Understanding Financial Aid

Find answers to frequently asked questions about financial aid.

Our team works closely with families applying for financial aid. Here are some of the most common questions we hear. This FAQ page is just a starting point. Please reach out to our Financial Aid Office with any additional questions.


Financial Aid FAQ for Undergraduate Students

Absolutely! 100% of our degree-seeking, full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. Even if you don’t think you qualify for aid, you probably do! Not all financial aid is need-based, meaning you can receive financial aid, like a scholarship, based on merit.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. To apply for federal student aid, like federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete this free form. You can find the form online at studentaid.gov.

You can submit your FAFSA as soon as the FAFSA is available for completion. The FAFSA for the 2023-2024 academic year became available on October 1, 2022. The FAFSA for the 2024-2025 academic year will be available in December of 2023.

  • Social Security number and driver license
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information
  • Records of your untaxed income. For example
    • child support received
    • interest income
    • veterans noneducational benefits
  • Current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • The same information listed above for your parent(s) or spouse, if necessary
  • Your alien registration card if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • The University of Jamestown’s school code: 0029900

For additional information visit studentaid.gov.

The FAFSA is available on October 1st for the next school year. For instance, the 2022-2023 FAFSA was available October 1, 2021.

If you need assistance with your FSA ID please visit studentaid.gov.

No. Applicants for admission should submit the FAFSA with the UJ school code added. (UJ School Code 0029900)

Yes, eligibility for all forms of federal aid is determined based upon an annual review of the information submitted on the FAFSA. Annual changes in family income, assets, family size, and the number of dependent children enrolled in college will affect the annual expected family contribution toward educational expenses.

If you are an undergraduate student, the maximum amount you can borrow each year in Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans ranges from $5,500 to $12,500 per year, depending on what year you are in school and your dependency status.

Online students are eligible for federal and state financial aid programs, private education loans, and some institutional scholarships.

A Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal student loan for which a borrower isn’t generally responsible for paying the interest while in an in-school enrollment period (or other deferment periods). Interest begins accruing for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans as soon as the loan is credited.

To be eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, you must be an undergraduate student with financial need. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to students pursuing an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree enrolled at least half-time.

Both of these types of loans are for students, in the student’s name, and not transferrable to another borrower. Learn more about the difference.

Your SSN and name must be correct on the FAFSA. You must file a new FAFSA if your SSN is incorrectly reported.

You can correct your FAFSA here.  Be sure to select “Make FAFSA Corrections”. For more information on correcting your FAFSA, visit studentaid.gov.

Verification is the process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate. If you’re selected for verification, your school will request additional documentation that supports the information you reported. Don’t assume you’re being accused of doing anything wrong.

The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to students with the highest federal financial need. You have to complete the FAFSA every year you’re in school in order to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.

The amount you get, though, will depend on:

  • Your Expected Family Contribution
  • The cost of attendance (determined by your school for your specific program)
  • Your status as a full-time or part-time student

The Federal SEOG is awarded to Pell recipients with the highest federal financial need.

Loan counseling is a required online tutorial to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Loan borrower.

To complete the entrance counseling requirement:

  • Under Complete Aid Process, open “Complete Entrance Counseling” on the Student Aid Website.
  • Log in with your FSA I.D.
  • Progress through the counseling tool until you complete all sections.

You should plan 20-30 minutes to complete.  UJ will be notified of your completion within 1-2 business days.

The MPN is an agreement to repay your Direct Loans along with accrued interest and fees. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loans.

To sign the MPN:

  • Under Complete Aid Process, open “Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)” on the Student Aid Website.
  • Select the type of Direct Loan MPN that corresponds to your student status (undergraduate or graduate/professional) and log in with your FSA ID.
  • Progress through the entire MPN process until you complete all sections.

UJ will be notified of your completion within 1-2 business days.

Your parent can apply for the Federal Direct PLUS loan at www.studentaid.gov. The information provided in the application will be sent to UJ. We will use that information to determine your eligibility for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan and process the loan.

