Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid

Financial Aid is a broad term that refers to several types and categories of Financial aid. The financial aid programs listed on this page represent some of the most common types of financial aid, but are not meant to be an exhaustive list. We have listed general definitions for common categories of financial aid with different types of aid resources listed under each category.


Grants are need-based awards that do not require repayment. UNK students receive grants from either the federal or state government. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required in order to apply.

  • Federal Pell Grant - Undergraduate gift aid from the Federal Government based on need. Funds will credit directly to the student's account with the institution.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant - (SEOG) Undergraduate gift aid from the Federal Government based on need. The student must be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant prior to receiving an SEOG award. Funds will credit directly to the student's account with the institution.
  • Nebraska Opportunity Grant - (NOG) Eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and Nebraska residency are prerequisite to be eligible for this grant. Funds will credit directly to the student's account with the institution.
  • University Tuition Assistance Grant - (UTAG) A need-based grant for undergraduate upperclassmen who are Nebraska residents. Applies to tuition only. Funds will credit directly to the student's account with the institution.
  • UNK Tuition Support - A need-based UNK grant for undergraduates that applies to tuition only. Funds will credit directly to the student's account with the institution.
  • UNK Grant - A need-based UNK grant for undergraduates. Funds will credit directly to the student's account with the institution

Student Loans

Student Loans are borrowed and must be repaid. Repayment generally does not begin until the student leaves school or graduates. Some loans accumulate no interest while the student is in school, others begin to accumulate interest immediately. A FAFSA must be completed in order to be eligible for a Federal Perkins Loan and/or a Direct Student Stafford Loan.

  • Federal Perkins Loan - The Federal Perkins Loan is a loan program for undergraduates at UNK. The Perkins loan program is funded by UNK and the Federal Government. Interest is not charged nor repayment required until a student drops below half-time, leaves school, or graduates. The interest rate is fixed at five percent and there is no origination fee. The Perkins program requires that two offices administer the awarding and disbursement of this fund. As such, the Finance Office is the primary administrator of this program after the initial award has been made and has more detailed information about the Perkins Loan Program on their website.
  • Direct Student Stafford Loans - Direct Student loans are borrowed from the U.S. Treasury. A 1.051% loan origination fee will be charged. Annual loan limits and a school's financial aid budget determine the maximum amount of Direct Stafford loan offered to a student.

There are two types of Direct Stafford Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. A Subsidized Stafford Loan accrues no interest while the student attends school. An Unsubsidized Stafford Loan accrues interest during attendance. Interest payments to an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan do not have to be made while in school. We do, however, encourage unsubsidized loan borrowers to begin making the interest payments in order to minimize the total debt owed when finishing school. Making the interest payments keeps the loan debt from inflating beyond the original principle amount borrowed. Click here for interest rate information.

  • Alternative Loans - Available to students from private lenders. If you need additional funds and have exhausted all other options, you may want to consider an alternative loan. These loans are simply consumer loans with some student loan features, most notably that payments are deferred until the student is out of school. These loans are offered by various lenders each with unique terms and conditions. Generally, alternative loans have a higher interest rate and/or fees than federal student loans. We encourage students to visit with a financial aid counselor if they are considering an alternative loan.

Parent Loans

Parent Loans enable parents to contribute funds toward the educational expenses of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time.

  • Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) - The PLUS loan is a non-need based, low interest loan which a parent can borrow to help cover educational expenses for a dependent student. This is a loan borrowed from the U.S. Treasury with a fixed interest rate of 6.41%. Unless other arrangements are made, repayment begins upon receipt of the first loan disbursement. Interest begins to accrue as soon as the school receives the loan funding. The origination fee is 4.204%.

Work Study

Work Study provides the opportunity to work part-time while going to school. Funding for this program comes primarily from the federal government and, as such, is a federal program. Students must complete a FAFSA in order be eligible. A student must have financial need; that is, his or her cost of attendance (COA) must be greater than the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

  • Federal College Work Study - Work Study provides undergraduates the opportunity to earn money working on campus or through community service organizations. Although generally there are positions available, securing a job is not guaranteed. A list of available jobs is posted at the Student Employment Services website. Your award is the maximum you can earn. However, the dollar amount listed for the Work Study award does not become actual money until the student applies for a work study job, gets a job, works the hours, and earns the money. A student typically works 10-20 hours per week and is often paid minimum wage, but may earn more. The student will receive a paycheck every other week. The money will go directly to the student and NOT the student's account with the Finance Office. It is possible in some situations to convert work study eligibility to Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan eligibility and vice versa. If you accept this award, you will be emailed detailed information about the work study program before classes start. The Federal Work Study Program has many advantages for the student. As a full time student earning Work Study money, those earnings are Social Security tax exempt. In addition, the following year's financial aid application will ask you to list work-study earnings for the sake of excluding them from the calculation that determines financial aid for the next year.


Scholarships are merit-based awards that do not require repayment.

  • Freshmen scholarships are for UNK's incoming class of new students. A student is automatically considered for these scholarships upon submission of the three following items:
    • admissions application
    • high school transcript with class rank
    • ACT or SAT score.

    The deadline for submitting these items to the Admissions office is February 1st.

  • Continuing Student Scholarship applications are available to continuing UNK students. During the month of February, scholarship listings are posted on the web. Students may apply for these scholarships using the standard online application. Applications may be submitted during February only. The listings will be discontinued on March 1st.
  • Transfer Scholarships are available for those students who are coming to UNK from other institutions. Transfer students must be admitted by April 1st to be eligible for these scholarships.
  • Outside Scholarships are scholarships that students are awarded from organizations outside of and separate from UNK. Although they are not awarded by UNK, they are included in the tally of the student's total financial aid resources for the purpose of accurately determining the student's financial aid eligibility at UNK.