Awarding/Packaging Process

Awarding/Packaging refers to the process of determining the type and amount of financial assistance the student is eligible to receive from one or more sources.  This is a general description of that process.

Award Year Definition

At UCA the award year includes Fall, Spring and Summer.  The award year begins with the fall term and ends with the summer term.  You may hear the term “summer trailer”.  This means that summer is awarded as the last term of the academic year.  For more information, see the Award Year Definition page.

Consortium Agreements

The University of Central Arkansas has entered into consortium agreements with other institutions of higher learning to enhance the educational opportunities of students participating in the program(s) covered in the agreement. UCA currently has two consortium agreements, which are listed in the policy. The “Home” institution is the school that is designated to process financial aid applications for otherwise eligible students enrolled in a consortium program.

Cost of Attendance

A student’s Cost of Attendance (COA), also referred to as the student’s budget, is an estimated amount that it will cost to attend school. It is determined using rules established by federal and state laws. This number is used by the school to determine the maximum amount of financial aid (loans, grants, scholarships, fee-waivers, etc.) a student can receive for that award year. Form more information see the Cost of Attendance page.

Excess Financial Aid

Excess aid is the difference between your university charges/bill and the amount of financial aid (federal, state, institutional, private) you have been awarded.  If the difference is negative, you would expect to receive excess aid. For more information see the Excess Financial Aid page.

Institutional Scholarship Policies

Policies regarding institutional scholarship policies may be found through this link.  If you have already been awarded an institutional scholarship, you will also want to refer to the award letter and/or accompanying documentation you were previously sent.

Required Reading

Students receiving federal financial aid at the University of Central Arkansas are required to read the Required Reading document appropriate for the year/term in which funds are accepted. This document contains important information regarding your aid.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 changed the way federal funds are to be handled when a recipient of federal financial aid withdraws from school. The new rules assume that a student earns his or her aid based on the period of time he or she remained enrolled. Unearned Title IV funds, other than work-study, must be returned.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require students to be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree or certificate program in order to receive Title IV aid. Title IV programs include: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Work Study, Stafford Loans, and PLUS Loans. A student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at the end of each term. When a student’s academic performance does not meet the requirements of this policy, they will become ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

Special/Unusual Circumstances

Federal financial aid is based on definitions and formula determined by the U.S. Department of Education.  If one of the following scenario applies to the student, the student may speak with a financial aid counselor to determine if their financial aid eligibility may be recalculated to consider the unusual circumstance.  Please note that a request for consideration of a special/unusual circumstance does not guarantee approval.  In addition, even if approved, a recalculation does not always result in increased eligibility for the student.

Study Abroad and Financial Assistance

UCA encourages students to participate in study abroad programs. The University provides many opportunities for students to earn college credit for study abroad. See our Study Abroad and Financial Assistance guide for more information.