What is financial aid?
Financial aid consists of federal, state and institutional funds such as grants, loans, work-study and scholarships. To apply for these funds, students must complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable aid year. This must be done each year. You will need UTSA's federal school code which is 010115. The priority deadline to submit your FAFSA application to UTSA for fall applicants is March 15.
Deadlines and Funding Availability
Financial aid is awarded based on the following: availability of funds, demonstrated financial need, academic performance, new student admittance to the University by March 15 for fall, UTSA's receipt of a FAFSA free from rejects by March 15 and our receipt of the General Scholarship Application by February 15. Students must be admitted to UTSA to be given a financial aid award. Please note that the FAFSA is a free service. You should never pay to fill out a FAFSA. If you encounter issues or have questions regarding this process, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial aid is typically awarded for the fall and spring semesters. If you wish to be awarded for the summer, you must have Summer Application submitted to our office in addition to completing the FAFSA. The Summer Application is available to fill out through ASAP each year. Check out our Summer Financial Aid page for information on priority deadlines. The FAFSA is available for each aid year between January 1 and the following June 30th. For 2013-2014, the FAFSA is available January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.
Eligible Programs for Financial Aid
In order to receive financial aid, students must be actively seeking a degree at UTSA (Bachelor's Master's or Doctoral) or an approved 2-year certification program. Currently, K-12 teaching certification is the only approved certification program for financial aid at UTSA. Certification programs such as principal certification, paralegal studies, urban and regional planning, higher education, etc. are not approved programs for financial aid. Non-degree-seeking students or those who are taking classes as prerequisites and not seeking a degree at UTSA do not qualify for financial aid.
Applying for financial aid
Paperwork needed to fill out the FAFSA
What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
Common FAFSA Mistakes to Avoid
Verification- Why am I Selected?
Special Financial Circumstances (for those encountering financial hardships)
Notification of awards
Prepaid Tuition Plans, 3rd Party Payments and Exemptions
Other Payment Options
Disbursement of Financial Aid
Appealing a Financial Aid Decision
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
All US citizens and certain eligible non-citizens (such as permanent residents) can apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. The FAFSA is used to award federal, state and insitutional funds at UTSA. UTSA's federal school code is 010115. Financial aid is typically awarded for fall and spring semesters. To be considered for summer aid, students must submit a Summer Application on ASAP in addition to having a FAFSA on file.
In certain cases, students who are residents of Texas but are not US citizens or permanent residents may qualify for state aid through the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).This is in accordance with Texas House Bill 1403 as passed by the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001. Students who meet this criteria do not qualify for federal aid. Please visit our HB1403 webpage for more information about applying for state aid.
International students may apply for a limited pool of grant funds through a seperate application process. For more information, please visit our International Aid Programs webpage.
In order to fill out the FAFSA, you will typically need
- Your social security number and/or alien registration number
- Your previous year's W2s and any other records of money earned such as 1099s
- Your (and your parents' if dependent or spouse's if married) previous year's federal income tax returns
- Any untaxed income records
It is possible to estimate your earnings using an end of year pay stub if you have not yet filed taxes for the applicable aid year. Keep in mind that you must estimate as accurately as possible as all students will be required to update their FAFSA will filed tax data by April 15 of each year. The Department of Education is making it eaiser than every to update your FAFSA with filed tax data by allowing students to link to the IRS from their FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
When applying for student aid, the information you report on the FAFSA issued to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The formula used to calculate your EFC is established by law and is used to measure your family's financial strength on the basis of your family's income, assets, family size and number in college. The EFC is not an amount you are required to pay to UTSA, but rather is a figure that is determined that you and your parents can contribute toward your education over the course of a year.
The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal aid as well as state and institutional aid. The Cost of Attendance (COA or budget) listed on your award letter is also used to help determine your financial need in conjuction with the EFC using this formula:
Cost of Attendance
-- Expected Family Contribution
= Financial Need
Your eligibility for need-based aid is determined by subtracting other outside financial assistance (such as scholarships, tuition exemptions, etc) from the calculated need. Students are not allowed to exceed their cost of attendance.
