Understanding the Offer Letter

This page contains information for current undergraduate students who have received an Official Financial Aid Offer. Please follow this link for information about Preliminary Financial Aid Offers and follow this link for information about Graduate Financial Aid Offers

The information on this page helps you understand your undergraduate financial aid offer letter and what steps you need to take to have loans credited to your account. There is also information about outside scholarships as well as other possible impacts to your financial aid that may occur later, if there are changes in your financial circumstances.

For additional help in understanding your financial aid offer, watch this video explaining the different components of financial aid.

Your Official Financial Aid Offer and What You Need to Do

1. View Your Financial Aid Offer

Log in to your SIS account to review your financial aid offer. After logging into your SIS account, click "Financials" in the left menu, then "Finance Center." Next choose "View Financial Aid," select the appropriate year, and then 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. Please note that financial aid offers are only shown online in SIS or in UVAPay, and you will not receive a paper letter. If your offer changes later for some reason, you'll be able to see the history of your offer letters for the year at any time.

See FAQs regarding President Ryan's comments about the University's financial aid commitment to students

If you have been offered grants, these will show in your financial aid offer in an "accepted" status. Our assumption is that everyone wants to accept money that does not have to be paid back! There are dozens of named grants, so you may not recognize one award or another right away. 

See a complete list of named scholarships that are part of the AccessUVA program

An important note for undergraduate transfer students: until your school of enrollment reviews your transfer credits (usually before the start of the first term of enrollment), we will offer you loans as if you are a first-year student. Once your school reviews your credits and sets your academic level, we'll adjust your loans to reflect the correct level for you. 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, we accept any grants on your behalf. You can accept all, accept part, or decline each loan award offered to you. After logging into your SIS account, click "Financials" in the left menu, then "Finance Center", then "View Financial Aid", then choose the year you want to work with, then "Accept/Decline Awards". To accept the full amount of a loan or decline a loan, select the appropriate button and follow the prompts. To accept only part of a loan total, click the button to "Accept" the loan, then change the amount shown 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. In general, you have until the last day of classes for term-specific loans and the end of the last day of the spring term for fall/spring loans to accept your loans and complete your master promissory note and entrance counseling.

3. Complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes

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

For Direct Loans, go to StudentAid.gov.

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

4. Report Outside Scholarships

If you have received any scholarships that are from outside UVA, or other resources such as military educational benefits or ROTC awards, please report these using our Outside Scholarships Self-Reporting Form. You must report all outside scholarships and other resources to us. Note that these may lead to a change to your existing aid. In such cases, we will send you an email about your revised offer. For more information on how scholarships and grants can impact your financial aid, visit our Scholarships and Grants web page.

5. Disbursement of Aid

Once you accept your financial aid, it should show in your account as anticipated aid. Federal regulations prevent us from disbursing aid more than 10 days prior to the start of a term.

Federal loans will not disburse if you have not previously completed your required master promissory note and loan entrance counseling. 

Federal Work Study never disburses. It is not even anticipated aid. Rather, the amount you are offered represents the total amount you can earn in a work study position over the course of the academic year. See our Federal Work Study page for more information.

Why Your Official Offer May Change

Receiving financial aid is dependent upon maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Please note that federal Pell Grants, Federal Work Study, 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. You'll find these forms on our forms page under the link to the appropriate aid year. When we've processed your request, you should receive an email notification from us, usually within about one month from the time you submit the form.

If SFS modifies your financial aid offer after the release of the official financial aid offer, you should receive an email notification about the revisions. See when you might make requests to change your aid or when we may adjust your aid based on additional information.

Follow this link for more information about types of aid included in your financial aid offer. Students should read the sections that apply in their particular situation.

Please email all questions to [email protected] or call (434) 982-6000.