment whether students' special circumstances exempt them from their FAFSA status.
- Promissory Note: The binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It's important to read and save this document because you'll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferment or forbearance.
- Proration: When aid is calculated according to credit load and other aid-specific requirements.
- Refund: Disbursement of financial aid funds directly to the student for non-university expenses.
- Revision: Any change made to financial aid that has already been awarded, either increase or decrease.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): A measurement of academic progress and participation in all college classes for financial aid purposes. Even classes taken at another non-UAA college/university can influence your SAP status at UAA. Working with an advisor will help you make academic decisions to keep you in a financial aid eligible SAP state.
- Scholarship: "Free" financial aid, can be based on academic performance, financial need, or family or student membership, or demographic details.
- Student Account: The complete UA history and filed information of a student.
- Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA): In addition to the aggregate loan limit, there is also a time limit on how long a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. The maximum eligibility period is based on the length of the current program of study and can change if the program is switched to one of a different length. This may cause a student to become responsible for the interest that accrued on the loan, when the US Dept of Ed usually would have paid it.
- Title IV: Higher Education Act of 1965 definition of Federal Loan, Grant, and Work Study Programs.
- Tuition Waiver: "Free" University of Alaska financial aid that may only be used to pay for tuition.
- UAOnline: Website linked with Banner database system where students can access information about their financial aid status.
- Unusual Educational History (UEH): FAFSAs that are flagged by the U.S. Department of History as potentially fraudulent.
- Verification: The process of reviewing the accuracy of information reported on a student's FAFSA.
- Withdrawal: The process of dropping out of a class after it begins and has progressed into the third week. This act carries various financial aid consequences and could result in a student repaying money already received.