Understanding your financial aid options
Many students use some kind of financial aid to help pay for their university education. Types of financial aid include grants, scholarships, loans and more. Financial aid can help pay for tuition and fees, books and supplies and living expense.
Our financial aid advisors are experts and will help you understand the financial aid options available to help pay for college and help you determine which ones are best for you and your situation.
FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is your first step in determining the type and amount of that financial aid available to you. Completing the FAFSA is required to be considered for almost all types of financial aid—federal, state, and other funding agencies.
Detailed information about the FAFSA and applying for aid is available from the Office of Federal Student Aid website. UAF CTC financial aid advisor are also available to help answer questions.
COMPLETING THE FAFSA
Detailed information about filling out the FAFSA is available from the Office of Federal Student Aid website. UAF CTC financial aid advisor are also available to help answer your questions.
For technical help, to include log-in issues, please call 1-800-433-3243.
Step 1. Create an FSA ID at: fsaid.ed.gov.
Step 2. Gather the following information before starting your application:
- Social Security Number
- Permanent Resident Card (if you have one)
- W2 forms (or records of money earned the previous year)
- Tax Records
- UAF School Code: 001063
Step 3: Complete your application at: fafsa.ed.gov
AFTER SUBMITTING THE FAFSA
Detailed information about next steps after submitting your FAFSA is available from the Office of Federal Student Aid website. UAF CTC financial aid advisor are also available to help answer your questions.
Important: Contact the UAF CTC financial aid office two to three weeks after receiving your Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Office of Federal Student Aid to confirm UAF has received your information.
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Financial Aid Eligibility
To be eligible to receive financial aid you must:
- Qualify for higher education by completing a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or by completing high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law.
- Be admitted to UAF as a degree student in a degree or certificate program requiring 16 or more credits to complete. Contact a UAF CTC financial aid advisor if your program of interest is less than 16 credits to discuss options.
- Be Registered with Selective Service, if you are a male (must register between the ages of 18 and 25).
- Fill out the FAFSA. In order to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid, you must continue to fill out the FAFSA for each new aid year.
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined by the University of Alaska and defined in their Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress could result in a financial aid suspension.
- Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a refund on a federal grant.
- Not have met the lifetime maximum limit for federal grants or federal student loans.
Types of Financial Aid
Grants – Financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund).
- Pell – Based on financial need. Award amount is determined by estimated family contribution (EFC) and enrollment status (how many credits you are registered for).
- FSEOG – Based on financial need. Awarded to students with highest financial need who still have unmet need after receiving Pell. Award amounts may be determined by class standing, enrollment status, program, and/or date of FAFSA submission.
- Alaska Education Grant – Based on financial need and residency. Awarded to students with highest financial need and date of FAFSA submission.
- University of Alaska Grant – Based on financial need and residency. For students who have completed less than 60 credits toward an undergraduate degree.
Scholarships – Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses. Scholarships generally do not have to be repaid.
- Alaska Performance Scholarship – Students must graduate from Alaska High School after completing a rigorous high school curriculum. Level of award depends on GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and curriculum. Awards range from $4,755-$2,378 per year for four years to be used within five years.
- UA Scholars – Recipients designated by High School. $1,500 per semester for eight semesters to be used within five years. Must complete 24 credits in first year and 30 credits in years 2-5. Must maintain 2.5 GPA.
Work Study – A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses. Employers build student’s work schedule around student’s class schedule. Aid is not reported
as income on the FAFSA. Apply at alaska.edu/jobs. Click “explore jobs at UA” and filter jobs by geographic area (i.e. Fairbanks) and “student employee.”
Loans – Money you borrow and must pay back with interest. There are federal student loans and alternative (private) loans. Loans made by the federal government are called federal student loans. These loans usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than alternative (private) loans. The FAFSA is not an application for alternative (private) loans.
Federal student loans include:
- Direct Subsidized – Based on financial need. Department of Education pays interest on your loan while you are in school at least half-time, during your six-month grace period, and during deferment (postponement). Even though not required, making small payments towards the principal of your loan while in school can significantly lower the costs to you later.
- Direct Unsubsidized – Student is responsible for paying interest on the loan. Payment of interest is not mandatory while in school at least half-time but lack of interest payments will result in interest accrual and the loan’s principal will grow.
- Direct PLUS – Parents of dependent students may take out loans to help pay for their child’s college. Parent may not have adverse credit history.
Benefits of Federal Loans:
- Long-term repayment schedule
- Low interest rates
- Students do not need established credit
Loan Repayment – You will have to start repaying your loans after a six-month grace period when you:
- Leave School
- Drop below half-time enrollment (6 credits/semester)
Note 1: If you attend in Spring and return in the Fall (after summer), your loan repayment grace period is not penalized for non-attendance during the summer.
