Scholarships and Financial Aid

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid provides financial assistance to students who might otherwise be unable to attend the University. Financial aid awarded through the office may include grants, scholarships, loans or work-study. Most financial aid is determined based on documented financial need, which is the difference between the cost of attending the University, the Expected Family Contribution and the financial resources available to the student.

To apply for financial assistance, students must complete a need analysis form each year. The office requires students to complete either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). The FAFSA should be completed by students who are U.S. citizens. The TASFA should be used by non-citizens who are classified as Texas residents; the Apply page of the Texas One Stop website has more information on the TASFA. The information submitted through these applications helps the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid assess family resources and determine eligibility for specific aid programs.

Students who are admitted as transient/non-degree-seeking and attend the University are not eligible for financial aid through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Estimated Costs. Pursuant to state law, The University of Texas System Board of Regents (the Board) is authorized to set tuition. Please visit Tuition Rates on the Texas One Stop website for up-to-date information regarding Fall 2020 rates.

Estimated costs for tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous items for a typical student (both undergraduate and graduate) living in University-owned housing for the 2020-2021 long sessions (fall and spring semesters) and summer session are available on the Cost of Attendance page of the Texas One Stop website. The tuition amounts included in these figures are based on an average course load of 12 or more semester hours for undergraduates and nine or more semester hours for graduate students.

Application dates. The University strongly recommends that all students complete their financial aid applications by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's priority filing date. More information about the priority filing date and financial aid is published by Texas One Stop

A student may apply for financial aid before being officially admitted to the University, but the awarding of aid is contingent upon admission. Aid cannot be disbursed until the student is officially enrolled.

Prospective freshmen apply for scholarships by completing the ApplyTexas application or the Coalition for College application. Continuing and transfer students may apply for annually awarded scholarships by completing the UT Austin Continuing and Transfer Student Scholarship Application. For more information, including deadlines, see Scholarships on the Texas One Stop website.

Course load requirements. Most financial aid programs are based on a minimum full-time enrollment of 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and from nine to 15 credit hours for graduate students, depending on the student’s academic program. Students may receive financial aid for less than full-time enrollment, but the amount of aid awarded may be adjusted based on the student’s final enrollment status. Some financial aid programs require that award amounts be reduced proportionally for less than full-time enrollment. To receive financial assistance for summer session, students (except those admitted as transient/non-degree-seeking) must enroll for classes in a designated summer session.

Changes in financial circumstances. Students are responsible for reporting to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid any change in their financial resources that occurs after the initial application for aid is submitted. A documented decrease in resources may make a student eligible for an increase in financial aid, if funds are available; an increase in resources may result in a reduction or cancellation of financial aid funds or a requirement to repay awards already released to the student. Students can submit a Reduction in Income Appeal Form to report changes in student or parent income.

Satisfactory Academic Progress. Federal law requires that institutions of higher education monitor the academic progress of students who receive federal financial aid. In order to remain eligible for federal, state, and some institutional financial aid, students must comply with The University of Texas at Austin's standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP); requirements for satisfactory progress are: 

  1. Minimum GPA: An undergraduate student must maintain a cumulative University grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00. A graduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
  2. Minimum Pace: A student must successfully complete at least 75% of the credit hours they attempt. 
  3. Maximum Timeframe: A student may attempt no more than 134% of the credit hours required by his or her degree program.

Undergraduate students who have received financial aid will be evaluated for SAP at the end of every semester. Graduate students will be evaluated annually at the end of the spring semester. For more specific information about the policy and the appeal procedure, see Maintaining Eligibility on the Texas One Stop website.

Types of Financial Aid  

A student who submits a FAFSA or TASFA is considered for all applicable federal, state, and institutional funds that are administered by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. The composition of the aid package depends on the characteristics of the student, including program eligibility and degree of financial need, as well as on the availability of funds. For more information, see Types of Financial Aid on the Texas One Stop website.

