Financial Aid Information for Newly Admitted Undergraduate Students
Congratulations on your Admission to the University of Virginia!
We know that this is an exciting yet potentially stressful time for students and parents as you take the next step toward college. Our goal in Student Financial Services is to provide you with your Preliminary Financial Aid award as quickly as possible so that you have the best information available as you decide which school you will attend.
This page is intended to help you through the financial aid piece of your decision making. Please read the information below closely before contacting Student Financial Services, as the answers to many commonly-asked questions are contained here.
First, though, we would like to make you aware of a very important document that all newly admitted applicants who plan to attend the University of Virginia should complete and submit. Student Financial Services considers an individual to be a student once the admitted applicant has accepted the offer of admission and once the tuition deposit charge has been satisfied. At that point, the student is protected by federal laws concerning the disclosure of all student account and financial aid application information. Students should complete the Authorization to Release Financial Information form at their earliest opportunity.
Once tuition deposit charge has been satisfied, representatives of Student Financial Services will no longer be permitted to have detailed conversations with your parents or anyone else other than you about the status of your financial aid unless you complete and submit this form to us, naming the specific individuals you wish to have access to this information. Please allow 2 business days for this form to be applied to your account once it has been submitted.
We also recommend that all newly admitted students who intend to come to the University complete a direct deposit form, found by clicking here. Students who receive financial aid or who make payments in excess of their charges will have those excess funds returned to them. The fastest way to receive these funds is by direct deposit. It takes at least two weeks for direct deposit to be established for an individual, so we recommend that you complete this step at your earliest convenience.
What if I do not see my Preliminary Financial Aid award in the Student Information System (SIS) by April 5th, 2013?
Financial aid award details typically become available within 5 business days of Admission decisions being posted, and you should receive an email notification once your award package is available for viewing through the View Financial Aid link in the Finances section of the Student Center in SIS. The date by which we can provide your financial aid award information in SIS assumes that you have completed all of the following:
- the 2013-2014 FAFSA (must have been received by March 1, 2013)
- the 2013-2014 CSS/PROFILE (must have been received by March 1, 2013)
- a signed copy of the parent 2012 federal tax return including all schedules* (If the parent did not file a 2012 federal tax return, the parent must complete the Parent Non-Tax Filer form, found here.)
- parent 2012 W-2 form(s).
- a signed copy of the student 2012 U.S. federal tax return and all schedules* (If the student did not file a 2012 federal tax return, the student must complete the Student Non-Tax Filer form, found here.)
- the 2013-2014 Parent and Student Signature page, which is found here
Federal regulations prevent us from accepting digital or electronic signatures as valid. Only "wet" signatures will be accepted by Student Financial Services.
Applicants and Parents, please note: Federal and University requirements are subject to change, which may impact the documents we will require of each applicant for financial aid. We discourage printing this page as a document of record prior to the start of the 2013-2014 school year and instead encourage you to check back regularly throughout the application season to ensure you have completed all requirements.
In addition to the FAFSA, the PROFILE and tax documents, we may need other information to process your application. Such requests are communicated through your To Do List in your Student Center in the SIS. Click "details" to see more information about the items and instructions for completing them. We will also send you an email to alert you to a new To Do List item. We recommend you check your To Do List regularly, however, for possible new items. Please DO NOT submit any additional forms unless you have been specifically instructed to do so by our office.
If you did not get all your required documents in by March 1st, or if you had or still have To Do List items, rest assured that you will still receive a preliminary financial aid award as long as we receive all requested documents. Keep checking your To Do List, and send in the requested documents. You should generally allow 2-3 business days from the time we receive your documents until the To Do List item is removed from your Student Center. When you see that you no longer have financial aid items on your list, look for an email notification within 2-3 weeks to let you know your financial aid is ready for you to view in the SIS.
Please bear in mind that the accuracy of our Preliminary award will depend heavily on the accuracy of the information that you provided on the FAFSA and the CSS/PROFILE. Amounts and types of awards could change once we review your other documents, if there are discrepancies, and we may still require some additional documentation in order to process the Preliminary award. Federal Pell Grants are based on eligibility determined by Congressional action. Funding levels are subject to change.
It's getting close to the date by which I have to accept my admission offer. What if I have not seen my financial aid award yet?
Beginning within about a week after Admission decisions are released, we will begin to send email notifications to individual admitted students when their Preliminary Financial Aid award is ready to view in the Student Center. Once you receive this email notification, please check the Finances section of your Student Center for your Preliminary Financial Aid award information.
