Financial Aid FAQ

How do I begin the process of getting financial aid?
The first step in getting any financial aid is filling out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA contains questions that ask about you, your financial information, your school plans, and more. These questions help to determine what types of aid and how much aid you are eligible for. Visit to apply. Visit to apply for a Federal Student Aid pin which is necessary to complete your FAFSA. 

What is the Union College School Code?
The Union Colleges 6-digit federal school code is 002563.

Who is my parent when I fill out the FAFSA?
This straight-forward question can be a little complicated with FAFSA. Even if you are not living with your parents, you may need to include their financial information. Check out this graph for clarity.

graph of Who is My Parent When Filling Out My FAFSA?


I don’t qualify for financial aid; should I still fill out the FAFSA?
Yes! Even if you do not qualify for free aid, you may be eligible for loans or institutional aid. By filing a FAFSA, you will be sure to be considered for every kind of aid you may be eligible for.  First-time freshmen who do not qualify for an ACT or GPA merit award listed above are eligible to receive the Union College Financial Aid Application Grant of $5,500 by completing the FAFSA by the deadline. This is renewable for three additional years at 50 percent as long as the student completes the financial aid application by the deadline AND stays off of academic probation. The FAFSA must be completed by August 20, 2012 for fall semester or by January 17, 2013 for spring semester.

Do I need to be accepted before I can apply for financial aid?
No. You can apply for financial aid any time after January 1 for the upcoming academic year. However, to receive financial aid funds you must be accepted and enrolled at Union College.

Do I need to reapply for financial aid every year?
Yes. You need to apply for financial aid every year by visiting because your financial circumstances may change, causing you to receive more or less aid. After your first year applying for aid, you can complete a renewal FAFSA which contains information from the previous year.

What happens after I file my FAFSA?
Within 3-4 days the Student Financial Services office will receive your application from the Department of Education. About a week after we receive your application, we will send you an award letter that details financial aid you are eligible for.

Will I receive a financial statement each month?
Students can review the activity on their accounts at any time online. In addition, students are sent monthly statements detailing the charges and credits on a student’s account since the last statement, along with the current account balance. Statements may also be sent to parents or guardians if a Financial Release form is completed by the student. This form must be filled out before any student account information can be released. The Financial Release form can be found at If you have any questions regarding statement activity, please contact our office at 402.486.2505.

What is FERPA and how does it affect information related to my student account?
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This law protects the privacy of student education records and applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. How does it affect you in regards to your student account? Basically, it means you have the right to inspect and review your financial records maintained by the school. Because of our commitment to student privacy, our office must have written permission from you before information about your account can be released to someone else.

Can I receive my transcript or diploma even if my student account is not paid off?
Transcripts and diplomas are held until your student accounts is paid in full. If paying a final balance by check, you will have to wait ten business days for the check to clear before we can send the transcript or diploma. 

What happens if I have a tuition balance when I leave?
Union College expects your student account to be paid in full at the end of each year. Excess meal charges, failure to check out of your room, or other miscellaneous expenses may lead to an unexpected account balance at the end of the year. These charges may be posted to your account after you have left, so be sure to check back with Student Financial Services regarding your balance. Financial statements will be mailed to you monthly until your account is paid in full, so it is important to update your address with the Records office (402.486.2529) before you leave. Past due accounts are assigned to a collection agency and may be reported to credit bureaus. 

When do I need to start repaying my loans?
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This “grace period” will be

  •       Six months for a Federal (FFEL) or Direct Stafford Loan. 
  •       Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans

The repayment period for all PLUS loans begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days of the final disbursement. However, a graduate student PLUS loan borrower (as well as a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student) can defer repayment while the borrower is enrolled at least half time, and, for PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, for an additional six months after the borrower is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower.

Parent PLUS loan borrowers whose loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, may choose to have repayment deferred while the student for whom the parent borrowed is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after that student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower.

(Information obtained from

What happens if I don't pay my student loan back?
If you default on your student loan, you will be reported to credit bureaus. This means your credit rating and future borrowing ability will be negatively impacted. 

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