An overaward (OA) is when:
- A student's total need-based awards* exceed their calculated Financial Need, as determined by the FAFSA using a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is called a Need-Based Overaward, OR
- A student's total awards exceed their Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). This is called a COA Overaward.
Students could have one or both types of overawards.
*Need-based awards include all "free-money". This could be grants, scholarships, stipends, etc. Anything the student does not have to repay is considered "free-money" and will count against a student's eligibility for need-based aid.
|Example 1: Need-Based OA|
|Eligibility for Need-Based Aid||$25,000|
|-Need Based Aid||-$26,000|
This student has a Need-Based OA because their need-based aid is greater than their eligibility for need-based aid as calculated above. To resolve this OA, need-based aid may need to be reduced or canceled.
|Example 2: COA OA|
This student has a COA OA because their total aid is greater than their COA. To resolve this OA, aid may be reduced or canceled.
|Example 3: Need-Based OA and COA OA|
|Eligibility for Need-Based Aid||$24,500|
|-Need Based Aid||-$25,000|
This student has both a Need-Based OA and a COA OA because their need-based aid is greater than their eligibility for need-based aid as calculated above and their total aid is greater than their COA. To resolve this OA, aid may need to be reduced or canceled.
Per Federal Regulations, the University of Arizona is required to resolve all OAs before additional financial aid can be released. OAs are resolved by reducing and/or canceling financial aid offered. Loans will be reduced before any reduction is made to other awards. You may be asked to submit a COA Appeal Form to assist in resolving your OA.
OAs typically occur when the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) is not aware of financial assistance a student is receiving at the time of awarding their aid package. Students are responsible for notifying OSFA as soon as they are aware of additional aid they will receive.
OAs can also occur as a result of Tax Verification or other changes being made to a student’s FAFSA and/or account status (i.e. Residency, Housing). OSFA advises students to complete all necessary To Do items as soon as possible to prevent changes from having to be made to the aid package.
EFC: The EFC is an index number that is used to determine how much need-based financial aid a student is eligible to receive. The information reported on the FAFSA is used to calculate the EFC.
COA: The estimated COA represents the average expenses paid by UA students in various student circumstances. Total financial aid cannot exceed the estimated COA.
Need-Based Financial Aid: Any "free-money" and/or aid that takes a student's EFC into consideration. Examples include Grants, Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and departmental stipends.
Non-Need-Based Financial Aid: Aid that does not take a student's EFC in consideration and typicallly requires repayment. Examples include Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal PLUS Loan and the Teacher Education Access for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.