Financial Aid

What is Financial Aid

Most students will need financial aid to help pay for the cost of attending college. Financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and employment is available at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to eligible students who need assistance to attend school.

Financial aid can be used to help pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies and living expenses such as room and board.

The financial aid office provides counseling and information services to students and parents and administers a comprehensive program of financial assistance. Specific information regarding financial aid programs at UAF can be found online at www.uaf.edu/finaid/. Definitions for many financial aid terms can be found in the glossary at the back of this catalog.

The financial aid office is located in 101 Eielson. We can be reached by phone at 907-474-7256, toll-free at 1-888-474-7256, or via e-mail at financialaid@uaf.edu.

Who Receives Financial Aid

To receive financial aid you must:

  1. Be admitted to a financial aid eligible certificate or degree program at UAF;
  2. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (F-1 and J-1 students are not eligible for state or federal financial aid, but may apply for University of Alaska Foundation or UAF privately funded scholarships, and graduate fellowships or assistantships.);
  3. Be registered with Selective Service if you are a male 18 or more years old;
  4. Have a valid social security number;
  5. Be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the financial aid office policy (policies and forms can be found online at www.uaf.edu/finaid/.);
  6. Not be in default on any federal education loan and not owe a refund because of overpayment of a previous federal grant or loan at any college or university;
  7. 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 on our website www.uaf.edu/finaid/.

All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, loans and work study.

FAFSA forms may be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The earliest date students may begin completing the form is Jan. 1.

The priority application deadline for UAF is Feb. 15. If you miss the deadline, you may still apply for financial aid, but you might not be eligible for institutional scholarships or some state/federal grants.

Remember to apply for a PIN (Personal Identification Number) at www.pin.ed.gov, which you will use to electronically access and sign your FAFSA. Parents of dependent students will also need a PIN.

Costs of Attending UAF

The information in the table below for a typical full-time undergraduate student for the school year is provided to help students estimate the total cost of attending UAF:

Estimated UAF living expenses
Single student living alone off campus Single student living in UAF residence hall
Tuition and fees* $5,379 $5,379
Books, supplies $1,300 $1,300
Room and board $7,830 $6,030
Transportation $1,800 $432
Misc./personal $2,070 $2,070
TOTAL $18,379 $15,211

* Estimate includes Alaska resident tuition costs, estimated course and lab fees and student life, technology, transportation and health center fees. Add $9,420 for non-resident tuition. Graduate students add $888 for resident or $6,450 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.

How Eligibility is Determined

Within two to four weeks after the FAFSA is filed, the financial aid office will receive a student aid report from the U.S. Department of Education. The information on this form is used to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid at UAF.

Once our office has received this report, students will receive an e-mail from our office either requesting additional information (such as copies of income tax forms, proof of citizenship, etc.) or an award notice detailing your eligibility for financial aid. This information is also available via UAOnline at http://uaonline.alaska.edu. Students should respond to requests for additional information promptly in order to avoid delays.

The total amount of financial aid awarded will be based on the FAFSA results and the student's cost of attendance.

Scholarships, Grants and Tuition Waivers

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

Note: Students attending any campus of the University of Alaska system under the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program are assumed to be receiving the benefit of reduced tuition because of their residency in a partner state. Therefore, time spent in WUE does not count toward the time required to establish residency in Alaska for tuition purposes. If students end their participation in WUE, they could begin establishing residency for tuition purposes as set forth in the resident and non-resident tuition policy.

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 How to Earn a Graduate Degree, page 192.

Fellowships are available through the University of Alaska Foundation, the Graduate School and private organizations. A limited number of these awards are granted each year, and the amounts vary. For information, contact the UA Foundation, 907-474-7687 or the Graduate School, 907-474-7464, or visit online at www.uaf.edu/gradsch/.

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.

Table 12 below outlines estimated 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

Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to qualify for a state or federal loan. Yearly limits for dependent students are $3,500 for first-year students, $4,500 for second-year students and $5,500 for upper-level undergraduates. Independent students may borrow, including the subsidized federal loan, up to $7,500 as first-year students, $8,500 as second-year students and $10,500 as third- or fourth-year students. Graduate students may borrow $20,500, of which $8,500 can be a subsidized loan. The interest rate varies annually and is capped at 8.25 percent.

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 1-800-441-2962, or visit online at www.state.ak.us/acpe/.

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 unsure whether you have a GI bill entitlement, you should contact the VA in Muskogee, Okla., at 1-888-442-4551 or online at www.gibill.va.gov.

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.

Specific questions regarding establishing disability or using Chapter 31 benefits, or general information not associated with education benefits, 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

Students receiving financial aid are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Undergraduate students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 75 percent of total credits attempted each year and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (3.00 for graduate students).

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

Disbursement of financial aid is usually in equal amounts. Students are given one-half of the total award at the beginning of each semester. 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.

All financial aid checks as well as checks from outside organizations (such as Native corporations, clubs, etc.) 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.

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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