Applying for financial aid may look complicated, but it doesn’t actually have to be complicated. Follow the steps below to make sure you’re considered for all the various types of financial aid available to you.
Financial aid awards cover the fall and spring semesters only, unless your degree program requires summer enrollment. If you think you’ll attend a summer session, you should budget your award to cover summer expenses. Very limited funding is available for summer semester.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
First, complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. The UAB School Code is 001052.
You will be notified by the US Department of Education when your FAFSA has been processed. You should receive the results in approximately 14 days.
All first-time borrowers of a Federal Direct Stafford Loan must complete entrance counseling prior to signing a promissory note or receiving funds. A first-time borrower is a student who doesn’t have an outstanding Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You’ll receive additional information when your award is finalized. Currently enrolled students will accept awards on BlazerNET, UAB’s secure online portal. New students who haven’t applied for a Blazer ID will accept awards on Banner Self Service, our online tool to help you manage your personal and academic information.
First-time borrowers can fulfill the entrance-counseling requirement online at www.studentloans.gov. After you successfully complete the entrance counseling, you will need to wait 48 hours before you can sign your master promissory note, also at www.studentloans.gov.
- If you’re approved for a Federal Perkins Loan, you’ll receive additional information from Student Accounting Services after your award is finalized and you’ve accepted the award.
- Parents of dependent undergraduate students who want to apply for a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Federal Direct PLUS) should complete the PLUS Loan Application at www.studentloans.gov. You must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
2013-2014 Verification Requirements
- If you are selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education you will be required to submit the following documents so UAB can verify the information you supplied on the FAFSA. [You can determine if you have been selected by reading your Student Aid Report (SAR) or contacting the aid office.] We recommend you submit all required documentation at least 45 days prior to the beginning of the term to ensure your eligibility for federal aid can be reviewed. All verification items must be complete and reviewed prior to end of the student’s enrollment during the award year.
- The preferred way to complete your verification requirement is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool at www.fafsa.gov to transfer your 2012 tax return information directly onto your FAFSA.
- If you either cannot use or choose not to use the tool the Department of Education no longer allows Schools to accept a signed copy of tax forms as proof of income earned and taxes paid. The new Department of Education regulations beginning in the 2013-14 school year and subsequent years are as follows:
- If you meet the federal definition of a dependent student, you must submit to Student Financial Aid yours and your parent’s Federal Income Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS from the previous year. This Tax Transcript can be requested at www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS automated system at 1-800-908-9946. If you are unable to use the automated system for any reason, you can call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
- If you meet the federal definition of an independent student, you must submit to Student Financial Aid yours (and your spouse’s, if married) Federal Income Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS from the previous year. This Tax Transcript can be requested at www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS automated system at 1-800-908-9946. If you are unable to use the automated system for any reason, you can call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946. Before you submit the Tax Transcript to Student Financial Aid, be sure the student ID number is written on the form.
- All selected students must complete and sign a Verification Worksheet. These worksheets are available through BlazerNET. Dependent students must make sure that the form is signed by them and a parent.
- If you, your spouse, or your parents did not file a Federal Income Tax Return and are required to file, you must submit each of the following: a) a copy of your Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (IRS Form 4868), b) a copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for the previous tax year or, c) a signed statement by a self-employed individual certifying the amount of the AGI and the income tax paid for the previous year.
- If you, your spouse (if married independent student),and your parents (if an independent student) did not file a Federal Income Tax Return and are not required to file, you must submit the applicable IRS Form W-2 for each person for each source of employment income received for the previous tax year. You also want to make sure it is so noted on the Verification Worksheet.
- After reviewing the documents stated above, often we find the need to request additional information. We regret the need to do this, but sometimes we must do so in order to satisfy the federal requirement to eliminate discrepancies and to ensure the quality of application data.
If your eligible noncitizen status is not confirmed by Immigration & Naturalization (INS), you must submit proof of eligible non-citizenship to the aid office. An Alien Registration Card must be presented for review and a copy will be maintained for your file.
When a decision has been made regarding your eligibility for financial aid, you’ll be notified by mail or e-mail. If required, currently enrolled and new students will accept award offers in BlazerNET.
When you register for classes, you create a financial obligation to the university. An application for financial aid neither eliminates this responsibility nor extends the deadlines established for payment—you’re still responsible for making sure your tuition, fees, and other expenses are paid as required and on time, even if you’ve applied for financial aid.