Locations

Student Financial Aid Services

finaid@uidaho.edu
Phone: (208) 885-6312
Toll Free: (888) 884-3246
Fax: (208) 885-5592
Student Union Building 101
[get directions]
Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr MS 4291
Moscow, ID 83844-4291
Summer Office Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Financial Aid

What is financial need and how is it determined?
What is Cost of Attendance (COA)?
My mother and father do not support me; can I be considered an independent student?
I will be getting married. How and when should I fill out of my FAFSA?
My mother and father are divorced. Which parent's income do I show?
When and how will I get my money?
What if I change my mind about accepting my awards?
How will I be notified after I have done my FAFSA or FAFSA corrections?
Will scholarships and other resources impact my other financial aid awards?
How should I report my financial aid and scholarships on my tax return?
Can I lose my eligibility for financial aid because of a low G.P.A. or too few credits? (What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?)

General

How much have I borrowed in student loans?
What do I do if my financial situation changes?
What happens to my financial aid if I add or drop classes?
What if I withdraw from school?

Billing

Where can I see what I owe the University for tuition/fees and housing?
Does the University of Idaho offer a payment plan for fees/tuition and housing charges?
What is a Vandal Card, what is it used for, and where do I get one?
Do I have to purchase health insurance through the University?
How do I opt-out of the University’s Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP)?
How do I arrange for direct deposit of my financial aid and scholarships?
Why don’t I see my work-study award listed on the billing statement?
Why don’t I see my WUE award on the bill listed as a scholarship credit?
How do I make sure that my outside scholarships get credited to my Student Account?


Financial Aid

What is financial need and how is it determined?

The federal aid programs and some UI scholarships require that a student show "financial need" in order to qualify for assistance. The formula for determining financial need is:

COA - EFC - RESOURCES = NEED

The COA (Cost of Attendance) for the year must include the actual cost of fees (and tuition for non-residents of Idaho), estimated costs for books and supplies, room and board (or rent/food/utilities), personal expenses and transportation.

The EFC (Expected Family Contribution), calculated by the U.S. Federal Processor using information submitted by the student and/or the family on the FAFSA, is a measure of the family's financial strength. The information is put through a series of congressionally mandated formulas. The end result is the Expected Family Contribution for one academic year. "Family" refers to the persons providing FAFSA information (i.e. Student and/or Parents and/or Spouse).

The EFC is a guideline used in determining your financial aid; however, the EFC does not necessarily reflect the actual amount that must be paid by the student and/or the student's family.

The RESOURCES are any other type of assistance the student may receive for the same year he or she is applying for financial aid. This may include Vocational Rehabilitation payments for educational expenses, scholarships awarded from agencies other than the University of Idaho, certain types of Veteran's Benefits, tuition waivers or fee reimbursement from employers, etc.

Students who have their COST met or exceeded by their CONTRIBUTION and/or RESOURCES will not show financial need and therefore will not be eligible for need-based federal financial aid. (There are some loan programs that have exceptions, see the federal booklet "The Student Guide.")

Students who have changes in their financial status which cannot be reported on the FAFSA should contact Student Financial Aid Services. These special circumstances will be reviewed for possible changes to the student's eligibility.
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What is Cost of Attendance (COA)?

1. When determining financial need, an average budget is constructed to represent the usual cost for attending the University of Idaho. Budgets are reviewed annually and updated as needed.
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2. Although costs are always subject to change, this will give some idea of the average expenses.
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My mother and father do not support me; can I be considered an independent student?

For federal financial aid purposes an independent student is one who, by federal definition, is allowed to apply for financial aid without reporting parental income or other information, and who does not need to have parental signatures on the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who do not fit into the federal definition are required to supply parental information and signatures if they want to apply for federal aid.

In order to be considered an independent student, the student must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 24 years of age before January 1 of the academic year for which you are applying,
  • Be an orphan or ward of the court,
  • Emancipated minor,
  • Under legal guardianship (other than parent),  
  • Have a child/children for whom you provide more than half their financial support,
  • Be a married student,
  • Be a veteran of the armed forces,
  • Active military duty,
  • Homeless, 
  • Be a graduate student, or
  • Have a legal dependent other than a spouse or child.

