University of Virginia

Graduate Record 1995-1996

Chapter 3: Financial Aid


General Information

The University helps many graduate students with limited funds meet their college expenses through a variety of programs. The Office of Financial Aid to Students, under the direction of the Financial Aid Committee, administers only Federal loan and employment programs for graduate students. Student awards including Ford Federal Direct Loans or Federal Work-Study funds are based on a careful assessment of the applicant's ability to meet educational expenses. Students must apply directly to their academic departments or professional schools for other kinds of financial assistance.

Estimated Costs  The average costs for self-supporting graduate students at the University for academic year 1995-96 are estimated to be: Living Expenses (room, board, transportation, personal) - $9,435; Books and Supplies - $600; Tuition and Fees assessed by School (see Chapter 2).

How Need is Determined  Each graduate applicant for Ford Federal Direct Loans or Federal Work-Study funds is required to submit to the Federal Student Aid Programs Office a detailed financial statement. Because financial aid funds are limited, all assistance offered through the Office of Financial Aid is based on an estimate of financial need. Need is determined by comparing the student budget with student resources from savings, summer earnings, session earnings, or any combination thereof. If the resources are less than the sum needed to meet academic year expenses, the difference becomes the student's financial need. Need will be met to the extent of available funds.

Student budgets listed in this chapter are based on approved allowances for tuition and fees, books and living expenses for the academic year, with allowances for such factors as child care and medical expenses.

Money available to applicants from other sources, such as veteran's benefits, gifts, scholarships, grants, assistantships, graderships or fellowships through outside organizations, or through the academic department in which the student is enrolled is considered a resource when the applicant's financial need is determined. If any such resources become available after an award offer has been made or received, it is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the Office of Financial Aid. Receiving such assistance may necessitate a reduction in the financial assistance awarded the applicant by the University so that no applicant will receive funds in excess of the demonstrated financial need.


General Eligibility Requirements for Federal Programs

Draft Registration  Students required under the Military Selective Service Act to register for the draft will be required to file a statement of compliance indicating that they have registered before they can receive any federal financial assistance.

Enrollment  Applicants must be enrolled at least half-time, be in academic "good standing," and be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the graduate school in which they are enrolled. Only students registered in formal University graduate degree or certificate programs are eligible to receive financial assistance through the Office of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Transcripts  Receipt of a Financial Aid Transcript is required from each post-secondary school attended by graduate aid applicants before financial assistance can be awarded.

Citizenship  All citizens and permanent residents of the United States are eligible to apply for financial assistance through the Office of Financial Aid.

Default Status  To receive financial assistance through any federal programs, students cannot be in default on Federal Perkins, Federal Stafford or Federal Supplemental Loan payments for funds received during previous years of study. Furthermore, financial aid recipients cannot owe refunds on Pell or Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant funds previously received for undergraduate study at any institution.


Application Procedures

In order to apply for financial assistance through the Office of Financial Aid, graduate students should submit a University Graduate Application for financial aid to that office. Students must also mail the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Federal Student Aid Programs Office by March 31. Students should indicate the University of Virginia code number 003745 in Section H of the FAFSA. Students who submit either their University application form or the FAFSA after the March 31 deadline will not be awarded funds through the Federal Work-Study Program. Applicants will be notified about their eligibility for financial assistance in late July.

In the case of marriage in which both husband and wife are enrolled in the University, the Office of Financial Aid requires that both students apply separately for financial assistance.

All assistantships, graderships, fellowships, grants, scholarships or other "free" monies available to graduate students are administered by the various University academic departments or professional schools. Before applications for federal funds will be considered, students should apply directly to their departments or schools for financial assistance. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the Office of Financial Aid with an official department letter indicating the applicant's award or denial status.


The Aid Package

Financial aid for graduate students is normally a combination of assistance from the graduate school or department (which may include scholarship, fellowship or assistantship funds) and loan or employment funding administered by the Office of Financial Aid. Department funds are always awarded by the student's school or department. Funds administered by the Office of Financial Aid are awarded to supplement department assistance or to provide financial support to the extent of student need as defined in "General Information."


Financial Aid Programs

Veteran's Educational Benefits  Students eligible to receive educational benefits through the G.I. Bill or the V.A. Contributory or non-Contributory Benefit Programs should contact the Veteran's Affairs Coordinator, Office of the University Registrar, Carruthers Hall.

Virginia War Orphans Program  Under this program a child, aged 25 or younger, of either a deceased veteran or a veteran with total disability resulting from wartime service may receive free tuition and fees, board, room rent, books and supplies to attend a Virginia state-supported institution of higher education. Students who believe they qualify for this program should contact the Division of War Veterans Claims at the following address: Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Law, Division of War Veterans Claims, 210 Franklin Road S.W., Roanoke, VA 24011.

