Do I have to file for Federal Student Aid every year? When are the deadlines ?
Yes, you must apply each year! The priority date is December 1st each year. The FAFSA applications are available starting in January for the upcoming year.
What determines whether or not I will receive financial aid?
The primary factor is financial need. Financial need is computed by determining the educational costs (tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and a personal allowance) less family contribution (based on federal and institutional formulas). The difference between these is the need for financial assistance.
What are some of the common mistakes people make while filing for financial aid?
Five of the most common are:
- Not filing early enough
- Not reading the instructions
- Not fully completing the applications
- Not using the correct social security number.
- Not using student’s legal name
Why does my award change each year?
At UCF, eligibility for financial aid is based on federal and institutional estimates of your family’s ability to contribute to the cost of education. A typical award includes grants, loans and federal work-study.
Keep in mind that your award is likely to change each year for one or more of the following reasons:
- The cost of education goes up
- Your family’s income changes
- The number of children in college changes
- You forgot to “apply” for financial aid early and missed the priority date
What should I do if I decide to attend another institution?
You must officially drop your UCF classes to avoid being charged for classes that you do not attend. Also, please submit a written request to the Office of Student Financial Assistance to cancel your undisbursed financial aid.
What does a deferment mean?
The deadline has been extended for payment to allow time for disbursement of your financial aid. You are liable for tuition and fees whether you attend classes or not. This creates a commitment for payment. If for any reason, you do not receive aid, you remain obligated to pay your tuition.
What if I decide not to attend and do not want a deferment?
You must notify us in writing prior to the payment deadline so that we can cancel your aid and your deferment. You must officially drop your UCF classes to avoid being charged for classes that you do not attend.
What happens if I fail to complete the application process?
Failure to complete the application process in a timely manner may result in loss of aid and an immediate demand for payment of tuition and other debts.
How do I know my application was processed? How can I verify that UCF will receive the results?
About two weeks after completing the FAFSA, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). This is verification that you filed the FAFSA and that it has been processed. Check to make sure UCF is one of the schools listed in Step Six. Questions about FAFSA processing can be directed to the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FEDAID.
It has been a while since I filed my application but I still have not received my SAR. What can I do?
Contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FEDAID to find out the status of your file.
Do I need to send a copy of my SAR to the Financial Assistance Office?
No. As long as you listed UCF (code:003954) as one of the schools in Step Six, we should receive the information electronically. Therefore you do not need to send your SAR to our office.
UCF isn’t listed on my SAR, but I called the processors and they said you could request my record if I give you the PIN number?
Under certain circumstances we can electronically request your information. Another alternative is to call 1-800-4FEDAID and request that they add UCF electronically by providing them with your DRN# (located in the upper right corner of your SAR.)
What is a Federal Stafford Loan?
Loans provide students with an opportunity to invest in their future. The Federal Stafford Loan Program is administered by the federal government. There are two basic types of Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Both have fixed interest rates, which are determined each year on July 1st.
What is the difference between the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan?
With the Subsidized Federal Stafford, the interest is paid by the government while you are in school. The interest on the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford is not paid by the government while you are in school and during grace period. You have the option of paying the interest or deferring it until after you graduate at which time it will be added to the principle of the loan.
It’s likely I’ll have to borrow every year to pay for my college expenses. How much should I borrow so that I know I can afford to pay it back?
Planning ahead is essential to managing debt. If you plan to borrow each year you are in school, estimate the total amount you will borrow. Then use a sample loan repayment calculator to estimate how much you will have to pay each month. Then decide how much to borrow, you can use the criteria lenders use when they consider an applicant’s ability to repay: the total monthly payment for all debts should not exceed 8% of your gross monthly salary.
What if my educational or career plans change, or something happens after I’m out of school and working?
A change in career goals, the loss of a job, or other unexpected changes in your situation could make repaying your loan more difficult than you expected. In some cases, and at the lender’s option, you may be permitted to temporarily stop making your payments, or your lender may accept smaller payments than scheduled. This is called a forbearance. In addition, for some loans, you may defer repayments temporarily which may help. The promissory note outlines the specific terms under which you may be granted a deferment. Contact your loan servicer if you think you may need to make arrangements. To view your servicer’s contact information, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), nslds.ed.gov.
