Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

First Year Guide

First Year Financial Aid Guide

Welcome to the Panther Family! We are excited to welcome you to campus. Please use this as a resource as you prepare to become a UNI Panther.

Connect with us on social media: Instagram @UNIfinaid | Facebook @UNIfinaid | Twitter @UNI_FINAID


It’s never too early to start planning!

We understand that college is an investment and it’s never too early to start thinking about your options to pay for college.

The first step to receive financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Make sure to add UNI to your FAFSA; our school code is 001890. Financial aid awards are created mid-February, and students will receive both a letter in the mail and an email notification. The mailing will also include a postcard with important resources and next steps. For more information about the different types of aid, please review our Types of Aid webpage.

In addition to the FAFSA, it’s also important to apply for scholarships. UNI has an online scholarship application, which includes departmental, academic, and foundation scholarships. Make sure to complete the scholarship application by January 15th every year for full consideration of scholarships.

Come say hello!

We provide various opportunities to connect with our office during summer orientation.

New freshmen/1st year students: There are several opportunities to learn about financial aid and ask questions during orientation.

  • On Day 1, there is a financial aid session at 12:45 PM in the Maucker Union Ballroom for parents and guests. This session will cover important information about financial aid and paying for college. You will be provided with a booklet that we will review during this presentation, which also available online: Financial Aid Required Readings.

  • Students will attend a 30-minute financial aid session on Day 1 during which they will complete a worksheet with key financial aid concepts. Students will also receive a financial aid checklist in their folder when they check-in for orientation.

  • On Day 2, students and families have the opportunity to sit down with a financial aid counselor from our office to review their financial aid and ask any questions. We will be available from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM in the University Room, which is located on the lower level of the Maucker Union.

Transfer students: During the welcome session, there will be a 15-20 minute financial aid presentation led by a staff member from our office. This will provide general information to help you understand the financial aid process at UNI. Families and guests will also receive a booklet with important information about financial aid at UNI, which is also available online: Financial Aid Required Readings. Students will receive a financial aid checklist in their folder when they check-in for orientation.

  • In the afternoon, students and families will have the opportunity to sit down with a financial aid counselor from our office to review their financial aid and ask any questions. We will be available from 1:00-3:00 PM in the University Room, which is located on the lower level of Maucker Union.

Granting Third Party Account Access

We understand that financial aid can seem complicated and confusing. Students may look to parents, friends, or other family members to help them through the process. Below are some key things to remember when helping a student with their financial aid.

We want to ensure that students’ information is kept private and secure. To best assist you, please note the following for identification purposes.

  • If you call our office, please have the student’s ID number and financial aid award information available.

  • To keep a student’s information private, we will not be able to discuss a financial aid award with any individual other than the student or parent(s) listed on the FAFSA.

  • If a student would like a parent or family member to have access to their financial aid information, they can create a third party account for the individual. This will allow a third party to have their own MyUNIverse login information. MyUNIverse is UNI’s online student portal. For more information, please visit this website: UNI Third Party/Parent Portal Help.


Important Reminders for Students

Communications

All communications from our office will be sent to the student’s UNI email address. We strongly encourage students to check their email frequently for any important communications.

Student Employment Opportunities

We encourage students to work while in school. There are many benefits to working while in school, including better time management skills, networking opportunities, earned money to help cover expenses, and many more. Students can work up to 20 hours during the academic year and up to 40 hours during the summer or breaks. There are a variety of jobs on campus with over 5,400 opportunities! