Financial Aid

Financial Aid How-To

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How to Apply for Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). On the FAFSA, you should list the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo (UH Hilo), Federal School Code number 001611, as one of the schools to receive your information. Complete the FAFSA online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Please be aware that grant funds are limited and expended quickly. File your FAFSA early to ensure full consideration.

Upon receipt of the FAFSA results, the Financial Aid Office will determine your financial aid eligibility. If more information is required, you will be notified via email. Once you have created a UH username and have a @hawaii.edu email address, that will be our main form of communication with you. In addition to being admitted to the university as a classified, degree-seeking student you must also complete all other requirements before your application will be processed.

How to View Your Financial Aid Requirements

To view your financial aid requirements online, follow the steps below:

  • Log onto MyUH Services. New users should Get a UH username.
  • Select the 'View My Financial Aid Information' link.
  • Click on 'Student Requirements'.
  • Select the appropriate aid year from the dropdown menu (be sure to choose 'UH Hilo Aid Year XXXX-XX') and click 'Submit'.
  • Any 'Unsatisfied Requirement(s)' must be 'Satisfied' to continue processing your application.

Once an aid offer is created, view How to Review and Respond to Your Aid Offer

How to View Your Financial Aid Statisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status

In accordance with UH Hilo's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy, your SAP status will be calculated based on your current academic record. To view your SAP status online, follow the steps below:

  • Log onto MyUH Services. New users should Get a UH username.
  • Select the 'View My Financial Aid Information' link.
  • Click on 'Academic Progress'.
  • Select the appropriate aid year from the dropdown menu (be sure to choose 'UH Hilo Aid Year XXXX-XX') and click 'Submit'.
  • If your status is 'Eligible', no further action is required. If your status is 'Suspension', you are not eligible for aid and have the option to submit a SAP Appeal Form (PDF ) for consideration

Applicants Selected for Verification

Your application for Federal student aid may be selected for a process known as verification. This means that the Financial Aid Office must verify the accuracy of the information that you submitted on the FAFSA. If selected, you must submit a verification worksheet, federal tax return transcripts, and/or other supporting documents. If any data reported on the FAFSA is found to be incorrect, your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated. Until your information has been verified, a financial aid offer cannot be issued to you. You will normally have 60 days to submit the required verification documents.

See our Financial Aid Forms for the verification worksheets.

Understanding your Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) provides an estimate cost of attending the University of Hawai'i at Hilo as a full-time student. The estimated Cost of Attendance budget will vary depending on the student's program, residency status, enrollment and housing plans.

The estimated Cost of Attendance budget for the period covered by the financial aid offer is comprised of the following:

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Books, course materials, supplies, & equipment
  • Food & Housing
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
  • Transportation
  • Federal Student Loan Fees

Your Cost of Attendance is made up of two different types of costs: Direct and Indirect.

  • Direct Costs are items that will appear on your billing statement, such as tuition, fees, food and housing costs when living on-campus.
  • Indirect Costs will not appear on your billing statement but are estimated costs associated with attending a college and are included in your budget to help you plan for these expenses. These include items such as books, course materials, supplies & equipment, miscellaneous expenses, and transportation.

View our Estimated Cost of Attendance for 2024-2025

Calculating Your Financial Aid Offer

Your financial aid offer will be calculated according to your financial need and the availability of funds. Your overall eligibility for financial aid is determined by the following calculation:

Estimated Cost of Attendance - Student Aid Index (SAI) - Other Financial Assistance (OFA) = Financial Need

The Student Aid Index (SAI), formally known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education based on the data submitted on your FAFSA. Your SAI can be found on your FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) .

How to Review and Respond to Your Aid Offer

You will be notified via email once a financial aid offer is generated for you. To review and respond to your aid offer online, follow the steps below:

  • Log onto MyUH Services. New users should Get a UH username.
  • Select the 'View My Financial Aid Information' link.
  • Click on 'Award By Aid Year'.
  • Select the appropriate aid year from the dropdown menu (be sure to choose 'UH Hilo Aid Year XXXX-XX') and click 'Submit'.
  • Go to the 'Terms and Conditions' tab and follow the on-screen instructions. You MUST do this prior to reviewing and responding to your award
  • Review the 'Award Overview' tab.
  • Go to the 'Accept Award Offer' tab to take action.

