FAQ


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Question Answer

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. Your eligibility for financial aid is based on data from the prior calendar year – information that may change from year to year. Be sure to submit the correct year FAFSA, Renewal FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application for the academic year that you plan to enroll, and by the annual March 2 deadline.

How can I check to see whether my FAFSA has been processed?

If you submit online, you can check the status of your FAFSA immediately. 

You can check the status of a paper FAFSA after it has been processed (roughly 7–10 days from the date mailed) by logging in to fafsa.gov or by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

If your FAFSA is still being processed, we recommend that you wait a few days before checking the status again.

How do I use IRS Data Retrieval to update the estimated tax information I used to complete my FAFSA now that my taxes are filed?

See directions for using the IRS Data Retrieval tool here.

How do I apply for scholarships? now that my taxes are filed?

If you’re a new student, you apply for scholarships on the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships. Scholarship awards may be based on your academic achievement and/or financial need. UCR scholarship notifications will be included in financial aid offers.

If you are a continuing student, you are encouraged to check for scholarship opportunities sent to UCR from outside agencies throughout the year. Scholarships are available through various corporations, civic organizations, and clubs, as well as from some parents' employers.

Below are just a few resources for online scholarship searches.

     Learn more about scholarships.

How can I get Work-Study?

Connect with the Career Center to learn more about Work-Study and how to apply for it

 

I don't want to borrow loans. How do I get grant money?

Most grant funds are targeted to the highest need students from the lowest income families. For example, Federal Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students who meet Federal Expected Family Contributions limits.  University grant funds are offered to undergraduate students who apply on time, based on family income and financial need.   If you do not qualify for grant funding, fixed rate, low interest federal loans are a good way to finance your education and invest in your future.

Other options to reduce your need to borrow include:

    • Work part-time in an on or off-campus position.
    • Reduce your costs by carefully choosing your housing plans and transportation expenses. You can also control and reduce your food and personal expenses from the amounts allowed in the financial aid budgets.
    • Look for outside scholarships to reduce your loan and work aid.

Learn more about grants

What is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (which appears on your financial aid offer on Growl) is the amount that you and your parents are expected to contribute towards your education over the course of the academic year.  Your EFC may include both a student contribution and a parent contribution.

Your EFC figure is not an actual amount that you and your parents have to pay to UCR, but is an approximation of how much you and your parents should reasonably be able to contribute toward all of your educational expenses, including your housing, food, and utility costs, as well as costs due to personal expenses and transportation that will not be on any UCR billing statement.

In general, when your financial aid does not cover your full quarterly/monthly billing “amount due,” this amount will come from your “Family Contribution”.

Do I have to pay the Parent Contribution (PC) to the college?

Not necessarily. Quarterly fees, on-campus housing charges, and parking fees are paid directly to the college and will show up on your Growl student account. Your financial aid will first credit these charges, and then you are responsible for paying any of the expenses remaining. These expenses, and any other remaining educational costs, can be paid out of pocket or your parents may be eligible to borrow a parent PLUS loan to replace all or part of the PC.

What if we need additional financial aid assistance?

You may be eligible to borrow a Parent PLUS Loan to replace all or a portion of the Expected Parent Contribution (PC) (and/or the Expected Student Contribution (SC). The maximum PLUS you may borrow is the UCR cost of attendance less other financial aid. To determine the maximum amount you may qualify to receive, subtract the Total Financial Aid shown on your financial aid award on Growl from the Total Cost of Attendance.

In addition, students may be able to replace a portion of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. If the student is not receiving the maximum Stafford Loan based on his or her grade level, he/she may borrow the remaining amount in an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Can I get an early estimate of my financial aid award at UCR?

Yes! Check out UCR’s Financial Aid Estimator. Actual aid awards begin to appear on MyUCR on or after the date you’ve been admitted beginning in Mid-March, and can also be viewed at UCR’s student portal on Growl.

 

When will my financial aid funds be available to pay my fees?

Once you have accepted your financial aid, it will be applied to pay your registration fees automatically prior to the deadline to pay fees, as long as you have submitted any required documents, enrolled in courses, cleared all holds, and completed pre-loan counseling (new borrowers). You should accept your awards on Growl and submit your loan promissory notes at least two weeks prior to the date that fees are due in order to allow for processing in time to meet the fee payment deadline. For example, fall bills are usually available to view on Growl in mid-August and fall fees are usually due September 15.

Outside scholarships may be issued to you directly in a check, depending on the procedures of the donor. Scholarship checks made payable to UC Regents will be credited to your student account as soon as possible, either in full or 1/3 of the amount each quarter.

Federal Work-Study is paid on a monthly basis by a payroll check for hours worked the preceding month and will NOT appear as credits towards the student account or fee charges.

What if I need aid to pay for costs other than fees?

You will receive the balance of any remaining financial aid in a “refund” of account overages. You will receive your financial aid refund in a direct deposit to your bank account via electronic funds transfer. Direct deposits are usually available to you on the first day of each quarter. Visit Student Business Services to get more info on Direct Deposit application deadlines.

What types of aid are available at UCR?   

There are two types of financial aid: gift-aid and self-help aid. Students may be awarded a financial aid package including a combination of these. Gift-aid includes grants and scholarships which do not have to be repaid or earned. Self-help aid includes loans, which must be repaid, and work-study funds, which must be earned.

What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

"Subsidized" means the federal government pays the interest on a borrower's loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods. Students must demonstrate financial need to qualify for subsidized loans such as the federal Stafford and Perkins Loans.

“Unsubsidized” means the federal government does not pay interest on the loan while the student is in school, during the grace period, or while in deferment. Interest is charged on the loan from the date on which it is disbursed until it is paid in full. The interest may be paid on a monthly basis, but borrowers usually allow it to accumulate, in which cas

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