Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer

Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer

We know how important budgeting and planning is to you and your family during your college search process. Let us help you break down the Financial Aid Offer you received.

What information is provided on the Financial Aid Offer?

You will see the following information on your Financial Aid Offer:

  • The Cost of Attendance breakdown
  • Description of the financial aid you have been offered, including amounts
  • Terms and Conditions for each type of financial aid offer
  • The reported residency, campus, housing choice and enrollment status 

Please note - information on this webpage has been updated, effective the Fall 2024 semester, as a result of changes through the FAFSA Simplification Act.  

Financial Aid Offer Timeline

Please review the below table to determine when you will receive your financial aid offer based on your cohort and program.


Fall 2024 First Year, Readmit, Transfer New Admits Late Spring 2024
Graduate/Professional Students Late Spring 2024
Law, Med, and VetMed Students Check with your respective school offices for your aid offer timeline

Please note - information on this webpage has been updated, effective the Fall 2024 semester, as a result of changes through the FAFSA Simplification Act.  

Financial Need/Need-Based Financial Aid

Need-based aid requires that you demonstrate financial need. This is determined by subtracting your Student Aid Index (SAI) from your COA, as shown in Example #1. Your SAI could be as low as -1,500. In cases where a student has a negative SAI, we will use the value of “0” in place of your negative SAI number. Need-based aid can include ScholarshipsGrantsFederal Work Study and Direct Subsidized Loans.

Estimated COA $35,496
minus SAI of 1000 minus 1000
= Financial Need (Maximum amount of need-based aid you can receive)* $34,496

*The types and amounts of any financial aid offered can also be restricted to program guidelines or federal regulations and availability of funds.


Non-Need-Based Financial Aid

Non-need-based aid does not require you to demonstrate financial need and is determined by subtracting any financial aid you have been awarded from your COA. Non-need-based aid can include:

Estimated COA $35,496
minus Total Financial Aid already offered** minus $10,500
= Eligibility for Non-need-based Aid $24,966

**Includes aid from all sources awarded to the student at that time, including need-based and non-need based

How Enrollment Affects Financial Aid

Starting in the 2024-2025 academic year, the enrollment requirements used to determine a student’s Federal Pell Grant eligibility have changed significantly. As a result, an enrollment change of just one unit can now impact a student’s Federal Pell Grant award. 

The University of Arizona initially offers financial aid to Undergraduate students assuming they will be enrolled full-time, 12 units or more for the fall and spring semesters. Prior to initially releasing financial aid for the fall and spring semester, OSFA will review a student’s current enrollment and adjust financial aid for students enrolled in less than 12 units. Review the tables below to see enrollment requirements for the different types of financial aid listed.

Federal Pell Grant and Enrollment Intensity 

Beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year the amount of your Federal Pell Grant will be prorated based on your enrollment intensity. Your enrollment intensity is determined by the number of units you are enrolled in, in relation to full-time enrollment.

For federal student aid purposes, full-time enrollment for an undergraduate student is 12 units.

The chart below illustrates enrollment intensity relative to full-time enrollment. Note that enrollment intensity cannot exceed 100% for purposes of Pell Grant proration.








Federal Pell Grant

Credit Hours

Enrollment Category

prior to the 2024-2025 academic year

Enrollment Intensity 

effective 2024-2025 academic year

12 (or more)

Full-Time (100%)

100% of the scheduled award




Three-Quarter Time (75%)

92% of the scheduled award


83% of the scheduled award


75% of the scheduled award



Half Time (50%)

67% of the scheduled award


58% of the scheduled award


50% of the scheduled award





Less Than Half Time (25%)

42% of the scheduled award


33% of the scheduled award


25% of the scheduled award


17% of the scheduled award


8% of the scheduled award

You may only be eligible for a partial award if you are close to your Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (Pell LEU).

Enrollment changes made within the semester, including adding, dropping, or withdrawing from courses may be subject to the Pell Recalculation Policy and/or the Withdrawal Policy.

Non-Pell Grant Financial Aid and Enrollment Requirements

If you have financial aid not listed in this table and have questions about enrollment requirements, please contact OSFA. The financial aid listed represents the most common undergraduate financial aid.

This does not apply to summer financial aid. Review summer-specific information regarding specific to summer enrollment on the Summer Financial Aid webpage.

Arizona Native Scholars Grant*

Arizona Promise Grant*

University Grant*

Achievement Award

Arizona Assurance Grant

Up to 100% of the offered award

You must be enrolled full-time (12 units or more)

*OSFA will automatically cancel the Fall portion of the Arizona Native Scholars Grant, Arizona Promise Grant, and University Grant on students who are not enrolled in at least 12 Arizona units by the first Pell Recalculation Date of the Fall semester. The Spring portion of these grants will be evaluated for enrollment eligibility on the first Pell Recalculation Date of the Spring semester.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Up to 100% of the scheduled award

You must be enrolled in at least 1 unit to receive FSEOG

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Up to 100% of the scheduled award


You must be enrolled at least half-time, 6 units for Undergraduate students (at least 5 units for Graduate students) to be eligible for student employment at the University of Arizona.

FWS will be canceled if you drop to less than 6 units for Undergraduate students (or 5 units for Graduate students) at any point during the semester.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Graduate and Parent PLUS Loans

Up to 100% of the scheduled award.


You must be enrolled at least half-time, 6 units for Undergraduate students and at least 5 units for Graduate students. 

Loans may be canceled if you drop to less than half-time status at any point during the semester.

