Veterans and Military Servicemembers

SFA is committed to providing meaningful, accurate, and timely information to military servicemembers regarding the costs associated with attending the University of Florida. We strive to educate students about the many options available to help defray those costs. As part of our mission, we assist servicemembers and their families in planning for and meeting higher education expenses.

Cost of Attendance

The University of Florida provides military servicemembers the estimated cost of attending the University of Florida on our Cost of Attendance page.

We provide these figures so that Servicemembers and veterans can use these figures to compare costs between similar institutions. The cost of attendance, or budget, is an estimate, a projection based on many factors and is subject to change.

The College Scorecard

The College Scorecard is a consumer planning tool and resource, created by the U.S. Department of Education, designed to assist prospective students and their families as they evaluate options in selecting a school.
It is located at: http://collegecost.ed.gov/scorecard

The Shopping Sheet

The University of Florida uses the Shopping Sheet, also created by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed as a planning tool for the consumer; it is a simple, standardized form that clearly outlines a school’s financial aid award to the student. It is organized by category, beginning with costs associated with attending UF, followed by grants and scholarships predicted to be paid to the student, followed by the net cost. The net cost is defined as the cost of attendance minus total grants and scholarships.

Also provided are optional sources of aid, such as work study and loans. These are additional resources available to students to aid in meeting the net cost.

First-time UF students receive both a standard Award Notification and the new Shopping Sheet, in combination with an Award Guide, via standard U.S. Mail, while continuing students would have received this information electronically, via email and ONE.UF.

More information is available here:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau was created in 2010 as a sort of watchdog agency on the financial markets (banks, mortgage companies, credit card companies). The Bureau’s mandate is to:

  • Educate Americans, helping them to be better, more informed consumers
  • Supervise banks, credit unions, and other financial companies, and enforce federal consumer financial laws.
  • Gather and analyze available information to better understand consumers, financial services providers, and consumer financial markets.

Towards this end, the Bureau collects complaints from consumers, monitors financial markets, and enforces laws that outlaw discrimination and unfair practices. The Bureau works hard on behalf of military servicemembers, who at times can be underserved by banks and student loan lenders.

From the CFPB website:

Resources for Servicemembers and Veterans

Dean of Students Office Veterans Site
University of Florida Office of Veterans Services

Loans and Servicemembers

SFA encourages military servicemembers to meet UF’s “on-time” financial aid application deadline to ensure that they qualify for the maximum amount of federal aid, including federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans.

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 FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov. You can file a 2017-18 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. UF’s 2017-18 “On-Time” deadline to receive the results of your FAFSA from the federal processor is December 15, 2016.  Apply well before December 15 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 us to consider you for a financial aid package, you must be an admitted student and have met the “On-Time” deadline.

Once servicemembers are awarded predicted loans, it is important for them to realize that they are under no obligation to accept the loan—students always have the option of declining or reducing the Direct Loans offered to them in their award letter.

Default Rates
A chart illustrating the three-year cohort default rate for student borrowers of federal loans at the University of Florida is available here.

To compare UF’s default rate with other institutions, see the Department of Education’s Default Rates page.

Federal Loans vs. Private Loans
Compared to federal loans, private loans are usually at a higher interest rate than government loans. Private loans do not have the same terms as federal student loans and the repayment terms may be significantly different. Federal loans typically have greater flexibility in their repayment plans than private loans.

Special Issues for Servicemembers
When it comes to dealing with their private student loans, military student borrowers face some unique challenges. Servicemembers with private student loans have every reason to be cautious when taking out private loans, in light of recent reports outlining ways in which loan servicers are not always extending benefits to military borrowers which are outlined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The Act is aimed at providing reduced interest rates, deferrals, and principal reductions on loans to members of the armed services, even on loans taken out prior to active-duty status. In many cases, loan servicers reportedly do not give complete or accurate information to their borrowers in the military.

How Veterans Benefits Are Applied

Servicemembers identified as eligible recipients of Tuition Assistance, who qualify for Pell Grants through the Department of Education’s student aid program, will have their Tuition Assistance benefits applied to their UF account prior to the application of their Pell Grant funds to their student account. Unlike Tuition Assistance funds, which are tuition-restricted, Pell Grant funds are not tuition-restricted and may be applied to other allowable charges on the student account.

‘Allowable charges’ are tuition, fees, housing, and books. Charges other than these, such as meal plan, laser prints, health care services, parking decals, tickets, etc., are known as non-institutional fees, and unless specific permission is granted, federal funds may not be used to satisfy these charges.

Students should use ONE.UF to grant permission for federal aid to pay non-institutional fees. On ONE.UF, students will see a page under “Financial Services” called “View Student Permissions.” This is where students can authorize payment of all UF charges from federal aid. From there, students will be directed to myUFL, where they should choose “Access Permission Forms.”