University Tuition Payment Plan  For students not wishing to file for financial aid, but who would like a convenient way to pay their University charges for the 1995-96 academic year, the University offers a ten-month installment payment plan. For a participation fee of $50, students can enroll in this plan in late spring, 1995. The monthly payments would begin in May or June. Detailed information about this plan is available through the Office of the Bursar.


Loans

Long-term loans are available to graduate students with financial need and are an important resource in meeting educational costs. Loans are used to supplement department and non-University awards as well as to provide assistance when employment is neither feasible nor sufficient to meet demonstrated need.

General Assembly Nursing Program  Virginia residents enrolled in the Graduate School of Nursing may apply for this state-funded, need-based program. Any funds awarded must be repaid either by working as a nurse in Virginia, or by payment with interest. Application deadlines are April 30 for currently enrolled nursing students and June 30 for students who have completed only one semester. Students must allow a minimum of two months for application processing in order to meet the designated deadlines. Award amount: $2,000 maximum.

Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan  The Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program enables graduate students to borrow up to $8,500 each year. For students who demonstrate financial need, the federal government pays the interest while the student is enrolled in college. Students who do not demonstrate financial need may still borrow these funds, however, they will be required to pay the interest which is variable, but will not exceed eight and one-quarter percent. In some cases, only a portion of the loan may be eligible for the federal interest subsidy. The borrower would be responsible for paying the interest on the remainder. Including previous subsidized Stafford loans, graduate students may borrow up to $65,500 total for all academic years. Ordinarily, repayment begins six months after discontinuing formal education. These loans are payable in two disbursements one-half of the total loan amount in each, less the four percent loan fee charged to the borrower.

Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan  The Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program enables graduate students enrolled at least half-time to borrow up to $10,000 each year. Including previous unsubsidized Stafford and SLS loans, graduate students may borrow up to $73,000 total for all academic years. The interest rate is variable, but will not exceed eight and one-quarter percent; repayment ordinarily begins 60 days after disbursement of the loan unless the borrower requests capitalization of interest. Loans are payable in two disbursements, one-half of the total loan amount in each, less the four percent loan fee charged to the borrower.

Edvantage Loan  This loan program is designed for credit-worthy student borrowers who require additional loan funds to meet their approved University budgets. Edvantage loans are available in amounts from $1,000 to $15,000 per year, the annual maximum level being determined by the cost of attendance minus other financial aid awarded. The interest rate is variable at Prime plus one and one-half percent and is set on the first day of every month. Ordinarily, monthly payments begin 60 days after disbursement of the loan. Interested borrowers should obtain information from V.S.A.A., the Virginia Student Assistance Authorities.

Short Term Loans  Under the terms of the Lee Emergency Loan, a graduate student enrolled in any of the University schools may borrow from $30 to $300 once each semester. Lee Loans are interest free and are available only during the academic year. Students must apply in person at the Office of Financial Aid.


Loan Disbursement Procedures

Ford Federal Direct Loans   Ford Federal Direct Loans are payable in two disbursements, one-half of the total amount in each disbursement, less the fee charged to the borrower. Disbursements are credited to student accounts by the Office of the Bursar once the Promissory Note(s) have been signed and returned to the Office of Financial Aid. The second disbursement is credited half-way through the loan period.

Failure to enroll in credits sufficient to permit crediting of loan funds to the student's account results in cancellation of the loan(s) within thirty days of the date of registration.

If applications for loans indicated full-time enrollment of the applicant, the loans were approved by the Office of Financial Aid accordingly. Therefore, the Office of the Bursar will be unable to credit funds to the student's account until the official University registration record lists the borrower as enrolled full-time in a minimum of 9 course credits or 12 non-topical research credits per semester. Loans for students enrolled half-time require that borrowers be enrolled in a minimum of six course credits or six non-topical research credits.


Student Employment

Federal Work-Study Program  Another form of University financial assistance based on demonstrated need is the Federal Work-Study Program. Students may be assigned part-time employment positions under this program in various University departments or offices.

Students are normally restricted to 20 hours of work per week while classes are in progress and to a maximum of 40 hours per week during vacation periods. The hourly rate and number of weekly work hours assigned are based upon the applicant's financial need and work experience. Students must be enrolled full-time and are paid weekly.


General Requirements for Financial Aid

Entrance Interviews  All first-time borrowers of Federal Student loans must be informed of their borrower obligations before their first loan disbursement can be credited. The loan entrance interview will ordinarily occur at the Office of Financial Aid, 918 N Emmet Street.

