Financial aid and scholarships keep students afloat

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Students can reduce financial stress of attending college

Each year millions of dollars are provided, through financial aid and scholarships, for UVU students to help relieve the financial pressure that comes from pursuing meaningful education and careers.

Tuition at UVU is relatively low for a university. The basic rate of tuition and fees for attendance each semester totals $2,826 for residents and $8,033 for non-residents, according to the UVU rate schedule. Those rates apply to full-time students taking between 12 and 18 credits.

A bachelor’s degree, which generally takes four years to complete, can cost over $20,000 for a resident student and over $60,000 for a non-resident student.

Financial aid and scholarships can allow students to focus on their education and avoid being forced to abandon higher education for financial reasons.

According to the 2016 Factbook provided by the UVU Institutional Research and Information office, more than $137 million was paid through loans, grants, scholarships and work study during the 2015-2016 academic year. Nearly $50 million was paid in grants, and over $27 million in scholarships was paid to students.

The Financial Aid and Scholarships office uses multiple methods to ensure those funds are paid out and that very little money goes unused.

John Curl, director of financial aid and scholarships, explained that when students are admitted to UVU they are screened for financial assistance. Students can be continuously evaluated for eligibility with all available financial assistance, but students must continue to apply for funding and aid.

Curl also explained that financial aid and scholarships are divided into sub-categories: grants, loans, scholarships and work study. Those categories come from the federal and state governments as well as the university and private donors.

“Even if a student and parent do not feel like they will qualify for anything federally, they should apply,” said Curl. “Whatever scholarship opportunities are out there institutionally or outside the university, they should apply. Just because you don’t get it one year that doesn’t mean you should not apply the next year.”

Curl mentioned that the free application for federal student aid, better known as FAFSA, is a great start to finding assistance. The Financial Aid and Scholarships office uses information taken from the federal application to determine eligibility for other funding.

Students should include availability dates and deadlines for applications in their calendars, according to Curl. This is to ensure that they are not missing opportunities for more financial help.

The Financial Aid and Scholarships office is currently working on an online scholarship application system, which is to be launched this fall semester. The system is intended to streamline the application process.