Jul 15, 2024  
2024 - 2025 Academic Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2024 - 2025 Academic Undergraduate Catalog

Financial Aid and Scholarships



Financial Aid

The Financial Aid and Veteran Benefits Office assists students with federal, state, and institutional aid programs. Financial Aid staff members are dedicated to assisting qualifying students in finding and applying for assistance to pay for educational expenses. Students should refer to the Financial Aid webpage for specific listings and criteria. The Financial Aid Office is located on the second floor of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center and can be contacted at (479) 788-7090 or finaid@uafs.edu.

Applying For Federal Student Aid

Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal student aid programs. The FAFSA should be submitted each year as soon after October 1 as possible. Completion of the FAFSA is required to be considered for state financial aid programs such as the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. Students can contact their high school counselor or the Financial Aid Office for information about completing the application. Once a student submits the FAFSA, it generally takes 3-5 business days for the application to be sent to UAFS.

Admitted students will have access to official communications through their UAFS email and My.UAFS account online. The Financial Aid Office will communicate directly with students through official communication channels only.

Students may access information online through My.UAFS by clicking the Students tab, then Financial Aid.

Financial aid disbursement for most programs will take place after the eleventh day of class for the fall and spring semesters. Disbursement can be delayed due to enrollment in late starting courses. Federal Direct Loan disbursements will also be delayed 30 days for first-year, first-time undergraduate loan borrowers.

Eligibility For Federal Student Aid

To receive federal student aid, a student must be:

  • A regularly admitted student and
  • Seeking an eligible degree with UAFS

Most financial aid programs require students to be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Eligibility for specific aid programs will be based on the student’s enrollment, as of the eleventh class day. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours and graduate students must be enrolled in at least five (5) credit hours to receive federal direct loans. Qualifying students may receive a prorated amount of the Federal Pell Grant based on enrollment intensity.

Enrollment status for most federal student aid programs is defined as:

  • Full-Time: 12 or more credit hours
  • Three-Quarter Time: 9 - 11 credit hours
  • Half-Time: 6 - 8 credit hours
  • Less-Than-Half-Time: 1 - 5 credit hours

Enrollment status for Arkansas Academic Challenge is defined as:

  • Full-Time: 15 or more credit hours
  • Three-Quarter Time: 9 - 14 credit hours
  • Half-Time: 6 - 8 credit hours

Students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress to receive federal student aid. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for UAFS is summarized in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Federal Student Aid Recipients section of this handbook.

NOTE: Concurrent high school students, non-degree seeking students, and students classified as a lifelong learner or transient are not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid

Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU) Limit

Students are limited to 12 full-time semesters, or 6 years of full-time enrollment, or 600% of federal Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. If a student attends less than full-time, it may extend the number of semesters of eligibility. This affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first federal Pell Grant.

Additional Federal Student Aid Eligibility Requirements

Students must not owe an overpayment for any Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, or Federal Perkins Loan. Students must not be in default on a Federal Direct Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, or Federal Perkins Loan.

Students must submit all requested documents to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible and before the end of the enrollment period or the last day of attendance, whichever occurs first, to qualify for federal student aid.

Students who do not meet the citizenship or eligible non-citizenship requirements as set forth by the U.S. Department of Education do not qualify for federal student aid.

Types of Student Loans

UAFS participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans: the U.S. Department of Education pays any interest accrued while the student remains enrolled at least half-time, during the first six months after the students leaves school (called the grace period), and during periods of deferment. A student must demonstrate financial need, as a determined by the FAFSA, to receive a federal Direct Subsidized Loan.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans: interest is accrued during all periods, including while in school and during grace and deferment periods.
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans: unsubsidized loans for graduate students and parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest begins accruing with the initial disbursement.
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans: borrowers may consolidate any federal loans offered through different federal loan programs or held by different servicers into a single loan.

NOTE: Students and parents should visit www.studentaid.gov for more information on any federal loan program. The information included here is only a summary.

Applying for Federal Direct Student or Parent Loans

Students who are interested in applying for federal direct student loans must begin the process by completing the FAFSA. After the FAFSA has been processed by the Financial Aid Office, the student will be notified of the amounts for which they qualify.

The award notification will contain instructions on using My.UAFS to accept, decline, or reduce the amount of loans. First-year, first-time borrowers are required to complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentaid.gov. Please keep in mind that loan funds cannot be disbursed without confirmation of the Entrance Counseling and MPN. Additionally. federal direct loan disbursements will be delayed 30 days for first-year, first-time undergraduate loan borrowers.

