When can I expect my disbursements?
Disbursement date is when Student Accounting has access to the proceeds of the loan and they take out what is owed to UAB. The amount of time for the remaining funds to be deposited into the student’s bank account depends on where the student banks. This could take anywhere between three to seven working days after the disbursement date.
Important: Since disbursements may not occur until the week when school begins each term, it is strongly recommended that students bring enough funding with them for living expenses, books, etc., to cover costs until the student’s loan disbursement is available.
Can I get my money before the academic year begins for books and moving-in expenses?
No. Unfortunately, schools cannot disburse funds before classes begin. Many students set aside funds or utilize personal credit sources for starting expenditures until they receive their disbursements.
Where can I find the cost of attendance for my year in school?
The cost list for each new year will be available March/April, after tuition and fee charges are established by the Board of Trustees. You may monitor this website to check for the availability of this information. Since UAB will now initially award the maximum loans to applicants (with the opportunity to reduce that amount upon written request), you no longer need to request a specific amount linked to the cost of attendance.
How much can I borrow throughout my academic career?
Aggregate loan limits:
Lifetime limits for all Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are Medical, Optometry, and Dental/Post-grad Dental: $224,000.
The professional student debt limit includes loans received for undergraduate study. If you reach your loan limit, you cannot receive any more of that type of loan. If you exceed your limit, aid already disbursed will be billed back. It is to your advantage to borrow only what you need for educational expenses and to keep track of your cumulative debt. Financial Aid administrators are happy to work with you to find ways to minimize your borrowing.
When should I apply for financial aid each year?
The FAFSA application is available for each upcoming year online in October. As soon as you have your tax and income information that may be required to fill out the FAFSA, you may begin the application process.
You may choose to file a new FAFSA or a renewal FAFSA if you applied last year. However, carefully review all fields for accuracy if you file a renewal.
Does "EFC/Expected Family Contribution” mean that I or my parents must write a check to UAB for that amount each year?
EFC is a comparative measure, determined according to a need analysis formula specified by law, of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student's education for an award year. This figure is used to determine an applicant's eligibility for federal student aid. The EFC figure is shown on the SAR and ISIR received after completing the FAFSA. The formula for determining eligibility for federal aid programs is the same across all colleges. When you apply for financial aid, expect to answer questions about your family's income and savings. Most of this information is readily available from your tax returns, paycheck stubs, and bank and other financial account statements. Remember that this formula does not consider the actual price of attending a given college or university—your EFC is the same regardless of whether you attend a public college with tuition of $5,000 or a private college that charges $22,000.
Do I need my parents’ tax information on the FAFSA?
Professional students are considered to be independent for financial aid eligibility. However, you are encouraged to consider adding your parent(s)’ information to FAFSA Step IV even though you will answer “yes” to Step III. Resulting information may help the UAB Financial Aid Office to qualify some students for need-based scholarships and loans with lower interest rates and/or better terms and conditions.
Should I include my parents’ FAFSA information even if I am married?
Yes. Although you are still independent for financial aid determination, parental financial information can sometimes be used to determine your eligibility for special programs that may benefit you in terms of lower interest rate loans or even scholarships. Failure to submit such information may keep you from qualifying for such programs for which you may be otherwise eligible.
Does it matter if my parents claimed me on their taxes?
No. Regardless of how your parents fill out their tax returns, you may still include their tax/income information on the FAFSA, even though you are an independent student.
How do I find out how much I owe in student debt before I enter professional school?
This information is available at the National Student Loan Data System and at the end of your Student Aid Report that results from the FAFSA.
What are some things I can do to prepare myself financially for entry into professional school?
As an individual student or as a family, consider potential lifestyle changes that may have to take place while financing a college education.
If possible, pay off credit card balances or other outstanding consumer debt. This is important for two reasons: First, having fewer bills coming in as you are paying for college may mean you could pay more out of pocket and borrow less. It is always wise to borrow as little as possible. Second, consumer debt, like credit cards and auto loans, are not considered in the aid awarding process.
Can I use my student loans for purposes other than educational expenses?
You may use the loan money you receive only to pay for your authorized educational expenses for attendance at the school that determined you were eligible to receive the loan. Authorized expenses include the following:
- Room and board
- Institutional fees
- Allowable, documented, and requested dependent child-care expenses
- Commuting expenses
- Rental or purchase of a personal computer
- Loan fees
- Other documented, authorized costs
Does UAB include health insurance for my spouse as part of my educational expenses (will it lend me student loans for this purpose)?
Annual student cost of attendance is limited to educational expenses for the student as listed above and does not cover a spouse’s expenses.
Why should I apply for direct deposit?
The direct deposit authorization allows the electronic transfer of funds to a student bank account for financial aid and/or refunds of the credit balance. Enrolling in direct deposit is highly recommended and relieves students of the burden of personally depositing a mailed refund check by ensuring that funds are transferred directly to your account. Students can authorize this convenient arrangement by enrolling in direct deposit on BlazerNET. Under the tab labeled Student Resources, on the Student Accounting channel, click the link labeled Manage Direct Deposits.
Why should I sign a Title IV form?
Tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board charges will be automatically deducted from any financial aid funds you receive. Signing the Title IV Funds Authorization Form allows UAB to credit your student account with Title IV and other financial aid funds to cover other non-mandatory charges. Doing so can help you avoid late charges for fees that might not otherwise be paid in a timely manner.
Why should I complete the questionnaire?
This form must be completed if you wish to apply for the Health Professions Student Loan or Disadvantaged Loans or Scholarships.