Financial Aid Basics

You might be surprised to find out how much financial aid you can receive, regardless of your family income level. You won’t know what you are eligible for unless you apply! With a little preparation and a few tips on how to get through the financial aid application process, financing your college education is within your reach.

Although UNT Dallas makes every effort to keep costs low, many students still need help paying for college. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is an application that helps colleges and universities determine your eligibility for financial aid. In fact, nearly all students who complete the FAFSA receive some type of financial assistance.

Financial aid awards are funded and regulated by federal and state governments, so applying for and receiving financial aid is a process. The information and advice in this guide will help you get started. Then, by planning ahead, applying early and following the necessary steps, you will be able to meet your goal.

We’re here to help you. For more information, call us at 972.780.3662 or drop by the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office on the first floor in Bldg 1.

Take Note!

You must apply for financial aid each year.

Changes in federal regulations, educational costs and your family circumstances make it necessary to evaluate your eligibility annually. To continue your eligibility, you also must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines. You may complete a renewal FAFSA on the web as early as Oct. 1 each year. TASFA application dates to be announced.

Financial Responsibility

As a college student you face many opportunities and challenges.  Among them is personal financial management.   You can learn how to budget, whether your funds come from financial aid, parents, or employment.  Observing what you spend each week can be quite an enlightening experience.  It is also helpful to make yourself aware of billing cycles.  For instance, tuition and fees are usually charged once per semester.  Rent and utility bills are due monthly. Breaking down costs can go a long way toward helping you formulate a plan, stay on budget, and be less preoccupied with finances than might otherwise be necessary.

The federal government provides a on-line tool to help you budget your funds here.

If you are receiving financial aid we urge you to learn about what you have been awarded.  It is important to know if there are conditions you must meet to maintain your award. For example, it is important to know how the money is disbursed, if you will receive a refund, and how soon you will get it.  At the Office of Financial Aid website you will find descriptions of the awards available and answers to your questions.

Challenges can include the temptation to borrow excessively or to use credit cards.  Federal student loans tend to have better interest rates than private educational loans, but both will need to be repaid at some point.  Before accepting a loan from either source, you should ask yourself what the loan will be used for and whether you really need it. Perhaps you only need a portion of what is offered.  Talking it over with a trusted source, including your financial aid counselor, is an option UNT Dallas offers all its students.

College students are prime targets for credit card offers.  Low- or no-interest introductory offers and free gifts are ploys lenders use to entice you to sign up.  When interest starts to accrue, however, it can become quite expensive.  For example, late fees assessed on past due balances are extremely high. Ideally, no one would rely on credit cards as a means of income but if it is necessary, learning how to manage your debt becomes even more important. Management of such debt, whether generated by loans or credit cards, begins with always knowing what your interest rate is and how it is calculated.

In spite of planning, there may be times when funding becomes an issue.  The Office of Financial Aid is available to help you explore options that will best meet your particular circumstances. The U.S. government also offers a Website,, dedicated to assisting you in learning the basics of financial education.  Topics at the site range from savings to paying for education to retirement planning.

Financial Aid Success Checklist

  • The online FAFSA is available October 1. Apply early to get first consideration for awards!
  • Create an FSA ID required for filing the FAFSA.
  • You can transfer information directly into your FAFSA with the Data Retrieval Tool.
  • For fall/spring semesters, submit FAFSA by starting in October.
  • For spring semester only, submit FAFSA by August 15.
  • For summer, submit FAFSA by February 15.
  • About a week after you submit the online FAFSA, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) – check your report for accuracy and submit any necessary corrections immediately!
  • Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will notify you if additional documentation is required.
  • Visit for updates from the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office. The amount of your financial aid award will be posted on myUNTDallas, where you can accept or decline awards.
  • Don’t forget: you must apply for financial aid each year. You can submit a renewal FAFSA on the web as early as October 1 of each year.
  • Congratulations! You have found success with financial aid.

For Your Information

  • Financial aid cost of attendance is based on your anticipated enrollment, as indicated on your expected enrollment application.
  • Financial aid eligibility is based on your undergraduate or graduate career and academic program. If you graduate or are admitted to a graduate program prior to Summer 2014, your aid eligibility must be re-evaluated. It is your responsibility to notify Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at any point your academic program changes. Please refer to the Graduate Academic Program Information page to determine eligibility for graduate and post-baccalaureate academic programs.
  • Scholarship checks should be submitted to Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for posting and disbursement before the payment deadline of the summer session(s) in which you enroll.
  • Concurrent Enrollment Agreements are not processed during the summer term.
  • Questions regarding the refund process at UNTD can be addressed with Student Accounting and University Cashiering Services. You can also check myUNTDallas to see if you’re receiving a refund and if it’s been processed.
    Student Accounting and University Cashiering Services will send out refunds within a week after your aid has been disbursed.  The refund process may take several days to complete during the first disbursements of a semester. Students having refunds processed during fall and spring registration periods should expect to see their refund by the last day of regular registration.
    Your refund should be used to pay for your expenses such as housing, transportation, books & supplies, and other educational related expenses.