Texas Tomorrow Fund and other 529 Plans
If you invested in the Texas Tomorrow Fund or another 529 Plan and wish to use this to pay for your student's tuition and fees, this is done through the Office of Fiscal Services. For more information about how to use this to pay your student's tuition and fees, please visit Fiscal Services' webpage or email email@example.com.
3rd Party Payments
If your place of employment or another outside agency will be paying your tuition and fees, you must notify Fiscal Services in order for payments to be applied. Please note that these do count as financial aid and you must disclose the amount that you plan to receive. You can do this by submitting an External Resource Form for the appropriate aid year. If you do not disclose this information and aid has already been awarded or disbursed, there may be adjustments to your financial aid to include these amounts.
Exemptions are a type of financial assistance allowing some Texas residents to attend a public college or university in Texas without paying tuition, or in some cases tuition and fees. Please review the College for All Texans website for a full list of exemption programs available. Note that these exemptions do count as financial aid and you must disclose the amount that you plan to recieve. You can do this by submitting an External Resource Form for the appropriate aid year. If you do not disclose this information and aid has already been awarded or disbursed, there may be adjustments to your financial aid to include these amounts.
All students (first-time and prior recipients of financial aid) at UTSA are notified of financial aid awards through an email notification sent to the preferred email account as indicated on ASAP. All students may accept or decline financial aid awards online on ASAP. View our tutorial for guidance on how to navigate ASAP for financial aid purposes and see below for details on when awards should be expected by semester:
Students entering the Fall semester
First time students (freshman, graduate and transfer) are typically awarded for the fall semester in mid-April each year. Continuing UTSA students and returning or re-admitted UTSA students are typically awarded for the fall semester in June of each year. This is to ensure that continuing and readmitted students are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress and are eligible to continue receiving financial aid.
Students entering the Spring semester
Students meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress are notified of awards if starting in the spring semester late November and early December of each year.
Summer Financial Aid
Students meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress must have both a FAFSA on file as well as submit a Summer Application (available to fill out through ASAP) in order to be awarded for the summer semester. Typically, awarding takes place late April and early May.
Some students are considered independent and may file the FAFSA without including parental information. In order to qualify for independent status, you must be able to answer "yes" to one of the following questions and be able to provide documentation
- Where you born before January 1, 1990 (for 2013-2014)?
- As of today, are you married? (also answer "yes" if you are separated but not divorced)
- At the beginning of 2013-2014, will you be working on a Master's or Doctoral degree?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
- Do you have children who will receive more than half of your support between July 1, 2013 and June 20, 2014?
- Do you have other dependents who will receive more than half of your support between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014?*
- At any time since you turned the age of 13, were both of your parents deceased, or were you in foster care or a dependent or ward of the court?*
- As determined by a court, were you legally declared an emancipated minor?*
- As determined by a court, are you or were you placed under guardianship?*
- At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?*
- At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?*
- At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?*
*Will require documentation prior to disbursement to prove independent status.
If you cannot answer yes to one or more of the questions listed above, you will be considered a dependent student for FAFSA filing purposes regardless if you demonstrate total self-sufficiency. Occasionally, an unusual circumstance may exist that may warrant a review of a student's dependent status. You may review our Request for Independent Status procedures for more information.
Students have the right to appeal any decision made by the Office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services. However, the decision of the appeals committee is final, and no exceptions can be made for requests in violation of the Federal and State regulations, which govern financial aid. You are encouraged to consult with a financial aid adviser before you file the appeal so that we can explain the appeals process and documentation needed.
All appeals should be addressed to the Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services Appeal Committee. The Committee responds to all correspondence within a reasonable period of time (generally within two weeks of receipt, unless substantial documentation is required). Students are notified of the committee’s decision via their preferred email address.
Membership of the committee consists of both the directors of Financial Aid and Enrollment Services, the Financial Aid Ombudsperson, a member of the Compliance Team and two other managers.