Student Financial Aid
Before you start applying for financial aid, there are few basic requirements to consider:
- You must be fully admitted to PWSC to receive any financial aid.
- You must be admitted into a degree-seeking program or an eligible certificate program to receive any financial aid.
- You must submit your final high school transcript or equivalent qualification to receive any financial aid.
- Students accepting federal student loans must be registered for a minimum of six credits as an undergraduate student, or a minimum of five credits as a graduate student.
Applying for Financial Aid
Interested students should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for information and applications. Students should submit applications at least six months before the beginning of the semester for which they are applying. Specific procedures are as follows:
- New students must first apply for formal admission to PWSC through the Office of Admissions by the appropriate deadline.
- All interested students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit the application to the Department of Education, list UAA’s Title IV code on FAFSA (011462). We recommend you apply online at www.fafsa.gov.
- Students who wish to apply for a scholarship may complete an online application available in UAOnline at www.uaonline.alaska.edu.
- Students who wish to apply for Bureau of Indian Affairs grants or scholarships should contact the BIA or their Native regional corporation for applications.
Eligibility for Federal Aid
For all Federal Programs, the student must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, a national or other eligible non-citizen.
- Not be in default on any Federal Student Loan or owe a refund or repayment on a Federal Pell Grant, State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). This also applies to parents if applying for Federal PLUS loans.
- Have a valid Social Security number.
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree or certificate program at PWSC.
- Males over the age of 18 must comply with U.S. Selective Service registration requirements to be eligible for federal and state aid.
- Have a high school diploma from an accredited high school or GED.
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements as outlined in PWSC/University of Alaska’s SAP policy.
If you meet the above criteria, your first step in the application process is to complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov
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Steps to Receiving Your Financial Aid
- Complete your FAFSA
- The first F in FAFSA stands for “Free.” You can fill it out online for free in under 30 minutes.
- Make sure you apply through FAFSA.ed.gov, and not FAFSA.com. FAFSA.com is a proprietary website that is not affiliated with the Department of Education, and is not a free resource.
- List the UAA school code (011462) on the FAFSA, and we will automatically receive an electronic copy. UAA requires access to a current and valid FAFSA in order for us to process any of your financial aid.
- If you are selected for FAFSA Verification, you are required to complete a Verification Worksheet and other financial forms before any financial aid can be processed or disbursed.
- Apply for UA and PWSC Scholarships
- To apply for scholarships at UAA, you must submit the UAOnline Scholarship Application by February 15th before the start of the academic year for which you are applying.
- Example: If you wish to apply for UAA Scholarships for Fall 2016 or Spring 2017, you must submit your UAOnline Scholarship Application by February 15, 2016. If you wish to receive UAA Scholarships for Fall 2015 or Spring 2016, the deadline has already passed.
- Apply for PWSC Scholarships
- Review your financial aid award letter
- After we receive an electronic copy of your Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA), we will mail you a UAA Financial Aid Award Letter within a few weeks. All new students will be sent a physical letter in mail. Returning students will be sent all further award letters through their preferred e-mail addresses only. Along with your Award Letter, you will find a copy of the Financial Aid Award Conditions. Please read through all these documents carefully, because they contain important information about your financial aid.
- Accept or decline your awards
- Log in to UAOnline to accept or decline any of the offered awards. Federal Work Study awards may be accepted or declined; federal student loans may be fully accepted, partially accepted, or declined. Note: this step must be completed or loan requests will not be processed
- If you qualify for the Pell Grant or other scholarships or grants, they will automatically be accepted for you as they are free money!
- If you have any difficulty accepting your awards, please refer to our detailed instructions on how to accept your awards.
- Complete online Entrance Counseling
- If you intend to borrow Federal Stafford Loans, and you are a first time borrower, you must complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. Please be aware, if you do not complete your required Loan Entrance Counseling, this will delay your Stafford Loan disbursements.
- Complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note
- The Master Promissory Note is an official, legal document in which you agree to certain terms, conditions, and repayment requirements of your loan. Once you have completed an MPN, this agreement will also be applied to any other direct loans you decide to take out in the next 10 years. However, a separate MPN is required for Direct Stafford loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and Parent PLUS loans.
- Undergraduate and Graduate Direct Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized borrowers who are in the Direct Loan Program will sign one promissory note which can be used for all of that program’s loans over multiple academic years.
- Parent PLUS loan borrowers can only take out this loan on a dependent undergraduate student’s behalf. This loan is also contingent upon creditworthiness.
All Direct Loan Master Promissory notes can be accessed and e-signed. Each MPN takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Note: make sure you allow enough time to complete the entire process in a single session. If you exit the web site before submitting your signed MPN in Step 8 and return later, you’ll have to start over beginning with Step 1!
- Monitor your financial aid status on UAOnline
- Monitor your Financial Aid Award through your UAOnline account. This is the fastest way to know your financial aid status
- Monitor your Admissions Status. Your financial aid will not pay until you are fully admitted. Don’t assume that everything is okay. Check to make sure.
- Monitor your Account Information to see when your financial aid has been disbursed into your account, what you owe, make payments, etc.
- Check your UAA email account and UAA financial aid website frequently for important updates and announcements.
Types of Financial Aid
A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to apply for all federal, state, and need-based institutional aid. For all State of Alaska grants and scholarships, your FAFSA must be submitted by June 30th prior to the beginning of the academic year.
General eligibility criteria for each type of financial aid type as well as award amounts is provided by following the links below.
Grants are financial aid awards which do not need to be repaid as long as the student meets academic progress requirements of the granting agency.
Follow the links below to learn more about each grant:
- Federal Pell Grants Federal Pell grants are awarded to undergraduate students that have no prior bachelor’s or graduate degree. The amount can change yearly and is pro-rated based on credit load. The amount of the Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive throughout your lifetime is limited by federal law to be equivalent of six years of funding. Since the maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.Students who receive a Federal Pell Grant and receive an “F” or a “NB” grade in a class must have participated in an academic activity in the class or their Federal Pell Grant may be reduced and the student will be required to repay some of the Federal Pell Grant received for that semester.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) FSEOG may be awarded to undergraduate students that are attending at least half-time (6+credits). Funding is limited, therefore priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients with an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of zero. Priority is also based on the date that FAFSAs are received and processed- therefore, it’s best to apply early.
- Federal TEACH Grant The TEACH Grant is available to eligible students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching. Service obligations are required to maintain eligibility. If a student does not complete their service agreement, the TEACH grant will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan which must then be repaid with interest. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid TEACH website.
- Alaska Education GrantThe Alaska Education Grant (AEG) is a need-based grant offered by the State of Alaska. The deadline to apply is June 30th, although funding is limited so we encourage students to apply as early in the calendar year as possible. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit ACPE’s website.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
The Bureau of Indian Affairs makes grants available to eligible full-time students. Applicants must be at least one-quarter Alaska Native or American Indian. For further information, contact the local BIA area office or Native regional corporation.
Federal Direct Loans allow students and some parents to borrow money to help pay for educationally related expenses through loan programs supported by the federal government. Students that are eligible for a Federal Direct Loan will have it offered on their award letter. They will then have the opportunity to accept or decline all or part of the loan via UAOnline, as outlined on the Financial Aid Checklist.
We recommend that students maximize all grant and scholarship options before borrowing student loans. We also recommend only borrowing what is absolutely needed to cover the cost of education. For assistance with budgeting and student loan repayment, please visit our Financial Aid Tools page [link] or contact the PWSC Student Affairs Office.
For more information on the following Federal Direct Loans offered to eligible PWSC students, visit UAA’s Federal Student Loan website:
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- Alternative Loans Alternative Educational Loans, also known as Private Educational Loans, consist of any student loan that is not a federal student loan. For more information on these loans, general application instructions, and important considerations, visit UAA’s Alternative Loan website.