Parents of dependent students may apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan by visiting www.studentaid.gov and completing the application for the Parent PLUS Loan. This is a separate application; however, the FAFSA must be completed first.

Loan Consumer Information

Federal consumer information regulations require that UAFS notify students how to contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman’s Office. A student loan ombudsman works with student loan borrowers who need help with their federal loans.

Student loan issues should first be addressed by working with the Financial Aid Office. For unresolved issues, students may contact the FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group as follows:

Website: https://studentaid.gov/help-center/answers/article/how-to-contact-ombudsman-group

Phone: (800) 433-3243
Fax: (606) 396-4821
Mail: U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1854
Monticello, KY 42633

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Federal Student Aid Recipients

Students receiving federal student aid are required to meet three separate requirements to maintain federal student aid eligibility at UAFS. These requirements are NOT related to Academic Standing.

First, students are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Second, students are required to complete at least 67% of all credit hours attempted. Attempted hours include repeat hours, incomplete hours, academic clemency/bankruptcy hours, transfer hours, concurrent (high school) enrollment, and courses with a grade of F regardless of whether a student received financial aid. Third, students must complete their degree within 150% of the credit hours allowed for their primary program of study. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the loss of federal student aid eligibility. These requirements are summarized below:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • 67% course completion rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of completed credit hours (includes courses with grades of A, B, C, or D and only the latest repeated course with grades of A, B, C, or D by the total number of attempted credit hours.
  • Students have a maximum time frame to attempt 150% of the credit hours required to complete their published degree plan. Example: A bachelor’s degree requires 120 hours, so 120 x 150% = 180 hours allowed.

For the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, please visit the Financial Aid website.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who do not meet the minimum GPA and/or 67% completion rate will be placed on a financial aid warning for their next term of enrollment. Students are still eligible to receive financial aid while on financial aid warning; however, students must meet all requirements listed in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for federal student aid recipients by the end of their warning semester, when progress is checked.

Financial Aid Suspension

A student who has failed to make SAP while on financial aid warning or exceeds the maximum time frame allowed will be placed on financial aid suspension. Financial aid suspension means the student is not eligible to receive federal financial aid. The student may only regain eligibility by meeting the minimum standards or by an approved appeal.

Financial Aid Appeal

If extenuating circumstances exist that hindered the student’s success, he or she can submit an appeal. If the financial aid appeal is approved, the student will be placed on an academic plan and may continue to receive federal student aid as long as conditions of the academic plan are met. The Financial Aid Appeal form is available online and can be printed from the Financial Aid webpage.

Student Employment

Numerous on-campus jobs are available to students attending UAFS and are coordinated through the UAFS Financial Aid and Human Resources offices. Students can be employed in either of two programs listed as follows:

  • Federal Work-Study Program - Students work up to 15 hours per week and are paid the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. Student wages are paid by funding received from the federal government. Students must complete a FAFSA and demonstrate financial need to be considered for federal work-study positions.
  • University Work-Study Program - Students work up to 15 hours per week and are paid the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. All student wages are paid by UAFS, not from federal sources, and are not based on financial need. Students are not required to complete the FAFSA to be considered for a university work-study position.

Financial Aid for Transfer Students

Any student applying for federal student aid who is transferring from another school must add UAFS’ federal school code (001110) to their FAFSA. Additionally, all coursework accepted from previous institutions will be used in the determination of satisfactory academic progress. An official transcript from each institution attended must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The Financial Aid Office will determine if the student has any remaining eligibility for federal or state programs.

Military Tuition Assistance, Active Duty, and Arkansas National Guard

UAFS participates in Federal Tuition Assistance programs for all branches of service. Eligible students should contact the education office within their branch to apply for tuition assistance. The tuition assistance authorization form should be provided each semester to the School Certifying in Financial Aid.

The Arkansas Air and Army National Guard has instituted a new National Guard Tuition Waiver (NTGW) program effective fall 2017, as established by Act 471 and located in Arkansas Code Section 6-61-214, allowing all eligible National Guard soldiers to attend a state-supported institution of higher education tuition-free. This benefit will offer tuition assistance for a maximum of 120 credit hours. The NGTW can only be used to obtain an undergraduate degree and cannot be used by soldiers who have previously been awarded a bachelor’s degree. The NGTW is a last payer program and therefore will be applied after all other federal and state grants and scholarships awarded via FAFSA and YOUniversal application have been applied to the student’s account.

National Guard soldiers wanting to participate in the NGTW will obtain the application and Statement of Understanding through the Arkansas National Guard Education website each semester. Soldiers must have submitted the FAFSA and the Arkansas Challenge application through the Scholarship Application Management System. More information, rules, and regulations can be found on the Arkansas National Guard Education website.

