Additional Student Aid Policies
Disclaimer: OSFA reserves the right, on behalf of the University, to revise and/or cancel Awards at any time if you fail to meet the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) for Student Financial Aid Recipients or because of changes in your financial or academic status, academic program, resident status, enrollment status, etc. All student financial aid Awards are also contingent on the availability of funds.
Academic Year Definitions for Federal Student Aid Purposes
The University of Georgia academic year for the purposes of administering federal Title IV financial aid programs is defined as two fifteen (15) week semesters for a total of 30 weeks during which the average undergraduate student is expected to complete a minimum of thirty (30) credit hours. Enrollment in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester is required in order to be considered a full-time student for Title IV federal aid purposes.
The Scheduled Academic Year (SAY) applies to the administration of Federal Direct Loans (FDL) at the University. The statutory maximum annual loan limits apply to this period of time. The SAY begins with the first day of class each Fall semester and ends with the last official exam day of the following Spring semester. The Summer sessions at the University are considered a "trailer" to the SAY; therefore, the applicable annual loan limits apply to the Fall-Spring SAY, plus the Summer trailer.
Academic Assistance Courses
Only the first thirty attempted semester hours of non-degree undergraduate credit course work (including mandatory Academic Assistance) are counted when determining a student's enrollment status for aid purposes. Voluntary Academic Assistance and audit hours are not considered in determining aid eligibility.
Summer Aid Deadlines
Students who plan to first apply for aid in the Summer of 2012 must transmit their 2011-12 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in time for it to reach the Federal Processor no later than June 30, 2012. Also, your FAFSA must be processed by The U.S. Department of Education while you are still enrolled and otherwise eligible. No federal aid can be awarded if either of these deadlines is missed.
Retroactive Federal Student Aid
To be considered for a retroactive Federal Pell Grant award for the Fall, Spring or Summer of the Award Year, the U. S. Department of Education must receive and process your FAFSA and issue your Student Aid Report (SAR) reflecting a Pell eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC) while you are still enrolled in the same Award Year. If the semester(s) for which you are requesting Federal Pell Grant consideration has ended AND you are no longer enrolled in that Award Year, you will not be eligible for a retroactive Pell Grant award.
If you meet the preceding criteria but were selected for and have not compelted the Verification Process when the semester ends, you MAY be eligible once Verification is complete.
To be considered for a retroactive Federal Direct Loan for the Fall, Spring or Summer of the Award Year, we must receive both your electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U. S. Department of Education reflecting a calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your formal loan request, the Verification Process must have been completed (if selected) and the University must then have enough time to certify the loan to the U. S. Department of Education before the last day of the semester in which you are enrolled on at least a half-time basis for the Award Year.
If you are nearing the end of a semester and wish to request a Federal Direct Loan for that semester, you should contact our office and ask to speak with a Loans Counselor who can advise you if the loan can still be awarded.
Full/*Three-Quarter/Half-Time Enrollment for Financial Aid Purposes
This chart reflects the minimum number of credit hours required for student financial aid recipients to be considered enrolled full-time or *three-quarter or half-time during a semester. Your enrollment status affects your eligibility for various types of federal student aid. For example, students awarded Federal Direct Loans (FDL) must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis in order to qualify for the awarded loan(s), while most students awarded a Federal Pell Grant who enroll less than full-time will qualify for a prorated amount of their Federal Pell Grant as determined by their enrollment status.
As mandated by U.S. Department of Education policy, only courses required for your degree can be used in determining your enrollment status for financial aid purposes. In addition, federal student aid regulations permit only one repetition of a previously passed course in determining enrollment status for financial aid purposes.
|Full Time||*3/4 Time||Half Time||Full Time||*3/4 Time||Half Time|
|Graduate (Except below)||9||N/A||5||6||N/A||3|
|Law (JD), PHARMD and DVM||12||N/A||6||6||N/A||3|
Your official UGA enrollment status for financial aid eligibility determination is based on the number of applicable hours in which you are officially registered at the end of Phase III (Drop/Add) Registration. For example, if you enroll full time, receive aid that was contingent on full time enrollment and then drop to less than full time before the closing of Phase III Registration you will be required to repay that aid.
*3/4 time status is applicable only to the Federal Pell Grant program.
Please note, Undergraduate students enrolling in fewer than 12 hours in a semester (especially Summer sessions) should contact the Registrar's Office to learn what their official University of Georgia enrollment status will be for certification purposes other than student financial aid eligibility (i.e. medical insurance enrollment certifications, etc).
Federal Direct Loans and Enrollment Status
If you receive a Federal Direct Loan or your parent receives a Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan you must maintain at least half time enrollment at all times. Dropping below half time enrollment at any time may result in the cancellation of subsequent loan disbursements. If you later re-enroll at least half time, you must contact us to confirm your loan status.
Dropping Courses vs. Withdrawing
As stated above under Full/Three-Quarter/Half-Time Enrollment, your official UGA enrollment status for financial aid eligibility determination is based on the number of hours in which you are officially registered at the end of Phase III (Drop/Add) Registration.
