FAQ General Information
Student Financial Services
General Financial Aid Information
Who should I contact if:
- I need help completing the FAFSA or need to check the status of my federal application?
- Contact the US Department of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID, or visit their website at www.fafsa.gov
- I need assistance in applying for GI or Veterans' Benefits?
The University of North Alabama's Veterans' representative, Jeannie Kilpatrick, is located at 119 Bibb Graves Hall. To contact this office, you may phone 256-765-4971 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- I am having problems with my PIN?
Students and parents can request a duplicate PIN, change their PIN, or receive assistance with their PIN by visiting www.pin.ed.gov
Can I get a paper copy of the FAFSA?
The US Department of Education no longer supplies UNA with paper versions of the FAFSA. If you prefer to mail a copy of your application you may print or request a copy to be mailed to you at www.fafsa.gov or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID. Note that paper applications may result in a longer processing time.
How do I add your school code to my FAFSA?
If you have already submitted your financial aid application and want to make your FAFSA information available to an additional school, visit www.fafsa.gov and select "Add or Delete a School Code." Alternatively, a student may call the FSAIC at 1-800-4-FED-AID to add the school. In this case, you will be asked to provide your DRN number from the Student Aid Report. UNA's school code is 001016.
Do I/my parents make too much money to qualify for aid?
There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors besides income - from the size of your family to the age of your older parent - are taken into account. Your eligibility is determined by a mathematical formula, not by income alone. If you do not qualify for grant funds, you will qualify for loan funds as long as you are meeting satisfactory academic progress. Don't make assumptions about what you will get; the application is free to file, so we recommend that you complete it to determine your eligibility. You will not be required to accept any aid that you do not want to receive.
Where can I get the forms that I need for financial aid?
Visit our Forms page for current forms and more information. Most forms are available here. There are paper copies of all available forms in our office in Room 318 of the Commons building.
How can I get a copy of my tax return transcript?
You may request a tax return transcript from the Internal Revenue Service by visiting www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946.
Please note the a Tax Account Transcript is not the same thing as a Tax Return Transcript, and cannot be accepted.
State tax returns should not be used to complete the FAFSA or the verification process.
What is "verification?" Does it mean I did something wrong on the FAFSA?
Verification is the process whereby we review the information that you reported on your FAFSA and compare the figures to you and/or your parents' tax returns. The Federal Processor selects about 30% of our financial aid applicants to be verified. It does not mean that you made a mistake or that you are suspected of misreporting. It simply means that you were picked as part of a sample to be reviewed. If your file is chosen to be verified, it is important for you to submit any requested documents as quickly as possible. Financial aid cannot be offered to you until verification has been completed.
If I was selected to be verified last year, does that mean that I will also be selected again this year?
Not necessarily. You will know when you receive your Student Aid Report each year if you have been selected to be verified. Check your UNA Portal account for notification of any outstanding requirements.
How do I know if I am considered a dependent or an independent student for financial aid purposes?
There are thirteen questions on the FAFSA which you must answer to determine your dependency status for financial aid purposes. Keep in mind that your dependency status for financial aid purposes is not based upon IRS tax filing criteria, but is based solely on your responses to the dependency status questions outlines on the FAFSA.
- What if my parents don't want to help me pay for college?
They don't have to, but you will need their information to put together a picture of your family's financial situation. This helps determine how much help the government can give you to pay for school.
- What if my parents don't want to provide their private information on the FAFSA?
The information that you provide on the FAFSA is secure. We recommend that you complete the application online, where your information is put into special code before it is processed. The US Department of Education will not share your information with anyone except the schools that you indicate and a few federal agencies (so they can check to make sure that you've reported your information accurately).
What if I don't live with my parents?
You must still answer the questions about them if you are considered to be a dependent student.
- Who is my "parent" when I file the FAFSA?
If your parents are living and married to each other, answer the questions about them. If your parents are living together and are not married, but meet the criteria in your state for common-law marriage, answer the questions about both of them. If your parent is widowed or single, answer the questions about that parent. If your widowed parent is remarried as of the day that you complete the FAFSA, answer the questions about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent). If your parents are divorced or separated, answer the questions about the parent whom you lived with/provided greater financial support over the last 12 months.
The following people are not considered your parents unless they have legally adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older siblings, uncles or aunts.
I applied for and received financial aid last year. I haven't received any this year. Why?
You must reapply for financial aid each year. Applications are available each January for the upcoming academic year, which begins with the Fall Term.
Visit www.fafsa.gov to apply.
I plan to attend during the summer term, but my award letter only shows amounts for fall and spring semesters. Why?
Financial aid for summer is awarded separately. Generally, we offer your maximum eligibility for fall and spring. If you plan to attend summer term and accept all of the aid offered to you for fall and spring, you may have no remaining eligibility for summer term. We review summer aid eligibility after you have registered for summer term. Please contact our office if you are interested in receiving financial aid during the summer term.
I received a letter that says I haven't met Satisfactory Academic Progress. What should I do?
If you have been notified by our office that you are not making satisfactory academic progress and you feel that there are extenuating circumstances that you wish us to consider, you may file an appeal with the office of Student Financial Services. Your explanation will be reviewed and you will be notified as to whether you will be given a conditional exception to these standards.
What are the minimum required credit hours to receive aid?
For most grants and scholarships, full-time enrollment (12 semester hours) is required. For student loans, half-time enrollment (6 hours for both undergraduates and graduates) is required.
I want to drop a class. How will this affect my financial aid?
If you withdraw or drop below full-time status, you may have to repay all or part of your loans and/or grants. Contact Student Financial Services before you decide to drop a class or withdraw completely.
Billing and Refund Checks
When can I expect to receive a bill from UNA for tuition/housing?
Billing statements are sent monthly and are available on UNA E-Bill for all currently enrolled UNA students. Email notices for fall bills are generally scheduled mid-July, with a due date of early/mid-August. Email notices for spring bills are generally scheduled mid-November, with a due date of early/mid December. Email notices for summer bills are generally scheduled mid-April, with a due date of early/mid-May.
If the financial aid shown on your bill is not enough to cover the amount due, you must pay the difference by the due date or your class schedule is subject to cancellation. More information on your student account can be found here.
What address are my bills mailed to? My financial aid documents? My refund checks?
Paper bills are NOT mailed for currently enrolled students. See the question above for E-Bill information. New and current students will receive most financial aid correspondence via UNA email and UNA Portal.
Refund checks are mailed to your UNA Post Office Box. If you have not been assigned a box, your check will be mailed to your permanent home address.
Can I pick up my refund check instead of having it mailed?
No, you cannot pick up a check in person.
My award letter says that I am entitled to $1250 in Federal Work Study per semester, but it does not show up on my bill. Why?
Some types of financial aid reflected on your award letter are not disbursed to your student account. Federal Work Study is an example of this type of aid. These funds must be earned over the course of the term. The figure reflected on the award letter is the maximum potential earnings you are allowed per semester. UNA Work Study students receive a paycheck monthly for the hours worked and reported on a time sheet through the hiring department.
For more information on your student account, see the Business Office FAQ page.