Financial Aid Basics

Cost of Attendance (COA)
Financial Need
Financial Aid Award
Repeat Coursework
Special Circumstances

Who is Eligible?

UAMS offers financial aid funds to assist students and their families with educational expenses.  To be considered for financial aid through the UAMS Student Financial Services – Financial Aid Office, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program as a regular degree-seeking student.  Non-degree seeking and students enrolled less-than half-time are NOT eligible for aid.  Financial Aid enrollment status is defined below as the following:
        • All Undergraduate Programs(Fall, Spring & Summer) 12 hours = Full-time, 6 hours = Half-time
        • All Graduate Level Programs – (Fall, Spring) 9 hours = Full-time, 5 hours = Half-time, (Summer) 5 hours = Full-time, 3 hours = Half-time
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen
  • Make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of the academic program: Student Financial Services SAP Policy                                                     
  • Must not be in default on a Federal Perkins loan, Federal Stafford loan, Federal PLUS loan, or Federal SLS loan; and not more than 90 days delinquent on repayment of a consolidated loan
  • Students who do not owe a refund on a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Registered for Selective Service (if applicable)

When possible, aid will be offered to meet the full amount of the student’s eligibility.  Financial aid is awarded based on full-time enrollment (12 or more hours undergraduate, 9 or more hours graduate/professional) at UAMS.  All aid awarded is subject to change based on number of hours enrolled.

Cost of Attendance

 A student’s Cost of Attendance (COA), also known as  the student’s budget, is an estimate of the student’s educational expenses for the period of enrollment and includes the following components:  tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, health insurance and miscellaneous expenses.  The COA is determined using rules established by federal regulations and is based on average expenses for students with a similar academic workload and living arrangements, rather than actual expenses.  This number is used by the school to determine the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive for the current academic award year.  Please remember student financial aid is designed to meet the most basic educational needs of students and is not designed to fully support a student and his/her family.

The 2017-18 student budgets are:

  • College of Health Professions
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Public Health
  • Graduate School

The COA does not represent actual charges on a student’s account.  To obtain actual charges, please visit the GUS Student Portal.

Contact our office if you have any special circumstances that you believe would warrant an increase in your COA; but remember student financial aid is designed to meet the most basic educational needs of students.  Our office will approve requests on a case by case basis.  Additional documents and/or receipts will be required.  Some expenses cannot be covered with educational aid, so you will need to have an alternative source of funds (savings, family support or spousal income) to pay for these costs.  The following is a list of expenses that can be used to increase your COA.

Child Care Expenses:  You may request that reasonable child care costs be included in your budget.  See the childcare increase form under the forms section of this site.

Computer Purchase:   You may be reimbursed for a one-time purchase of a computer up to $1,650.00.  See the computer budget form under the forms section of this site.

Determining Financial Need

The following formula determines a student’s financial need:

  Cost of Attendance (COA)
– Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
=Financial Need

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated based on the information a student provides on the FAFSA.  There are three basic EFC calculations as determined by Federal Regulations:

  1. Dependent Students – The EFC for a dependent student is calculated using the FAFSA data for the student and his parents. CPS calculates the parents’ contribution (which includes their assets), the student’s contribution from income, and the student’s contribution from assets; the EFC is the sum of these three. (2013-14 Application and Verification Guide)
  2. Independent Students (and Spouse) – The EFC for an independent student without dependents other than a spouse is calculated using the FAFSA information for the student and spouse. The CPS calculates a contribution from available income and a contribution from assets. The sum of these two is divided by the number in college in 2013–2014, as reported on the FAFSA. The result is the EFC for the 2013– 2014 award period. (2013-14 Application and Verification Guide)
  3. Independent Students with Dependents – The EFC for an independent student with dependents other than a spouse is calculated using the information for the student and spouse provided on the FAFSA. The formula is almost the same as the formula for the parents of a dependent student. There are three basic steps. First, the student’s available income is determined. Then, the student’s contribution from assets is calculated. Finally, the EFC is calculated using the available income, the contribution from assets, and the number in college. (2013-14 Application and Verification Guide)

Need based aid and other Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) received from all sources (scholarships, grants, loans, discounts, waivers, WIA, outside pays, etc.) cannot exceed a student’s financial need or an over-award occurs.  An over-award requires federal aid to be adjusted.  Adjustments of federal aid can occur at any time.

Financial Aid Award

A student cannot receive more than his/her “Financial Need” in need-based financial aid programs.

  Financial Need
– EFA, Scholarships, Grants, Loans 
=Unmet Need

There are several sources of non-need based aid such as Unsubsidized and Graduate Plus Loans.  Total financial assistance, including need based and non-need based aid, cannot exceed the student’s COA.   Adjustments will be made at any time to prevent an over-award.

Financial aid award letters are automatically emailed to students whose aid application is compete.  If you have completed the FAFSA and have not received an award letter, please contact our office at (501) 686-5451.  If you have not completed the FAFSA, please visit the “How to Apply” section of this site.

Repeat Coursework

A student may retake a previously passed course only once for financial aid purposes

  • For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than an “F.”
  • The retaken class will be counted towards a student’s enrollment status and the student may be awarded Title IV aid for the enrollment staus.
  • If a student passes a class once, and then retakes the course and fails the second time, that failure counts as the second attempt at a previously passed course and the student may NOT be paid for retaking the class a third time.
  • A student may be repeatedly paid for repeatedly failing the same course.  Note that the UAMS SAP policy still applies.
  • If a student withdraws before completing the course that he or she is retaking, then that attempt is not counted as his or her one allowed retake for that course.

Special Circumstances

If you feel you have unusual or extenuating circumstances that are not addressed by our policies, you may submit a written request for review also so known as a Professional Judgement (PJ).  Supporting documentation must be provided with your request.  Failure to do so may result in denial of any request or SAP appeal.  All inforamtion will become part of the student record and will not be returned.  Students with extenuating circumstances (PJ) or SAP appeal, requiring additional processing time, are responsible for payment of tuition, fees and other charges.  Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Change in Dependency Status
  • Financial Reconsideration
  • SAP Appeal