If you do not see a Financial Aid award by April 17th, 2013, if you submitted all the above documents before April 1, and if your decision to come to UVA is dependent on your Financial Aid, please:
- Verify at www.fafsa.gov that you submitted the FAFSA with UVA's school code including all corrections
- Verify that you submitted the CSS/PROFILE with UVA's school code
- Check your To Do List for any outstanding items due
If you have addressed all the points above, and you still do not have your Preliminary Financial Aid award by April 17th, please contact our office at (434) 982-6000.
Please note that it typically takes 2-3 weeks from the time we receive the last required documentation before a Preliminary award will be ready for the student. If you delayed in replying to our requests for additional documentation, or completed the documents incorrectly and caused delay, you may not have your Preliminary award before the May 1st Admission deposit deadline.
What if I have not yet begun my application for need-based financial aid?
It is not too late to apply for Financial Aid; however, it is very likely too late for you to be awarded a Preliminary Financial Aid award before the May 1st, 2013, (May 15th, 2013, for transfer students) date by which you need to inform the Office of Undergraduate Admission of your decision. In this case, you will almost certainly need to make your decision without knowing what your financial aid award may look like for the 2013-2014 academic year. But if you know UVA is where you want to go, submit your application now. For detailed instructions, go to here.
Why is my fax not going through?
If your attempt continues to ring without our server picking up the call, you are probably sending from a fax machine that masks or blocks your number. If our server cannot see the number from which you are faxing, we will not accept your inbound submission. Masked numbers are most common at workplaces, not from home fax machines or from retail establishments, such as Kinko's. If you are not able to "unmask" your fax number, please either fax from a different machine or send the documents to us by U.S. mail or by an expedited service, if time is of the essence. In extremely rare circumstances, you may encounter a busy signal. If you do, please retry at a later time.
What does it mean that my To Do List item has a status of "Initiated"?
When you click on the details for your To Do List items, you will see this status. This simply means that we have requested additional information and that action is still required of you. It does not mean that your item is complete! When it is complete, it will come off your To Do List.
What is the significance of the Due Date in the details section of my To Do List? If I miss the date, will I still get my award?
The due date is extremely important to your eligibility for state and institutional need-based aid, and we ask that you reply right away to To Do List item requests to aid us in the timely processing of your award. Once you have received your Preliminary award, you may still have items added to your To Do List that are required in order to complete your Official award. Failure to complete these To Do List items prior to June 15, 2013, will result in your Preliminary awards being cancelled.
If your Preliminary award is cancelled, you may still receive an Official award by submitting all the required documents. Please note that in the event your Preliminary award is cancelled, you may not receive the same awards, including grants, once you submit all required documents for your Official award.
When will I receive my Official Financial Aid award?
Please note that the financial aid award you receive in April or May is Preliminary only. After we have received all required additional documentation and reviewed it, and completed the Verification process, you will receive a separate email notification of your Official Financial Aid award. If you reply in a timely manner to requests for information, you should generally expect to receive the Official award by the end of June.
It is in your best interest to respond promptly to requests for additional information to ensure that your Official award is completed before the bill for the Fall term is produced. The primary advantage to this is that you will then see your anticipated awards listed on your bill, enabling you to better estimate any amount that will need to be paid by the August 21st, 2013, due date.
Please note that your Official award may vary from the Preliminary award, due in part to the review of additional documents you submit after the Preliminary award is created. The Official award may also be different as it will be completed after the Board of Visitors meets in the Spring and sets the actual costs for tuition, fees, room, and board. Because this directly impacts the budget our office creates specifically for you, your award may change accordingly.
An important note about Perkins Loans: if you are offered a Perkins Loan for the 2013-2014 academic year, please be absolutely sure that you do not wish to take the loan before you decline it in the SIS. Once you decline a Perkins Loan, we will be unable to reinstate the loan under any circumstances.
Whom do I contact if I need more help or if I do not understand my awards?
If after reading this information you still have questions, you can email us or call our office (please pick only one method to eliminate duplication of effort). Our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and our phone number is (434) 982-6000. Because our financial aid counselors are busy processing financial aid, please allow 1-2 business days for us to reply to your emailed questions or to receive a phone response from a financial aid counselor.
If you have questions about how your award amounts and types were determined, we strongly encourage you to attend one of the Days on the Lawn events sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Please visit the Admission web page for more information. Our Financial Aid Counselors will be on hand at these events to answer your questions and to help you understand how your Preliminary Financial Aid award was decided.
For important information about Student Accounts, including signing up for the University's Payment Plan (available for sign-up after May 1, 2013), and to orient yourself to Student Accounts processes and policies, please click here.
We wish you the best as you make your college choice.