Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Is there a Deadline for applying for Federal Financial Aid?
A:  The federal financial aid application and all requested documentation should be submitted to the UCA Office of Student Financial Aid as indicated below. Title IV federal financial aid includes grants, work-study, loans.

 FallSpringSummer
Considered Priority
You are more likely to receive limited funds such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
December 15October 15April 1
Considered Early
You will know the amount you are eligible to receive before the end of the spring term
April 15November 15April 15
Considered Late
It is not too late to apply for federal aid but it makes it difficult for you to make a financial plan in a timely manner
July 1December 1May 1
Final Deadline
There is a point at which it is too late to complete your file to receive federal aid for the term for which you are applying.
No later than two weeks prior to the end of the term for which the student is applying. This assumes the student will remain enrolled and attending at least half time for the entire term.

Q:  Are there deadlines for scholarships?
A:  There are many different types of scholarships and each have their own specific deadline.  For more information regarding UCA Academic Scholarship deadlines, visit the UCA Scholarships page.

Q:  What forms are needed to apply for Financial Aid?

A:  The Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each year.  You can submit your application electronically by using FAFSA on the web.

The 2019-2020 FAFSA is used for the Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms.

The 2020-2021 FAFSA is used for the Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 terms.

Q: What types of financial aid do I apply for when I complete this application?
A: Your eligibility for all forms of federal financial aid, including PELL Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct Loans, and Work-Study are determined when you complete the FAFSA.

Q: What is UCA’s Title IV Code and why do I need it?
A: Our Title IV school code is 001092. When you enter this code on the FAFSA, UCA will automatically receive an electronic version of your processed Student Aid Report (SAR).

Q: I probably don’t qualify for aid.  Why should I apply?
A: Many families mistakenly believe they don’t qualify for aid, preventing themselves from receiving aid for which they may be eligible simply because they fail to apply. In addition, there are sources of aid, such as Unsubsidized Loans and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. It does not obligate the student or the parent in any way. There is no reason not to apply.

Q: What is my enrollment status for financial aid purposes?

Credit HoursUndergraduate Students
(1000-4000 level courses)
Graduate Students
(5000-6000 level courses)
Full Time129+ hours
3/4 Time9-117-8 hours
1/2 Time6-85-6 hours
Less than 1/2 Time1-51-4 hours

Q: Can I receive federal aid if I am enrolled less than half time?
A:  Students must be enrolled at least half time to receive a federal student loan.  An undergraduate student may be eligible for Pell Grants, SEOG and Work Study for less than half time enrollment.  A graduate student may be eligible for Work Study for less than half time enrollment.

Q: How do I apply for a Scholarship?
A: Freshman Academic Scholarships are awarded through the Office of Student Financial Aid. Performance Scholarships, such as Athletics, Cheerleading and Band are awarded through the respective departments. For more information on scholarships at UCA, visit our scholarships page.

Q: I sent in my FAFSA over four weeks ago, but haven’t heard anything.  What should I do?
A: If you haven’t received a Student Aid Report (SAR), call the Federal processor at 1-319-337-5665 or 1-800-433-3243.

Q: I am independent of my parents.  I don’t live with them.  I file my own taxes and they are not helping me with college expenses.  Can I file for financial aid without using their income information?
A: Probably not. The FAFSA gives specific criteria for determining when a student may file for federal aid without using parental income information, and none of the circumstances mentioned above are listed as factors in that determination. However, if there are other extenuating circumstances please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office for further assistance.

Q: How do I transfer my financial aid to UCA?
A: Technically, financial aid does not transfer from one school to another school. Each school must determine your eligibility for financial aid. It may be exactly the same at each school or it may differ considerably. The first thing you should do is contact the other school and cancel your financial aid and notify the appropriate office that you are transferring. You will then need to add UCA’s school code (001092) to your FAFSA and submit it again.  Once this is done, UCA will receive your information within five business days.  It is important that you check your myUCA Self-Service for any required documents our office needs to continue processing your financial aid.  We will notify you at your UCA e-mail address when we receive your FAFSA and when we require additional documents.

Q: How do I apply for a student loan?
A: If you are eligible, a loan will automatically be awarded to you after you fill out your FAFSA.  You will be notified through your UCA e-mail address once your student aid offer is available to view.  You will then be able to accept or decline your aid by using self service on myUCA.

Q: What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?
A: As its name implies, a SUBSIDIZED loan is one where the government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school. An UNSUBSIDIZED loan is one where the government does not pay the interest while the student is in school, that is, the student is responsible for paying the interest.

Repayment is deferred for BOTH loans until six months after the student graduates or stops attending school at least half-time.  Borrowers will receive quarterly statements from their lender and have the option of making payments while the loans are in deferment.

Q: What is “loan counseling”, an “entrance interview” or “entrance counseling session?”
A: All of these terms refer to the same thing.  The federal government requires all first-time student loan borrowers to participate in loan entrance counseling prior to receiving a Federal Student Loan. During this session, you will review basic facts about loans, managing your education expenses and your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. You can participate in loan counseling by clicking the link above.

Q: Do I have to sign a Master Promissory Note before I can receive Stafford Loans?
A: Yes.  Once you have been awarded and completed loan entrance counseling, you must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).  The MPN is a legal agreement to the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment.  You can electronically sign the MPN for Direct Stafford Loans at studentloans.gov.

Q: I accepted my student loan through self-service on myUCA, what if I change my mind?
A: You may cancel all or a portion of your loan by informing us in writing.  If the loan has not been disbursed, you may do this at any time.  If the loan has been disbursed, you must do so within 14 days after we send you notice that we have credited your account with your loan funds or by the first day of the payment period, whichever is later.

Q: I was awarded work study but cannot find a job.  Can I convert my work study money to a loan?
A: Work Study cannot be converted to a loan. However, if you have remaining eligibility it may be possible, if the work study is canceled, to increase your student loan.

Q: I have already completed the Authorization on myUCA, but it is still showing up in my requirements. What do I do?
A: Please allow 24 hours for processing and updating of your records

Q: If neither of the situations listed in the Authorizations apply to me, will it hurt if I just ignore it?
A: No, but it is to your benefit for the information to be on file.
The Authorization only applies to students who receive federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, SEOG, Direct Loans, etc.