Summer Financial Aid
Our aid year, for awarding financial aid, begins with the fall semester and ends with the following summer semester. Since the summer semester is at the end of our aid year, summer financial aid eligibility is determined by those funds that were not used during the traditional academic year including the fall and spring semesters. For financial aid purposes, the Summer 1 and Summer 2 sessions are viewed as one complete Summer semester. This means that we will look at the total number of credit hours from Summer 1 and Summer 2 to determine summer financial aid eligibility.
NOTE: Only those students pursuing an eligible degree through the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will be eligible for financial aid. Any students picking up some classes to transfer to another institution to complete their degree elsewhere, will not be eligible for financial aid.
How can I determine my Summer Financial Aid Eligibility?
Each student has an annual limit for financial aid. The annual limit for Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans is based on the student’s grade level and dependency status. For a full explanation of annual limits for Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans please visit our Federal Direct Loans page. Once the student determines their annual limit, the student would simply subtract out any amount borrowed during the traditional academic year. If the student is eligible for the Federal Pell Grant during the traditional academic year and were not enrolled full-time, they may have Federal Pell Grant eligibility remaining for the summer semester. The Financial Aid Office will automatically determine a student’s eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and award any eligible funds.
How can I receive/apply for Summer Financial Aid?
Once students have registered for all of their summer coursework and no longer intend to adjust their enrollment, they will need to complete the Summer Financial Aid Application to request loan funds for the summer semester. Summer enrollment includes any regular courses taken during the first 5-Week Summer Session, second 5-Week Summer Session, and 10-Week Summer Session.
When can I expect to see a Summer Financial Aid Award in My.UAFS?
The Summer Financial Aid awarding process is a manual process due to the many variables concerning a student’s summer financial aid eligibility; therefore, it may take more time for a student’s summer financial aid to be processed than during the traditional academic year. We will begin processing summer applications as they are received. This means that a student may receive a financial aid award before Spring grades have been posted.
Since Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at the completion of the spring semester, we must wait for all spring semester grades to be posted for all students. This generally takes place within a week after Spring Commencement. Once spring grades have been posted, we can review for SAP at that time. As discussed below, this can impact a student’s financial aid eligibility.
Students will receive an email notification once they have been awarded. If a student does not qualify, that student will be notified via email.
Can anything impact my Summer Financial Aid Eligibility?
Yes. These examples are the most common impacts and are not to be considered a comprehensive list.
- Enrolling in less than 6 credit hours will prevent a student from receiving Federal Direct Loans. Federal regulations require that students enroll half-time to receive federal loans. Half-time enrollment for Undergraduate students is 6 credit hours. Half-time enrollment for Graduate students is 5 credit hours.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) can impact a student’s eligibility for summer financial aid. A student’s SAP is reviewed at the completion of the spring semester. If a student is placed on a Financial Aid Suspension, that student will lose financial aid eligibility and any posted summer aid will be cancelled. For full information regarding SAP and the Appeal process please visit our Satisfactory Academic Progress page.
- Adding/Dropping summer coursework prior to the printed census date on the Summer Application, can impact a student’s eligibility. Summer financial aid eligibility will only be calculated for those courses added before the Summer Census Date. For more information about COA, please visit our Cost of Attendance page. The Summer COA will be manually calculated based on the student’s summer coursework. (Summer 2017 Census Date: June 12, 2017)
- Enrolling in both the 1st Summer Session and 2nd Summer Session can impact the timing of a student’s financial aid disbursements. The most common example would be concerning a student’s federal loan eligibility. Federal regulations require that a student is enrolled at least half-time to receive federal loans; therefore, if a student is not considered to be half-time until the 2nd Summer Session, that student’s loan funds would not be disbursed to the student’s account until they begin attending that 2nd Summer Session course that makes them half-time for enrollment purposes. The timing of Federal Pell Grant disbursements may also be impacted by a student’s enrollment in multiple summer sessions.