How to Pay for the University of Florida: Financial Aid and Student Loan Options

 September 15, 2020
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

criser hall at the university of florida

OUR PROMISE TO YOU: Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Private Student Loan rates starting at 2.49% APR

2.49% to 13.85% 1

Visit Lender

2.55% to 11.44% 2

Visit Lender

3.25% to 13.59% 3

Visit Lender

  • Variable APR

Note that the government has paused all repayment on federally held student loans through the end of 2022, with no interest to be charged during that period and no loans to be held delinquent or in default.

*          *          *

Are you attending the University of Florida, or thinking about doing so? Coming up with the funds to attend UF as an in-state or out-of-state student may be challenging. Fortunately, there are several options for University of Florida student loans and other financial aid, from federal and private student loans to the Pell Grant, Douglas Turner Grant and other forms of aid.

Let’s take a look at:

The costs of attending the University of Florida

Below you are the estimated costs of attending the University of Florida as an in-state student, as of the 2020-2021 academic year. According to UF’s website, out-of-state students should add $22,278 to projected tuition and fees.

In-state Undergrad On Campus In-state Undergrad Off Campus In-state Undergrad Living with Parents In-state Undergrad Summer 2021 (A+B semesters) On Campus
Tuition/Fees $6,380 $6,380 $6,380 $2,556
Books and Supplies 890 890 890 348
Computer/Cellphone 1,170 1,170 1,170 345
Housing 5,990 5,990 N/A 1,800
Food 4,600 4,600 1,010 1,620
Transportation 1,120 1,120 1,120 375
Clothing Maintenance 860 860 860 300
Personal 420 420 420 100
Total Budget $21,430 $21,430 $11,850 $7,444

Where to get financial aid to pay for the University of Florida

Now that you know about how much you’re likely to pay, here’s a list of funding sources to cover those costs, starting with the most ideal (grants and scholarships that you almost never need to repay) and the less ideal (student loans):

1. Grants for University of Florida students
2. Scholarships for University of Florida students
3. Federal work-study
4. Federal student loans
5. University of Florida student loans
6. Private student loans

Grants for University of Florida students

Because grants don’t need to be repaid, it’s usually best to max out on this source of money before borrowing. Grants are typically based on financial need, although they can also take academic performance into account. The UF Office for Student Financial Affairs (SFA) provides information on both federal and school-based grants that are available to students, including:

  • Federal Pell Grants: Undergrads with demonstrated financial need may be eligible for Pell Grants. Award amounts range from $650 to $6,195.
  • 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.
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (“TEACH” Grant): This federal grant for students going into education puts a strong emphasis on academic performance. Undergraduate students can receive up to $4,000 per year for four years. Graduate students may receive the same amount for two years. The TEACH Grant service agreement will lay out the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, as well as teaching service requirements.
  • Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant: If your parent or guardian died while serving the military in Iraq or Afghanistan, you may be able to receive this grant. The grant award is equal to the amount of the Pell Grant for each award year.
  • Completion Grant: 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.
  • Grad-A-Gator Grant: This grant helps students who are having trouble funding the minimum 30 credits to complete the academic year. Students are encouraged to discuss this grant with a student aid advisor in the Office for Student Financial Affairs.
  • 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 FAFSA becomes available Oct. 1 for the following school year. You should complete it as soon as possible for your federal loans and grants, as some forms of aid are limited in funding and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Scholarships for University of Florida students

Like grants, scholarships typically don’t need to be paid back. Awards are often based on academic achievement, but financial need can also be taken into consideration. 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. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained.
  • Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarships: First-time college freshmen attending an undergrad program are eligible if they are Florida residents with demonstrated financial need. Family income must not exceed $44,000 in the student’s second year, $48,000 in the student’s third year and $52,000 in the student’s fourth year. A 2.0 GPA must be maintained.
  • Benacquisto Scholarships: In order to qualify, students must be National Merit Scholars. Award recipients will receive a scholarship equal to the standard cost of in-state attendance minus the sum of Bright Futures and the National Merit award.
  • Florida College Transfer Academic Scholarship: Students may receive two scholarships of $4,000 to transfer from an in-state community college, if they are selected for the All-Florida Academic First Team. Qualifying students must have a lower division GPA of at least 3.80.
  • Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship: This award allows a Pell Grant-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while acting as a public safety officer to receive the maximum Pell Grant for the eligible award year.
  • Florida College Transfer Scholarship: Recipients may receive a one-year scholarship with a value of $1,000 to $2,000. The exact amount will be determined by student need, and students must fill out the FAFSA to receive this award.
  • Athletic scholarships: Students with athletic talent can contact the coaches of the sports they are interested in playing for UF. Students can call 352-375-4683, or write to the University Athletic Association at O. Box 14485, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32604-2485 to receive coaches’ names, addresses and phone numbers.