Please respond to your aid offer within four weeks. Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid and will in most cases be ‘accepted’ for you. A loan, however, must be repaid and will require you to either ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ the offer. You can learn more about the different types of aid by visiting our What kind of financial aid is available? page. We recommend reviewing your College Financing Plan to help better understand your educational costs and types of aid available to help you meet those costs.

Receiving Your Financial Aid

Your financial aid from UH Hilo will be disbursed no sooner than 10 days before your first day of class provided all requirements are completed. Funds are applied to any balance owed to UH Hilo for that term (tuition, fees, room and board, etc) then any remaining funds are issued to you in the form of a refund.

It is recommended that you sign up for eRefunds (PDF ) (direct deposit into your personal bank account) by logging on to MyUH Services. If you do not elect to use 'eRefunds', your refund is processed as a paper check and sent to the current mailing address on file with the university.

A. Grants, Scholarships and Tuition Waivers

Federal, state and institutional grants/scholarships should be automatically credited to your student account by the end of the add/drop period for each term.

B. Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study program provides funds for students with financial need to work in part-time, on-campus jobs. The student must work to earn the work-study funds. Therefore, this does not represent cash-in-hand at the beginning of the semester and cannot be used to pay for up-front expenses like tuition, fees, room and/or board. Students who are able to secure an on-campus position are paid hourly and will receive a paycheck twice a month. Academic year earnings must not exceed the student’s total Federal Work-Study amount.

C. Loans

Types of loans include the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans.

First time borrowers must complete a loan entrance counseling session as well as sign a master promissory note for any loans that they choose to accept. These requirements must be completed before the loan can be disbursed.

Entrance Counseling & Master Promissory Notes

The entrance counseling sessions can be completed online and usually only needs to be done once. Most promissory notes will also only need to be completed once. The Financial Aid Office will receive electronic confirmation within 24-48 hours of the completion of the loan requirements. Please see below for the corresponding online locations of each loan requirement.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
    • First time UH Hilo borrowers must complete the entrance counseling even though they may have completed it while at another school.
  • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans
    • Graduate students who borrow a Grad PLUS in addition to an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan will need to complete separate master promissory notes for each loan; the entrance counseling will be combined into one session.

Will my aid be affected?

Changes to my Cost of Attendance

Your financial aid offer is based on your enrollment status. Should you enroll in fewer hours than what your offer was based on, this may result in a reduction of your aid. A financial aid staff member should be consulted before dropping any courses to discuss how the change will affect your financial aid offer and/or your satisfactory academic progress. Also, a change in your housing status could change your cost of attendance budget and consequently affect your financial aid offer. If financial aid funds have already been paid to you and your aid is reduced or revised as a result of reduced hours or a change in housing status, you may be required to repay all or part of your financial aid. The University will not be able to disburse any additional financial aid, process transcript requests or allow you to register until all financial obligations have been cleared.

Other Financial Assistance

A student may not receive educational financial assistance in excess of their cost of attendance. Regulations require that adjustments be made to your aid if you receive additional financial assistance not reflected in your financial aid offer. You are required to notify the Financial Aid Office once you become aware that you will be receiving any additional financial assistance not included in your aid offer (e.g. outside scholarships, stipends, assistantships, employer reimbursement, vocational rehabilitation benefits, some types of veteran’s benefits, etc.).

Change in Family's Financial Situation

Changes to your family's financial situation may impact your aid eligibility. Please refer to our Special and Unusual Circumstances page for detailed information.

Note: Submittal of this type of request does not guarantee a change in financial aid eligibility. You must also ensure you have submitted your FAFSA and completed/met all other financial aid requirements before we will review your request.