Fees and Financial Aid

[1] General Information

The university is supported chiefly by state appropriations and student fees. The goal of the university is to offer the best possible educational opportunities and services at the lowest possible costs. It is the responsibility of a registered student to comply with the University’s withdrawal policy if they do not plan to attend. Collection fees for outstanding debts owed to the university may be assessed to the student. The university reserves the right to amend or add to the regulations of the institution, including those concerning fees and methods of payment, and to make such changes applicable to students enrolled in the university, as well as to new students.

[2] General Registration and Other Mandatory Fees (Undergraduate)

General registration and other mandatory fees are based on the number of hours in which a student is enrolled. Current fee schedules can be obtained in the Student Accounts Office, McCastlain Hall, Room 144, or from the Student Accounts web site.

[3] Financial Adjustments for Schedule Changes and Withdrawals

Rules governing financial adjustments for schedule changes and withdrawals can be obtained in the Student Accounts office, McCastlain Hall, Room 144, or from the Financial Aid web site.

It is the responsibility of a registered student to officially withdraw if the student plans not to attend or leaves the university during a term. Undergraduate students officially withdraw through the Office of the Registrar; however, arrangements must be made with several other offices to avoid financial penalties. Other offices include, but are not limited to, Academic Advising, the Library, Housing, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts.

[4] Financial Aid

Financial aid, simply defined, is money that helps students pay for their educational costs. Aid may be in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, employment opportunities, or a combination of all of these.

The Student Financial Aid Office is primarily responsible for the processing of federal Title IV aid and coordinating federal aid with other funds, such as scholarships. Title IV aid includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal College Work Study, Federal Perkins Loans and the Federal Stafford Loans. Other scholarships and grants are awarded by various departments and agencies on and off campus. The Student Financial Aid Office is a good resource for questions concerning these other types of aid.

Most federal programs require the student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA gathers information that is used to determine the relative financial strength of the student’s family or the need for assistance. Please note that eligibility criteria for each of the programs varies. Students may be able to establish need for all programs, whereas others may be able to establish eligibility for one program but not all programs. The following is a general summary of the programs available at UCA and is intended to give you an overview of these programs.

Application forms may be obtained from the Student Financial Aid Office located in McCastlain Hall, Suite 001. Student Financial Aid Office personnel are available to answer questions and to assist students with the application process.

[4.1] Grants

[4.1.1] Federal Pell Grants

This is the basic grant available to undergraduate students who have demonstrated an exceptional financial need on the FAFSA and have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. Funding comes from the federal government.

Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant: This is a new grant program for Pell eligible U.S. citizens who are first and second year undergraduate students who have completed a rigorous secondary school program. The first-year award is $750 and the second year award is $1,300. The U.S. Department of Education has not yet finalized the process for applying for or awarding of these funds.

Federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART Grant): This Grant is for Pell eligible, U.S. citizens who are third or fourth year students pursuing a major in the physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering, or foreign language. The U.S. Department of Education has not yet finalized the process for applying for or awarding of these funds. The award is for $4,000 per year.

[5.1.2] Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

SEOG grants are intended, as the name implies, to supplement other aid. These grants are federally funded with each school receiving a fixed amount each year. Funds are awarded to a limited number of undergraduate students with preference being given to Pell recipients demonstrating exceptional financial need.

[4.2] Loans

[5.2.1] Federal Perkins Loans

Federal Perkins Loans are long-term, low interest (5 percent) loans from the federal government administered through our school. Repayment and interest begin nine months after a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. At the end of the grace period, borrowers must begin repaying the loan.

[4.2.2] Federal Stafford Loans

The Federal Stafford Loan programs provide low interest loans to students who are attending UCA at least half-time. The private lenders provide the loan capital after the school has determined eligibility.

[4.2.3] Federal PLUS Loan (Parent Loans to Undergraduate Students)

Federal PLUS loans are not based on the income of the family. These loans allow creditworthy parents of undergraduate students to borrow up to the cost of education minus other aid.

[4.3] Campus Employment

UCA offers two work programs on campus. One is need-based Federal College Work Study; the other is non-need-based UCA Employment. Both programs require students to provide documentation of their eligibility to work including a copy of their Social Security card.

With the exception of a student qualifying for College Work Study, both work programs have the same hiring process and require the same paperwork for payroll.

[4.4] Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are awarded to deserving and talented students. Academic, ROTC, band, orchestra, choral music, art, theatre, forensics, mass communication, honors, and athletic scholarships are available. Contact the appropriate office or department for application material.

[4.5] Veterans Benefits

Financial aid is available through various veterans’ programs. The Cold War Benefits, War Orphans Educational Law, and the Children of Disabled Veterans are some of the programs that aid those who qualify. Since much of this is technical information, it is suggested that an individual applying for aid from Veterans Administration programs contact the Regional Office of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Services Office, a part of the Office of the Registrar, provides enrollment certification information, application forms, and other support services.