Are you attending the University of Florida, or thinking about doing so? If so, you should know that the estimated cost to attend, including tuition, fees, and room and board, for undergrads in the 2018-19 academic year is $21,210.
Coming up with that amount of money can be challenging. Fortunately, students have options for University of Florida financial aid. Some of those options, such as federal and private student loans, will put you in debt. Others, such as grants and scholarships, won’t need to be repaid.
Let’s look at the different sources of aid you may receive so that you can make informed choices about how to pay for your education.
Grants for University of Florida students
Grants don’t need to be repaid, so it’s best to max out on this source of free money before borrowing. The UF Office for Student Financial Affairs (SFA) provides information on grants, including:
- Federal Pell Grants: Undergrads with demonstrated financial need may be eligible for Pell Grants. For the 2018-19 academic year, students can receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award of $6,095.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: While students can earn up to $4,000 a year based on financial need, the university indicates that students generally receive between $100 and $2,000 annually.
- Florida Student Assistance Grants: This state-funded program awards between $200 and $2,610 to undergrads each academic year. You must be considered a Florida resident for the 12 months before the start of the academic year to qualify.
- I. Douglas Turner Grants: Undergrads with demonstrated financial need can receive between $200 and $5,000 a year.
- UF Micro Grants: This grant awards between $200 and $2,500 to undergrads experiencing difficulty funding educational costs. The grant intends to prevent at-risk students from dropping out.
- UF Graduate Grants: This program is funded by the school for grad students with exceptional financial need. Students can receive between $100 and $3,000 per academic year.
For each of these grants, there are specific requirements, including enrolling for a minimum number of credit hours and meeting academic progress standards. Students generally become eligible by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The university offers information on other grants, such as one offered to students who were younger than 24 or attending college when a parent or guardian was killed while serving in the U.S. military in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Students studying to be teachers will also find information on the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant.
Scholarships for University of Florida students
Like grants, scholarships don’t need to be paid back. Scholarship opportunities at the University of Florida include:
- SFA-awarded scholarships: Students who demonstrate financial need, are enrolled full time, and meet donor-specific criteria can become eligible by submitting the FAFSA.
- Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarships: First-time college freshmen attending an undergrad program are eligible if they are Florida residents with demonstrated financial need. They must have a total family income of less than $40,000 and countable family assets of less than $25,000, not including the family’s home.
- Benacquisto Scholarships: Florida residents are eligible for these state-sponsored awards if they’ve won certain other scholarships, such as the National Merit Scholarship or a corporate-sponsored merit or achievement scholarship.
Many individuals and institutions have also established scholarships for University of Florida students, often in memory of loved ones or intended to help needy students. The school has a scholarship search engine to help students learn about opportunities.
University of Florida students can work part time to offset education costs. The university permits students to work up to 20 hours a week on campus. With permission from an academic adviser, you can take on up to 31 hours of on-campus work.
Some on-campus jobs are open only to students who qualify for federal work-study. You can find on-campus jobs through a university portal. If you have questions, contact the SFA Student Employment Office at 352-392-0296.
Federal student loans
Many students need to borrow money to fill a funding gap. Federal student loans provide important borrower protections and flexible repayment options. In most cases, you should exhaust federal funding before looking for other loans. Options include:
- Direct Subsidized Loans: Undergrads with demonstrated financial need are eligible for subsidized loans. The government covers your interest charges while you’re in school, during your grace period, and during periods of deferment.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These are open to both undergrads and graduate students. You don’t need to demonstrate financial need to qualify.
- Direct PLUS Loans: These are open to both graduate students and parents of undergrads. You must not have an adverse credit history to qualify.
Although federal loans are a great option for covering education expenses, be prepared to pay an origination fee on your loan. PLUS Loans also have a higher interest rate, so you may want to compare costs and benefits with other loan options.
University of Florida student loans
The University of Florida offers short- and long-term loans to eligible students.
Long-term loans are available to those who completed the FAFSA but are either ineligible for financial aid or can’t qualify for enough aid. Students may borrow between $500 and $3,500 annually. Interest rates range from 4.00% to 9.00%.
Short-term loans for up to $1,000 can also be provided to cover emergency expenses.
Private student loans
Students can obtain private student loans from banks, credit unions, and online lenders.
While there aren’t as many borrower protections or repayment options with private loans as with federal loans, private lenders may offer some perks. For example, you may be able to defer payments until after you leave school or put your loans into forbearance during financial hardship.
Students should comparison shop the top private student loan lenders. There may be no standard interest rates or origination fees with private loans.
How to approach your University of Florida financial aid options
While paying for a higher education may be challenging, careful research can help you find the best University of Florida financial aid.
Max out sources of free funding, then shop carefully to find the most affordable loans. Borrowing the minimum amount with the right lenders can help you avoid graduating with a ton of debt that’s hard to repay.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
|1 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
2 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 2/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|4.26% – 13.26%1||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.20% – 11.44%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.84% – 13.49%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.62% – 11.47%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.38% – 13.38%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.85% – 6.99%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.95% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.47% – 12.34%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|