Students and their families should read this section on the FAFSA very carefully before completing the form. If there is ANY question about the student's status, students and/or their families should contact Student Financial Aid Services BEFORE the form is filed. Student Financial Aid Services is required to have documentation from students who file as independent to prove they meet the definition as stated on the FAFSA.
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I will be getting married. How should I fill out my FAFSA?

We strongly encourage anyone who will be married before they earn their bachelors degree to come in and see their financial aid advisor. The FAFSA requires that students file at their current marital status. If students are not married as of the date they file the FAFSA, they must file as single. They cannot update their marital status until a new FAFSA is filed the next academic year. That is, once an application has been made under one marital status, it cannot be updated. Students may want to discuss the pros and cons of filing as single or waiting and filing as married with their financial aid advisor prior to submitting the FAFSA.
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My mother and father are divorced. Which parent's income do I show?
Students should report information on their FAFSA about the parent they lived with more during the last 12 months. If a student did not live with one parent more than the other, the student should use the parent who has given them more financial support (including money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes, car, etc.) during the most recent year in which support was provided. If the parent whose information is reported has remarried, the student must also include the step-parent's income information. If the student has any questions about which parent's income to use, he or she is encouraged to meet with their financial aid advisor prior to filing the FAFSA.
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When and how will I get my money? 
Vandal Card deposits made with financial aid/scholarships are available as early as 10 days prior to the start of classes for use only at the Bookstore or other on-campus vendors. Initial direct deposits to bank accounts will begin on the first day of class. Residual funds may be picked up from Student Accounts on or after the first day of classes if the student has not selected direct deposit for the current academic year

Financial aid is first used to pay for UI charges (fees, residence halls, etc.). If financial aid has not paid all UI charges, students must make arrangements with Student Accounts to pay the remaining balance. If financial aid has paid all UI charges and there are leftover funds (residual funds), students can opt for a direct deposit to their specified savings or checking account. Students may also use residual financial aid and/or scholarships to make deposits on their UI Vandal Card with their billing statement..
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What if I change my mind about accepting my awards?
Students who have previously declined a scholarship, grant, loan or work-study may submit a written request to have aid reinstated. All reinstatements are based on the availability of funds; however the Pell Grant and Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) Programs are available throughout the year as long as the student is still eligible to receive the funds.
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How will I be notified after I have done my FAFSA or FAFSA corrections?
Applicants who provide their e-mail address on their FAFSA will also be sent e-mails, usually within two weeks that contain a secure link to their SAR (Student Aid Report) information on the Web. By clicking on the URL imbedded in the message and providing their Social Security Number, date of birth, and the first two letters of their last name, students can see all of their application processing results, including their EFC, income and asset information, NSLDS History Information, database match results and all SAR comments associated with the transaction. Students can access their SAR information on the Web an unlimited number of times.
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Will scholarships and other resources impact my other financial aid awards?
Scholarships and other resources that help students with their educational expenses are used in calculating eligibility for federal aid. Common types of resources are scholarships, ROTC awards, tuition waivers, athletic tenders, vocational rehabilitation awards, resident assistance programs, etc. The demonstrated financial need (as determined through a processed FAFSA) to meet education costs is reduced as a result of these scholarships and other resources. They do not replace the expected family contribution (EFC) per federal regulation.

Upon receipt of scholarships and other resources, the amount of a federal aid award (with the exception of the Pell Grant) may be reduced or canceled if Student Financial Aid Services did not have knowledge of the scholarship or resource at the time of the initial award.
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How should I report my financial aid and scholarships on my tax return?
If you received scholarships or grants in the tax year, part of it may be taxable. You can exclude from income that part of the grants or scholarships used for:

  • Tuition and fees required for enrollment.
  • Fees, books, supplies and other equipment required for your courses (keep syllabus and receipts).

In other words, before you report scholarships and grants as taxable income, make sure you subtract your tuition & fees and books and supplies.

