What Is Financial Aid
Most students will need financial aid to help pay for the cost of attending college. Financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and employment is available at UAF to eligible students who need assistance to attend school.
Financial aid can be used to help pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies and living expenses such as room and board.
The Financial Aid Office provides counseling and information to students and parents, and administers a comprehensive program of financial assistance. Specific information regarding financial aid programs at UAF is on the Financial Aid website. The Financial Aid Office is in 107 Eielson. Contact Financial Aid at 907-474-7256, toll free at 888-474-7256 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Receives Financial Aid
To receive financial aid you must:
- Be admitted to a financial aid-eligible certificate or degree program at UAF;
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (F-1 and J-1 students are not eligible for state or federal financial aid, but may apply for University of Alaska Foundation or UAF privately funded scholarships, and graduate fellowships or assistantships);
- Have a valid social security number;
- Be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the Financial Aid Office policy (policies and forms are available online);
- Not be in default on any federal education loan and not owe a refund because of overpayment of a previous federal grant or loan at any college or university;
- Have earned a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
The forms to apply for federal, state and UAF financial aid programs are available at the Financial Aid Office or Financial Aid website.
All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered for grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, loans and work study.
FAFSA forms may be completed at the FAFSA website. The earliest date students may begin completing the form is Oct. 1.
The priority application deadline for UAF is Feb. 15. If you miss the deadline, you may still apply for financial aid, but you might not be eligible for institutional scholarships or some state/federal grants.
Costs of Attending UAF
The information in the Estimated UAF Living Expenses table for a typical full-time undergraduate student for the school year will help you estimate the total cost of attending UAF:
|Single student living alone off campus||Single student living in UAF residence hall|
|Tuition and fees1||$9,060||$9,060|
|Room and board2||$12,050||$10,540|
Estimate includes Alaska resident tuition costs for freshmen/sophomores. Includes consolidated, UA facilities and UA network fees. Does not include specific course fees, health insurance, books, supplies, parking, travel, miscellaneous expenses or special costs associated with international or exchange students. Add $17,670 for nonresident tuition. Costs are subject to change.
Double room and meal plan
Standard budgets do not always fit everyone. Financial Aid staff will try to provide methods of covering unusual expenses such as medical bills, special child care or emergency items. Since eligibility is based on prior income, you may request a review of your eligibility if your income changes from loss of job, divorce, death or disability.
How Eligibility Is Determined
After the FAFSA is filed, the Financial Aid Office receives a student aid report from the U.S. Department of Education. The information on this form is used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid at UAF.
Once the office has received this report, students will receive an email either requesting more information (such as copies of income tax forms, proof of citizenship, etc.) or an award notice detailing your eligibility for financial aid. This information is also available via UAOnline. Students should respond to requests for more information promptly to avoid delays.
The total amount of financial aid awarded will be based on the FAFSA results and the student’s cost of attendance.
Scholarships, Grants and Tuition Waivers
Grants are usually based on financial need, whereas scholarship awards are based on academic achievement as well as financial need. These types of aid do not have to be repaid. Most grants and scholarships are designed for undergraduate students.
- Nanook Pledge Scholarship
The Nanook Pledge is a four-year merit scholarship for incoming first-year, transfer and readmitted students at UAF. Awards range from $500 to $10,000 per year and are based on high school GPA, test scores, tuition rate and transfer GPA. Students must be admitted to a UAF baccalaureate program and enrolled full time to be eligible for the Nanook Pledge Scholarship. The Nanook Pledge is available for up to four years for continuous enrollment at UAF.
- Nanook Commitment Scholarship
The Nanook Commitment is a four-year need-based scholarship for incoming first-year, transfer and readmitted students at UAF. Awards are based on high school or transfer GPA, tuition rate and need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must be admitted to a UAF baccalaureate program and enrolled full time to be eligible for the Nanook Commitment Scholarship. The Nanook Commitment is available for up to four years for continuous enrollment at UAF.
- University of Alaska Scholars Program
UA Scholars are exceptional graduates of Alaska high schools who are offered a unique opportunity to attend the University of Alaska with an $12,000 scholarship paid over eight semesters at $1,500/semester. The UA Scholars Program encourages Alaska’s high school graduates to pursue their advanced education in the 49th state. Alaska high schools designate the top 10 percent of the junior class at the end of their junior year for the UA Scholars Award. UA Scholars may use their awards at any of the UA system campuses. The award may also be applied to costs of qualified student exchange programs. Contact the UA Scholars coordinator at the Office of Admissions at 907-474-7500 or 800-478-1823.
