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 Chapter 5
 Student Affairs

Student Financial Services

The Office of Student Financial Services offers financial assistance to students who might otherwise be unable to attend the University. Financial aid awarded through the office may be gift aid, which includes grants and scholarships, or self-help aid, which includes student employment programs and long-term loans. Most financial aid is based on documented financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attending the University and the financial resources available to the student.

To apply for financial assistance, a student must complete a need analysis form each year. The office requires the student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be evaluated for financial need. The need analysis assists the office in assessing available family resources and determining eligibility for specific aid programs.

Students who attend the University only in the summer session are not eligible for financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Services.

Estimated costs. The following are estimated typical costs for tuition, fees, room, board, and books for a single student living in University-owned housing for the long session (fall and spring semesters) 1999-2000. The tuition and fee amounts included in these figures are based on an average course load of thirteen semester hours for undergraduates and nine semester hours for graduates.

  Texas Residents Nonresidents

Undergraduate  $12,378 $17,944
Graduate  $12,270 $16,158

Expenses for clothing, travel, recreation, and personal and miscellaneous items vary based on individual lifestyle. The Office of Student Financial Services estimates that reasonable expense for these items is approximately $2,598 for undergraduate students and $3,042 for graduate students. Summer costs are estimated to be about one-third of those for the long session.

Application dates. Although there are no deadlines for submitting financial aid applications, priority is given to students who apply by the dates given below.

Priority dates
Spring semester September 30
Summer session February 15
Fall semester March 31

A student may apply for financial aid before being officially admitted to the University, but the awarding of aid is contingent upon admission. Disbursement of funds is not made until the student is officially enrolled.

Course load requirements. Most financial aid programs are based on full-time enrollment (twelve hours for undergraduate students, nine to fifteen hours for graduate students depending on the program). Students may receive financial aid for less than full-time enrollment with the approval of their financial aid counselor. Some aid programs require that assistance be reduced proportionately for less than full-time enrollment. To receive financial assistance for the summer session students must enroll for both six-week terms or for the nine-week term.

Changes in financial circumstances. Students are responsible for reporting any change in their financial situation that occurs after the initial application for aid is submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services. A documented decrease in resources may provide for an increase in financial aid if funds are available; likewise, an increase in resources may result in a reduction or cancellation of financial aid funds or a requirement to repay awards already released to a student.

Satisfactory progress. To be eligible for financial assistance, a student must maintain a satisfactory academic record. A satisfactory academic record is measured by quality, progress, and quantity. Quality refers to maintaining a cumulative 2.00 grade point average for undergraduates and 3.00 for graduates. Progress means completing the number of hours in a semester, approved by the Office of Student Financial Services, for which the student received aid (e.g., initial enrollment and completion of twelve hours for undergraduates). The quantity measurement allows a maximum of 150 hours for an undergraduate degree (175 hours for majors in pharmacy and architecture) and between 40 and 160 hours for a graduate degree, depending on the program.

Types of Financial Aid

A student who submits a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to the federal processor is considered for all funds available through the Office of Student Financial Services. A student's award package usually is a combination of gift aid and self-help funds. The composition of the aid package depends on the characteristics of the student, including program eligibility and degree of financial need, as well as on the availability of funds.

Gift Aid

Students who apply for financial help by the appropriate priority deadline are considered for all gift aid awards administered through the Office of Student Financial Services. A student must be an undergraduate and must not have received a bachelor's degree to be considered for a Federal Pell Grant. Most scholarships and grants awarded through the FAFSA process are based on financial need. The office also administers a few programs based on merit.

In addition to specific qualifications for competitive undergraduate scholarships and fellowships awarded by the University, the committee or agency responsible for selecting recipients for a given scholarship or fellowship may consider such factors as the following in designating recipients:
Standardized test scores

Class rank

Grade point average

Leadership and extracurricular activities

Status in national academic competitions

Academic performance within a major and other performance criteria

Financial need

Socioeconomic background

Education level

Self-Help Funds

Long-Term Loans

Federal loan programs are available to assist students who show financial need. These programs have low interest rates that may be adjusted annually and do not require repayment of principle or interest until the student has graduated or is no longer enrolled at least half-time. In addition, the loans offer a grace period between the time the student leaves school and the time repayment begins. Deferment or cancellation of repayment is available for situations such as military service, periods of unemployment, or teaching service in designated schools.

Federal and state loans are also available both to students and to the parents of students who do not show financial need. Interest rates on these loans are variable and are adjusted annually. Under certain conditions, repayment of these loans may be deferred while the student is enrolled in school.


The student employment program provides jobs for students who show financial need and want to earn part of their educational expenses while attending school. The majority of federal work-study jobs are on campus though some may be with off-campus nonprofit agencies. Students may choose from a variety of employment opportunities depending on their education and experience. Most jobs require fifteen or fewer hours of work a week.

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Chapter 4  |  Chapter 5  |  Chapter 6  |  Chapter 7
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Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

29 July 1999. Registrar's Web Team
Comments to rgcat@utxdp.dp.utexas.edu