Student Financial Assistance

Assistance Available from Federal, State, Local, and Institutional Programs

There are three major types of financial assistance available for college students. These include:

  • Grants and Scholarships - Financial aid that does not have to be repaid (unless you withdraw from school). Grants and scholarships can be need based or non-need based.

  • Student Loans - Money students borrow to pay for educational expenses. Loans have to be paid back with interest. Loans can be need based (subsidized loans) or non-need based.

  • Work-Study - This is a program in which the student works to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. The federal work-study program is a need-based program.

Federal Aid

The University of Arkansas participates in the following federal financial aid programs. Click on the link below for a description of each aid program. Students apply for federal financial aid programs by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and being eligible for the federal financial aid programs. Perkins Loans, SEOG, and Federal Work-Study funds are limited and are generally awarded to the students with the greatest financial need. Students are encouraged to apply by the March 1 priority deadline. Students must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) each year to continue to receive federal financial aid. Students are encouraged to know the policy and requirements for SAP.

State Aid

The Financial Aid Division of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education administers most of the state financial aid programs for Arkansas, including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship and Arkansas Governor’s Scholarship. Some programs are need based and some are non-need based. Students apply for state aid by completing the YOUniversal application.

Institutional Scholarships

The University of Arkansas has a number of merit scholarships available for new students and current students. Some scholarships are need based, but the majority of opportunities are non-need based. Click on each link for application information, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and renewal polices.

Outside Aid

Students will find a number of funding opportunities beyond federal financial aid, state aid, and institutional aid programs, but it takes time to search out those opportunities. Many local organizations provide scholarships and grants, so students are encouraged to research opportunities in their local community. Scholarships may be one-time awards or scholarships that are renewable for two or more years.

Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Certain drug related offenses might prohibit students from receiving federal financial aid. Please review the Federal Student Aid website for additional information, including methods to regain eligibility.

Additional Student Loan Information

Student loans help eligible students cover the cost of higher education; however, students should fully understand their rights and responsibilities when deciding to borrow. Students should fully review all of the loan information available on the Federal Student Aid website and the website, including the publications available. Additional University specific loan information can be found on the financial aid office website.

Students that borrow under the federal direct loan program will be expected to complete Entrance Counseling before the loan funds can be disbursed. In addition, when enrollment drops below half time, students are required to complete Exit Counseling. Both counseling sessions are available at

Students are also advised to use a repayment estimator to calculate payments under different loan scenarios and repayment options.

Additional Financial Aid Information

Please refer to the Pathway to Financial Aid Success for additional information regarding terms and conditions for federal loans, SAP, financial aid disbursements, work-study,  loan counseling and other rights and responsibilities of students receiving financial assistance.

Students are also encouraged to review the Office of Financial Aid website for additional information on all of these topics.

The University of Arkansas begins disbursing financial aid funds 7-10 days prior to the start of classes. Students with federal Pell Grants can use any applicable credit balance to purchase books and supplies.

Study Abroad and Financial Aid Information

Students may receive financial aid while studying abroad. The Office of Financial Aid provides information about federal aid to assist in payment. Contact the Study Abroad Office for information about the programs or for assistance in planning.