Federal Work Study Program
The Federal Work Study Program provides job opportunities for eligible students as determined by financial need which is calculated from the information provided on the FAFSA. These students may earn money to cover part of their educational expenses. The Human Resource office arranges jobs on campus. Students may work up to twenty (20) hours per week during the semester. Wages depend on the job responsibilities and the student’s qualifications. Any PWSC student enrolled in at least 6 credits may inquire and obtain a referral. Since Federal Work-Study funding is limited, we award Federal Work Study to eligible applicants based on FAFSA application date- the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to receive Federal Work Study funds. If you are interested in a Federal Work Study position but were not offered it on your award letter, please contact us directly. For more information please contact the PWSC Student Affairs Office. All positions are posted on the www.UAKjobs.com website.
PWSC offers internal student scholarships, please take a look at the ‘PWSC Scholarships’ tab on this page for more information.
University of Alaska Scholarships
All new and current full-time PWSC students admitted to financial aid-eligible degree and certificate programs may apply for UA Scholarships. To apply, visit UAOnline (Student Services and Account Information tab) and click on the Scholarship link. Answer the biographical questions and write a short profile. UAA will determine which scholarships you qualify for after you complete this basic application. You can submit additional information to enhance your chances of being awarded a scholarship.
A list of all UA Scholarships can be found at: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/scholarships/.
Application Deadline: February 15, awarded annually
Prince William Sound College Scholarships
All new and current full-time PWSC students admitted to financial aid-eligible degree and certificate programs may apply for PWSC Scholarships. All PWSC Scholarships are competitive awards sponsored with funds raised primarily from local support. Eligibility, application deadlines, and award amounts vary by scholarship. More information on each scholarship and application links are provided below.
Please contact the Financial Aid office at 907-834-1645 with questions. Local students can also contact the Copper Basin Extension Center at 907-822-3673, or the Cordova Extension Center at 907.424.7598 with questions.
All scholarships will be disbursed after the Add/Drop Deadline each semester.
GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW AWARDS
Unless otherwise specified, minimum eligibility requirements for PWSC Scholarships include:
- Minimum high school or college GPA of 2.5
- Admission to a PWSC Degree or Certificate program
- Enroll in a minimum of 12 credits through PWSC (full-time status)
- Be in good standing for academic progress and student conduct
- Full application and all required documents must be received by the Office of Financial Aid by 5:00pm on the deadline date (application deadlines vary by scholarship)
ALL SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE
- Completed Scholarship Application for each scholarship.
- A minimum of two (2) current letters of recommendation from a past or current instructor, employer, or other appropriate source. These individuals should be able to comment on your academic performance, community involvement, general character, achievements, and aptitude to succeed at PWSC as a student. Letters may be submitted by the applicant or sent directly to the Financial Aid Coordinator.
- A self composed essay. Topics vary by scholarship. Unless otherwise specified, scholarship essays should be a minimum of one full page and no more than three. They should clearly address all aspects of the essay topic.
- Transcripts (High School and/or college, or certificate of GED completion).
- Proof of FAFSA completion.
Note: Additional application materials may be required for some scholarships.
In addition to low tuition and no out-of-state student fees, Prince William Sound College offers a full range of financial aid resources to help you pay for your education. Whether you need scholarships, grants, loans or on-campus jobs, we are here to help!
Veterans Assistance (VA Loans)
Welcome Veterans! We at PWSC would like to thank you for your time in service and for the commitment and sacrifice that you have shown to our country. Know we appreciate all that you have done and look forward to working with you as you further pursue your education.
The following information is to help you as you use your GI Bill® benefits. If you have any questions or need any help please contact the School Certifying Official at 907-834-1645 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Apply using VONAPP. If you are a new student and want to start your VA Benefits, you will need to register for your benefits: VONAPP (Veterans On-line Application Process).
