Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have questions about the financial aid process at UH? Check below for answers, browse our helpful FATV videos, or Ask Shasta by clicking on the red bubble at the right of your screen! If your question isn't addressed by any of these resources, feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

How is my cost of attendance calculated? To calculate your financial aid, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will estimate what it will cost you to attend the University of Houston. Items included in the cost of attendance:
  • Tuition and Fees ‒ The average cost of tuition and fees for a typical student is based on enrolling for 30 hours per year. The actual costs that a student incurs will vary depending on the student’s degree of study.
  • Room and Board ‒ A reasonable estimate of what it would cost to live in Houston while attending school. Actual costs may vary by individual choices related to location and circumstances.
  • Books and Supplies ‒ The average cost of books and supplies for a typical student for an entire academic year.
  • Transportation ‒ Represents travel to and from your residence and transportation costs to and from class and work.
  • Personal ‒ Personal items not included in room and board expenses.


If I am only seeking a certificate, can I receive financial aid for that?
No, all students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program to qualify for federal and state financial aid.

FAFSA Verification

I've been selected for verification. What does this mean?
Verification is a random quality-control method used by the U.S. Department of Education to check the accuracy of information submitted on the FAFSA. All schools that disburse Federal Title IV Funds are required to participate in the verification process. The verification process is a manual review of your application and requires a minimum of 2 ‒ 3 weeks for processing (4 ‒ 6 weeks processing during July, August and September). For more information on the verification process, please contact your Financial Aid Advisor or the myUH Enrollment Services Call Center at 713-743-1010, option 5.
What information is subject to verification?
  • Household size
  • Number in college
  • Receipt of food stamp benefits
  • Child support paid
  • For tax filers
  • Adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • Income tax paid
  • Untaxed IRA distributions
  • Untaxed pensions
  • Education credits
  • IRA deductions
  • Tax-exempt interest
  • For non-filers
  • Income earned from work
What additional application requirements might be requested if I am selected for verification?
Once your FAFSA is submitted, your information will be verified by matching the information on your FAFSA with a series of federally mandated data (Social Security Number, date of birth, name, selective service status, citizenship status, and default status). You may also be selected for the verification process by the U.S. Department of Education, which is a random quality control method used to check the accuracy of information submitted on the FAFSA.
What is the difference between a tax transcript and a tax return?
A tax return is the form that taxpayers file with the IRS when they pay taxes or request a refund. If you have a tax transcript initiated on your myUH To-Do list, you can provide a signed copy of the exact form you filed, which may be IRS Form 1040, 1040-A or 1040-EZ, depending on the tax year and your individual tax situation.
If you do not have access to your tax return documents for the indicated year you can request a tax return transcript from the IRS. A tax transcript is a summary of your tax return provided by the IRS. Please click here to request your tax return transcript.

As a reminder, you can submit you and/or your parent’s tax return information via the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Because this method is electronic and instantaneous, it is preferred.
How can I request a tax transcript?
You may contact the IRS using one of the below methods to request a tax transcript. Please allow 7-10 business days for delivery.
Telephone: (800) 908-9946
IRS Form: 4506T-EZ (Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript)

Funds Disbursement

What does "Disbursement" mean?
Financial aid disbursement is a process that takes place on or after the first class day of each term. Financial aid is defined as “anticipated or pending aid” until it actually "disburses" into a student’s account. When we "disburse" your financial aid, we credit your pending financial aid awards to your balance due.
When will financial aid disburse to my student financial account?
Financial aid is awarded to students' accounts as pending/anticipated aid prior to the start of each term. All institutional scholarships and loans will begin disbursing the first week of classes (this can be delayed if you have session courses that start in months other than August and January). All Grants will disburse after the 12th class day of your latest enrolled session which is referred to as the "official reporting date" (ORD). This allows students to make changes to their enrollment status prior to the Official Reporting Day without adversely affecting their financial aid status. To view the specific disbursement dates for the semester, please visit out disbursement page. To view the start dates and Official Reporting dates of all sessions, please visit the Academic Calendar page.
Why aren’t my estimated awards showing up as pending/anticipated financial aid?
Estimated awards are not finalized, and it is likely we are still needing additional documentation from you to be able to finalize your awards. Please check your myUH self-service account To-Do List and submit any requested financial aid documents to our office.
If you have been awarded a TEXAS Grant estimate, you’ll need to submit your final high school transcript to the Office of Admissions to be able to finalize your TEXAS Grant award.
How do I calculate how much I owe to secure my classes for each term based on my pending/anticipated Financial Aid?
Once financial aid funds are posted to your myUH self-service account (and you have accepted the aid offer) as pending/anticipated aid, you can subtract the semester's aid amount from your semester's "Charges Due." The calculated difference is either the amount you owe the University or the amount the University will refund to you. This difference is shown in your myUH self-service account under "Account Summary." For example, let's say you have semester "Charges Due" due of $2,000, and your accepted pending/anticipated financial aid amount is $1,000. At that time, the amount you would need to pay in order to secure your classes would be $1,000; therefore, your "Account Summary" would show $1,000. Students are always advised to check their myUH financial accounts daily during the start of each term as balances and financial aid is subject to adjustment at any time.