Dropping a class(s) prior to the last date of the official Drop/Add period at the beginning of a term will result in a review of your financial aid eligibility for that term. Credit hours for dropped courses are not included in determining your enrollment status for financial aid purposes. Neither do they count for HOPE eigibility determination purposes nor are they included in determining your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). No courses or grades are posted to your academic transcript for dropped hours. Tuition and related fee charges for the dropped course(s) are returned to the appropriate financial aid program. Repayment will be required if financial aid was previously disbursed to you based on the subsequently dropped credit hours.
Conversely, hours from which you withdraw or are withdrawn (W, WP, WF) will be considered as enrolled and attempted hours for purposes of determining federal aid and HOPE eligibility and will be included in both the quantitative and qualitative portions of the SAP standards.
In addition, if you withdraw (or are withdrawn) from all your courses prior to completing more than 60 percent of the term, federal regulations will generally require you to repay a portion of the federal student aid received during the term. The amount of any required aid repayment is calculated by Student Accounts according to a federally prescribed formula.
When a grade of incomplete is replaced with a final grade your eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship and/or other aid will be again reviewed. This may result in a request for repayment of aid already received and/or cancellation of future aid.
Although the University's academic policy provides students up to 12 months to complete an incomplete grade, please read the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) For Student Financial Aid Recipients for additional information regarding the potential adverse impact of incomplete grades on financial aid eligibility.
When Students Fail to Earn a Passing Grade in Any of Their Classes
Federal regulations require students who have been awarded any type of federal student aid to fulfill their academic requirements. Occasionally a student will receive all "F" and/or "U" grades for a term and we are required to determine if the student "unofficially withdrew" from the University. An "unofficial withdrawal" occurs when a student stops attending all classes and stops participating in any academic activities beyond the date he/she last attended classes. Depending on the date of the student's "unofficial withdrawal", it may be necessary for the University and/or the student to return some or all of the financial aid the student recieved during the term.
At the end of each semester we will identify any such students and will either e-mail or mail them a letter explaining what they need to do so we can determine if their failure to earn a passing grade during the term constitutes an "unofficial withdrawal" from the University. A student's failure to respond to this letter can result in the University requiring the student to repay all financial aid recieved for the term.
Also review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) for Student Financial Aid Recipients for additional information regarding the potential adverse impact of these grades on continued financial aid eligibility.
Independent and Distance Learning
For students enrolled in Independent and Distance Learning (IDL) courses only, the enrollment status can never be considered more than half-time.
Students enrolled in a combination of regular courses and IDL courses may have reduced student financial aid eligibility as reflected below:
|Enrollment Hours for Federal Student Aid Recipients taking both Regular Courses and IDL Courses|
|Regular Courses||IDL Courses||Adjusted Total Hours||Status|
|0 - 1||6 - 12||6||Half-Time|
|2||3||5||Less than Half-Time|
Per University policy, UGA students may earn a maximum of 15 credit hours through IDL. Financial Aid awarded to UGA students cannot be applied by UGA Student Accounts to IDL course charges because students must pay the UGA Center for Continuing Education directly for those charges.
Graduate or Professional Student
U.S. Department of Education regulations define a graduate or "professional student" as a student who is enrolled in a course of study that is beyond the bachelor's degree level or is enrolled in a program leading to a first professional degree; has completed at least three academic years of full-time study (defined as 72 undergraduate semester credit hours), either before entrance into the program or as part of the program itself; and is not receiving federal aid as an undergraduate for the same period of enrollment.
Bachelor's degree students enrolled in the Bachelor of Forest Resources, Social Work, and Journalism degree programs are not professional students for the purposes of applying for student financial aid. However, Doctor of Pharmacy students who have earned 72 undergraduate credits and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students meet the federal definition of a professional student.
Irregular, non-degree, transient, unclassified post-graduate, and provisionally admitted students are generally not eligible for federal or state student financial aid unless they can qualify under one of the categories cited in the following section.
UGA HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship students may contact us to request information on receiving the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship as a transient student at another HOPE/Zell eligible institution.
Additional, Different Bachelors Degree or Teacher Certification or Prep Course Work
Students who have earned a bachelor's degree and are enrolling in a different bachelor's degree or a Teacher's Certification program or are taking preparatory course work for a different second bachelor's degree or graduate degree program are potentially eligible for Federal Direct Loans. Students who have completed the Financial Aid Application Process will be sent a "Certification of Enrollment in Post-Baccalaureate Course Work" form to complete and return to OSFA. Approved students must be enrolled in at least six applicable hours each semester to receive any awarded Federal Direct Loans.
In Service Education
If you enroll in In-Service Education courses you may be eligible to receive aid if you are in a degree-seeking program. You must obtain a certification letter from us for each course.
Fee Payment, Deferment & Aid Disbursements
The Bursar's Office site at www.bursar.uga.edu provides a wealth of information regarding your student account, payment deadlines, and aid disbursement. The "Student Accounts and Financial Aid" section of each semester's OASIS Schedule of Classes also provides important information. If you pre-register for classes, note the Payment Deadline on your Student Account Summary which can be accessed in OASIS. Failure to pay by the deadline indicated on your student account summary will result in late fees, flags on your student record and even schedule cancellation.
