The next stop in your Wildcat journey is exploring financial aid! We've gathered all our top resources right here, but don't forget— our Ask Aid team is here to help if you have any questions along the way.
What to Expect at Orientation
We're excited to meet you and your family and/or supporters at your virtual orientation session! In addition to learning everything you need to know about being a Wildcat, our team will be sharing essential financial aid information during Campus Connections and we hope you can join us. Before we meet, please take a look at the information below to make your financial aid process a smooth one.
Need a refresher on what was covered during orientation? Access an on-demand recording of our orientation presentation:
Understanding Your Aid Offer
You can expect to receive your financial aid offer via text and/or email 2-3 weeks after you've been admitted and have submitted your FAFSA. For students starting in fall 2023, offers will begin to be sent in late-December on a rolling basis.
Some financial aid terms may be brand new to you—and that's normal! Watch this video to understand the types of financial aid you've been offered. If you still have questions, we're here to help.
Top Things to Know About Financial Aid
We can't wait for you to become part of the Wildcat Family. Read through the most important financial aid information to know before you arrive on campus this fall.
We're happy you're planning for your upcoming semester! If you've already filed your FAFSA, here's what we recommend doing next:
- Review your financial aid offer. If it’s been awhile since you’ve looked at your offer, now is the time read it through again! Check out this video to learn where to find it and how to understand the types of aid you’ve been offered.
- Make a plan. Use the information provided on your financial aid offer to calculate what your out of pockets costs will be and make decisions about how you cover them.
- Complete UAccess To-Do Items. Log in to your UAccess Student Center to complete any To-Do Items and resolve any holds. These items can prevent you from receiving your aid so it’s important to complete them as far in advance as possible.
- Monitor Your Catmail. Catmail is your University of Arizona student email and the address where you'll receive official university updates. Sometimes we'll ask you for additional information— check your account regularly for next steps that may be required to process your financial aid.
- Enroll full time, especially if you've been offered scholarships or grants. Most University of Arizona scholarships and grants require for you to be enrolled in at least 12 University of Arizona units. Additionally, merit scholarships have yearly unit requirements, which are outlined in your scholarship terms and conditions. When you attend orientation, you will be provided with your schedule and will learn how to add and drop classes. Remember to swap, not drop your classes!
- Accept Your Loans (if you plan to). You and/or your parent(s) will need to complete a few steps to ensure you understand and agree to the terms of your loan. We'll take you through the process step-by-step. If you choose not to accept your loan(s), no further action is necessary. You can also accept your loan(s) later in the semester, if you'd like.
- Contact our team if you still have questions.
Your accepted financial aid will be released to your Bursar student account 10 days prior to your first day of school as long as you are enrolled in the minimum number of units and all To Do Items and holds are resolved. Be sure to log in to UAccess Student Center to complete any To Do Items and resolve any holds. Some items can take several weeks to process, so take action early!
You will receive your bill from the Bursar's Office prior to the start of the semester. This will include charges for tuition, fees, and other expenses like your dorm rent or meal plan. For now, it's a good idea to start calculating your direct costs (expenses that will be billed to your account) as well as indirect costs (other expenses you might incur as a student) to start planning.
- You can start by estimating your tuition and fees using the Bursar's Office tuition calculator.
- Add in other costs that might be billed to your Bursar student account, like your meal plan or on-campus housing rent charges.
- Think about how much you might need for books, supplies, personal expenses or travel. You can use our estimated cost of attendance to get an idea of how much other Wildcats spend each year.
- Review your financial aid offer in UAccess Student Center. Keep in mind that grants, scholarships and loans are for the academic year, so you will receive half in the fall and half in the spring.
- Add up all your expenses and subtract the amount of grants and scholarships you've been offered (if applicable).
- The amount that is left is what will need to be covered through other means, such as student or parent loans, wages from a part-time job, or personal savings.
Student and parent loans will be available for acceptance for the fall semester in mid-July through UAccess, and we will send an email to your CatMail account notifying you of the date you may begin to accept your loan(s).
In addition to accepting your loans, students will also need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling before loan funds can be released. Parents will need to be granted UAccess Guest Center access, authorize a required credit check and complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) to accept and receive Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans. Visit our Accept Your Loans webpage for detailed instructions and walkthroughs of the loan borrowing process.
You may choose the amount to borrow; it does not have to be the full amount offered to you. Keep in mind that the loan amount you accept will be split in two even disbursements; half for the fall and half for the spring.
If you were selected for verification, you are not alone! In fact, 22% of students nationwide were selected last year.
Verification is the process of a school checking the information provided on the FAFSA for the U.S. Department of Education. Our office is required to collect additional documentation from you in order to complete this requirement. In some cases, this review can result in a change to a student’s financial aid offer.
To get started, create an account on our StudentForms portal. Here you will be able to upload the information being requested. You can also check your Next Steps Center Financial Aid Verification To-Do item for more information.
Verification can take a few weeks to process and will prevent the release of your federal financial aid, so we highly advise completing this requirement as early as possible.
We recognize that college is a big investment for you and your family. The University of Arizona is proud to offer the Guaranteed Tuition Plan, which promises you stable tuition and mandatory fees for four straight years (eight consecutive semesters). It's our way of helping you and your family budget for the years ahead.
All students who apply for financial aid are assigned a Cost of Attendance (COA). Your housing choice, degree program, and meal plan are all factors that affect your estimated cost of attendance. The COA is not a bill, but is designed to help you estimate and plan for the expenses you might have as a student.
Your COA will include both direct costs and indirect costs. Direct costs are the amounts billed directly to your student account by the university. These are expenses that you usually cannot control, like tuition and mandatory fees. Indirect costs are other expenses you might incur as a student, like groceries or personal expenses, which you can often control through choices and budgeting.
At Arizona, nine out of ten students receive financial aid. That means most students' out of pocket expenses are less than what's estimated. By maximizing your financial aid and using cost-saving strategies, you can lower your costs while earning a degree that will pay you back for a lifetime.
When you apply to the University of Arizona, you are automatically evaluated for merit scholarships based on the terms and conditions for the year you are admitted. Although this offer is non-negotiable, we encourage you to apply for additional scholarship opportunities on Scholarship Universe throughout your time as a Wildcat. You can find a series of videos with tips on perfecting your scholarship search on our website. For questions regarding your scholarship amount and how it was calculated, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
We understand that families’ financial circumstances may have changed due to COVID-19 and/or other reasons. We will work with students and families to review their individual circumstances and recommend the appropriate next steps. If your current financial situation has changed since you filed your 2023-2024 FAFSA, we encourage you to review our Family Contribution Appeal information.
Yes, you will need to file a FAFSA every year you'd like to receive financial aid. The FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year will open in December 2023 and the priority submission date for current Wildcats is March 1.
Spring Webinar Series
Leading up to our summer orientation sessions, Orientation & New Student Services hosted a Spring Webinar Series. This limited series was intended to help you and your supporters get all of your important questions answered before you attend your orientation session. These sessions were hosted by campus partners and were built to aid you through your enrollment journey.
Join Us for a Workshop
We're hosting a variety of virtual workshops this summer and throughout the year that you can attend in addition to our sessions on your orientation day. Topics include calculating your out of pocket cost, completing financial aid verification, and perfecting your Scholarship Universe search.