Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

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General
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Q:
What is financial aid?
A:
Financial aid helps students and their families pay for educational expenses. This includes estimated tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study and/or loans.
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Q:
How do I apply for financial aid?
A:
You will need to be admitted to a UH campus, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet all eligibility requirements. See Steps to Apply.
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Q:
When is the FAFSA available?
A:
The FAFSA is available October 1 for the upcoming academic year. Current year applications are available on an on-going basis.
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Q:
Do I need to reapply every year?
A:
Yes, a FAFSA must be filed each academic year for which the student wants to receive financial aid. Remember that filing a FAFSA is free. You DO NOT need to pay to file the FAFSA.
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Q:
Do I need to be admitted or registered for classes before applying for financial aid?
A:
You can apply for financial aid any time after October 1st for the following fall and spring semester, but you must be admitted and enrolled in classes in order to receive funds.
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Q:
Am I permitted to receive financial aid from more than one institution at the same time?
A:
No. Financial aid cannot be received from two different institutions at the same time because you are expecting to receive a degree only from one school. Federal law allows aid to be administered only by one school.
Applying
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Q:
Why do I need to include my parent's income information on my FAFSA?
A:
By federal definition, you are considered a dependent and must report your parents' information on the FAFSA.

You are considered to be an independent student if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are 24 years or older by January 1 of the award year; or
  • You are a graduate or professional student; or
  • You are married; or
  • You have children who receive more than half of their support from you; or
  • You have legal dependents (other than children or spouse) who receive more than half of their support from you now and through next year; or
  • You are an orphan or ward of the court; or
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training; or
  • You are a veteran of the U.S Armed Forces; or
  • You are an emancipated minor; or
  • You are in a legal guardianship; or
  • You are an unaccompanied youth who was homeless as determined by:
    • your high school or school district homeless liaison,
    • director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or
    • the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program.
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Q:
How do I fill out the FAFSA if my parents are divorced?
A:
Provide the information of the parent with whom you lived with the majority of time. If you live with your parents equally, provide the information of the parent who provides more than half of your support.
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Q:
What if I am considered a dependent student but my parents do not support me?
A:
You are not automatically independent for financial aid purposes simply because your parents stop claiming you as a tax exemption or refuse to give you support for your college education. Unwillingness, inability, or reluctance of parents to help pay for your educational costs or becoming emancipated, or demonstrating self-sufficiency do not make you independent by federal law.

The Financial Aid Office may make allowances for students to be independent if you can demonstrate extenuating family circumstances on a case-by-case basis. You must make an appointment with one of the Financial Aid staff at your campus to discuss your circumstances.
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Q:
If I am being raised by someone other than my parents under loose verbal, rather than legal arrangements, whose income should be reported?
A:
Your parents' information goes on the FAFSA. If you do not have contact with your parent(s), contact the Financial Aid Office of your home campus.

A student can be legally dependent ONLY on the parent/legal guardian and no one else. Check with the Financial Aid Office to determine if you qualify for a dependency override.
Processing
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1.  Log onto your MyUH Portal
2.  Search "View My Financial Aid Information" and click on the search result "View My Financial Aid Information (All campuses)"
3.  Click on the Financial Aid tab
4.  Click on Student Requirements
5  Select the Aid Year and then click Submit

Note: The items labeled "Not Satisfied" or "Incomplete" are requirements that need your attention. You need to take action on these items. Also, in most cases you should be able to click on the link to complete the required form for completion.
A:
1.  Log onto your MyUH Portal
2.  Search "View My Financial Aid Information" and click on the search result "View My Financial Aid Information (All campuses)"
3.  Click on the Financial Aid tab
4.  Click on Academic Progress
5.  Select the campus you are admitted to and the Aid Year
6.  Click on Submit
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Q:
What is verification?
A:
Verification is a process that confirms that information reported on the FAFSA matches the federal tax returns and other documents. If selected, a student is required to submit certain documents. If any discrepancies are found, corrections are sent to the federal processor to recalculate aid eligibility. It may result in a decrease in total aid, or an increase in total aid.
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Q:
What is an aid package?
A:
When you apply for financial aid, you do not have to apply for a particular type or amount of aid. Applicants are automatically considered for all available aid programs administered by the Financial Aid Office. One or more types of aid are usually awarded in combination to make up a student's financial aid package. Students who receive scholarships from outside agencies or through other departments must inform the Financial Aid Office because these scholarships will be included as a part of their financial aid package.
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Q:
What is financial need?
A:
Financial need means a student's family's financial resources, measured by a formula established by the federal government, are not sufficient to cover a student's educational costs. Financial need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution/Resources.