Students who have been awarded student financial aid may be eligible for student account deferments. Questions concerning deferment should be directed to the Student Accounts Department in the Bursar's Office (706)542-2965.
If all aid eligibility requirements have been met, checks are mailed ten days before the semester begins for students who are pre-registered for the required number of hours and have no flags or holds on their records. Students who have authorized Student Accounts to direct deposit any funds due the student should contact Student Accounts (706) 542-2965 for the date their funds will be deposited to their bank account.
Each year many University of Georgia students are awarded scholarships by private (outside) sources such as high schools, civic organizations, charitable foundations, businesses, etc. All awards from sources outside the University of Georgia must be reported to ensure the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) has the most accurate picture of your financial assistance. Students should complete the Private Outside Scholarship Reporting Form each academic year.
College Savings Plans
College Savings Plans are qualified educational benefit plans such as "529" college savings plans, other prepaid tuition plans offered by a State, and Coverdell education savings accounts. The value of these plans is reported on the FAFSA as an asset of either the student applicant or the parent, as follows:
- If you (the student) are required to report parental information and your parents own a qualified educational benefit plan, or education savings accounts - including "529" college savings plans and Coverdell savings accounts - report the current balance of the plan as a parent asset. The amount to be reported for a state prepaid tuition plan is the "refund value" of the plan.
- If you (the student) are required to report parental information and you (the student) own a qualified educational benefit plan - do not report the value of the plan as your asset but report the value of the plan as a parental asset.
- If you (the student) are not required to report parental information and you own (or if married, your spouse owns) any of these qualified educational benefit plans - report the current balance of the plan as a student/spouse asset. The amount to be reported for a state prepaid tuition plan is the "refund value" of the plan.
- If the owner of any of your (the student) qualified educational benefit plans is someone other than your custodial parent, report the disbursements of any plans as your untaxed income.
OSFA reminds all students to carefully review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) for Student Financial Aid Recipients.
Eligible Non-Citizen Confirmation
Please see Non-Citizen Information.
Selective Service Registration
Males ages 18 through 25 are required to register with the Selective Service System (SSS) to be eligible for Federal and state of Georgia financial aid funds. Any male students age 18 through 25 who have not yet registered with the SSS can do so when they complete the FAFSA or can register via the SSS Web site at http://www.sss.gov.
Aid and Taxes
If your gift aid (grants, scholarships) exceeds the cost of your tuition, fees, books and supplies, consult federal and state income tax instructions or your tax preparer when completing your tax returns.
Students regularly enrolled in a UGA degree program who enroll in a UGA Study Abroad program or a non-UGA study abroad program and have completed the University's "Study Abroad Credit Approval Form" (http://international.uga.edu/education_abroad/ea_student_forms/) may receive financial aid if they are otherwise eligible. Contact us if you wish to document additional allowable expenses you will incur for the Study Abroad program.
Since Study Abroad grades are generally not posted by the end of the enrolled semester, your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) can be adversely affected resulting in loss of financial aid eligibility until the Registrar (or Undergraduate Admissions for non-UGA study abroad programs) receives the grades and we are able to reconsider your Academic Progress.
For more information regarding Study Abroad go here.
Employee Tuition Assistance Program
Amounts received under the Board of Regents' Employee Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) will be reflected on the Award of any student receiving other student financial aid. The dollar value of TAP must be considered when determining aid eligibility and can result in the reduction of student financial aid already awarded.
Quality Assurance Program
UGA participates in the U.S. Deptartment of Education's Quality Assurance Program (QAP) which is designed to help postsecondary educational institutions improve the delivery of student financial aid. OSFA periodically requires randomly selected students and their families to provide documentation verifying their FAFSA information. Students will not be awarded any form or federal student aid (including loans) until they complete the verification process.
If you receive an in-state and/or an out-of-state fee waiver after a semester begins, you may be required to repay aid already disbursed in order to reduce or eliminate an overaward. Federal regulations require us to to treat the dollar value of any fee waiver(s) you receive as a financial resource when we are determining your eligibility for other types of student financial aid.
Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Violations
Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law (not local or municipal) involving the possession or sale of a illegal drugs during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal financial aid, shall not be eligible to receive any federal student aid assistance during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table.
|Possession of illegal drugs||Ineligibility Period|
|First Offense||1 Year from date of conviction|
|Second Offense||2 Years from date of conviction|
|Third+ Offense||Indefinite Period|
|Sale of Illegal Drugs||Ineligibility Period|
|First Offense||2 Years from date of conviction|
|Second Offense||Indefinite Period|
A student whose eligibility has been suspended based on a conviction for possession or sale of illegal drugs may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:
- the student satisfactorily completes a qualified drug rehabilitation
program that includes at least two unannounced drug tests and must
satisfy at least one of the following requirements:
- Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program;
- Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally- or state-licensed insurance company;
- Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court; or,
- Be administered or recognized by a federally- or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.
- the student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; or,
- the conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student's record.
It is a student's responsibility to certify to us that he/she has successfully completed the rehabilitation program.