As an online student, we encourage you to apply for financial aid, even if you don’t think you’re eligible. About 70% of our students receive financial assistance. Last year, we awarded almost $100 million in loans, grants, scholarships and federal work-study funds.
Refer to Financial Literacy for education on tools and skills necessary to make informed financial decisions, particularly in regards to the student loan process.
Applying for Financial Aid
After you’ve applied for admission to an online program, applying for financial aid is simple.
- Fill Out the FAFSA
In order to receive financial assistance, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online by March 15.
Use the University of West Florida’s Title IV school code, 003955.
- Review Your Student Aid Report
After you’ve submitted your FAFSA, you will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report. Look over it closely, make any necessary changes and submit it for reprocessing. This document will list your expected family contribution, which is used for determining how much financial aid you’re eligible for. You may have to complete an institutional verification form and submit a copy of your IRS tax transcript if your FAFSA is selected for verification. If you have been selected for verification, you will not be awarded any financial aid until all documentation has been received and reviewed.
- Look Over Your Review Letter
After your financial aid materials have been processed, you will receive an award letter for the following academic year. You can also find this information online via your MyUWF account. At this point, you can accept any or all of the financial assistance offered.
- Sign Your Master Promissory Note
If you’ve accepted a federal direct loan and are a first-time borrower, you will need to sign a master promissory note and complete entrance loan counseling before disbursement.
Types of Financial Aid
Student loans have to be paid back. Generally, loans have low interest rates and are long-term. Eligibility is based on demonstrated financial need or tuition costs. There are a few different types of student loans.
- Federal Direct Loans: There are two kinds of federal direct loans — subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are based on financial need, and you will not be charged interest as long as you’re enrolled at least half-time. Unsubsidized loans are not need-based, and you’ll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it’s completely repaid.
- Graduate Plus Loans: These loans allow graduate students to borrow up to the full cost of their attendance minus other financial aid. Repayment is typically deferred during enrollment.
- Parent Plus Loans: Parents of dependent students can borrow funds on behalf of the student, as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time. The loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
- Private Loans: Awarded from outside sources, private loans typically have higher interest rates and varying terms than federal loans.
A form of financial aid that typically requires no repayment, grants are awarded based on academic achievement or requirements and demonstrated financial need.
This is also a type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Typically, scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, athletic skills, talents and occasionally demonstrated financial need.
Students with demonstrated financial need may be eligible for federal work-study, in which they will receive a biweekly paycheck that can be later applied to their account while working a part-time on-campus or off-campus job.