- Alaska Performance Scholarship
The Alaska Performance Scholarship is available to Alaska residents who graduated from an Alaska high school (public, private or home school) in 2011 or later. Students must complete high school, achieve a high school GPA of at least 2.5, earn a minimum score on a college or career readiness test, enroll at least half time, remain in good standing, and have qualifying education costs remaining after using all other nonloan aid. Students can receive up to eight semesters of award with three maximum annual award levels of up to $2,378, $3,566 and $4,755. To qualify, students must complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. For more information visit the Alaska Performance Scholarship website or call 800-441-2962.
- UAF Privately Funded Scholarships
Several hundred privately funded scholarships are available to all prospective and current students in a variety of academic majors. You may apply online. New and prospective students must also apply for admission to UAF to be considered for scholarships. For more information contact the Office of Financial Aid at 907-474-6228 or 888-474-7256.
- University of Alaska Foundation Scholarships
Scholarships are available for students attending any campus in the UA system. Applications are submitted online. The deadline is Feb. 15. For information telephone 907-450-8033 or visit the University of Alaska Foundation website.
- Army ROTC Scholarships
The U.S. Army awards four-year scholarships to high school students based on nationwide competitions. Students may use these scholarships to attend the university of their choice, provided that university is also host to an Army ROTC program. The UAF Army ROTC program supports campus-based competition for two-, three- and four-year scholarships for qualified UAF students. These scholarships may be used for undergraduate or graduate programs. Army ROTC scholarships pay UAF tuition and mandatory fees, $900 annually for books and supplies, and a monthly stipend for living expenses ranging from $300-$500 depending on the length of the scholarship.
For more information about the Army scholarship program, eligibility requirements and the application process, contact the Department of Military Science at 907-474-6852 or email email@example.com.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs and Native Corporation Scholarships
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs offers grants to undergraduate full-time students. Applicants must be at least one-quarter American Indian or Alaska Native. These grants supplement other financial aid and are based on financial need. Grants range from $50-$3,000 or more each year. The average grant at UAF is $1,600. More information on BIA grants can be obtained from the BIA Regional Office, 1675 C Street, Anchorage, AK, 99501-5198, or by telephone at 907-271-4115.
Some regional and village corporations provide scholarships to shareholders. Contact your local corporation for details on eligibility and application procedures.
- Pell Grant
The federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant available to undergraduate students to help pay college costs. Since this grant is based on financial need, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A federal processor will send applicants a student aid report indicating whether they qualify. Federal Pell Grants award up to $6,495 for the 2021-2022 academic year.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
This grant is for exceptionally needy undergraduate students. Award amounts range from $500-$1,000 each year.
- Alaska Education Grant
The AlaskAdvantage need-based grant is awarded to Alaska residents attending Alaska institutions. Priority is given to students pursuing degrees in Alaska workforce priority programs (such as allied health, social and community services, or teaching) or who have an ACT score of 25 or higher or SAT score of 1180 or higher. Part-time awards range from $500-$1,000 per academic year. Full-time awards range from $1,000-$4,000 per academic year.
- Western Undergraduate Exchange Award
UAF participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange administered by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Only new undergraduate degree applicants claiming residency in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington or Wyoming are considered for a WUE award that reduces nonresident tuition to 1.5 times the resident tuition rate. WUE award applicants must submit an application for admission and clearly mark their interest in WUE on the form. Admission is restricted to an approved list of degree programs. Priority deadline for reviewing WUE applications is Feb. 15. For more information contact the Office of Admissions at 800-478-1823, 907-474-7500, or through the Office of Admissions website.
Note: Students attending any campus of the University of Alaska system under the Western Undergraduate Exchange program are assumed to be receiving the benefit of reduced tuition because of their residency in a partner state. Therefore, time spent in WUE does not count toward the time required to establish residency in Alaska for tuition purposes. If students end their participation in WUE, they could begin establishing residency for tuition purposes as set forth in the resident and nonresident tuition policy.
You must be admitted to a graduate program to receive an assistantship. Research and teaching assistantships are awarded to qualified graduate students by each department or program. For application information, contact the department or program directly. For more information, see How to Earn a Graduate Degree.
Fellowships are available through the University of Alaska Foundation, the Graduate School and private organizations. A limited number of these awards are granted each year, and the amounts vary. For information, contact the UA Foundation, 907-474-7687, or the Graduate School, 907-474-7464, or visit the Graduate School website.