Before you can receive a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, your parent must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (Direct PLUS Loan MPN), which explains all of the terms and conditions of Federal Direct PLUS Loans and constitutes their legally binding agreement to repay all Federal Direct PLUS Loans that you receive under the Direct PLUS Loan MPN. Your parent will have an opportunity to complete the Direct PLUS Loan MPN after they complete the Direct PLUS Loan Request.

For federal loans, you fill out the FAFSA, but for private student loans, you must apply directly with the financial institution, sharing your financial information in hopes of qualifying. Some private lenders require the FAFSA be completed by the loan applicant.

For more information, visit the loans section of our website. Then:

  • Scroll to “Private Alternative Loans”
  • Click on “Private Alternative Loans (FASTChoice)”
  • Click “Next.” Then, click “Next” again.

FASTChoice houses the University of Jamestown’s Preferred Lender List. Review each loan option and select the best one for you. Click the “Product Name” for the loan you wish to apply for and then click “Apply for this loan”. Follow the online instructions to complete your loan application.

Your answers to questions on the FAFSA determine your dependency status for financial aid purposes. Being financially independent from your parents does not make you independent for financial aid purposes.

If you do not meet the criteria to be considered independent but can document special circumstances about your independence, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid.

For more information about a student’s dependency status visit studentaid.gov.

Your answers to questions on the FAFSA determine your dependency status for financial aid purposes. Filing your own taxes does not make you independent for financial aid purposes.

If you do not meet the criteria to be considered independent but can document special circumstances about your independence, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid.

For more information about a student’s dependency status visit studentaid.gov.

The FAFSA form asks for marital status “as of today” (the day it’s filled out). If you or your parent is married now but wasn’t in the requested tax year (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), the spouse’s requested tax year income will need to be added to the FAFSA form.

If you or your parent filed in the requested tax year as married but is no longer married when filling out the FAFSA form, the spouse’s income will need to be removed.

For more information visit studentaid.gov.

You should submit the information of the parent who provided the most financial support during the last 12 months or during the most recent year that you were supported by a parent. Support includes money, housing, food, clothes, car, medical and dental care, payment of college costs, etc. Also, if the parent described above is married or remarried as of the date you completed the FAFSA, you must include the financial information about your step-parent.

Federal guidelines do not allow for you to update marital status in the middle of an awarding year. Once you file the FAFSA indicating that you are single, you will not be able to change that information until you file the FAFSA again for the following year.

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment on your Federal Direct Loans. During this period, you’ll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you’ll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly.

Repayment terms on private alternative loans vary depending on the lender.

Visit our Loans page for more information.

The best source of information is the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). It provides a list of federal loans you have received for each academic period, interest rates on each loan, the cumulative amount of your loans, and where you should send payments. You will need your FSA ID to access the NSLDS site.

Federal Work-Study is a federal student aid program offering on campus job opportunities for financial aid applicants who meet specific eligibility criteria.

Institutional Work-Study may be available to students who do not meet the eligibility criteria of Federal Work-Study.

Students are required to complete forms I-9 and W-4 before they can begin working on campus. To complete the I-9, a UJ employee must review original documents that prove your identity and citizenship status. A U.S. Passport proves both identity and citizenship. Other acceptable documents are a U.S. Social Security card or certified birth certificate and some form of photo ID. Photocopies are not accepted. These forms may be completed in the Financial Aid Office.

UJ does not place students in jobs and no job at UJ is guaranteed. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to conduct a job search, apply for jobs, interview, and be hired.

A list of work-study departments and positions is available here. You can either email the supervisor listed with the department in which you are interested in working, or visit with them in person.

Complete this outside scholarship form to have additional scholarships added to your financial aid as funds that you will be receiving.

The Financial Aid Office’s hours are: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. You can reach out by phones at 701-252-3467 Ext 5556 or email ujfinaid@uj.edu.

