What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is defined as money provided to students and their families as either “gift aid” or “self-help” to assist in paying college costs. “Gift aid,” as the name implies, is free money such as scholarships and grants, which students do not have to repay. “Self-help” programs include loans and employment and are so named because students must repay loans and work for money awarded through employment programs. Awards to students consist of scholarships, grants, loans, and employment—singly or in combination.
Financial Aid Deadlines
Although you must be accepted for enrollment at UF before you are considered for financial aid, you should apply for aid before being admitted. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.
You can file a 2016-17 FAFSA as early as January 1, 2016 and a 2017-18 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. UF’s “On-Time” deadline to receive the results of your 2016-17 FAFSA from the federal processor is March 15, 2016. UF’s “On-Time” deadline to receive the results of your 2017-18 FAFSA from the federal processor is December 15, 2016. Apply well before the “On-Time” deadlines to ensure that the federal processor has time to analyze and send the results of your FAFSA to our office.
Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis so apply as early as possible to be considered for the most, and best aid. In order for UF Student Financial Affairs (SFA) to consider you for a financial aid package, you must be an admitted student and have met the “On-Time” deadline.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
Complete a 2016-17 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or after January 1, 2016.
Complete a 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or after October 1, 2016. Starting with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. On the 2017-18 FAFSA, students and parents will report their 2015 income and tax information.
Apply each year — financial aid is not renewed automatically.
- Create an FSA ID at http://fsaid.ed.gov. Follow the instructions on the site. An FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature.
- Go to FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- List “University of Florida” and the UF Federal School Code (001535) as a school choice in the “School Selection” section.
- Sign your FAFSA. Students can sign the FAFSA electronically using their FSA ID. Parents of dependent students can also sign electronically but must either request their own FSA ID or print, sign, and mail the signature page to the processor.
- The 2017-18 FAFSA will use students and parents 2015 income and tax information. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when possible to automatically import your tax information into your FAFSA.
- After successfully submitting your application, print and keep the confirmation page. This page contains your confirmation number and other important information.
Get free assistance and answers to your FAFSA questions at www.fafsa.ed.gov or 1-800-433-3243.
How Need is Determined
The financial information you and your family provide on your FAFSA is used to determine your expected family contribution or EFC — how much you and your family are expected to contribute toward your educational expenses. Once your EFC has been determined, the financial aid office will calculate your financial need. Financial need is the cost of attendance minus your EFC.
Your Financial Aid Award
When UF receives your application information from the federal processor and you have been admitted to UF, SFA will award you an aid package based on your eligibility. Students who complete a FAFSA and list UF as a “college of choice” are considered for all aid programs administered by SFA. One or more of the four types of aid (grants, scholarships, part-time employment, loans) are usually offered to eligible students to make up their financial aid package.
By early April, admitted freshmen who have filed the FAFSA will receive an official award notice via U.S. mail and online at ONE.UF. The Notification of Financial Aid Award states the terms and conditions of aid programs awarded to you. Read it carefully, and follow any instructions that pertain to you.
Florida Bright Futures, Other Scholarships and the Florida Prepaid College Plan
The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, funded by the State of Florida, provides scholarships based on high school academic achievement. The 2016-17 Florida Academic Scholars Award is $103 per credit hour and the Florida Medallion Scholars Award is $77 per credit hour. www.sfa.ufl.edu/programs/bright-futures
Other scholarships are awarded by various organizations such as the university, the state, individual colleges and departments, and private entities. UF’s Scholarship Search Engine is a searchable database of both college-awarded and private scholarships. www.sfa.ufl.edu/search
The State of Florida automatically notifies UF of all students participating in the Florida Prepaid College Plan. For participating Prepaid students, the University Bursar bills the Florida Prepaid Program for tuition amounts covered according to their plan(s) and automatically credits their tuition accounts. www.myfloridaprepaid.com
Review your Financial Aid Status
Follow up on your aid application. It may be selected for Federal Verification.
- You are responsible for following up on your aid application.
- Check the status of your aid application and award at ONE.UF
- Do not wait until school begins to submit required documents. Ask questions if you are unsure about any part of the application process.
- If your application is selected for Federal Verification, you will be required to provide verifying documentation before aid can be disbursed to you. Respond promptly to requests for information or documentation.