Loans represent a major source of assistance as you try to meet the full costs of your education. Educational loans generally have long-term repayment schedules and offer low interest rates. They often have provisions for deferring payments and may offer more benefits related to financial need.
Any student who borrows money for college should understand the specific conditions and requirements regarding disbursements, deferments and repayment options. Students who fail to meet the conditions of the satisfactory academic progress policy may be denied all federal aid.
UAF participates in the Federal Student Loan Program. The Federal Stafford Loan provides loans from the federal government. The program offers subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are for students who have financial need; the government makes interest payments on the loan while the student is in school, in grace period or in deferment. Unsubsidized loans are those for which interest accrues while in school. A student may receive subsidized federal loans for up to 150 percent of his/her program’s published length. If a student exceeds this time frame, his/her loans will lose the interest subsidy and interest will begin to accrue on those loans. Loan repayment calculations are available at the program website.
Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to qualify for a state or federal loan. Yearly limits for dependent students are $5,500 for first-year students, $6,500 for second-year students and $7,500 for upper-level undergraduates. Independent students may borrow, including the subsidized federal loan, up to $9,500 as first-year students, $10,500 as second-year students and $12,500 as third- or fourth-year students. Graduate students may borrow $20,500. The interest rate varies annually and is capped at 8.25 percent.
The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students is a program for parents of dependent students. The cost of attending UAF determines the annual loan limits. A variable interest rate or finance charge, not to exceed 9 percent, is determined each year for the federal PLUS programs.
The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education offers both federal and state loan programs. These loans are available to all students attending UAF. Through its federal component, AlaskAdvantage offers Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized) and PLUS loans. State loans include the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan, the Family Education Loan and the Winn Brindle Scholarship Loan.
Students seeking an Alaska Supplemental Education Loan, or ASEL, must apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the ASEL Master Promissory Note.
The ASEL loan can be used as a supplement to any other aid, provided the total amount of aid does not exceed a student’s calculated cost of attendance. ASEL approval also requires a student to have good credit. Undergraduates may borrow up to $14,000 and graduate students up to $15,000, depending on enrollment. Repayment begins no later than six months after the borrower stops attending school at least half time. The interest rate is variable and is made public every July. Interest is charged from the day of disbursement.
The Alaska Family Education Loan Program allows the student’s family to share the cost of the student’s education. A family member can borrow up to $14,000 for an undergraduate and up to $15,000 for a graduate student. The interest rate is 5 percent, and the borrower begins repayment within 60 days of the final disbursement.
The Winn Brindle Scholarship loan can be used only for specific fields of study. For information, please contact the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, 3030 Vintage Blvd., Juneau, AK 99801, 800-441-2962.
Applicants must apply each year. Applications are available for all Alaska loan programs via the ACPE website or through their offices. UAF receives ACPE loan disbursements via electronic funds transfer. Loans are processed within seven to 10 days from time of receipt at ACPE offices in Juneau or Anchorage and can be disbursed to a student’s UAF account within two days of receipt by the Financial Aid Office.
Advance of funding (previously known as a textbook loan) may be available to students with enough certified financial aid available to cover all semester expenses and the requested advance of funding. Financial aid must be verified and guaranteed before an advance will be issued. In order to obtain an advance of funding, applicants must provide a textbook list, verified financial aid and a completed and signed advance of funding form. A $10 service charge is assessed and due when the advance of funding form is submitted. Applications and more information are available at the UAF Bursar’s Office.
Campus jobs help many UAF students pay college costs. Many student positions are available across UAF campuses, as well as the University of Alaska statewide system offices in Fairbanks. More than 1,000 students are employed in these jobs. Full-time student status is not required unless specified by a department. However, students who are less than full time are subject to FICA withholding, and departments that hire part-time student employees are subject to the applicable benefit rate charge.
Student employees may work up to 20 hours each week while classes are in session and up to 40 hours when classes are not in session. Pay rates are based on the job classification. The average pay varies from $300-$500 each month. Since there is no “pool” for workers, students apply directly to the departments with position vacancies. Job announcements and information on how to apply for positions are available from Career Services, 302i Eielson, 907-474-7596, or from Human Resources, Administrative Services Center, 907-474-7700, or at the Careers at UA website.
The Federal Work Study program provides jobs for graduate and undergraduate students with financial need. Job placement and working conditions are similar to regular student employment. To qualify for FWS, students must be eligible for federal financial aid as determined based on information provided on the required FAFSA form.
