2006-2007 UAF Catalog


Financial Aid

Who Can Apply

Many UAF students use some kind of financial aid to help pay for their university education. You can apply for financial aid if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and are admitted or plan to be admitted to the university. Students holding an F-1 or J-1 visa are not eligible to apply for federal or state financial assistance but may apply for UAF scholarships, fellowships, assistantships and some work programs.

Financial aid can help pay for tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses. It provides access to higher education by offering a way to meet the costs, and it allows students to persist in completing their educational objectives.

The terminology used to describe financial aid requirements and the processes for applying and receiving aid may be unfamiliar. The glossary defines many of these terms.

Who Receives Financial Aid

Most full-time UAF students receive financial aid. Part-time students can receive some type of financial aid; however, major programs require full-time enrollment. Full-time enrollment for undergraduate students is 12 or more credits each semester, and 9 or more credits each semester for graduate students.

To receive financial aid, you must:

  1. be admitted to a UAF degree program;
  2. be making satisfactory academic progress toward your educational goal; and
  3. receive passing scores on either the COMPASS or ASSET tests if you don't have a high school diploma or equivalent and weren't home schooled. Passing COMPASS scores are: Pre-Algebra/Numerical: 25 or higher; Reading: 62 or higher; Writing: 32 or higher. Passing ASSET scores are: Numerical: 33 or higher; Reading: 35 or higher; Writing: 35 or higher.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

The forms needed to apply for federal, state and UAF financial aid programs are available at the UAF financial aid office or website: www.uaf.edu/finaid/. Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for a Pell Grant, federal supplemental grants, federal loans, federal work study, the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan and various UAF scholarships.

How Eligibility is Determined

The procedure for determining eligibility for financial aid begins when you submit your FAFSA form. The FAFSA application is processed by the U.S. Department of Education which compiles a "Student Aid Report" that is returned to you in three to four weeks, and is also sent electronically to the UAF financial aid office. Upon receipt of your Student Aid Report, the financial aid office sends you an award letter explaining the assistance for which you are eligible. The total amount of financial aid awarded is based on the estimated cost of attending UAF. Since eligibility is based on income for the prior year, you may request a review of your eligibility if your income has changed due to loss of a job, divorce, death or disability.

Costs of Attending UAF

Estimated expense budgets for a typical full-time undergraduate student for the school year:

estimated UAF living expenses
 
Single student living
alone off campus
Single student living
in UAF residence hall
Tuition and fees*
$4,751
$4,751
Books, supplies
$1,100
$1,100
Room and board
$7,311
$5,960
Transportation
$1,800
$324
Misc./personal
$2,160
$2,250
TOTAL
$ 17,122
$ 14,385

* Estimate includes Alaska resident tuition costs, estimated course and lab fees and student life, technology and health center fees. Add $7,620 for non-resident tuition. Graduate students add $1,091 for resident or $5,439 for non-resident tuition. Costs are subject to change.

Standard budgets do not always fit everyone. The financial aid office will try to provide methods of covering unusual expenses such as medical bills, special child care or emergency items. Since eligibility is based on prior year income, you may request a review of your eligibility if your income changes from loss of job, divorce, death or disability.

Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships

Grants are usually based on financial need, whereas scholarship awards are based on academic achievement and promise as well as financial need. These types of aid do not have to be repaid. Most grants and scholarships are designed for undergraduate students.

Graduate Assistantships

You must be admitted to a graduate program to receive an assistantship. Research and teaching assistantships are awarded to qualified graduate students by each department or program. For application information, contact the department or program directly. For additional information, see the Graduate Assistantships section.

Loans

Loans represent a major source of assistance as you try to meet the full costs of your education. Educational loans generally have long-term repayment schedules and offer low interest rates. They often have provisions for deferring payments and may offer additional benefits related to financial need.

Any student who borrows money for college should understand the specific conditions and requirements regarding disbursements, deferments and repayment options. Students who fail to meet the conditions of the satisfactory academic progress policy may be denied all federal aid.

UAF participates in the Federal Student Loan Program. The Federal Stafford Loan provides loans from a lender such as a bank through a guarantee agency and UAF. The program offers subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are for students who have financial need; the government makes interest payments on the loan while the student is in school, in grace period or in deferment. Unsubsidized loans are those for which the student is responsible for interest payments even while in school.

Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to qualify for a state or federal loan. Yearly limits for dependent students are $2,625 for first-year students, $3,500 for second-year students and $5,500 for upper-level undergraduates. Independent students may borrow, including the subsidized federal loan, up to $6,625 as first-year students, $7,500 as second-year students and $10,500 as third- or fourth-year students. Graduate students may borrow $18,500, of which $8,500 can be a subsidized loan. The interest rate varies annually and is capped at 8.25 percent.

The table below outlines monthly payments over a 10-year repayment period. Loan repayment calculations are available at www.finaid.org.

student loan repayment schedule
Total Loan
Monthly Payments
8.25 Percent Interest
Total Repayment
$  5,000
$  61
$2,359
$  7,359
$10,000
$123
$4,718
$14,718
$15,000
$184
$7,098
$23,078
$20,000
$233
$8,965
$28,965
$25,000
$307
$11,796
$36,796

The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a program for parents of dependent students. The cost of attending UAF determines the annual loan limits. A variable interest rate or finance charge, not to exceed 9 percent, is determined each year for the federal PLUS programs.

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) offers both federal and state loan programs. These loans are available to all students attending UAF. Through its federal component, AlaskAdvantage offers Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized) and PLUS loans. State loans include the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan (ASEL), the Family Education Loan, the Teacher Scholarship Loan, and the Winn Brindle Scholarship Loan

Students seeking an Alaska Supplemental Education Loan (ASEL) must apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the ASEL Master Promissory Note.

The ASEL loan can be used as a supplement to any other aid, provided the total amount of aid does not exceed a student's calculated cost of attendance. ASEL approval also requires a student to have good credit. Undergraduates may borrow up to $8,500, and graduate students up to $9,500. Repayment begins no later than six months after the borrower stops attending school at least half time. The interest rate is variable and is made public every July. Interest is charged from the day of disbursement.

The Alaska Family Education Loan Program allows the student's family to share the cost of the student's education. A family member can borrow up to $8,500 for an undergraduate and up to $9,500 for a graduate student. The interest rate is 5 percent and the borrower begins repayment within 60 days of the final disbursement.

The Teacher Scholarship and Winn Brindle Scholarship loans can be used only for specific fields of study. For information on these two programs, please contact the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE), 3030 Vintage Boulevard, Juneau, Alaska 99801, telephone (800) 441-2962, or visit online at alaskaadvantage.state.ak.us/.

Applicants must apply each year and applications are available for all Alaska loan programs via the ACPE website or through their offices. UAF receives ACPE loan disbursements via electronic funds transfer (EFT). Loans are processed within 7-10 days from time of receipt at ACPE offices in Juneau or Anchorage and can be disbursed to a student's UAF account within two days of receipt by the financial aid office.

Textbook loans are administered by UAF for enrolled students who have unexpected financial demands. These short-term loans allow students to borrow up to $500. Applicants are required to verify their need for the loan. They must be in good academic standing and have no outstanding debt with UAF. Applications are accepted year-around. A $10 service charge is assessed for each loan. Applications and additional information are available at the UAF Business Office.

Student Employment

Campus jobs help many UAF students pay college costs. Many student positions are available across UAF campuses, as well as the University of Alaska statewide system offices in Fairbanks; more than 1,000 students are employed in these jobs. Full-time student status is not required unless specified by a department. However, students who are less than full time are subject to FICA withholding, and departments that hire part-time student employees are subject to the applicable benefit rate charge.

Student employees may work up to 20 hours each week while classes are in session and up to 40 hours when classes are not in session. Pay rates are based on the job classification. The average pay varies from $300 to $500 each month. Since there is no "pool" for workers, students apply directly to the departments with position vacancies. Job announcements and information on how to apply for positions are available from Career Services, fifth floor Gruening Building, (907) 474-7596, or from Human Resources, Administrative Services Center, (907) 474-7700.

The Federal Work Study program provides jobs for graduate and undergraduate students with financial need. Job placement and working conditions are similar to regular student employment. To qualify for FWS, students must be eligible for federal financial aid as determined based on information provided on the required FAFSA form.

