Paying For College
Students Studying Online Can Apply For Scholarships and Other Financial Aid
Your first and most important step is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine eligibility. The application is FREE and required for federal, state, and certain scholarship opportunities, including Pell Grants. The sooner you apply, the more options you can consider.
Visit the U of A Financial Aid website for details about financial aid programs, to view how-to instructional videos, or to connect with U of A staff in the financial aid office.
Students usually do not repay grants, which are typically based on financial need. You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for a federal grant. The most well-known grant is the Federal Pell Grant.
Students must repay loans with interest. Loans can be federally or privately funded, allowing students to borrow money for college.
Get federal loan information from the University of Arkansas’ financial aid website.
The University of Arkansas provides a Veteran and Military-Affiliated Student Center. See the center’s Military Tuition Assistance page for more information.
Some employers provide tuition assistance or other support for college. Ask your supervisor or human resources manager.
Frequently Asked Questions
The University of Arkansas will determine your eligibility for financial assistance using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) which is based on your (or your family’s) various tax and income documentation. The FAFSA will then factor that in with other life situations (family size, year in school, financial hardship, etc.) and give you (and the school) your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The lower your EFC, the higher your chance of receiving a larger aid amount.
A key point to stress when wanting to get the most aid possible is to get the FAFSA in as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more limited your options become (for instance federal aid closes, which pushes you to private loan options). You can complete the FAFSA during the application process for our programs since it will allow you to send your FAFSA to all the schools you are interested in. The U of A financial aid office strongly encourages students to get the FAFSA in ASAP with a priority deadline for a fall start term of Dec. 1 of the prior year. However, you could complete it as late as May/June.
Gather your documents before you begin the process. The FAFSA form begins by asking for information about you, such as your grades in school, prior education, and other basic information. It will also ask questions to determine if your parents' information should be included in the application. If it determines that parent information is required, your parents will need to provide demographic information. Finally, it will ask for details about your and/or your parents' finances.
The Federal Student Aid website provides a video and detailed information. That site says you might need:
- Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
- Your driver’s license number if you have one
- Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal tax information, tax documents, or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information,
for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent
- IRS Form 1040
- Foreign tax return or IRS Form 1040-NR
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
- Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you and for your parents if you are a dependent student