Parent FAQs

Parents, on this page we answer your questions about the financial aid process and about resources that are available to you. Please browse the list below. If you have questions that this page does not address, please contact our office at (308) 865-8520 or at finaid1@unk.edu.

The following are some of the most common questions asked of our office:

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used to determine student eligibility for federal and state grants, work study, and loans. The information on the FAFSA is used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is used by the school to determine the student's financial aid award. 

What are the deadlines for Federal Financial Aid?

There are no deadlines for federal financial aid. There are deadlines for scholarships.

Students who want to be considered for Freshmen Scholarships must be admitted to UNK by March 1. Freshmen academic merit scholarships are awarded to students on the basis of their class rank and ACT score.

At the University of Nebraska at Kearney we do not have a priority date or deadline date for federal student aid. However, much of the financial aid is awarded on a first-come first-served basis. This is especially true of some limited federal, state, and institutional grants.

If your student is eligible for Collegebound Nebraska, the University's Tuition Assistance Program, to keep their eligibility they must apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1st and, if applicable, fulfill UNK's request(s) for supplemental documentation for their financial aid file by June 1st.

Where can I get help if I have questions about the financial aid forms?

You can call or email the UNK Office of Financial Aid if you have questions about the FAFSA or the UNK Financial Aid forms. We can assist you over the phone, or you may set up an appointment with a financial aid counselor for assistance. If you have questions specifically about the FAFSA, you can call the Federal Student Aid Center at 1-800-433-3243. EducationQuest offices located in Kearney, Lincoln and Omaha also help families complete financial aid forms. The EducationQuest Foundation provides free, reputable, and trustworthy college and financial assistance.

We advise that you never pay to have your financial aid applications prepared for you. The FAFSA is a free application. Companies that charge for this service are not always reputable.

Where do I get financial aid forms?

The FAFSA is most often completed online. Access the online FAFSA application, or navigate to our How to Apply page. A paper FAFSA may also be downloaded on the FAFSA website and completed for sending to the federal processor. If you do not have online access please contact our office. We can supply alternative instructions, including TTY instructions for the telephone.

Do I have to turn in paperwork in addition to the FAFSA? What is Verification?

You might. Schools are required by federal law to review a certain percentage of financial aid applications. This process is called verification. Your answers to the questions on the FAFSA are verified using federal tax information and other forms. Most applicants will not have to turn in any additional paperwork. However, if the Department of Education flags your FAFSA for review, the Office of Financial Aid will request the additional documents needed for the verification process.

My student is paying for college on his/her own. Why do I have to submit my information on the FAFSA?

A law established by Congress dictates when parental information is required on the FAFSA. Dependency, for federal aid purposes, is not determined by whether or not a student is claimed on their parent's tax return. A family’s decision that paying for college is the responsibility of the student is also not a determining factor. Students are defined as independent when they meet one or more of the conditions described in the FAFSA. Congress defined this dependency criteria to establish when it is the responsibility of the student and student's family to help finance an undergraduate degree.

Are there any resources that a parent can receive to help pay for a student's education?

Yes. Parents may be interested in borrowing a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan). This program allows parents to borrow up to the cost of education less any other financial aid the student has been offered. Information on the Federal Direct PLUS loan program can be found here.

What happens if a parent is denied a parent loan?

The parent applying for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan can be denied for credit reasons. If that happens, the student is eligible to borrow additional funds in the Federal Direct loan program. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have done a pre-approval for a Federal Direct PLUS loan and have been denied. We will work with the student to arrange for the additional Federal Direct Student Loan.

What is the income threshold for student aid eligibility?

There is no income threshold for student aid eligibility. All of the questions on the FAFSA are used to determine the Expected Family Contribution which results in the financial aid award package put together by the school. A family may have too much income to be awarded a Pell Grant, but this does not remove eligibility for other types of financial aid. At a minimum, application for Federal Student Aid via the FAFSA will result in eligibility for the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.

How will financial aid credit the student account?

If your student is registered for classes at UNK this is an automatic, computerized process. All Federal, State and UNK grants and scholarships listed on the award notification will automatically credit to the student's charges prior to the start of the semester. Student Loans will credit if the appropriate paperwork and entrance loan counseling sessions have been completed. Outside scholarships will credit when UNK has received the funds from the donor.

Is it possible to access my student's information?

Yes. Students have the option to allow others to view their academic records stored in MyBLUE. On the MyBLUE homepage, the Profile tab on the lower left side of the screen opens a Profile page. On the right side of the Profile page under Guest Access, the student will find information and a link to create and manage a Guest Account.