Financial Aid Overview

What is Federal Financial Aid

As the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation, the Department of Education Federal Student Aid application might be the most worthwhile to complete. The different types of aid offered through FSA include:

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Work Study
  • Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • PLUS loans

Learn more about Federal Financial Aid


Applying for Federal Financial Aid

To receive federal financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. The FAFSA is available online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa or by downloading the MyStudentAid mobile app. You will need to use your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID and a copy of your tax return from the year indicated on the FAFSA. If you are a dependent, you will need your parent's or guardian's tax information. It is best to start the application process as soon as possible each year beginning October 1.

Note: When you have completed the FAFSA, document and save the Confirmation Number you receive after transmitting your application.

Learn more about applying for Federal Financial Aid


Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

To receive any kind of Federal Financial Aid, a student must:

  • Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program.
  • Complete the application process through the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Not be in default on any Title IV loan or owe a refund on any Title IV aid.
  • Not have a drug-related conviction.
  • Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen.

Learn more about Federal Financial Aid eligibility


Requirements for Continuing Eligibility of Federal Financial Aid

Continuing eligibility for federal financial aid requires the student to:

  • Complete your FAFSA form each year.
  • Remain enrolled in a minimum of six hours for undergraduate students who have loans.

Federal regulation requires that a student must be making satisfactory academic progress, which includes:

  • Quantitative requirements: The student must pass a minimum of 66.67% of the credits attempted while attending the university and attempt less than 150% of the number of credits required for graduation.
  • Qualitative requirements: The student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater.

Academic Challenge and Other State of Arkansas Aid

The Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to high school graduates who meet the awarding criteria. Limited funding is also available to current undergraduate students. The state scholarship deadline is July 1 each year for most programs; however, the Governor's Distinguished and Governor's Scholars deadlines are both February 1. Students are notified by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education as to which scholarships will be awarded, and that information is sent to the university during the summer so the awards can be added to the students' financial aid packages.

For more information on various aid programs offered by the state of Arkansas, view the full listing of available aid and the requirements for the aid on the Find Money for College page.

Learn more about Academic Challenge and other state of Arkansas aid


Applying for State Aid

To apply for state scholarships, both the YOUniversal application and the FAFSA are required.

To complete the YOUniversal, go to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education website at http://scholarships.adhe.edu/. This link has the single online application that is reviewed by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education for Arkansas state scholarship programs, such as the Arkansas Academic Challenge (Lottery) Scholarship, the Governor's Distinguished Scholarship and more.

The FAFSA form can be completed online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa.

More information about state aid is available on the ADHE website under Scholarships and Programs. If you have questions regarding the application process, call the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (501-371-2050) or email finaid@adhe.edu.


Requirements for Continuing Eligibility of State Aid

  • For traditional Academic Challenge Scholarship and Governor's Distinguished Scholar award recipients, students must complete 30 credit hours per academic year (an exception of only 27 hours is made for first semester freshman recipients) and maintain the GPA required for that award.
  • Non-traditional Academic Challenge Scholarship recipients should refer to the program rules sent to them by ADHE regarding the required number of hours to be completed each year.
  • Review information on the state website for renewal requirements for your state-specific program.

University Academic Scholarships

To view information about academic scholarships available to new and currently enrolled students, visit the Academic Scholarship Office website at scholarships.uark.edu.

Most academic scholarships require a completion of 30 credit hours per academic year with a minimum 3.00 GPA. Detailed information regarding reviewing University of Arkansas scholarships can be found at Scholarship Award and Renewability Information.

Information for eligibility and renewal of a non-resident tuition award (NRTA) is also on the Scholarship Office website.

Learn more about University Academic Scholarships


Financial Aid Disbursement

The Treasurer's Office posts financial aid to your student account when financial aid has been disbursed. For disbursement dates and refund information. visit the Financial Aid Disbursement information on the Treasurer's Office website.

Per federal regulation, disbursement of financial aid can begin 10 days prior to the first day of class for the regular session. Students must meet all eligibility requirements for financial aid before any refund will be processed.

The Treasurer's Office will deduct all amounts owed to the University of Arkansas from the non-federal excess funds. The university, in compliance with federal regulations, must obtain voluntary authorization from the student to apply excess federal financial aid funds to pay for charges other than current term tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board contracted by the university. By granting permission to the university, the student is permitting these funds to be applied to charges related to current term education-related goods, as well as services up to $200 of prior term tuition, mandatory fees, room and board contracted by the university, and education-related goods and services. Federal funds may only be used for the following:

  • Current academic year tuition and fees (as described in Section 472 of the Higher Education Act) and housing.
  • Other current charges that a student has incurred for education-related activities if written authorization is received from the student (parent in the case of a PLUS loan).
  • Prior award year charges for tuition and fees, housing, (and with permission, education-related charges) for a total of not more than $200.

Learn more about Financial Aid Disbursement


Disbursement Delays

Until all processing requirements for a given type of financial aid are met by the student, (hours of enrollment per term, MPN and entrance counseling completed), the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is unable to release the funds to the Treasurer's Office for disbursement. Students should check their To Do's tile on UAConnect for documents needed or actions to be taken. Items on the To Do's list will trigger a message to the student's UARK email account with more detail.

screenshot of uaconnect to do list

Any financial aid received in the form of a paper check with the student listed as a payee requires an endorsement after it is in the possession of the University Cashiers Office, ARKU 214, before it can be disbursed.


Financial Aid Refunds

The University of Arkansas has partnered with BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank, to deliver financial aid and other school refunds to University of Arkansas students. Learn more about BankMobile refund choices.

At the start of each semester refunds will begin to be processed three business days after the first day of financial aid disbursement.

Note: Financial aid will only pay what is charged to a student account at the time financial aid is disbursed. If charges are incurred by the student after all financial aid has been applied, the student will be responsible for the balance owed.

Learn more about Financial Aid Refunds

  Financial Aid Overview (pdf)