Financial Aid

Key Aid Information

Applying for, receiving, and using aid carries with it a great deal of information. While students (and parents) don't have to be financial aid experts, we do want to ensure you have the tools to help you best understand the aid being used.

This page reviews some key information to understand aid and be successful students using aid as best they can. Take the time to review other pages on our website so as to have a greater understanding of financial aid available and offered to you.

Apply for Aid and Review Award 

The application process for aid can seem overwhelming at times. In part, because it uses taxes, parent information, and is only done annually, some families get anxiety over the process.

  • The financial aid application process has to be completed annually. While it is easy to think about applying for financial aid when you are in high school or are looking to start college, it is also important that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has to be filled out each year you go to college. It becomes available each October 1st. Because some aid programs are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, apply as soon after October 1 of each year as possible for priority consideration for limited funding sources.
  • Your annual financial aid award offer is available online. Following completion of the FAFSA, your award offer and anything you need to complete the aid process will be posted within the Bearcat Portal (for new students) and Catalyst (for all students).
  • Your aid eligibility can change from year to year. Changes in your family size, incomes, and even the timing of completing the FAFSA can affect your aid eligibility. Completing the FAFSA early each year allows maximum consideration as well as time for you to understand your aid and make financial planning a priority to prepare the your anticipated expenses. It is also good to live like a student to reduce costs while attending college.

Withdrawing Can Affect Aid

No one sets out to withdraw from classes. While you register with the intent to complete courses, sometimes a withdrawal is necessary.

  • Dropping classes can be costly. If nothing else, dropping a class can be costly in that you still have to pay for the course if the drop occurs after the 2nd week of the term/refund period. Dropping a required class likely means you have to register for it again and pay for it in another term as well.
  • The timing of withdrawals is important. Withdrawing from a class, having a complete withdrawal, and the timing of these actions informs if your aid for the term has to be recalculated or not.  Additionally, if you are reported to have not participated in a course, your aid can be adjusted at the end of the term.
  • Your course completion is reviewed annually. Too many withdrawals or grades showing non-completion (i.e., F, I, NP, W, UW) can result in your aid eligibility being suspended due to not meeting the pace calculation of academic progress.

Aid Programs Have Limits

The financial aid awarded has limits you should understand. In particular, you should know limits on available aid so as not to reach them before completing your degree. Knowing these limits can help you plan your annual finances as well as budget for your academic career.

  • Grant programs are limited by the number of semesters used. Even if you are in a program that may be longer due to co-op or other issues, your grant consideration will end as indicated.
    • Federal Pell Grant is limited to the equivalent of 6 years (12 full-time semesters). Your cumulative usage of Pell is reported on your FAFSA Submission Summary after completing your FAFSA annually.
    • Students receiving the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OGOG) from the state have a 10 semester limit.
    • Cincinnati Pride Grant (CPG) recipients only receive funding when Pell-eligible when full-time in classes. Consideration is limited to 8 semesters.
  • Federal annual and aggregate loan limits are in place to limit debt. There are restrictions on yearly borrowing as well as over your lifetime for your degree program level. In particular, be careful when you accept full annual loan amounts while attending only part-time as you can reach your maximum lifetime loan usage before completing your degree. Complete the annual student loan acknowledgement to see how much you have borrowed. Your loan totals are also reported on your Student Aid Report after completing your FAFSA annually.
  • Students are also measured on how they are moving toward degree completion. Academic progress, specifically in the timeframe measure, will limit how long you can receive federal aid to 1.5x the length of your program. The measure does not reset when you change majors or use academic fresh start. Work with your academic advisor to efficiently move through your program to avoid academic progress issues.
  • UC scholarships are limited. To be good stewards of available funds, there are limits on what can be awarded to individual students. 
  • Financial aid is limited to a student's annual cost of attendanceThis limit is set within reasonable averages of what students spend to attend college. They may not cover all of your individual costs.

We are here to help you understand the process and your financial aid. Please contact us at Enrollment Services where we can help you through the ABCs of being a student: Aid, Billing, and Classes.

Enrollment Services

220 University Pavilion - Uptown/Clifton Campus
150 Muntz Hall - UC Blue Ash Campus
100 Student Services Building - UC Clermont Campus