By Hilerie Harris, marketing and communications coordinator, Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid[bs_row class=”row”]
[bs_col class=”col-sm-7″]Spring semester has started, and you may be thinking about how to pay for next school year. There are many options to help you pay for school, such as grants, loans, scholarships and work study. Check out our following guide on how to pay for school:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the Feb. 1 Priority Date to be considered for all aid options, including need-based scholarships, work-study and grants. Students can also qualify for federal student loans through the FAFSA. Even if you do not meet the financial aid priority date, you can potentially qualify for Federal Pell Grants and be offered loans.
The FAFSA is now available Oct. 1 of every year and will use tax information from two years prior. The 2017-18 FAFSA requires 2015 tax information.
Spring semester is when scholarship applications open around campus. Check the department of your major or offices, such as the Alumni Association for an application. Deadlines and procedures will vary with each department. To begin your search, visit our website for a list of campus scholarship resources.
Students can also search online to find additional scholarships. The University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid maintains an extensive list of online scholarship resources that includes search sites and scholarship postings.
There are a variety of scholarships available online, such as merit, community service, essay, video and much more. Deadlines and requirements will vary, so check the posting carefully.
Many University of Utah students work to pay for their education. One option is the Federal Work Study program. Students must qualify for a work study award through the FAFSA. Funding is limited, and it is advisable to complete the FAFSA and your financial aid file by the Feb. 1 Priority Date.
Students can also work in non-work study jobs on campus. Visit the University of Utah Human Resources website for a list of student jobs and apply using the online application system. One of the benefits of working on campus is flexibility — employers are able to work with your school schedule.
If you are interested in working off campus, Career Services is a good place to start. Career Services has a list of resources available for different kinds of employment, including internships.
If you have any questions about paying for school or need a little extra guidance, counselors in the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid can help. Visit financialaid.utah.edu or call 801-581-6211 for more information.[/bs_col]
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- Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)
The FSA ID is the user name and password that gives students access to Federal Student Aid’s websites (FAFSA, student loans) and serves as your legal signature.
Scholarships are funds that are typically awarded on merit and are not paid back.
Grants are funds students do not pay back and are based on financial need. The University of Utah awards federal, state and institutional grants to undergraduate students. To receive a grant, students must complete the FAFSA and qualify for financial need.
Student loans are a type of award that need to be paid back with interest. Currently, the interest rate for these loans is 3.76 percent. The interest rate typically changes every year, and an updated interest rate will be posted on July 1 of ever year. Students start paying the loans six months after graduating or leaving school. The loans typically awarded are unsubsided and subsidized loans. There are other loan options available. For more information, visit with a University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid counselor.
- Subsidized Loans: Loans that do not accumulate interest while the student is in school. These loans are for undergraduate students only.
- Unsubsidized Loans: Loans accumulate interest while the student is in school.
- Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Students will electronically sign an MPN when they take out a federal student loan for the first time. This agreement states you will pay back the loan.[/bs_well][/bs_col]