The UAF Department of Military and Veteran Services monitors the educational progress and status of veterans who attend UAF using VA educational benefits. They also help veterans, service members and eligible dependents with the paperwork needed to begin and continue certification under the various GI Bill® benefits. If you qualify and wish to use your benefits, you must be fully admitted to UAF and in a state-approved degree or certificate program. A complete list of benefit programs is available at the DMVS website. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to GI Bill benefits, contact the Department of Veterans Affairs in Muskogee, Oklahoma, at 888-442-4551 (888 GI BILL 1) or through the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Specific questions regarding vocational rehabilitation should be directed to the Fairbanks Vet Center, 540 Fourth Ave., Suite 100, Fairbanks, AK 99701, or call 907-456-4238.
Because the Department of Veterans Affairs processes benefit payments as a reimbursement, you should initiate your VA paperwork 60-90 days before your classes start. You can apply for veteran benefits online. You can request certification for your UAF VA educational benefits at the DMVS website, or visit our office at 107 Eielson, call 907-474-7400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.
Remaining Eligible for Aid
Students receiving financial aid are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Undergraduate students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 67 percent of total credits attempted each year and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (3.00 for graduate students).
Students may appeal the suspension of aid. Appeals must be in writing and must state the reasons for failure to maintain satisfactory standards of progress, as well as the steps the student will take to meet those standards in the future. Appeals should be directed to the Financial Aid Office, which will determine if the requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be waived. Academic progress requirements are subject to changes in federal or state law and institutional policy. A complete description is available at the Financial Aid Office.
Payment to the Student
Disbursement of financial aid is usually in equal amounts. Students are given half the total award at the beginning of each semester. Tuition, fees and all other amounts due to UAF at the time financial aid is released to the student must be paid before the balance of aid is released to the student.
All financial aid checks as well as checks from outside organizations (such as Native corporations, clubs, etc.) are initially credited to the student’s account to pay for any debt owed to the university. Any balance remaining is refunded to the student in accordance with the university’s refund policy. Students who receive federal financial aid and totally withdraw from classes during a semester may have to pay back a portion of the federal financial aid received for that semester. The amount to be repaid is based on the number of class days attended before withdrawal compared to the total days in the semester and amount of federal aid received. If the withdrawing student is entitled to a refund of tuition and fee charges, all or part of the refund may be returned to the federal financial aid programs. The amount of a refund, repayment or return of federal financial aid is based on U.S. Department of Education regulations concerning return of federal financial aid. Any refund or repayment calculation exceeding the amount of refund determined by university policy will be charged to the student. Financial aid recipients are strongly encouraged to confirm the amount of any personal liability before processing a total withdrawal from classes.
Important Financial Aid Dates
- Oct 1
Apply for federal aid with the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid. It is best to apply well before the time you will need the financial aid.
Apply for admission to UAF. Financial aid cannot be processed for students who have not been admitted to a UAF degree or certificate program.
- Feb. 15
UAF scholarship application due. This application includes three short essays which may be revised at any time, so applicants should start early. Apply online.
- May to July
Federal student loan borrowers should complete federal loan promissory note and entrance counseling online. Processing time is approximately one week. If sent to UAF in time, loans will be disbursed 10 days before the first day of class each semester.
- June 1 for fall; Oct. 15 for spring
Deadline for admission to graduate programs, with all supporting documentation, transcripts and test scores.
- June 15
Deadline for undergraduate admission to UAF for the fall semester. This is an absolute MUST. UAF cannot process financial aid for students who have not been admitted. Application for fall Nanook Pledge and Nanook Commitment scholarships due (included in the Application for Admission)
Rights and Responsibilities of Accepting Financial Aid
As a financial aid recipient at UAF, you have the right to:
- Know what financial programs are available to you.
- Know how to apply, how eligibility is determined and what terms and conditions are related to your aid.
- Know how the university determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress toward your degree and what happens if you are not making such progress.
- Request an explanation of your financial aid package, including what portion is gift and what portion must be repaid and the terms of repayment.
- Know the costs of attending UAF and the refund policy for students who withdraw.
For continued receipt of financial aid you must:
- Complete and file all financial aid forms accurately and on time.
- Read and understand all documents you sign. You should also keep copies for your records.
- Know the limits and conditions of financial aid programs.
- Notify the Financial Aid Office of any change of address, name, marital status, attendance status or receipt of additional financial awards.