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.

How to Read Your Aid Offer

We understand that some financial aid terms may be unfamiliar to you. Watch this video to learn how to understand the aid offer you received.

Financial Need/Need-Based Financial Aid

Need-based aid requires that you demonstrate a level of financial need. This is determined by by subtracting your EFC from your COA, as shown in Example #1. Need-based aid can include Scholarships, Grants, Federal Work Study and Direct Subsidized Loans.

EXAMPLE #1 – FINANCIAL NEED/NEED-BASED AID ELIGIBILITY  
Estimated COA $26,500
- EFC -$1,500
= Financial Need (Maximum amount of need-based aid you can receive)* $25,000

*The types and amounts of any financial aid offered can also be restricted to program guidelines 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 the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal PLUS Loan and the Teacher Education Access for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.

EXAMPLE #2 – NON-NEED-BASED AID  
Estimated COA $26,500
- Total Financial Aid already offered* -$1,500
= Eligibility for Non-need-based Aid $25,000

*Includes aid from all sources, such as the school, private scholarship donors, etc.

How Enrollment Affects Financial Aid

The University of Arizona initially offers financial aid to Undergraduate students assuming they will be enrolled full-time (12+ units) for both the fall and spring semesters. OSFA will automatically adjust the financial aid for students not enrolled full-time prior to initially releasing the student's financial aid for the semester. Review the table below to see enrollment requirements for the different types of financial aid listed.

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 specific to summer enrollment on the Summer Financial Aid webpage.

  FULL-TIME
12+ UNITS
THREE-QUARTER TIME
9-11 UNITS
HALF-TIME
6-8 UNITS
LESS THAN HALF-TIME
1-5 UNITS
Federal Pell Grant

TEACH Grant

100% of the scheduled award 75% of the scheduled award 50% of the scheduled award 25% of the scheduled award

A scheduled Pell grant payment is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated by the FAFSA.

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

If you drop or withdraw from courses before beginning attendance, you are subject to the Pell Recalculation Policy and/or the Withdrawal Policy

Arizona Native Scholars Grant*

Arizona Promise Grant*

Pell Pledge Grant*

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

University Grant*

Achievement Award

Arizona Assurance Grant

Up to 100% of the scheduled award

You must be enrolled full-time

*OSFA will automatically cancel the Fall portion of the Arizona Native Scholars Grant, Arizona Promise Grant, Pell Pledge Grant and University Grant on students who are not enrolled full-time (12+ Arizona units) by the first Pell Recalculation Date of the fall semester. The spring portion of these awards will be evaluated for enrollment eligibility on the first Pell Recalculation Date of the spring semester.  

Federal Work-Study (FWS) Up to 100% of the scheduled award

You must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for student employment at the University of Arizona

FWS will be canceled if you drop to less than half-time at any point during the semester

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Graduate and Parent PLUS Loans

Up to 100% of the scheduled loan amount (less loan fees if applicable)

You must be enrolled at least half-time

Loans may be canceled if you drop to less than half-time 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 students not enrolled full-time 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

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 financial aid offer

  • Residency, housing choice, enrollment as reported on your FAFSA

  • 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 is initially offered based on a full-time enrollment assumption and then prorated and adjusted to actual enrollment, 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 enrollment assumption (5+ units) 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 overaward (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

  • Financial Aid disbursements (with the exception of Federal Work Study) will credit directly to their Bursar's student account. Click here for more information regarding Disbursement Policies. 
  • 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.
  • 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 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 Deadline of March 1st. 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 for full-time Federal Financial Aid while enrolled at two schools students 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 Student Aid Report (SAR) 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. 

If any of the information changes due to corrections made to the FAFSA, by either the school or by the student, it could result in an adjustment to the types and amounts of previously offered financial aid.  Receiving or losing any additional financial aid could also result in a change to the offered financial aid. All changes to a student's Financial Aid Offer will be viewable to the student in their UAccess Student Center at uaccess.arizona.edu.

Email

In compliance with the university e-mail policy, correspondence from OSFA will be sent to the student's official university e-mail account. It is the responsibility of the student to check their email 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 email, 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.