Parents this page is for you. We are endeavoring to answer the questions you may have about the financial aid process and resources that are available to you. Listed below are some of the most common questions that have been asked of us. As always, if you have questions this page does not address, please contact our office.
The following are some of the most common questions asked of our office:
A. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used to determine eligibility for federal and state student 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. For a more in depth discussion on the awarding of financial aid check out the Determining Your Eligibility link.
Q. Financial Aid Deadlines. Are there any?
A. There are no deadlines for federal financial aid. There are for scholarships.
Freshmen academic merit scholarships are awarded to students on the basis of their class rank and ACT score. Students who want to be considered for Freshmen Scholarships must be admitted by February 1. Check out the Freshman Scholarship page for more information.
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 we award is done so on a first-come first-served basis. This is especially true of some limited federal, state and institutional grants. The College Bound Nebraska tuition guarantee does have its own deadline. Click here for more information on the College Bound Nebraska program.
Q. Where can I get help if I have questions about the financial aid forms?
A. 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. Education Quest offices located in Kearney, Lincoln and Omaha also help families complete financial aid forms. The Education Quest Foundation provides free, reputable and trustworthy college and financial assistance. We advise you never pay someone to complete your financial aid applications for you. Companies that charge for this service are not always reputable.
Q. Where do I get financial aid forms?
A. The FAFSA is most often done online. Access to the online FAFSA is on our New Financial Aid Applicants page. A paper FAFSA may also be downloaded and completed for sending to the federal processor. If you do not have online access please contact our office for options or for a paper FAFSA.
Q. Do I have to turn in paperwork in addition to the FAFSA?
A. 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 checked 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 we will request the additional documents needed for the verification process.
Q. My student is paying for college on his/her own. Why do I have to submit my information on the FAFSA?
A. The law that Congress established defines when parental information is required on the FAFSA. Being claimed or not on a parent's tax return does not determine dependency for federal aid purposes, nor does a family’s decision that paying for college is the responsibility of the student. A student only becomes independent when they meet one 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.
Q. Are there any resources that a parent can receive to help pay for a student's education?
A.Yes! Parents may be interested in borrowing through a program called Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). This is a program that allows parents to borrow up to the cost of education less any other financial aid the student has been offered. Information on the PLUS loan program can be accessed by clicking here.
Q. What happens if a parent is denied a parent loan?
A. The parent applying for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS) can be denied for credit reasons. If that happens the student is eligible to borrow additional funds in the Stafford loan program. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have done a pre-approval for a PLUS loan and have been denied. We will work with the student to get the additional Stafford loan for them.
Q. What is the income threshold for a family before financial aid is not offered to a student?
A. 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 put together by the school. A family may have too much income to be awarded a Pell Grant, but this does not mean that they will not be eligible for other types of financial aid. At a minimum, application for Federal Student Aid, via the FAFSA, will result in eligibility in the Federal Stafford Loan Program.
Q. How will financial aid credit the student account?
A. 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 your 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 if UNK has received the money from the donor(s).
Q. How do PIN numbers work at UNK?
A. UNK uses a secure web-based student information system called MyBLUE. In order to see confidential information like their financial aid award, our students set up their own unique MyBLUE PIN number. In addition to financial aid, students use their MyBLUE PIN to look up their student billing account, register for classes and see their grades. Keep in mind this PIN is different than the U.S. Department of Education PIN assigned to your student in conjunction with completing the FAFSA. It is essential that students understand how important it is to keep track of their PIN numbers and also how important it is to keep them confidential.