See Overaward in Important Terms for definition.
Federal regulations require colleges to consider all educational financial assistance to be calculated in determining student eligibility. Financial assistance includes grants, loans, scholarships, waivers, fellowships / assistantships, work study, and similar programs used to cover educational expenses. When a student receives more aid than their financial need or cost of attendance, the result may be an overaward.
OSFA is required to resolve an overaward which may result in funds being returned to an aid program and a student owing the University a repayment.
OSFA will not reduce or cancel the Federal Pell Grant, HOPE, or Zell Miller Scholarships to eliminate an overaward situation. In most cases, student loans will be reduced or cancelled. Federal Work-Study may be cancelled but a student will not need to repay funds already earned.
What is an overaward of financial aid?
When the total of all aid received by the student exceeds the student’s cost of attendance or financial need, an overaward occurs and awards in the package will be adjusted (cancelled or reduced) in order to eliminate it. Loans will be reduced before any reduction is made to any other awards.
The following awards may need to be adjusted to prevent an overaward:
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Work-Study
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
- Student Access Loan
- State Scholarships (excluding HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships)
- Institutional Need-Based Scholarships
How do overawards occur?
Overawards are usually the result of the student receiving aid that OSFA was not aware of when we completed the student’s financial aid package. It is the student’s responsibility to notify OSFA of all additional resources to be received. This should be done as soon as the student becomes aware that they will receive the aid. OSFA must account for all sources of aid, even if they are not processed directly through our office.
OSFA is bound by Federal regulation to resolve the overaward. Exceptions cannot be made.
How can overawards be resolved?
- Future disbursements of affected aid are canceled or reduced.
- If that does not resolve the overaward or if all aid has already been disbursed, OSFA will contact the student through their UGAMail address to see if they have any additional expenses that may be used to increase the cost of attendance. These expenses include, but are not limited to, a one-time purchase of a computer or dependent care expenses. More information can be found here.
- If the student does not have additional expenses, or does not respond to the inquiry, OSFA will reduce or cancel affected aid per Federal regulation.