Scholarships and Grants

Students who apply for financial assistance by the priority deadline are considered for all scholarship and grant awards administered through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. To be considered for a Federal Pell Grant, a student must be enrolled as an undergraduate and have not yet received a bachelor’s degree. Many scholarships and grants awarded through the financial aid process are based on financial need. For more information, see Scholarships or Grants on the Texas One Stop website.

In addition to specific qualifications for competitive undergraduate scholarships and fellowships awarded by the University, the entity responsible for selecting recipients for a given scholarship or fellowship may consider such factors as the following in designating recipients:

  • Standardized test scores
  • Class rank
  • Grade point average
  • Leadership and extracurricular activities
  • Status in national academic competitions
  • Academic performance within a major and other performance criteria
  • Financial need
  • Educational level

Loans

Federal loan programs are available to assist students who show financial need. These programs have interest rates that may be adjusted annually and do not require repayment of principle or interest until the student has graduated or is no longer enrolled half-time. In addition, the loans offer a grace period between the time the student leaves school and the time repayment begins. Deferment or cancellation of repayment is available for certain situations, such as military service, periods of unemployment, or teaching service in designated schools.

Federal and state loans are available to both students and parents of students who do not show financial need. Interest rates on these loans are set by federal and state law. Under certain conditions, repayment of these loans may be deferred while the student is enrolled in school. For more information, see Loans on the Texas One Stop website.

Work-Study

Federal, state and institutional work-study programs provide jobs for students who show financial need and want to earn money to cover part of their educational expenses while attending school. The majority of work-study jobs are on campus, though some may be at off-campus nonprofit agencies. Depending on their educational interests and experience, students may choose from a variety of employment opportunities. For more information, see Work Study on the Texas One Stop website.

Other Services Not Based on Financial Need  

Emergency Loans. Short-term loans are available for emergency expenses related to educational costs. For more information on what type of short-term loans are available, visit Loans on the Texas One Stop website.

Student Employment. In addition to overseeing the work-study program at The University of Texas at Austin, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid works in conjunction with Texas Career Engagement assisting students in finding part-time, seasonal, and summer employment through HireUTexas powered by Handshake.

Requirements for Student Borrowers  

Mandatory counseling sessions. Prior to receiving the first disbursement of a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, or Federal Perkins Loan, student borrowers must complete an online loan counseling session, in which they receive information about their obligations, rights, and privileges as borrowers. In addition, student loan recipients who withdraw, graduate, or drop to less than half-time will be required to complete an online exit interview. The exit interview gives information about their repayment obligations and the consequences of failure to repay.

Identification and release of official transcript. Records of students who have received loans are identified to the Office of the Registrar. Students may not obtain official academic transcripts if they fail to repay federal, state, or University loans under the terms and conditions to which they agreed when they applied for the loans.

Tuition Refunds and Repayment of Financial Aid  

Students who are awarded financial aid for a specific semester but cease attendance/withdraw prior to the beginning of classes are required to repay all funds released back to the University. Students who cease attendance/withdraw after the beginning of classes may be required to repay at least some portion of the funds received. The amount to be repaid is calculated according to a repayment policy determined by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, according to federal regulations. Repayment varies depending on the amount and type of funds received and when the student leaves the University. Any refund of tuition or University housing charges due to a student may be used to meet the repayment requirement.

Students who received financial aid may have all or part of the calculated refund credited to the student aid programs from which the student was paid. The remaining refund, if any, will be paid to the student.

Federal regulations require that refunds due to student aid programs be credited in the following order: (1) Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan; (2) Federal Direct Subsidized Loan; (3) Federal Perkins Loan; (4) Federal Direct Grad Plus; (5) Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students; (6) Federal Pell Grant; (7) Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant; (8) other federal student aid programs; (9) nonfederal student aid program. Nonfederal student aid programs are refunded in the following order: (1) state grants; (2) institution grants; (3) state loans; (4) scholarships, if specified by donor.