- Apply for Admissions at Prince William Sound College. You must be fully admitted into an approved degree or certificate program prior to requesting certification of your benefits. Apply online at https://uaonline.alaska.edu/
- Register for classes. Meet with an advisor and register for all classes you plan to attend before requesting certificate of your benefits. Academic Advising is required and placement tests may be necessary; be aware that prior credit earned may transfer in as required or elective credits. Schedule an in-person or over-the-phone advising appointment by emailing email@example.com or calling 907.834.1600.
- Submit a and your Certificate of Eligibility issued from the VA. You can send these forms by email, fax, in person and by mail.
- Submit a (CRF). Every semester you register for classes you will need to turn in the Certification Request Form. It is your responsibility to notify PWSC’s Certifying Official of any changes to your schedule after you have submitted this form. Failure to notify may result in charges from the school and/or the VA. You can send this form by email, fax, in person and by mail.
- Self-Verify (Chapter 30, 1606 and 1607). Once your classes have been certified (you should receive an email initiated through the Department of Veteran Affairs to the email you provided). If you are using Chapters 30, 1606 and 1607 benefits you should receive your payments after you call and self-verify at the end of the month (please allow 3-5 days for processing). Please see the Self Verification Information Sheet for details. If you are using Chapters 31, 33, and 35 benefits you do not need to self-verify.
Students using VA educational benefits must apply for admission to a degree or certificate program at PWSC. In accordance with federal regulations, PWSC must report this information to the VA, along with information regarding student enrollment, grades, and academic progress. Students must also maintain satisfactory academic progress of a 2.0 GPA. A GPA that fails to reach the 2.0 minimum will be reported to the DVA so that proper actions can be taken. For the most current regulations and policies in DVA education benefits visit their website at http://www.gibill.va.gov/.
Using Post 9-11/ Chapter 33 benefits: Certification and Federal Aid Disbursement Process Reminders
For Chapter 33 recipients, UAA submits two certifications to the VA each term. An initial certification is submitted to notify the VA of term dates and credit hours to kick start your BAH and book stipend benefits and a final certification is submitted after the add/drop deadline to report tuition and fee amounts for certified courses. This is to avoid large overpayments or underpayments made to UAA if changes to students’ schedules are done during add/drop period.
Tuition and fees will appear as an outstanding balance on your student account until payment for certified courses is received but most Chapter 33 students’ accounts are flagged for deferment so that no late fees are assessed to tuition and fee balances pending VA payment.
Note: Chapter 33 recipients who have been rated at less than 100% eligibility, who are taking course work inapplicable to degree plan, or who have charges on their accounts that will not be paid by the VA (book store charges, parking permits, housing and meal plans, etc.) are required to make payment by the payment deadline to avoid a late fee.
Students who receive federal financial aid may receive multiple refunds each semester. Students whose federal financial aid exceed their bill may receive a refund prior to the add/drop deadline. After the add/drop deadline, when we submit your final certification, accounting services will refund financial aid based on the anticipated amount we expect from the VA. UAA will use your federal aid refunds for charges that will not be paid by the VA, to the extent allowable under law. As a result of the refund, a balance due will appear on your student account equal to the pending VA payment.
Transfer of Entitlement,
Active duty members may now have the option to transfer entitlement to spouses and children. Please be aware that there may be additional service obligations required to take advantage of this option. For more information and to begin the application process, please go to the VA Transfer of Entitlement website. To apply, you must use Internet Explorer.
The VA has created a new program under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® for the children of an Active Duty member who died in the line of duty. The Fry Scholarship was created to assist certain children of Active Duty members who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. The VA will begin accepting applications for the Fry Scholarship on May 01, 2010 and may be paid retroactively to August 01, 2009.
Questions about your GI Benefits?
GI Bill® Hotline (Muskogee, Oklahoma): 1-888-GI-Bill-1 (1-888-442-4551)
Note: Peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 p.m. CST. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m. CST.