Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
search icon
Twitter bird

Basic Financial Aid Questions

General Financial Aid Questions

General Financial Aid Questions

Financial aid encompasses any resource that you receive that assists you with paying for college expenses. Assistance from parents and income from work are excluded from this definition of financial aid. Financial aid may include federal and state grants, loans, work study, university and private scholarships, athletic scholarships, tuition and fee waivers, fellowships, assistantships, tuition reimbursement, ROTC awards, veteran’s benefits, and prepaid tuition programs.

Click on any question below to view the answer.

Do I need to be admitted to UA before I apply for financial aid?

No, you should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor as soon after January 1st as possible. By doing so, you will be sure to meet the priority filing date of March 1st. This will allow you to be considered for the maximum amount of gift aid for which you are eligible. However, we cannot award your aid until you are officially admitted.

What is COA?

COA is your Cost of Attendance. It is an estimate of what it may cost you to attend school. It includes tuition, fees, books, housing, utilities, food, and other miscellaneous expenses. It is not your actual budget. Student surveys, as well as residency classification and student housing choices, are used to determine your Estimated Cost of Attendance.

What is EFC?

EFC is your Expected Family Contribution. The information you report on the FAFSA is used in a formula established by the U.S. Congress to determine your EFC. Some of the factors used to determine your EFC are: taxable and non-taxable information; marital status; family size.

How is financial need determined?

Your EFC is used in the following equation to determine your financial need:

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Can I expect to receive financial aid if I apply?

Most students are eligible for some form of financial aid and are encouraged to apply regardless of their family's financial circumstance. Eligibility for financial aid programs can only be determined if you apply. Applying for financial aid is FREE using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can use the FAFSA to apply to more than one school. Our school code for University of Arizona is 001083. The FAFSA is available from the financial aid office at any university or college, your high school counselor's office, or online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. Make sure to allow enough time for processing, usually 6-8 weeks.

If I need more money what are my options?

If you have expenses that are not accurately reflected in your Cost of Attendance, you may complete a Cost of Attendance (Budget) Re-evaluation Form.

If your financial situation has changed due to changes in employment, divorce, death or loss of benefits then you may complete a Resource Re-evaluation form.

Please note: these evaluations do not always result in additional funding. These forms can be downloaded from Scholarships and Financial Aid Forms.

Can I get a computer with financial aid?

If you need a computer, or your program requires you to have a computer, you can complete a Cost of Attendance (Budget) Re-evaluation form. If this results in more aid, you may use these funds to purchase a computer. The Cost of Attendance Re-evaluation form can be downloaded from our webpage at Scholarships and Financial Aid Forms. When completing the form, attach a print out containing the cost and specifications of the computer you intend to buy.

How do I report additional resources I will receive?

If you received an outside scholarship or other aid, you will need to contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid with the name and amount of each resource.  We will include this information and adjust your financial aid award to ensure you are not in an overaward status.

Why was my aid reduced or cancelled?

Your aid may be reduced for a variety of reasons:

  • Your enrollment dropped after aid was awarded/disbursed
  • You received other aid not previously reported
  • You did not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  • Change in residency status
  • Changes to your FAFSA

What are the minimum required units for financial aid?

It depends on the specific type of aid. For example, direct loans require half-time enrollment. Half-time for undergraduate students during the fall and spring semesters is 6 units. Half-time for graduate students during the fall and spring semesters is 5 units. Most scholarships require full-time status.

Can I receive aid on less than full time enrollment?

Your financial aid is budgeted for full-time enrollment. If you are attending less than full-time, your financial aid must be adjusted to reflect your actual enrollment. You will be notified via e-mail if any changes are made to your financial aid package due to this adjustment.

What will happen if I drop a class?

This may affect your eligibility for a number of financial aid programs, including scholarships, institutional grants and federal aid. It may also affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress status. Please contact our office to discuss your specific case.

Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for Financial Aid

Click on any question below to view the answer.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to receive financial aid?

