Understanding the Award Letter and Your Awards

The information on this page helps you understand your undergraduate financial aid award letter and what steps you need to take to have loans credited to your account.  We've also put together a video that walks you through these steps. Make sure you complete all the steps required for your loans to disburse if you are offered them and choose to accept them. 

 

Your Official Financial Aid Award and What You Need to Do

 

 

1. View Your Award

Log in to your SIS Student Center to review your financial aid award.  Once in SIS, click “View Financial Aid” under the Finances section, and choose the appropriate aid year.  Look for the "Award Letter" link to print a copy for your records or to save it as a .pdf to send on to someone else, like your parents.  Please note that financial aid awards are only available online in the SIS, and you will not receive a paper award letter. If your award changes later for some reason, you'll be able to see the history of your awards for the year at any time.

An important note for undergraduate transfer students: until your transferred credits are evaluated by your school of enrollment (usually before the start of the first term of enrollment), you are awarded loans at the level of a first-year student.  Once your credits have been evaluated and your academic level has been confirmed, your loans will be adjusted accordingly.  For students with need-based loans, the total loan amount will not change, but the types of loans will.

 

2. Accept, Decline or Reduce Your Loans

Because they do not need to be repaid, grants are automatically accepted on your behalf. You have the ability to accept all, accept part, or decline each loan award offered to you. Under the Finances section of the SIS Student Center, click "Accept/Decline Awards." To accept the full amount of a loan or decline a loan, simply click the appropriate button and follow the prompts. To accept only a portion of a loan, click the button to "Accept" the loan, then change the amount indicated from the full amount to the amount you would like to accept for the year (half for each semester).

If you make a mistake or change your mind, most awards can be reinstated later. However, if you choose to decline your Perkins loan, you will likely not be able to have it reinstated later.  Be absolutely sure you do not want your Perkins loan before you decline it in the SIS. Please click here for information about the rare circumstances when a declined Perkins loan might be reinstated.  

 

3. Complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes

If you have not previously had a Direct Loan or a Perkins/Nursing Loan, you will need to complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note before the disbursement of any loans.

For Direct Loans, go to studentloans.gov.

For Perkins and Nursing Loans, go to https://heartland.ecsi.net/.

 

4. Report Outside Scholarships

If you have received any scholarships that are from outside U.Va., or other resources such as veteran’s benefits or ROTC awards, please report these using our reporting form. All outside scholarships and other resources must be reported to us and may result in an adjustment of your existing aid.  In such cases, you will be notified by email of the change to your financial aid award and the reason for the change.  For more information on how scholarships and grants can impact your financial aid, visit our Scholarships and Grants web page.

Other Things to Consider

Receiving financial aid is dependent upon maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Please note that federal Pell Grants and SEOG grants are based on eligibility determined by Congressional action, and funding levels are subject to change.

You may request an increase to your budget for either the one-time computer expense or to cover the cost of health insurance. Forms to request both of these increases are available on our forms page under the link to the appropriate aid year. When the request has been processed, you should receive an email notification, usually within about one month from the time you submit the form.

If your financial aid award package is modified after the release of the official financial aid award, you should receive an email notification about the revisions.

For more information about types of aid included in your financial aid award, please click here. Students should review the sections that apply in their particular situation.

Please email all questions to sfs@virginia.edu or call (434) 982-6000.