Exit Interviews  All Ford Federal Direct Loan recipients are required to complete exit interviews prior to leaving the University or to registering as less than half-time students. Ordinarily, borrowers of Ford Federal Direct Loans are provided loan repayment information by the Office of the Bursar during registration for the semester in which they plan to graduate. If this office fails to contact a borrower prior to the borrower's leaving the University or enrolling as less than a half-time student, it is the loan recipient's responsibility to contact the Office of the Bursar to schedule an exit interview and obtain loan repayment information. If a borrower fails to complete an exit interview, a hold will be placed on the borrower's official transcripts.

Department Award Information  It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the Office of Financial Aid with an official department letter indicating the applicant's award or denial status with regard to department funding through assistantships, graderships, fellowships, grants, scholarships or traineeships.

Non-University Awards  Applicants receiving financial assistance from non-University sources are required to notify the Office of Financial Aid about being awarded this assistance. If the applicant has previously accepted a financial aid package sufficient to meet demonstrated financial need, the Office of Financial Aid may be required to reduce the amount of the initial award package.

IRS Forms   All graduate applicants for financial assistance through the Office of Financial Aid must provide a copy of their Federal Income Tax Return (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) for the previous tax year before they can be considered for financial assistance.

Change in Financial Situation  Money available to applicants from any source including veteran's benefits, gifts, scholarships, grants, assistantships, graderships, or fellowships through outside organizations or through the academic department in which the student is enrolled is considered a resource when the applicant's financial need is determined. If any such resources become available after an award offer has been made or received, or if any of these presumed resources were not received, it is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the Office of Financial Aid. Receiving such assistance may necessitate a reduction in the financial assistance awarded the applicant by the University so that no applicant will receive funds in excess of demonstrated financial need. Conversely, losing such assistance may result in an award increase up to the level of demonstrated financial need.

Reapplication Requirement   Financial assistance is NOT automatically renewed from year to year. The amount of financial aid awarded each year is based on the evaluation of financial statements submitted each spring by the applicant and on the availability of funds. Should unusual circumstances occur which necessitate an immediate review, the facts should be brought to the attention of the aid administrator. Necessary adjustments will be made where justified.

Summer Financial Aid  Summer session applications are separate, are limited to federal loans and should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by April 15. The same FAFSA may be used to determine eligibility for both summer school and academic year financial assistance.


Student Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Financial Aid

The Rights of Federal Aid Recipients Include:
  1. The right to know what financial aid programs are available (see Financial Aid Programs).
  2. The right to know application deadlines for each program (see Application Procedures and Loans).
  3. The right to know the basis for financial aid decisions including the determination of need, and the calculation of student resources and student budgets (see General Information and the Federal Work-Study Award Letter).
  4. The right to know how much of demonstrated financial need has been met by the financial aid package (see the Federal Work-Study Award Letter or visit the Office of Financial Aid).
  5. The right to request an explanation of the funds included in the student aid package (see Financial Aid Programs).
  6. The right to know the school's refund policy (see Chapter 2).
  7. The right to know which of the funds in the aid package are loan and therefore must be repaid. This includes the right to know the rate of interest, the aggregate loan amount while in attendance at the University, the repayment procedures, the length of time permitted for repayment and when repayment begins (see Financial Aid Programs, loan section).

The Responsibilities of Federal Aid Recipients Include:

  1. Completing all application forms accurately and submitting them to the appropriate agency or office by the specified deadline.
  2. Providing correct information because misreporting information on financial aid application forms is a violation of U.S. Law and may be considered a criminal offense which could result in indictment under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  3. Returning all additional documentation, verification, corrections and update information requested either by the Office of Financial Aid or any other agency to which applications are submitted.
  4. Reading, understanding, and maintaining copies of all forms requiring the filer's signature.
  5. Accepting responsibility for all signed agreements, including repayment obligations for student loans.
  6. Performing the work agreed upon when accepting a Federal Work-Study award.
  7. Being aware of University refund policies and procedures.
  8. Completing the Ford Federal Direct Loan entrance interview and obtaining student loan borrower obligation information.
  9. Completing the Ford Federal Direct Loan exit interview and obtaining loan repayment information if student status is terminated or if less than half-time enrollment (six credits per semester) is anticipated.
  10. Maintaining current and accurate address information with the Office of the Registrar, Carruthers Hall.
  11. Completing the registration process and enrolling in courses early in the semester in order to receive loan disbursements on a timely basis (see Financial Aid Programs, Loan Disbursement Procedures section).

All inquiries concerning financial assistance for graduate students through either federal loan or employment programs should be directed to:

Office of Financial Aid to Students
University of Virginia
918 N. Emmet Street
P.O. Box 9021
Charlottesville, VA 22906-9021
Telephone: (804) 982-6000; (804) 982-HEAR V/TDD
Office Hours: 8:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday