The Financial Aid Award Letter and Shopping Sheet
The financial aid process can be confusing. Schools use words that can have different meanings than you usually find in English. For example, the prepared financial aid offer is the student’s financial aid “package”. The letter we send is called an “award letter".
The award letter tells you how much you have been offered and the programs from which the aid is coming. Some of this aid is in the form of grants and scholarships. Other programs are from work and loans. The grants and scholarships are funds that do not need to be repaid. The student loans usually have a requirement of being paid over a period of years after you graduate.
The award letter tells you whether we expect you to be registered full-time or part-time. We assume most new students will be attending UT Dallas full-time. If you will be attending as less than a full-time student, you should let us know. We will adjust your financial aid according to your planned enrollment. You can visit our Eligibility webpage to understand how we define full-time and part-time.
The financial aid we have offered you is divided between fall semester and spring semester. Most programs provide their funding evenly between the terms. A small number of programs have an uneven distribution of their funds. Descriptions of the programs can be found on the Aid Programs section of our webpage.
We mention in the text of the award that the amounts can change. If, for example, you receive additional financial aid, either from UT Dallas or a non-UT Dallas source, we may need to make adjustments to what you have been offered. If we adjust your financial aid award you will be notified via email to check your award amounts in Orion, our student information system. If you know you are going to receive a grant or scholarship that doesn’t appear on the award letter, you should notify us.
To accept the aid you have been offered, you need to log into Orion Self-Service.
In addition to the Award Letter, we have sent you a “Shopping Sheet”. The federal government is encouraging all colleges and universities to prepare this document. The Shopping Sheet is a tool to help you compare the costs and financial aid offers of different colleges and universities, as well as the financial aid offers. The Shopping Sheet’s format is consistent between the schools where you have been accepted for admission and awarded financial aid. Not all colleges are using the Shopping Sheet for 2013-2014. UT Dallas is proud to be using it in the first year of its implementation. The Shopping Sheet provides you with information that was used to create your financial aid award offer.
Estimated Cost of Attendance
Before we were able to award you financial aid we estimated your education-related expenses. Most of these expenses are not paid to UT Dallas directly. Instead, they are estimates of what the average student at UT Dallas spends in each category. Your cost of attendances is based on several factors, including enrollment level, housing plans, and state residency. At the bottom of the Shopping Sheet, we indicate whether we think you will be living on or off-campus or with your parents, whether or not you have been determined to be a resident of Texas, and your planned enrollment.
- Tuition and Fees
- This is what we anticipate you will be charged by our Bursar’s Office. This amount varies depending on the number of credit hours for which you register each term.
- Housing and meals
- We base this figure on what our average student pays for living expenses.
- Books and supplies
- This is an estimate of what you will need to pay for your books. You do not need to buy your books from any specific bookstore.
- Your transportation costs include traveling to Dallas several times a year if you are from outside the Metroplex, or commuting expenses if you are commuting from your parent's home, or you are living off campus.
- Other education costs
- This is an estimate of your expenses for things such as clothing, medical expenses, entertainment, etc.
Grants and scholarships to pay for college
- Grants from your school - Grants are funds you do NOT repay. This category includes any scholarships you have been awarded by UT Dallas.
- Federal Pell Grant - You do not need to repay a Pell Grant. This federal program helps students with significant financial need pay their educational expenses. Your eligibility for the Pell Grant program is based on the information you provided on the FAFSA. The amount of the grant should be the same at almost every college or university in the nation.
- Grants from your state - If we were able to award you grant funds from the State of Texas you would see the total of these funds here. A grant from Texas does not need to be repaid.
- Other Scholarships you can use - If we have been notified that you are receiving a scholarship from a source other than UT Dallas or the State of Texas; it would be listed here.
What you pay for college
The Net Costs is an estimate of how much it will cost you to attend UT Dallas in the 2013-2014 academic year. This does not take into account any student or parent loans.
- It is important to remember that the Cost of Attendance contains a lot of estimates. Your Net Costs may be more or less, depending on your specific situation.
Options to pay net costs
- Work-Study-Whether or not you were offered federal Work Study, you have the option to seek part-time employment while you are attending school. The UT Dallas Career Center provides our students with on-campus and off campus job listings.
Loans are funds that must be repaid. All federal student loans allow you to defer repayment until after you either graduate or stop being registered as at least a half-time student.
- Perkins Loan- The terms of the loan can be found at http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/perkins.
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loan-This is also called a subsidized Stafford Loan. Subsidized loans are not charged interest while you are registered as at least a half-time student at any college that is eligible to participate in federal student financial aid programs. http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan-An unsubsidized loan’s interest is charged to you while you are attending school. Payment of the interest can be deferred until after you graduate or stop attending as at least a half-time student. http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized
- The Family Contribution is calculated using the information that was provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The formula used is the same as most other colleges and universities in the nation. When you are comparing schools using the shopping sheet, the Family Contribution figure should be the same.
Parent PLUS Loan
- The PLUS Loan can be used by a parent of a dependent student to cover all of the educational costs that have not been covered with grants, scholarships, work-study, or student loans. We do not usually place PLUS loans in the financial aid package, but you are still eligible to apply. If your parent is interested in borrowing from this program, he/she should call your financial aid counselor to discuss the application process.
Payment Plan offered by the institution
- The Bursar's Office has several options for spreading the billed costs over time. Details of these plans can be found on the Bursar's Office's web site.
Non-Federal private education loan
- There are private lenders who are willing to lend to students. We encourage you to fully utilize the federal student loan programs before you borrow from a private lender. If you decide you need to borrow from a private lender you can find information regarding the process on our Private Education Loan webpage.
Military and/or National Service benefits
- Students serving in the military, or who are veterans, may be eligible for benefits that will pay all or part of their expenses. Additionally, the children of veterans may be eligible for benefits from either the State of Texas or the Veteran's Administration. AmeriCorps is a civilian national service program which rewards participants with grants to pay for college.
On the right side of the shopping sheet there are some statistics that you will find useful in comparing colleges. The statistics are the most useful when you are comparing similar schools. For example, a community college is going to be different than a four year college. These statistics on the UT Dallas Shopping Sheet represent undergraduate students at UT Dallas.
UT Dallas has a team of professional financial aid counselors who can help you with any questions you have regarding the financial aid process. Our contact information is available on-line our Contact Us webpage.