Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. Why do I have to do both the FAFSA and a UVA financial aid application?
  2. Do I have to provide my parents' information?
  3. What if my parents are divorced?
  4. Why do I have to provide parent information?  They're not going to help me with medical school.
  5. I'm having trouble logging into SIS - so I can't do my financial aid application!  What should I do?
  6. It's July and I haven't received a preliminary award email yet.  Why?
  7. How much money should I request? Should I just accept the numbers already filled in?
  8. How do I choose a lender for my federal loans?
  9. My official award letter doesn't list my federal or school loans - why not?
  10. Why does my official award letter list all of these different funds with different amounts of money?
  11. Why doesn't my tuition bill show my financial aid?
  12. How do I get my financial aid money?
  13. I only requested part of my loan eligibility, but now I'm broke.  Can I request more money?
  14. Are students typically able to stay within the budget for living expenses?
  15. How will using the payment plan affect my financial aid?
  16. I'm currently an out-of-state student.  How can I become in-state?
  17. Why haven't I received a tuition bill?
  18. My parents want to claim me as a dependent on their tax returns.  Will that hurt my chances of getting financial aid?
  19. Can I appeal my financial aid eligibility?
  20. Will my award stay the same from year to year?

 

 

1.  Why do I have to do both the FAFSA and a UVA financial aid application?
The UVA financial aid application asks for some information that is not included on the FAFSA, portions of which may help us to determine if a student is eligible for restricted scholarship funds.  It also allows the student the opportunity to provide information about special circumstances which may affect financial aid eligibility and to report outside scholarships.  You must do both because special circumstances may affect both federal and institutional needs analysis calculations.
 

2.  Do I have to provide my parents' information?
Yes, if you want to apply for both federal and institutional (scholarship) aid.  If you are only applying for federal aid (loans), you do not have to provide your parents' information.  If you are married and your spouse is not a student, you do not have to provide your parents' information.  For more information, please see our Policies page.
 

3.  What if my parents are divorced?
If your parents divorced while you were a minor, then you should provide information for your custodial parent's household.  The "household" includes the custodial parent's spouse, if remarried.  If your parents divorced after you reached legal age, then you should provide information and tax returns for both parent households.
 

4.  Why do I have to provide parent information?  They're not going to help me with medical school.
Medical school funds are limited, and although all students are considered "independent," we cannot fully fund all students with scholarship money.  We use the calculated parent contribution from the federal needs analysis formula to "rank" students according to need to distribute scholarship funds.  Part or all of the calculated parent contribution can be replaced with loans if your parents will not be helping to finance your medical education.  For more information about the calculated parent contribution and how we use it, please click here.
 

5.  I'm having trouble logging into SIS - so I can't do my financial aid application!  What should I do?
Call or email Tonya Shifflett at (434) 924-0033 or tss8v@virginia.edu.
 

6.  It's July and I haven't received a preliminary award email yet.  Why?
We may still be waiting on application documents.  Log into the Student System and view your "To Do" list.  If all documents have been submitted, please contact us immediately.
 

7.  How much money should I request? Should I just accept the numbers already filled in?
No.  When you log into the Student Information System to accept your loans, you should request the amount of loan money that you think you will need for the year.  Unsubsidized loans start accruing interest right away, so you only want to borrow what is absolutely necessary.  You can request more loans during the school year, if needed, until March.  Most students are able to get by borrowing less than the maximum, thanks to family help, personal savings, and/or careful budgeting.  To help you get an idea of your budget numbers and determine how much you may need to borrow, we have created a budget worksheet that calculates your total expenses and total resources.  If you have any questions about completing this worksheet, please contact your counselor.

 

8.  How do I choose a lender for my federal loans?
You don't.  Beginning in 2010-11, all schools will offer federal loans though the Direct Lending program.  This means you do not have to choose a lender; your federal loans will come directly from the government.
 

9.  My official award letter doesn't list my federal or school loans - why not?
We are probably waiting for you to accept your loans in the Student Information System.  It could be a matter of timing, in which case you will soon receive a revised award letter.  If you have accepted your loans online more than a week prior to receiving your award letter, and the loans are still not on your award letter, please contact your financial aid counselor.
 

