Graduate Assistantships and Financial Aid Impact
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) is required to include any form of Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) when calculating a student’s eligibility for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, and/or Private (Alternative) Education Loan.
UGA graduate and professional school departments generally do not enter their student assistant tuition waivers into the University’s student information system (Athena) until after OSFA has already packaged the students’ financial aid Awards. This often results in a significant reduction of the student’s federal loan eligibility, and either a reduction of the student’s fall and/or spring loans, or requires immediate student repayment of some of the disbursed funds, or both.
In an effort to reduce the number of adversely affected students, our financial aid awarding process assumes that graduate or professional students who were awarded assistantship tuition waivers by their college or department in the prior Award Year will continue to receive the waivers the following Award Year. If your Award reflects an assistantship tuition waiver you have not been granted by your school, notify OSFA.
Students who know they will be given a tuition waiver or receive any other form of Estimated Financial Assistance should report that information to OSFA. See Reporting Outside Scholarships and Other Resources to OSFA for guidance.
See the UGA Graduate School Web page regarding Financial Assistance for more information regarding the various types of assistantships.