You’ve Got Questions? – We’ve Got Answers!

1)  Do I have to complete my FAFSA every year?

Yes.  According to federal guidelines you must apply for financial aid each year.   The application is available October 1st of every year.  You will need to visit  FAFSA to complete your application.

 2)   Where do I go to apply for scholarships?

After you have applied for financial aid using FAFSA , you will need to log into the student portal and navigate to the financial aid section.  Find the link which says “UTHSCSA Scholarship Application” and then click on the link and follow the instructions.  This link will not be in your portal unless you applied for financial aid and we have received your student aid report (SAR) from the Federal Government.   Students can view potential scholarships on the schools web page – Nursing, Graduate Biomedical, Medical, Dental, and Health Professions.

 3)  Since I have to purchase a laptop, can I receive my financial aid before my scheduled disbursement to pay for it?

No.   You will need to find an alternative form of payment to purchase your laptop or wait until you have received your refund. You can bring the receipt into the Office of Veteran Services & Financial Aid (VSFA), showing you paid for the computer, to have your Cost of Attendance increased, but aid is disbursed no earlier than ten days prior to the first class day.

 4)  What is verification?

Verification is intended to improve the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA.  Please be aware that our office cannot process financial aid, requests for professional judgment, or disburse federal student aid until the verification process is complete.  Financial aid administrators have the right to ask for any documentation they feel is necessary to complete verification.   We must receive your documents and, if corrections required, have received your updated Student Aid Report no later than 120 days after the last day of enrollment or September 22, 2018, whichever is earlier.  Corrections may be made by our office on your behalf, or if they must be made by the student/parent we will contact you via your UTHSCSA email account and assist you with identifying the necessary corrections.  If your EFC changes, as a result of corrections made during the verification process, the DOE will send a message to the email address on your FAFSA announcing an updated Student Aid Report is available for your review.

For additional details for 2017-2018 verification go here.

For additional details for 2016-2017 verification go here.

If you are selected for verification you will need to do the following:

  • Submit either a dependent or independent verification worksheet.
  • If you or your parents filed a tax return, please make sure you used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).  If you cannot use the DRT, you will need to order a tax return transcript.
  • To order a tax return transcript click here or call 1-800-908-9946.
  • Submit any forms requested by our office (these will be displayed on your To Do List in the Student Portal).

Please keep in mind that if you do not complete the verification process in a timely manner, your financial aid will be delayed or it may not be processed.

 5)  How do I return loan funds?

If you borrowed more than needed, you can return the funds the business day before the 120th day after disbursement by 10:00 am or before the end of the fiscal year, whichever is earlier.  Bring a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order payable to UTHSCSA for a full dollar amount (no cents) equal to or less than the net disbursed amount. Any interest while the funds were in your possession and origination fees will be credited to your account when returning funds to the school.   For payments after the 120th day of disbursement, please contact your loan servicer. To identify who is your servicer, please login to www.nslds.ed.gov.

6)  Why haven’t I been awarded?

There are several reasons why you may not have been awarded financial aid.   Make sure and view your “To Do” list in the portal to see if we have requested documents from you that have not been received.  If you are still not sure, please contact the VSFA Office directly at 210-567-2635 and we will work with you to identify the reason.

 7)  Is there aid available for International Students?

Students classified as international students can participate in private lending if credit approved.  Submit an application with the lender of your choice to initiate the process. We will offer the loan, for an amount that cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance less other aid received for the aid year, which must be accepted by the student via their student portal.   Loans will be disbursed in at least two disbursements or based on the number of terms enrolled – whichever is greater.

 8)  Is there aid available for Texas Residents- TASFAA?

Students classified as Texas Residents by the Office of the University Registrar and do not meet the citizenship requirements for Federal Student Aid, can submit a Texas Application for State Financial Aid. This application is used to calculate “Need” and be considered for state aid. In addition, it will make the UTHSCSA Scholarship link available for submission.  Texas Residents can also apply for the College Access Loan with the State of Texas at www.hhloans.com or other private loans with the lender of their choice.

 9)  What is a reaffirmation agreement?

A student that has inadvertently exceeded their aggregate loan limit will receive notification via their Student Aid Report. Students in this situation can either choose to repay the overage in full or begin the reaffirmation agreement process detailed below. UTHSCSA cannot process an application for aid until the issue has been resolved.

The student contacts the servicer and ex­plains that the student has inadvertently overborrowed and wishes to reaffirm the debt. Visit www.nslds.ed.gov to review your loans and identify the servicer(s).

  1. The servicer sends the student a reaffirmation agreement.
  2. The student reads, signs, and returns to the servicer the reaffir­mation agreement.  Please note that Section 3 of the agreement must be completed by the school at which the student is seeking aid before the student can return the form to the servicer.
  3. The servicer sends the student confirmation that the reaffir­mation agreement has been accepted. The student or servicer must provide a copy of the reaffirmation confirmation to UTHSCSA.
  4. The inadvertent overborrowing is considered to have been re­solved as of the date the servicer receives the student’s signed reaffirmation agreement.

 10)  Can I receive additional financial aid because I have a family to support?

No.  According to federal guidelines, financial aid is for the student. If other members of your family require support,  you will need to consider applying for other types of federal or state assistance.

 11)  What does Cost of Attendance mean?

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is determined by the VSFA Office and is based on the average costs that a student will incur during the academic year. Included in the COA are average tuition and fee costs, room and board allowance, books and supplies, transportation, and personal/miscellaneous expenses. The actual cost will vary depending on a student.

 12)  When is my disbursement date?

Financial aid disburses on or around ten days prior to the first class day and after all required evaluations have occurred.

           For example, if your classes begin on June 29, your aid will disburse on June 19, unless that days falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday when the university is closed.  Then it falls on the first business day immediately following.

  13)  When will I get my refund check and how?

If you signed up for direct deposit you should receive your refund within two to three business days depending upon your banking institution.   If you are going to wait for a paper check,  please make sure your home address is updated in the student system at least three days before your scheduled disbursement.

Please note: checks are usually delivered to your home address within 3 to 5 business days during the first disbursement day and census day for the current term.  Checks are then processed twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) until the next disbursement cycle begins.  This change is effective October 13th, 2014.  Your banking institution may place up to a 10-day hold on your check. During the Winter Holiday’s, student’s electing to receive paper checks may wait an additional 3 to 5 business days to receive their funds due to bank/post office/university closures.

Please note – Direct deposit is always your best option in order to receive your refund in a timely manner and you sign-up for the service via your student portal.  It must be set-up at least 10 business days before your scheduled disbursement.  You can set up direct deposit from the portal or click here.  To contact the Bursar’s office click here.

 14)  I received too much financial aid, can I pay some back?

Yes, you can return a portion of your financial aid. You have 120 days from the date of your disbursement to bring the funds back into the VSFA Office. We will need a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to “UTHSCSA”.   Please round up to whole dollars when returning funds. We will send a confirmation email to you after the loan adjustment has been processed.   For independent confirmation, although it may take up to 30 days from the date of the return to be reflected in your loan totals, you can confirm your funds were credited to your account by accessing the National Student Loan Database.

 15)  How can I find a copy of my 1098T form for my taxes?

If you paid qualified tuition and fees, or received scholarships and grants, in the previous calendar year, please visit this site for instructions on how to obtain your form.   Medical and Dental students that graduated in 2016 actually paid/received their tuition/scholarships in the fall of 2015 and will not receive a form for the 2016 calendar year.