Learn how to view pending/anticipated aid and total amount due in AccessUH >

What can I do if I do not have enough funds to cover my total term balance?
Prior to the University payment due date, students can select one of three payment plans offered by the University in order to secure enrollment: 90-Day Emergency Deferment Plan, Short-Term Tuition Deferment Plan (45 Day), or Installment Pay Plan. Deferment and Payment Plans are administered by UH's Student Business Services.
After my University debts are paid, when will I receive any remaining financial aid funds?
Once financial aid funds are disbursed to a student's account and all University debts are paid, UH will release any remaining funds (refund) to BankMobile . All UH student refunds are then distributed by BankMobile. These funds will be sent to BankMobile within 24 hours of appearing on a student's account. Thereafter, refund processing times are determined by a student's refund preference in BankMobile. Visit to select your method of refund processing (direct deposit to your own bank account or deposit into a BankMobile Vibe Account).


I'm not eligible for a Federal Direct loan. What are my options?
Many banks and other private lenders offer educational loans to help you pay for your education. Interest rates may not be as low as the federal programs can offer, but some lenders are able to offer attractive loan options. If you are a Texas resident, you may also want to look into the College Access Loan Program (CAL). For additional loan options, visit our Loans page.
What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans?
Federal Direct Subsidized Federal Loans are offered to undergraduate students based on financial need, and the government pays the interest to the lender while you are in school at least half-time, as well as during any deferment periods. Federal Unsubsidized Loans, on the other hand, are not based on need, and borrowers are responsible for all interest accrued on the loan. Interest payments can be deferred until graduation and then will be capitalized and added to the principal of the loan. You also can make payments on the interest while in school by contacting your loan servicer. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are offered to graduate, professional and undergraduate students.
How will I receive my loan?
Your funds will be received electronically and will be applied to your myUH student account balance. Any remaining funds will be credited and distributed to you by BankMobile. Visit to select your method of refund processing (direct deposit to your own bank account or deposit into a BankMobile Vibe Account).
I have accepted my Federal Direct Loan. Why has it not disbursed?
Please make sure you have completed your Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at Everyone receiving a Federal Direct Loan must complete a MPN and Entrance Counseling for their funds to disburse.
What are the consequences of default?
  • You may be subject to court action requiring total repayment of your loan.
  • Your credit rating can be severely damaged, making it difficult to borrow money for a car or home, or to receive credit cards.
  • The default status can remain on your credit report for several years after you pay the loan in full.
  • Your federal Treasury payments (including federal tax refunds) and state income tax refunds may be withheld.
  • Up to 15 percent of your disposable income can be garnished (administrative wage garnishment) without a court order.
  • You won't be eligible to receive any more federal financial aid (and possibly state aid) unless you make acceptable arrangements to repay what you already owe.
  • You may be ineligible for assistance under most federal benefit programs.
  • You'll be ineligible for deferments or forbearance.
  • You'll be liable for the costs associated with collecting your loan up to 24 percent of your principal and interest balance, plus court costs and attorney fees.
  • You may not be able to renew a professional license you hold or may jeopardize your chances for certain types of employment.
  • Your loan may be assigned to a professional collection agency.
What is an incentive repayment plan?
Certain loan servicers may offer an incentive plan for borrowers who make timely payments (i.e., interest rate and/or fee reductions for borrowers who make 48 consecutive on-time payments). Check with your loan servicer for available options.