Taxable scholarships are reported on line 7 of Form 1040 or Form 1040A or line 1 of Form 1040EZ. You should write "SCH" and the taxable amount to the left of the line.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has two very informative websites. The first answers questions about Grants, Scholarships, Student Loans, Work-Study Interest/Dividends, and Other Types of Income and what is reportable and when. The other website answers tax questions that are of general interest to students.
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Can I lose my eligibility for financial aid because of a low GPA or too few credits?
(Satisfactory Academic Progress)
Students lose their federal/state financial aid eligibility when:

  • They fail to make/maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students are expected to complete (get a passing grade in) a minimum number of credits each year and to maintain a minimum grade point average each year to be eligible for aid for the following year. Students who have been declared ineligible for future aid due to unsatisfactory academic progress may appeal (petition) in an attempt to reestablish financial aid eligibility. Contact Student Financial Aid Services or review the current UI General Catalog for more information and procedures.
  • Their academic load drops below half-time (less than 6 credits per semester for undergraduates, less than 5 credits per semester for graduate/law students for any program except Pell Grant.) Note that in-school deferment is on outstanding student loans and the grace period begins retroactively to the last date of enrollment at half-time or greater. 

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General Questions

How much have I borrowed in student loans?

  • Students can access their Federal Student loan histories at the National Student Loan Data System. This link will provide the student with a summary of all federal loans borrowed. Students will need their federal pin to access their information.

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What do I do if my financial situation changes?

Changes in income, enrollment, medical issues, marital status for students or parent, or household size:
If a student experiences one of the above changes, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid Services at 1-888-8UIDAHO, 885-6312 or e-mail. We suggest you see or call your financial aid advisor with any of these changes as these changes may affect your financial aid eligibility.
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What happens to my financial aid if I add or drop classes?
You may lose all or part of your financial aid if:

  • Academic load drops below half-time (less than 6 credits per semester for undergraduates, less than 5 credits per semester for graduate/law students for any program except Pell Grant.) Note that in-school deferment is on outstanding student loans and the grace period begins retroactively to the last date of enrollment at half-time or greater.
  • You are an undergraduate students taking fewer than 12 credits and were awarded Pell Grants. You will receive a reduced or pro-rated award based on the actual number of credit hours per semester.
  • You are found to owe a repayment of financial aid or are not in good standing on a student loan. These students will lose their eligibility for the current year.

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What if I withdraw from school?
Students who withdraw from all classes during a semester may find that their aid has been decreased or canceled, and a repayment of some aid may be due. Federal regulations governing financial aid require that a recalculation of student’s financial aid eligibility for a given semester be performed upon withdrawal from classes. This repayment must be resolved with the Student Accounts Office before the student may re-enroll for a subsequent term.
Once students have withdrawn, information will be given to Student Financial Aid Services by the Registrar and by Student Accounts. The federal withdrawal calculation will be used to determine whether funds need to be repaid. Notification will be sent to the student regarding their new aid amounts.
Students who withdraw from all classes may also be suspended from receiving future financial aid because the student would not have met the criteria for satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. Students who withdraw in the fall semester and plan to re-enroll spring semester at UI should notify Financial Aid to ensure that their aid will be available.
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Billing Questions

Where can I see what I owe the University for tuition/fees and housing?
Billing statements are mailed out in mid-July for new students enrolled for the fall semester. Students can also log in to VandalWeb to see charges including tuition and fees (based on the number of credits for which a student is registered, wait-listed courses are not included) and housing charges (for those students who have contracted for a room with University Residences). There are no housing charges due to the university for students who plan to live in a sorority or fraternity or off-campus. Greek housing will bill students separately for sorority and fraternity housing.
In addition to university charges, bills will also show accepted financial aid awards for which the student is eligible based on the number of registered credits.
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Does the University of Idaho offer a payment plan for fees/tuition and housing charges?
A payment plan is available for those students who wish to participate.  Please contact Student Accounts for additional information.
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What is a Vandal Card, what is it used for, and where do I get one?
Your Vandal Card is your student ID card. The Vandal Card serves many purposes on campus. It provides access to numerous events and facilities including: athletic events, recreational facilities, the Student Health Center, and the library. Many locations use it for door access. It is the official university ID used to obtain payroll and financial aid checks. The Vandal Card can also be used as a debit card for purchasing university goods and services.
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Vandal Card Debit Accounts:
You can make Vandal Card debit account deposits at the Student Accounts/Cashier’s Office in the SUB or by calling 208-885-7447. You can also make deposits with your billing statement by writing in the amount of the deposit on the front of the form; include the amount of the deposit with your payment. You may also use financial aid and/or scholarships to make deposits with your billing statement on VandalWeb by clicking on "Student Account Information" and then "Billing Statement". Deposits made with financial aid/scholarships are available as early as the 10th day before classes start; so that you may use your Vandal Card account to make purchases at the Bookstore or other campus vendors after this date. Students can make Vandal Card deposits at any time using a check or credit card on VandalWeb

