Award Process

This information will guide you through the UCO process of disbursement and release of funds.

Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid, (FAFSA), each academic year. The Office of Student Financial Services defines the academic year as beginning with the fall semester and ending with the summer term. Reminder:  As explained in a previous section, a separate institutional Summer Application is required, in addition to the FAFSA for summer aid consideration. 

Students who have received an Award Offer but have not submitted all required documents by June 30th will have their Award removed.  Upon a complete and accurate file, financial aid awards will be reinstated based on eligibility. (However, funds from some programs may no longer be available.)

Enrollment Hours

For undergraduate students, full-time enrollment is 12 or more hours; three-quarter time enrollment is 9-11 hours; part-time enrollment is 6-8 hours.  For graduate students, full-time is 9 or more hours, and half-time is 5-8 hours.

Disbursement & Release of Aid

Financial Aid student refunds are issued through Higher One via: 1) the Broncho Spirit Card (a debit Mastercard), or 2) direct deposit into a bank account.  When your card arrives in the mail, please go on-line as soon as possible to www.bronchospiritcard.com to activate your refund preference.  Students who select direct deposit will need to complete and mail in an ACH Transfer (direct deposit) form which is available on the Bronchospiritcard website. 

Federal and State Financial aid disbursements begin prior to the start of each term. After the start of the term, disbursements are made twice a week as students are awarded.  Funds in excess of tuition, fees, and housing, will be released beginning the first week of each term.

Changes in enrollment, your housing plan or securing additional resources after aid has been awarded and/or disbursed may constitute a re-evaluation of eligibility that could warrant repayment of funds previously received or credited to your account.

Consortium Agreement Facts

Students seeking Federal Financial Aid while simultaneously attending more than one institution can seek aid for the combined enrollment using a consortium form.   Generally the home school where the student is seeking the degree would grant the aid.  Interested students may secure a copy of either the General Consortium Agreement form or the Individual Consortium Agreement form from the Financial Aid Forms segment of this website, depending upon the school attended.  The home institution is considered the institution granting the degree and the secondary institution is referred to as the host institution.  If UCO is the home institution, consortium hours will not be added to the UCO enrollment for aid consideration until after the end of the 100% refund period.  This applies to classes taken under both the General Consortium Agreement and the Individual Consortium Agreement forms.  The student is expected to cover all expenses at the host institution until eligible funds become available.

Correspondence/Flex Ed/SPOC

Federal Financial Aid does not pay for classes known as Correspondence /Flex ED/ SPOC (self-paced online classes) until coursework is completed with grades posted.

Withdrawals

Enrolled students who wish to withdraw from all classes are required to officially withdraw through the Registration Office. Failure to do so could cause a student to owe money to the University.  Complete or partial withdrawals may require funds to be returned to the federal program from which funds were disbursed.

The Effect on Financial Aid

Federal aid recipients who officially withdraw from all classes after school begins, but prior to completing up through 60% of the semester may have to repay a portion of the federal funds received called a Return of Title IV Funds.  UCO is required to recalculate the amount of financial aid the student earned for the length of time classes were attended and the amount of unearned financial aid based on the date of official withdrawal from classes. This calculation may require the student and/or the University, on the student’s behalf, to immediately repay funds disbursed for the purpose of paying educational costs. 

Funds will be returned to the Title IV federal program from which the student received aid during the enrollment period in the following order:

1.  Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan

2.  Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan

3.  Perkins Loan

4.  Direct PLUS Loan

5.  Federal Pell Grant  

6.  Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, FSEOG

9.  Federal TEACH Grant

10. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Due to a student’s withdrawal, federal financial aid may not cover all unpaid institutional charges. Students will be required to reimburse the University funds repaid to the federal programs on their behalf. Repayments should be made to the Bursar’s Office.

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who stop attending class but do not officially withdraw are likely to receive an F grade or a combination of Fs/Ws at the end of the term. This is considered an unofficial withdrawal for the Return of Title IV Funds calculation purposes.  Since the university is not required to take attendance, the mid-point or 50% of the term is used to determine the last date of attendance in the Return of Title IV Funds calculation as previously discussed.

If the amount of financial aid disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, the student is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received calculated using the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.

Enrollment Changes with No Record

Financial aid students who drop classes and receive a 100% refund during the semester will have their financial aid eligibility re-evaluated which could result in a repayment of funds.

For student loan borrowers who completely withdraw or drop to less than half time enrollment status, federal regulations require that 2nd loan disbursements be canceled.  Reinstatement of a loan can be considered, by completing a Loan Reinstatement Request form, once you are enrolled for at least 6 credit hours.