Call 701-252-3467, Ext._____

  • Semester Bill – Business Office, Ext 5561
  • Grants, Loans or Work Study – Financial Aid, Ext. 5556
  • Housing or Meal Plan – Residence Life, Ext. 5002
  • Admissions Counselor – Admissions, Ext 5562

You can start that appeal process by filling out this form.

Financial Aid FAQ for Graduate Students

The most common types of low-interest loans used by graduate and professional school students include the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan, the Federal Grad PLUS Loan and private student loans. The Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan for graduate students and the Federal Grad PLUS Loan are both unsubsidized loans, meaning interest is accruing while you’re enrolled and during the grace period.

  • Go to www.fsaid.ed.gov to obtain an FSA ID.
  • Go to www.studentaid.gov (or myStudentAid app) to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete each section of the FAFSA. Since you are a graduate student, you’re considered independent, so you don’t have to complete the parent information.
  • If you’ve already completed the FAFSA, you can simply add UJ’s school code. Don’t forget to sign and submit your FAFSA form after you’ve made this edit (or any other edit you make).

Graduate students are eligible for Federal Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans of up to $20,500 per year.  These funds must be divided evenly between the terms in the award year, even if the charges are not even between the terms. Read more on studentaid.gov at https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized.

Am I eligible for a Federal Grad PLUS Loan?

To receive a Federal Grad PLUS Loan, you must:

If you are denied a Grad PLUS Loan, you can re-apply with a qualified cosigner. (Note: If you are denied a Grad PLUS Loan because of an adverse credit history, you are not eligible for higher Federal Unsubsidized Loan limits.)

A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have adverse credit history, you may still receive a Grad PLUS Loan through one of the following two options:

  • Obtain an endorser who has a favorable credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Grad PLUS Loan if you do not repay it.
  • Document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

The interest rate on the Direct PLUS loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 and before July 1, 2023 is 7.54%.

This is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan for that award year.  The loan servicer assigned to your loan will charge an origination fee of around 4.228%.

Alternative student loans are privately funded loans that are NOT part of the federal student loan program. They are offered by banks, credit unions, and other lending institutions, and are designed to supplement federal financial aid awarded to students when it does not fully meet the funding needs of students. Each private loan lender determines the interest rates, fees, and eligibility criteria for the loans they offer, and many lenders also require a cosigner. All private loans require a credit check to be performed to determine eligibility.

Students will need to apply directly with the lender of their choice. Most students will be required to have someone co-sign the loan application. Interest rates for loans are determined by the lender and are based on the credit-worthiness of the student and co-signer. UJ maintains a preferred lender list on our website, but you may choose any lender – we’ll certify a loan for any qualified student from any lender.

You will likely need a co-signer to meet a lender’s credit and income requirements. A few lenders consider borrowers without a co-signer.

Pell Grants aren’t available to graduate school students. By having completed a bachelor’s degrees, you are no longer eligible for the Federal Pell Grant or any need-based state financial aid, including Federal Subsidized Direct Loans. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans are available for grad students.

The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial assistance you receive. COA is determined by the school and includes direct charges from the school, and indirect charges not charged by the school.

You don’t have to start making payments until six months after you graduate, withdraw from school, or drop below half-time enrollment. That period of six months is called a grace period. However, interest will accrue and capitalize on your loans while you are enrolled and during the six-month grace period. You CAN make payments to your student loans while you are enrolled and in grace if you want to.

Quality education, at an affordable price.

We believe every student should have access to a UJ education, regardless of their financial situation.


of degree-seeking, full-time undergraduates

receive some type of financial aid.

$12.49 Million

in scholarships, grants, and waivers.

This is the amount awarded to students in the 21-22 school year.


of graduate students

receive financial aid.


Each full-time, undergraduate student

who resides on campus receives at least $8,000 in scholarships from UJ.

Need more information?

Our team is ready to help. Please reach out with any questions.

Financial Aid Office

The Financial Aid Office is open M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. It is located on the lower level of Liechty Center/Taber Hall.