UF’s website also features a substantial list of non-endowed scholarships and fellowships. Go here for more information. UF also has a scholarship search engine to help students discover opportunities.

Federal work-study

The federal work-study program provides funds for part-time student employment. Federal money set aside though the program pays a portion of wages so employers can afford to hire more students.

The University of Florida permits students to work up to 20 hours a week on campus. With permission from an academic advisor, you can take on up to 31 hours of on-campus work.

Some on-campus jobs may be open only to students who qualify for federal work-study. You can find on-campus jobs through the university portal. If you have questions, contact the SFA Student Employment Office at 352-392-0296, or via email at

Federal student loans

After exhausting grant and scholarship opportunities, you may consider federal student loans. These loans come with a number of perks, including:

  • Income-driven repayment: If you have a low income after graduation, you might qualify for a repayment plan based on your earnings, allowing you to make manageable payments without falling behind.
  • Deferment and forbearance: With federal student loans, you might qualify for deferment and forbearance if you run into economic hardship.
  • Fixed interest rates: Federal loan interest rates are set each year, and remain fixed for the term of the loan.
  • No credit check: For most federal loans, you don’t have to go through a credit check to qualify.
  • Potential for federal loan forgiveness: Programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and forgiveness while on income-driven repayment plans, as well as access to state-level forgiveness programs can provide a way to discharge some of your federal debt.

Options for federal loans include:

  • Direct subsidized loans: These are need-based loans available to undergrads. The government covers interest charges while you’re in school, during your grace period and during any periods of deferment.
  • Direct unsubsidized loans: Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for direct unsubsidized loans, regardless of their financial need. You’ll pay interest while loans are deferred, including while you’re still in school.
  • Direct PLUS loans: Graduate students and parents can qualify for PLUS Loans, but unlike with other direct loan programs, you can’t have bad credit. Interest isn’t subsidized on these loans.
  • Direct consolidation loans: These loans allow you to combine all your federal loans into one loan with one servicer.

There are annual and aggregate limits on federal loans, which you can find here.

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.

Short-term loans for up to $1,000 can also be provided to cover emergency expenses.

Alternative loans are also available for students who do not qualify for financial aid or need additional funds to cover their educational costs. UF advises that these loans can be expensive and should only be pursued if you have exhausted all other federal resources, such as federal direct Stafford and federal direct PLUS loans.

Private student loans

Students can obtain private student loans from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Unlike the situation with most federal loans, these lenders will typically take your credit and broad financial profile into account.

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. It’s possible you may be able to get better interest rate terms than with federal loans, particularly if you have stellar credit.

Be sure to comparison shop the top private student loan lenders, but remember too that these generally don’t come with the same protections as federal loans do.

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 your best University of Florida financial aid.

Max out sources of grants and scholarships, then shop carefully to find the most affordable loans. Borrowing the minimum amount with the right lenders can help you avoid graduating from UF with a ton of debt that’s difficult to repay.

Keep in mind that the scholarships and grants listed above are far from your only options. You may qualify for any number of grants or scholarships that are available to students all over the U.S. You may even be able to secure a scholarship for demonstrating an unusual talent, such as duck-calling.

Check our guide to state-based grants to see which Florida state grants you may qualify for, including the Florida Student Assistance Grant and the Access to Better Learning and Education grant. You can also go here to find out about 10 scholarship tools to help you find money for college.

Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report.

Need a student loan?

Check out our top picks below or learn more about other ways to pay for college.
Variable APRDegrees That QualifyMore Info
2.49% – 13.85%1 Undergraduate

Visit College Ave

2.55% – 11.44%2 Undergraduate

Visit Earnest

3.25% – 13.59%3 Undergraduate

Visit SallieMae

0.00% – 23.00%4 Undergraduate

Visit Edly

3.25% – 9.69%5 Undergraduate


N/A 6 Undergraduate

Visit FundingU