Veterans Educational Benefits - GI Bill®

Active duty and veteran service members and their dependents may be entitled to VA Educational Benefits under a specific GI Bill®. To check eligibility, contact the VA at 1-888-GIBILL-1. Students who have applied for VA Educational Benefits and approved by the VA will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the mail. This copy of the COE should be provided to the VA certifying official in the Financial Aid Office. UAFS does not determine eligibility. The VA alone makes the determination of benefit eligibility.

Students using VA Educational Benefits are responsible for knowing and understanding the rules and regulations concerning academic standards as they relate to those benefits. No payment of VA Educational Benefits will be made for auditing a course or for a course that is not verified by the VA certifying official as a course that applies to a degree program or career objective.

Students qualifying for VA Educational Benefits may also qualify for the VA work study program. Students interested must complete VA form 22-8691, Application for Work-Study Allowance, and return to the VA certifying official in the Financial Aid Office. If the student is approved by the VA to participate in the program and a position is open, the student will be contacted for an interview by the VA certifying official.

All inquiries concerning VA Educational Benefits should be addressed to the VA at 1-888-GIBILL-1. Complete information about VA Educational Benefit programs and requirements can be found at www.benefits.va.gov.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Compliance with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018

The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, requires UAFS and other institutions of higher learning to comply with its requirements.

Any covered individual who is entitled to educational assistance under Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or Chapter 33, Post-9/11 is allowed to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement and completes any necessary paperwork for educational assistance under Chapter 31 or 33 and ending on the earlier of the following dates:

  • The date on which payment from the VA is made to the institution.
  • Ninety (90) days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the COE.

UAFS will not impose any penalty (including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) or require a covered individual to borrow additional funds because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement of funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs under Chapters 31 or 33.

Under the statute, UAFS requires the covered individual to take the following actions:

Note: Charges not covered by educational assistance for Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 are the student’s responsibility and are not included under The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018. Penalties, including late fees and course cancellation, may be applied to the student’s account for unpaid charges not covered under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33.

Scholarships

UAFS offers numerouos scholarship opportunities to prospective students. Incoming freshman applying for Freshman Prestigious Scholarships must complete a separate application in addition to being accepted for admissions by the published deadline. Incoming freshman applying for Freshman Merit Scholarships will automatically be considered if they are accepted for admission by the published deadline. No separate application is required for Freshman Merit Scholarships. There are a limited number of scholarships available so students will be considered as long as funding is available. Information on all UAFS Scholarships, including deadlines and criteria is available at the Financial Aid scholarship webpage.

UAFS scholarships are awarded in varying amounts and are based on specific criteria, such as academic achievement and potential, talent, major, and financial need. Deadlines for scholarships vary and can be seen on the website mentioned above.

Students receiving outside designated scholarships should notify the Financial Aid Office. Award letters will be required to verify amounts and duration of the outside designated scholarship.

A scholarship from an outside donor will be applied to the student’s account as estimated funds (this does not include state scholarships from ADHE) if the student provides an award notification letter stating the following:

  • Student’s full name and student ID number.
  • Name of awarded scholarship with contact name and phone number of the scholarship coordinator for the issuing agency
  • Semesters of disbursement: fall only, spring only, summer only, or split between semesters. If there is no indication which semester(s), the amount will be split equally between fall and spring semesters.
  • What the scholarship will pay for (tuition & fees, books, supplies, housing and meals, etc.) and if any unused amount is refundable to the student.
  • Estimated arrival date of check to UAFS.
  • The estimated funds will remain on student’s account until October 1 for fall semester and March 15 for spring semester, or until the actual check is received from the donor. If the check does not arrive by the deadline, the estimated amount will be removed from the student’s account. The student will then be subject to a hold preventing registration in future semesters until the check arrives, or until the remaining balance is paid.

Arkansas Act 1180 of 1999 provides that when a student receives public funds, federal or state, the student’s total aid awarded cannot exceed the cost of attendance. This means a student’s financial aid is limited to the cost of attendance. The Financial Aid Office monitors awards to prevent an over-award from occurring; however, unexpected receipt of funds can cause an adjustment to be made without notification. Please contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions.

General UAFS Foundation scholarships are offered through the generosity of community donors and friends of the university.

Arkansas Division of Higher Education Scholarship and Grant Programs

Several scholarships and grant programs are available through the State of Arkansas. They include the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship and several others. For more information about deadlines and to apply, go to the ADHE Scholarship Application Management System webpage.