skip to main content

Navigating the Financial Aid Process

Scholarship Application Form Online

You’ve decided to pursue a degree by distance through The University of Alabama – congratulations! The application process, which often includes completing an application for financial aid, can be stressful. Here are answers to some common questions about financial aid that might help make the process go more smoothly.

What’s the cost of earning my degree online through UA?

Not only do distance students have the opportunity to earn a UA degree from any location, they also have the benefit of paying a discounted tuition rate. This distance learning tuition rate excludes many fees typically paid by on-campus students. Find updated tuition rates and to learn more about fees related to your specific program here.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Eligible students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between October 1 and March 15 to be considered for financial aid. Eligibility requirements are available at the Federal Student Aid website. The University will send you a notice when reward offers are made, and you’ll be responsible for accepting or denying those loans or aid. (Applying for financial aid does not guarantee that aid will be awarded.)

What’s the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

The main difference between the two loan types is the interest rate and when loans start to accrue interest. Neither loan needs to be paid until you finish school, but an unsubsidized loan starts to accrue interest as soon as you receive the money. Interest on a subsidized loan does not begin to accrue until after you graduate or leave school.

Only undergraduates with demonstrated financial need are eligible for subsidized loans, while unsubsidized loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students with no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Interest on either loan may be paid at any time while you’re still enrolled, which minimizes the amount of interest you have to pay in the long run. 

Do I have to apply for aid every year?

You will need to submit a FAFSA each academic year. After your first year, you have the option of submitting a renewal FAFSA . The renewal FAFSA form is pre-filled with information you submitted the previous year. You’ll need to update any information that has changed.

When will my aid show up in my student account?

Funds are typically disbursed a few days before classes start. Refunds for academic expenses already incurred should arrive around the same time.

For a more exhaustive list of questions and answers regarding the financial aid process, visit UA’s Office of Student Financial Aid website or call (205) 348-6756.