10.  Why does my official award letter list all of these different funds with different amounts of money?
Your financial aid award consists of a package of aid - seldom is one source sufficient to cover your entire award.  Our school aid (loans and scholarships) comes from many different endowments, donated to the Medical School by individuals and organizations.  These endowments may be donor-restricted by geographic origin, merit, generalist or other specialty interest, or any number of criteria.  For example, if you are from Lynchburg and are receiving a $13,000 need-based scholarship from the UVA School of Medicine, we may award you $10,000 from the John Doe non-restricted Scholarship Fund and $3,000 from the Lynchburg Scholarship fund.
 

11.  Why doesn't my tuition bill show my financial aid?
If your tuition bill does not show your loans, you may not have accepted your loans online in SIS.  If you hve accepted your loans online it may just be a matter of timing.  Even if your financial aid has not yet been credited to your account, you do not need to pay any amount on your tuition bill that will be covered by financial aid, as shown on your official award letter.
 

12.  How do I get my financial aid money?
All financial aid from all sources comes to the school and is credited towards payment of tuition and fees first.  If your total financial aid package exceeds the amount of tuition and fees, then the overage will be refunded to you for living expenses.  If you are set up for direct deposit with the University, you will receive the funds approximately 7-10 days after the official start of the semester.  If you receive your refund by check, it will be mailed to your local address and  may take up to two weeks.  Make sure your address is updated in SIS.
 

13.  I only requested part of my loan eligibility, but now I'm broke.  Can I request more money?
Absolutely.  If you did not use all of your school or federal loan eligibility, and decide later that you need more money, just contact your counselor before March 1st.
 

14.  Are students typically able to stay within the budget for living expenses?
Yes.  With reasonable budgeting, our Cost of Attendance is more than adequate for most students.  Our budget for living expenses assumes that you will share a house or apartment with a roommate.  We strongly recommend that you complete the budget worksheet.  Budget counseling is available if you are having trouble staying within the living expenses guidelines; just contact your counselor.  
 

15.  How will using the payment plan affect my financial aid?
If you are going to receive enough financial aid to cover the cost of tuition (or more), we do not recommend using the payment plan.  Using the payment plan will delay the receipt of your refund needed for living expenses.  Please contact your counselor if you have questions.
 

16.  I'm currently an out-of-state student.  How can I become in-state?
For information on Virginia residency status: click here.  If you still have questions, contact the Committee on Virginia Status of University Students, P.O. Box 9071, Charlottesville, VA 22906 or call their office at 434-982-3391.
 

17.  Why haven't I received a tuition bill?
Tuition bills are now online; you will not receive a paper bill.  Students will receive an email about their bill each semester.  You may click on the link in the email to view your bill, or you may log in to SIS and click on QuikPay@UVA.  You should set up your parents as "authorized payers" if you want them to be able to view and pay your tuition bill online. 
 

18.  My parents want to claim me as a dependent on their tax returns.  Will that hurt my chances of getting financial aid?
For financial aid purposes, it does not matter if your parents claim you as a dependent.  You will always be considered independent for federal aid, and we will always need your parents' information for you to apply for school aid, regardless of your tax status. 
 

19.  Can I appeal my financial aid eligibility?
Our office awards need-based financial aid, which is determined by the formulas explained in our packaging examples.  The financial aid process already takes into account the special circumstances you reported on your financial aid application.  If however, you discover that you made a mistake in the information you provided in your application, or if additional special circumstances (that were not reported on your original application) have arisen, please contact your counselor so that we can review the new information.

 

20.  Will my award stay the same from year to year?

Not necessarily.  You must reapply for financial aid each year, and generally if your family situation does not change, your award is likely to stay the same.  However, changes in your family circumstances, particularly a sibling entering or leaving college, may dramatically change your financial aid eligibility.  In addition, our awards are dependent on funding availability, and our maximum awards may change - they could increase if our funding increases, or decrease if funding falls dramatically short.  

 

 

 

 

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