Veterans' Services

Veterans' Services advises and monitors the educational progress and status of Chapters 30 (New Montgomery GI Bill), 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation), 32 (VEAP), 35 (Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program), and 1606 (selected reserve). If you are qualified and wish to use your VA educational benefits under Chapters 30, 32, 35, and 1606, you must be admitted to a state-approved degree or certificate program. If you are qualified and wish to use Chapter 31 (vocational rehabilitation) benefits, you must meet with the local DVA vocational rehabilitation counselor, who will review, recommend and authorize use of your benefits and forward your paperwork to the UAF veterans' services office. If you are unsure whether you have a GI bill entitlement, you should contact the VA in Muskogee, Okla., at (888) GI-BILL-1 [(888)-442-4551] or online at www.gibill.va.gov. Questions about establishing disability or using Chapter 31 benefits, or general information not associated with education, should be directed to the local Veterans' Center, 540 Fourth Avenue, Suite 100, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701, or call (907) 456-4238.

Because the Department of Veterans' Affairs processes benefit payments as a form of reimbursement, you should initiate your VA paperwork 60-90 days prior to your school start date. The Department of Veterans' Affairs offers an advance pay program available through the UAF veterans' services office. To determine if you qualify, stop by the veterans' services office, 101 Eielson, call (907) 474-7256, toll-free: 1-888-474-7256 or e-mail financialaid@uaf.edu.

Remaining Eligible for Aid

A student must be in "good standing," or making satisfactory academic progress, to receive financial aid. Aid will be suspended for any student who fails to complete the required credits with the minimum GPA or who exceeds the maximum number of semesters or credit hours necessary for degree completion.

Undergraduates must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to be in good standing. Graduate students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and must complete the courses as identified on their Advancement to Candidacy form.

Students may appeal the suspension of aid. Appeals must be in writing and must state the reasons for failure to maintain satisfactory standards of progress, as well as the steps the student will take to meet those standards in the future. Appeals should be directed to the financial aid office, which will determine if the requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be waived. Academic progress requirements are subject to changes in federal or state law and institutional policy. A complete description is available at the financial aid office or at www.uaf.edu/finaid/.

Payment to the Student

Tuition, fees and all other amounts due to UAF at the time financial aid is released to the student must be paid before the balance of aid is released to the student. Disbursement is usually in equal amounts, one-half of the total award, at the beginning of each semester. All financial aid checks are released to students through the Business Office in Signers' Hall. Students must present proper photo identification before the Business Office will release a check.

According to the Tax Reform Act of 1986, all scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid grants that, either individually or together, exceed the cost of tuition and related expenses, are counted as taxable income. It is the student's responsibility to report all such aid to the Internal Revenue Service.

Students who receive federal financial aid and totally withdraw from classes during a semester may have to pay back a portion of the federal financial aid received for that semester. The amount to be repaid is based on the number of class days attended before withdrawal compared to the total days in the semester and amount of federal aid received. If the withdrawing student is entitled to a refund of tuition and fee charges, all or part of the refund may be returned to the federal financial aid programs. The amount of a refund, repayment or return of federal financial aid is based on U.S. Department of Education regulations concerning return of federal financial aid. Any refund or repayment calculation exceeding the amount of refund determined by university policy will be charged to the student. Financial aid recipients are strongly encouraged to confirm the amount of any personal liability before processing a total withdrawal from classes.

Important Financial Aid Dates

Rights and Responsibilities of Accepting Financial Aid

As a financial aid recipient at UAF, you have the right to:

  1. Know what financial programs are available to you.
  2. Know how to apply, how eligibility is determined and what terms and conditions are related to your aid.
  3. Know how the university determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress toward your degree and what happens if you are not making such progress.
  4. Request an explanation of your financial aid package, including what portion is gift and what portion must be repaid and the terms of repayment.
  5. Know the costs of attending UAF and the refund policy for students who withdraw.

For continued receipt of financial aid you must:

  1. Complete and file all financial aid forms accurately and on time.
  2. Read and understand all documents you sign. You should also keep copies for your records.
  3. Know the limits and conditions of financial aid programs.
  4. Notify the financial aid office of any change of address, name, marital status, attendance status or receipt of additional financial awards.

Where to Get More Information

Office of Financial Aid
University of Alaska Fairbanks
101 Eielson Building
P.O. Box 756360
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6360
E-mail: financialaid@uaf.edu
Online: www.uaf.edu/finaid/
Telephone: (907) 474-7256
Toll-free: 1-888-474-7256


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