You must be one of the following to receive federal student aid:

  • U.S. citizen
  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's Island)
  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Card)

If you're not in one of these categories, you must be an eligible non-citizen and must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following destinations:

  • "Refugee"
  • "Asylum Granted"
  • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending”
  • "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
  • "Parolee"

If you have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you are not eligible for federal student aid.

If you are in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, you cannot get federal student aid.

Also, persons with G series visas (pertaining to international organizations) are not eligible for federal student aid.

Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau are eligible only for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)'s, or Federal Work-Study. These applicants should check with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information.

What are the general student eligibility requirements to receive financial aid?

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Be a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid social security number
  • Demonstrate completion of high school with one of the following:
    • have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED Certificate, OR
    • pass an approved ability-to-benefit (ATB) test OR
    • complete a high school education in a home setting approved under state law.

Is financial aid available for international students?

For information regarding financial aid for International Students, you may contact the International Affairs Office at:

International Affairs
The University of Arizona
935 North Tyndall Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0528
United States of America
Tel: 1.520.621.1900
Fax: 1.520.626.4266

How do I apply for financial aid?

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://fafsa.ed.gov for the appropriate academic year and list the University of Arizona (Title IV School Code 001083) as one of the schools on the FAFSA.

Do I have to pay to apply for Financial Aid or Scholarships?

The UA does not advise students to pay for a company or an individual to locate funds for college.

You should never pay a fee to file the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA), or to have someone fill out the FAFSA for you. This form can be completed on-line at fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA itself will guide you and provide detailed explanations for each question. If you need help filling out the FAFSA please direct your questions to the Office of Scholarships and Financial aid at 520-621-1858 or you may call the FAFSA Help Line at 1800.4FED.AID. 

The only OSFA recommended financial aid process that may involve a fee is to complete the College Board’s CSS/ Financial Aid PROFILE—although this fee is usually waived for low income students. Only complete the PROFILE if you are specifically requested to do so by the UA Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Scholarship Universe is another free resource for UA students. Scholarship Universe matches students’ academic and professional interest with scholarships that also are based on a range of unique characteristics including gender, class standing, and enrollment status. Log into the site with your UA NetID to access, view, and apply for scholarships.

Information about scholarship scams is available at http://www.finaid.org/scholarships/scams.phtml.

How does the school inform me of important information?

You will either receive a written communication or email from OSFA regarding any award changes or requests for information. You can always check your financial aid status on UAccess.

Do I Qualify?

Do I Qualify?

Click on any question below to view the answer.

What are the steps to receive aid if I am studying abroad?

Visit the Office of Study Abroad and Student Exchange web page (http://studyabroad.arizona.edu/) for further information.
If you decide to study abroad, a Study Abroad Financial Aid Worksheet needs to be completed and turned in to Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for review. The form can be found at Scholarships and Financial Aid Forms.

Can non-degree seeking students qualify for financial aid?

No, unless you are a graduate student. If you are a graduate student, taking undergraduate courses in order to be accepted in your graduate college, you must file a Non-Degree Seeking Appeal Form. This form can be downloaded from our web page at Scholarships and Financial Aid Forms. If approved, you will be awarded as a fifth year undergraduate.

Can I qualify for financial aid as a second degree seeker?

As a second degree seeker, you are only eligible for loans.

Do continuing education students qualify for financial aid?

No, you must be admitted as a regular student to a degree-seeking program or be seeking teacher certification in order to qualify for financial aid. There are certain exceptions for students who are taking pre-requisite courses for admission into graduate or professional school. Students who wish to take pre-requisites should check with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Services to see if they qualify for financial aid.

If I am taking distance learning courses, do I qualify for financial aid?

Generally, no. Students cannot receive aid for distance learning courses. There are some web-based courses that are eligible. Please contact the Registrar’s Office at 520.626.3113 to see if the course you are interested in is eligible.

If I am completing a Certificate Program, am I eligible for Federal Financial Aid?

If you are getting a degree along with the certificate, you are eligible for financial aid. If you are only pursuing a certificate, you are not eligible for Title IV aid under our current agreement with the US Department of Education.

  • Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, P.O. Box 210066, Tucson, AZ 85721
  • Phone: 520.621.1858
  • Fax: 520.621.9473