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 semester must transmit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in time for it to reach the Federal Processor no later than the federally-established deadline, which typically is the last business day in June (see the FAFSA Web site for the exact date). 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 one 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.

  Fall/Spring Summer
  Full Time *3/4 Time Half Time Full Time *3/4 Time Half Time
Undergraduate 12 9 6 12 9 6
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.

Incomplete Grades

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.   

Repeated Coursework

New regulations for Federal student aid programs specify that previously passed courses repeated more than once can no longer be counted in the enrollment status for determining a student's federal aid eligibility.

For more information click here.

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 received 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 received 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.

Cooperative Education (COOP) Courses

As reflected under Full/Three-Quarter/Half-Time Enrollment for Financial Aid Purposes, only courses required for a student?s degree can be used in determining the student?s enrollment status for financial aid purposes. The UGA College of Engineering Cooperative Experiential Learning Program (COOP) course (ENGR 3900) does not apply toward the student?s degree; therefore, this course is not counted when determining the total number of credit hours in which a student is enrolled for financial aid purposes.

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.

Admission Classification

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.

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. If you pre-register for classes, note the Payment Deadline on your Student Account which can be accessed in Athena. Failure to pay by the deadline indicated on your student account 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 a student aid balance is payable to the student after all charges have been paid for the semester, 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.

Private Outside Scholarships and Sources of Assistance

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:

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.

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.

Study Abroad

For more information regarding Study Abroad and financial aid, click 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. Department 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. Selected students will not be awarded any federal student aid (including loans) until they complete the verification process.

Fee Waivers

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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,
  3. 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.