How do I apply for a scholarship at the University of Houston?
For most UH-funded scholarships, your application for admission serves as your scholarship application as well. Others require that you submit the FAFSA and provide additional documentation. Additional outside scholarships for admitted UH students maybe found via Scholarship Universe, an application located within your accessUH login. Look for the green icon! 
How do I send a private/outside scholarship to the Financial Aid Department?
Full detailed instructions can be found on the Private Scholarship Processing Guide.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

What are my student rights and responsibilities? As a student consumer you have the right to:
  • know what financial assistance is available, including information on all federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs;
  • know the deadlines for submitting applications for financial aid;
  • know how your financial need is determined. This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, and personal expenses are decided in developing cost of attendance budgets;
  • know what resources (such as parental contribution, other financial assistance, student assets, etc.) are considered in the calculation of your financial need;
  • know how your financial need, as determined by the University, has been met, and how and when financial aid funds are disbursed;
  • request from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA), an explanation of the various programs in your student aid package. If you believe you have not received the financial assistance for which you are eligible, you may request in writing a review of your aid application;
  • know what portion of the financial assistance received must be repaid, and what portion is scholarship/grant aid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time you have to repay the loan, and when repayment is to begin;
  • know how the OSFA determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress, and what happens if you are not; and
  • you have a right to privacy.  All records submitted with your application for financial aid are confidential, and subject to legal requirements concerning disclosure of such information. For more information, please see the University’s explanation regarding The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

It is your responsibility to:

  • review and consider all information about the financial aid programs at the University prior to enrolling;
  • complete all financial assistance applications and forms accurately, and submit them to the OSFA by the appropriate deadlines;
  • complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA (undergraduates) in full. You may experience delays in receiving a decision about financial aid if forms are submitted after the priority filing deadlines or are filled out incompletely or incorrectly. Falsification of information on application forms for federal financial assistance is considered a criminal offense, and you may be subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code;
  • respond quickly to all requests for additional documentation related to verification or corrections;
  • notify the OSFA if there is a change in any of the information reported on the FAFSA;
  • read and understand all forms, both paper and electronic, that you are asked to submit or sign, and keep copies of these forms. You are legally responsible for all agreements which you sign;
  • if awarded a loan, participate in any required entrance/exit counseling;
  • notify your lender of any changes in your name, address, or school status if a loan is part of your financial aid;
  • if employed through the Federal Work Study Program, report to your job according to the schedule you arranged with your supervisor, complete all work to the best of your ability, and notify your supervisor in advance if you are unable to report to work for any reason;
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid eligibility;
  • know and comply with the University's refund and Return of Title IV fund policies

Unofficial Withdrawals

What is an unofficial withdrawal?
If a student who begins attendance fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course during the semester, the institution must assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn, unless the institution can document that the student completed the period. In the absence of evidence of a last day of attendance at an academically related activity, the school must consider a student who failed to earn a passing grade to be an unofficial withdrawal and subject to returning 100 percent of financial aid received for the semester.
How will Financial Aid obtain the information to complete an unofficial withdrawal for me?
The Office Scholarships and Financial Aid will email your professors a proof of course completion request on the business day following the grade deadline for the term. They will be asked to provide the last date of attendance via an email reply. All emailed responses from professors must be received within 10 days of email receipt.
How much will be returned to the Department of Education?
A date of withdrawal will be determined according to the last date of attendance the professor has provided. That date will be used to calculate the Return of Title IV (R2T4) and federal funds to return. If the professor indicates that the student stopped attending but we cannot provide a specific date, then we will use the midpoint of the semester and calculate the R2T4 based on 50 percent. Students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) after completing 60 percent of the semester earn 100 percent of their financial aid for the semester and no Title IV funds are returned. If a last date of attendance is not provided by the deadline, 100 percent of federal aid received for the semester will be returned.
How am I notified if I owe a balance due to withdrawal?
Once the unearned aid is established, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will reduce the award and a send a letter of notification to the student. Official correspondence from the University is sent to the email address provided by the student. If the student has failed to correct his or her contact information, they will not be relieved of the responsibility on the grounds that the correspondence was not received. The unearned aid is removed from the student’s account by Scholarships and Financial Aid and returned to the Department of Education through the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system. Any unearned Title IV financial aid is returned by University of Houston in the following order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grant Program funds, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (SEOG) funds, other Title IV assistance.
If aid is returned, will I owe the University?
If the Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation causes a balance on the account, it is the student's responsibility to pay the balance to the University of Houston. Students are required to repay any balance owed to the University of Houston before transcripts or diplomas will be released or before students can register for an upcoming semester. Any federal loan amount owed by the student is to be repaid under the terms of their promissory note; in addition, students may be responsible for possible repayment of grant funds to the Department of Education
Does withdrawing affect Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Yes, withdrawing from one or all classes may impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Please view our requirements for maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible for subsequent semesters of financial aid.