STUDENT FINANCIAL AID
- Types of Financial Aid
- Applying for Financial Aid
- Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirement for Federal Financial Aid Recipients
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
Financial aid is assistance made available to students to help pay for their college education. Intended to allow students a choice of colleges and to enable them to complete their programs of study, financial aid may consist of scholarships, grants, loans, and/or jobs. The federal and state governments, educational institutions, businesses, civic clubs, and individuals sponsor financial aid programs of various kinds.
Student Financial Aid at The University of Alabama provides counseling and information to students and parents at all income levels. The office is located in 106 Student Services Center. For more information, call (205) 348-6756 or visit our Web site at financialaid.ua.edu.
University of Alabama scholarships can be reviewed online at scholarships.ua.edu or requested by contacting The University of Alabama, Scholarships, Box 870132, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0132; (205) 348-5666 or 1-800-933-BAMA; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A grant is “gift aid” that does not have to be repaid. Only undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degrees are eligible for grants. Five grants are available at The University of Alabama:
Federal Pell Grant. The Federal Pell Grant program is based on financial need. The amount of a Pell Grant varies depending on eligibility.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is a federal program based on exceptional financial need and availability of funds. The amount of an SEOG award varies. To be considered, a student must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
Alabama Student Assistance Program. The Alabama Student Assistance Program is a grant program based on financial need and availability of funds. Only Alabama residents are eligible to receive these grants, which vary in amount.
Alabama Competitiveness Grant. The Academic Competitiveness Grant is based on financial need. It is awarded to first- and second-year students pursuing their first undergraduate degrees. Students must be eligible for a Pell Grant and apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
National SMART Grant. The National SMART Grant is based on financial need. It is awarded to third- and fourth-year students pursuing their first undergraduate degrees in specific fields of study that are determined to be high-need by the Department of Education. Students must be eligible for Pell Grant and apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Student loan programs provide long-term, low-interest loans for students. Student loans must be repaid with interest.
FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN
The Federal Perkins Loan is based on exceptional financial need, eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and availability of funds. It has an annual interest rate of 5 percent. Repayment does not begin until nine months after graduation or when a student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. The maximum amount that can be borrowed by a student for each academic year is determined annually and is based on the availability of funds.
WILLIAM D. FORD FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM (DIRECT LOANS)
The University of Alabama participates in the Direct Student Loan program. This means the University receives loan funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education and disburses them to eligible students. Loans disbursed through this program no longer involve private lending institutions such as banks or credit unions. The types of loans disbursed through the program are as follows:
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan. The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan program is based on financial need; recipients must be enrolled at least half-time.
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are awarded by the University. Repayment of Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans does not begin until six months after graduation or when a student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.
Maximum annual Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan awards (based on eligibility) are as follows:
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program is not based on financial need. Unlike the subsidized loan, interest on an unsubsidized loan begins accruing as soon as the loan funds are disbursed. Interest can be added to the principal or paid monthly or quarterly by the borrower. To be considered for the unsubsidized loan, students must apply for federal financial aid.
Maximum annual Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan awards are as follows and include any amount received in a subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan:
|Dependent Students||Independent Students|
|Freshman $5,500||Freshman $9,500|
|Sophomore $6,500||Sophomore $10,500|
|Junior/Senior $7,500||Junior/Senior $12,500|
A total maximum (including both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans) of $31,000 for dependent students or $57,500 for independent students may be borrowed for study toward the undergraduate degree.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). The PLUS program is not based on financial need. The PLUS program is available to parents of dependent students. The interest rate is variable, adjusted annually, not to exceed 9 percent. A parent can borrow the difference between the cost of attendance (defined by Student Financial Aid) and the amount of the student’s estimated resources.
Repayment of principal and interest of PLUS loans begins within 60 days after the loan is disbursed or parent may request a deferment. PLUS loans are disbursed in two installments.
The Federal Work-Study Program is a federally funded work program based on financial need and availability of funds. One component of the program is student participation in community service designed to improve the quality of life of a community’s residents or to solve particular problems those residents experience.
Work-study students may work on or off campus for an average of 12 to 15 hours of service weekly. They are paid every two weeks for the hours worked.
A listing of available work-study positions (including community service positions) is made available to students who complete the University’s work-study orientation session.
Alabama National Guard Educational Assistance Program (ANGEAP). ANGEAP is a student assistance program established by the legislature of the state of Alabama to provide financial assistance to Alabama National Guard members who are residents of the state of Alabama and are enrolled in degree programs at accredited postsecondary institutions of higher learning located within the state of Alabama. For an application, contact the Alabama National Guard, Capt. Melissa McQueen, AL-ESO, P.O. Box 3711, Montgomery, AL 36109-0711; (334) 213-7580.
Cooperative education. Cooperative education involves spending part of the year studying and part of the year working full-time. Students must have earned 30 credit hours before a cooperative education assignment will be made. For more information, go to coop.eng.ua.edu.
Job location and development. Student Employment Services (located in 106 Student Services Center) maintains a listing of part-time jobs on and off campus. Students do not have to be eligible for financial aid to use this service.
Police Officers and Firefighters Survivors Educational Assistance Program. This program provides assistance for tuition, fees, books, and supplies for survivors of a parent or spouse killed in the line of duty. For an application or additional information, contact the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, P.O. Box 302000, Montgomery, AL 36130-2000; (334) 242-2273.
Private sources. Scholarships, grants, and other educational funds are available through outside organizations such as churches, employers, your state department of education, and the state commission on higher education.
Veterans Services. Students who may be eligible for veterans’ benefits include VEAP veterans, reservists and veterans on the New GI Bill, disabled veterans, dependents of persons who have total and permanent service-connected disabilities, and dependents of persons whose deaths were service-connected. Students must register with Veterans Services each semester to begin or to continue to receive benefits. Information about services, application procedures, and compliance with VA requirements is available from The University of Alabama, Veterans Services, Box 870162, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0162; (205) 348-6770. You may visit gibill.va.gov or call the VA at 1-888-442-4551.