What happens if I don’t pay back my loan?
Not paying back your student loan can have serious consequences. If you go into default your lender can require you to repay the entire amount immediately, including all interest plus collection and late payment charges. The lender can sue you and can ask the federal government for help in collecting from you. The Internal Revenue Service may withhold your income tax refund and apply it toward your loan. You cannot receive any additional federal student aid until you make satisfactory arrangements to repay your loan. Your grades and official transcripts will be held until you resolve the default status. Also the lender may notify credit bureaus of your default. This may affect your credit rating which will make it difficult to obtain credit cards and car loans in the future.
If I borrowed from more than one loan program, may I consolidate my payments?
For answers about consolidation, please visit the following Web site: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/consolidation. You may also call 1-800-557-7392 to speak to a representative about loan consolidation
For more frequently asked questions about Federal Direct Loans, please visit Federal Direct Loans FAQ.
Student Employment Questions
What types of jobs are available?
Positions are available in athletics, recreation, classrooms, laboratories, the Library, offices, research, information services, and many other areas.
How many hours can I work per week?
Twenty (20) hours per week is the maximum recommended for academic reasons, as well as tax reasons.
Can I change work-study jobs?
Yes, you can, at any point in the academic year. It is recommended that you give your employer at least two weeks notice. If you wish to change jobs, visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance Web Site.
Is work study money non-taxable?
Work study earnings are taxable income. If taxes were withheld from your paycheck you might be eligible for a refund depending, of course, on your total annual earnings. It is in your best interest that you file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service by April 15.
What happens when I reach my award maximum?
Your department should notify you when you reach your award maximum. The department has the option of either continuing your assignment and paying you 100% from their departmental budget or ending your assignment altogether. Most departments will make every attempt to keep you working with them, but you must be a good employee.
Is reapplication necessary on Work Study?
Yes. You must complete the FAFSA each year to be considered for Work Study.
Is the FAFSA required to apply for scholarships?
Many scholarships require you to file the FAFSA. It is highly recommended that students complete the FAFSA in order to be considered for the best award package.
What scholarships can I apply for at UCF?
Beginning in January of each year, students should check the online scholarship listing our office displays for available scholarships (most are for the upcoming academic year). This scholarship listing is updated each month on our Web site, and is posted on a bulletin board outside our office in Millican Hall. By visiting our Web site, a student can link to a free national scholarship search. Students can also contact their family’s employers, clubs and organizations, to see if they offer scholarships.
What mailing address and contact person should I provide for my scholarship donor?
When mailing scholarship recipients’ checks to UCF, please use our official address listed below. Please request that the donor include your full name and social security or student identification number (UCFID/PID) on the check.
Office of Student Financial Assistance
P.O. Box 160113
Orlando, FL 32816-0113
How can I get verification of enrollment sent to my scholarship donor?
Students may obtain their enrollment verification online through myUCF.
Go to www.registrar.ucf.edu/enrollment-verification for additional information on how to obtain enrollment certification.
Where do I get a fee invoice to send to my scholarship donor?
Go to the myUCF at my.ucf.edu (For Students- Financial Services-Fee Invoice & E-Pay), any kiosk on campus, or to the college of your major.
Where can I get a receipt for tuition reimbursement of fees paid?
On the Web or a campus kiosk, you can find and print your fee invoice, which will outline your charges and payments. If you are unable to access this data online call (407) 823-2433, or stop by Student Account Services, Millican Hall, Room, 109.
Why was my file selected to be verified?
Many student files are selected by the Federal Processor in the process of applying for aid. Some files are randomly selected while others are selected because of appearing to be error prone. If a file is selected, requested documentation should be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Assistance at UCF immediately because of specified deadline date requirements.
For more Verification Frequently Asked Questions click here.
Academic Progress Questions
Will a bad grade, dropping or withdrawing from classes affect my eligibility for aid?
Yes, it might. Our office is required to monitor a student’s grade performance, check completion of hours and make sure a student stays within a time frame for seeking a degree. A student would want to make themselves familiar with our academic progress policies and seek counseling immediately from our office if the student has an academic progress concern.