Note 2: Lender/servicer processing fees may apply each semester that will reduce the total amount of money available to use towards semester expenses. (For example if your semester expenses are $1,000 and accept a loan amount of $1,000, you will have less than $1,000 available after lender/service processing fees are applied.)
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Student Academic Progress (SAP) will be reviewed at the end of each semester including credits attempted at other institutions. SAP is measured in three ways: quality, quantity, and maximum timeframe.
- Quality: Maintain 2.0 GPA for Undergraduates (3.0 GPA for Graduates)
- Quantity: Maintain a minimum credit completion rate of 67%. Passing grades for this purpose are letter grades of A, B, C, D, or P. Grades of AU, DF, F, I, W, NB, NC, and NP will not count as earned credits. This calculation is ongoing throughout your college career including transfer credits.
- Maximum: Students are expected to complete their degree program within 150% of required credits for the program. For example, a student in a program that requires 60 credits to graduate, can only receive Financial Aid for up to 90 attempted credits.Students can appeal this rule. See your program advisor if the number of attempted credits on your transcript exceed the Maximum Attempted Credits shown in the table below for the type of degree you are pursuing.
|Degree Type||Required Credits for Program||Maximum Attempted Credits|
Financial Aid FAQ
Q: Classes start in three weeks; can I still apply for financial aid?
A: You can still apply for financial aid but we cannot guarantee that you will receive financial aid before classes start. You should have a backup plan to pay your bill before the deadline to avoid late fees and/or being dropped from your classes.
Q: I completed my FAFSA over a month ago but haven’t heard anything. What could be happening?
Check UAOnline to see if you have any required documents to turn in. Call the Financial Aid Office to make sure that your FAFSA has been received by UAF. If it hasn’t, you may need to log in to your FAFSA application and check the following:
- Does it show a message saying your application was successfully submitted?
- Did you complete the correct application for your intended semester?
- Did you include UAF on your list of schools?
Q: I haven’t lived with my parents for years, nor do they give me any support financially. Why do I need to provide their tax information on my FAFSA?
A: If the FAFSA determines you are a dependent student, you are required to provide your parent’s tax information. A student may be considered independent if he/she is over the age of 24, married, provides more than half the financial support of a dependent, working on a graduate degree, active duty military or a military veteran, in a legal guardianship, homeless or at risk of homelessness, in foster care, orphaned, or a dependent or ward of the court. You can contact the Financial Aid Office for help with dependency questions.
Q: After submitting my FAFSA, I received an email stating that I was eligible for $5,815 of Pell Grant. My bill is much less than that. I assume that means my bill will automatically be paid?
A: Never assume that financial aid will automatically be paid. You must work with the Financial Aid Office to ensure you meet financial aid eligibility and turn in any documentation which may be required. Also, the amount of financial aid you receive depends on many factors such as your EFC and enrollment status. You should work on making a financial plan which best estimates the amounts you expect to receive and amount you expect to be billed. Even if you do expect to receive more financial aid than what you expect to be billed, you still need to ensure that your bill is paid in full.
Q: The 2017/2018 FAFSA asked for my 2015 tax information, but my financial situation has changed a lot since then. What can I do to better reflect my current financial situation?
A: Students may submit a Request for Review of Special Circumstances for financial information which is not reflected on your 2017-2018 FAFSA. Possible situations are losing a job, reduction in pay/hours, reduction of child support or other benefits, divorce, death of spouse or parent of dependent, and extraordinary expenses (medical bills, moving costs, household repairs due to natural disaster).
Q: How can I get financial aid ahead of time in order to pay for my books?
A: Students who will receive financial aid, and have met all financial aid requirements, may fill out the Advance of Funding Request with the Bursar’s Office.
Q: Will VA pay for developmental classes?
A: Yes, but the courses must be in-person courses, not online.
Q: Can I receive Financial Aid in the Summer?
A: In order to receive financial aid in the Summer, students must:
- Contact the Financial Aid Office to inquire whether you have unused financial aid which can be received in the Summer.
- Register for Summer courses.
- Submit a Notice of Summer Enrollment Form to the Financial Aid Office.
Q: I was notified that I am ineligible for financial aid because I am currently in default on a loan. How can I find out more about my loan(s)?
A: Go to nslds.ed.gov and sign in using your FSA ID (you created an FSA ID in order to complete the FAFSA). Once logged in, you can see your loan history and contact information for your loan servicer. Your loan servicer will help you with your loan default.
Q: I forgot my FSA login information, what can I do?
A: Go to fsaid.ed.gov. Click on “edit my FSA ID” and use the “forgot my username” and “forgot my password” links. If that process does not work, call 1-800-557-7394. For hearing impaired, TTY 1-800-730-8913.