If you are a parent or someone who would like to put funds on a student's Vandal Card, you may do so with a check or credit card at Vandal Card Deposit. You will need the student's ID# and last name.

Please note that you can participate in the Bookstore’s Textbook Pre-Order program by indicating that payment will be available from financial aid and scholarships by the necessary date. This option is located in your VandalWeb under the Registration menu.

Once you arrive on campus, get your Vandal Card by visiting the Vandal Card Office in the Student Union Building (SUB) across from the Students Accounts Office. Bring your driver’s license and student ID number so that we may properly identify you. We will not process your card without picture identification. Once the card is issued, it can be used as your student identification and as a debit card on campus only. Note: you may deposit funds to your Vandal Card Account as noted above even before you receive the physical card!
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Do I have to purchase health insurance through the University?
The Idaho State Board of Education requires health insurance as a condition of enrollment for all degree-seeking students physically enrolled for classes or completing other required degree requirements within the state of Idaho. University of Idaho students who are enrolled for four or more credit hours at the Moscow campus or eight or more credit hours at the other UI locations are required to have health insurance. Students required to have health insurance will be automatically enrolled in the UI’s Comprehensive Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) unless they specifically opt out of it by providing proof of other insurance that meets the university’s requirements by September 8 for fall semester or February 7th for spring semester. After these dates, insurance cannot be waived or dependents added.
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How do I opt-out of the University’s Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP)?

• Go to VandalWeb
• Log in with your ID and NetID
• Go to the main menu and click "Student Account Information".
• Go to the “Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP)” menu
• Select “SHIP Enrollment/Waiver Form”
• Select the term from the drop down menu
• Provide the requested insurance information and submit
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How do I arrange for direct deposit of my financial aid and scholarships?
All students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit of their residual financial aid to their bank accounts. Residual financial aid is the aid that is left over after the billing statement has been paid in full. It is particularly important for students who are not on the Moscow campus (those at the off-campus sites, on national student exchange or study abroad) to arrange for direct deposit each academic year. The alternative is to make arrangements to have a check mailed.
To sign up for direct deposit of financial aid:
• Go to VandalWeb
• Log in with your ID and NetID
• Go to the “Student Account Information” menu
• Go to the “Direct Deposit Information” menu
• Have your bank account and routing numbers ready
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Why don’t I see my work-study award listed on the billing statement?
College Work-Study awards are not paid at the start of each semester. Instead, recipients receive a paycheck every two weeks for work performed and can earn up to the amount of their award over the course of the academic year. New students should attend a Work Study Orientation Session at the beginning of the term to complete the appropriate paperwork for their job.
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Why don’t I see my WUE award on the bill listed as a scholarship credit?
The WUE program is given to students in the form of reduction in tuition. Refer to the Tuition and Fee Schedule page for amounts.
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How do I make sure that my outside scholarships get credited to my Student Account?
If you are receiving scholarships from outside UI, please instruct the agency to send funds to the UI Office of Student Financial Aid by August 1st. Please be sure the agency includes your full name and UI student identification number with the check. Once our office receives the check, we will apply the funds as a credit to your UI Student Account to help offset any balance due. If you do not have an account balance, then the residual, or refund, will be provided to you either as a check or in a direct deposit if you have your personal bank account information on file with the university.
You may use the expected outside scholarship funds to help pay your account balance even if they are not listed on the bill. Just indicate the scholarship name and amount on the billing statement and return it to the UI Student Accounts Office.
Mail scholarship checks to:
Student Financial Aid Services
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 4291
Moscow, ID 83844-4291
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