Financial Need = Cost of Attendance 1 - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or Resources 2

1 Cost of Attendance includes estimated tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation.
2 The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated according to a formula based on the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Maintaining
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Q:
If I am on financial aid probation can I receive financial aid?
A:
Yes. You can receive awards while on financial aid probation, but you must adhere to the special conditions outlined by the FAO at your home campus.
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Q:
If I have an unusual circumstance, is there someone I can explain it to?
A:
Yes, but you must try to complete the FAFSA with the information requested. Contact the Financial Aid Office of your home campus as there are procedures for special circumstances.
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Q:
How can I accept my awards?
A:
Awards are posted online through the MyUH Portal. The initial award notification is emailed to you, and it explains in detail how to log onto the MyUH Portal to view the awards.
  1. Log onto your MyUH Portal
  2. Under Academic Services click on the Financial Aid link
  3. Click on Award by Aid Year
  4. Select the Aid Year and then click Submit
  5. Click on Accept Award Offer tab
  6. Read the instructions and accept/decline all awards. If you leave any award as undecided those awards will not be disbursed.
Note: Awards are based on full-time enrollment. Awards will be adjusted for lower enrollment levels. If you do not begin attendance or complete courses for which you received aid, you may be required to repay all or part of the funds received.
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Q:
When will I receive my financial aid?
A:
Funds are generally disbursed 10 days before the first day of instruction, unless there are outstanding requirements or you are not at the enrollment level you were awarded for. The funds pay for institutional charges first and any credit balance will be refunded by the Bursar's Office. Students receive their refunds faster when they sign-up for eRefunds.
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Q:
How do I sign up for eRefund?
A:
Refer to the UH eRefund page.
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Q:
What changes could affect my financial aid award?
A:
Your initial award is based on full-time enrollment. These are some examples that may cause your award to be revised:
  • Change in enrollment status;
  • Receipt of additional awards, including scholarships and grants;
  • Changes in reported financial information since your original award; or
  • Not attending your classes.
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Q:
Will I be required to repay the funds if I withdraw from classes?
A:
Per federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office must apply a federal formula to determine if funds need to be repaid. In addition, your withdrawal may place you in jeopardy of receiving awards for subsequent semesters based on your Satisfactory Academic Progress.
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Q:
What happens after the financial aid freeze date (last day to withdraw with a 'W')?
A:
Your financial aid award will be based upon your enrollment at the end of the freeze date. If you have already received your award and have since adjusted your enrollment, you may be responsible for repaying the award. It is highly recommended that you meet with an Academic Advisor and a Financial Aid Officer to discuss your options.
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Q:
Can I still attend classes if I have a tuition balance?
A:
Yes. If you have been awarded financial aid from your home campus, your classes will be held. If aid is disbursed but you still have a balance, the balance will remain on your account as an obligation.
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Q:
Do I have to report any private scholarships or assistance to the Financial Aid Office?
A:
Yes. If you receive grants or scholarships from any organization for educational purposes, you must report it to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office may need to adjust your aid package to prevent an over award.
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Q:
Where can I find job openings on-campus?
A:
To view employment opportunities for your home campus, visit the Student Employment and Cooperative Education (SECE) website
Miscellaneous
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Q:
Where is my 1098-T form for my taxes?
A:
Please refer to the UH 1098-T website.