*If you drop or withdraw from all courses and are no longer actively enrolled, you may be subject to the Withdrawal Policy in which Federal and Institutional financial aid can be reduced or canceled.

Conditions of Your Financial Aid Offer

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) will calculate and offer you financial aid using the formulas as explained above. OSFA will automatically adjust the financial aid for undergraduate students who are enrolled in less than 12 units, prior to initially releasing the student's financial aid for the semester. Any changes made to your Financial Aid Offer will be viewable on your UAccess Student Center

  • All financial aid recipients are expected to review their Aid Offer and all terms and conditions provided on both the Financial Aid offer and the Financial Aid website. 
  • Any information that is unclear should be addressed immediately with OSFA. 
  • Financial Aid for Undergraduate students is initially offered based on a full-time  (12 units or more) enrollment assumption and then prorated and adjusted to actual enrollment and intensity (for Pell Grant purposes specifically), when applicable. Click here for more information about how enrollment impacts financial aid. This applies to Undergraduate students only.
  • Graduate/Professional students are offered financial aid based on a half-time (5 + units) assumption which is the minimum enrollment required for Federal Direct Loans for Graduate students. Graduate/Professional students enrolled in more than 5 units may contact OSFA to have their Cost of Attendance and aid offer re-evaluated for the higher enrollment level. 

An over-award (OA) occurs when a student’s total free money or need-based awards (scholarships and grants) exceed their calculated Financial Need (as determined by the FAFSA) or when a student’s total awards exceed their estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). Federal Regulations require the University of Arizona to resolve all OAs before additional financial aid can be released. OAs are resolved by reducing and/or canceling financial aid offered. In some cases, OAs can be resolved by a student submitting a COA Appeal which is used to document additional expenses not included in a student’s estimated COA. For more information about OAs, please visit https://financialaid.arizona.edu/policies/OA.

  • The amount of Federal Work-Study (FWS) aid shown on the Aid Offer is the maximum amount of money the student can expect to earn during the academic year as a result of hours worked. FWS earnings are paid directly to the student through payroll for hours worked.

  • Students who never attend any classes in which they are enrolled, or who withdraw from classes, may have their aid adjusted under the Withdrawal Policy.
  • Any changes to your enrollment may result in a Pell Recalculation. More information can be found under our Pell Grant Eligibility page. 
  • Aid offers reflect aid for one full academic year, but the amount is halved and applied equally to both Fall and Spring semesters. Students who have a graduation check-out on file for the Fall or Winter term will be offered financial aid prorated for the Fall term only. Similarly, students admitted for the Spring term will be offered financial aid for the Spring term only. 
  • Students are responsible for applying for Title IV Federal and Institutional financial aid every year by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Institutional funding is limited; it is recommended students fill out their FAFSA by the University of Arizona’s Priority Filing Date . University of Arizona Tuition scholarships do not require this, rather, students must meet renewal criteria each year. 
  • Renewal of Title IV Federal Financial Aid and Institutional Aid depends upon the student maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
  • Title IV Federal Financial Aid can only be paid by one school, and this should be the student’s home school (the school at which the student is pursuing their degree). Students attending two schools in the same semester must inform OSFA. In order to be considered to receive financial aid from the University of Arizona for dual enrollment should review the Consortium Agreement Policy
  • The Department of Education has set annual and lifetime loan borrowing limits. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor their federal loan borrowing totals. Students who reach their Federal Direct loan limits will not be eligible to receive additional Federal Direct Loans. Students can review their loan borrowing history by logging into studentaid.gov
    • If OSFA determines that a student is close to, at, or exceeding their annual and/or lifetime loan borrowing limits, the Federal Direct Loan(s) will be reduced or canceled. The reduction or cancellation will occur even if the loan has already been disbursed to their Bursar's student account, which may cause a balance due. Students are responsible for monitoring their Bursar's student account balances. 

The Department of Education has set lifetime Federal Pell Grant limits. Students are responsible for monitoring Federal Pell Grant usage by logging into their studentaid.gov account and reviewing their annual FAFSA Submission Summary upon FAFSA submission.

Students must report any additional funding they will be receiving to OSFA immediately. This includes stipends, outside scholarships, VA, ROTC and/or tuition awards that are not listed on their Aid Offer. OSFA will add a placeholder for the additional funding expected by the student and coordinate the student's financial aid accordingly to avoid overawards or overpayments that could cause a student's financial aid to be reduced or canceled later. 

Changes or corrections made to the student’s FAFSA, by either the school or by the student, could result in an adjustment to the types and amounts of previously offered financial aid. All changes to a student's Financial Aid Offer will be communicated to the student via an email to their official Arizona email account and are also viewable to the student in their UAccess Student Center at uaccess.arizona.edu.


In compliance with the university e-mail policy, correspondence from OSFA will be sent to a student’s CatMail. It is the responsibility of the student to check their e-mail frequently, in order to stay current with university-related communications. Emails from OSFA come from DoNotReply-AskAid@email.arizona.edu.

Student Center To Do Items

OSFA will also post To Do items that can be viewed by the student in UAccess Student Center. To Do items can have serious impacts such as preventing a student from being awarded or preventing a student’s financial aid from being released. Like e-mails, it is the responsibility of the student to check UAccess Student Center frequently.

Text Messages

Students who are asked to submit certain verification documentation to OSFA may opt-in to receive text alerts with reminders about the documentation/information requested. Learn more about StudentForms here.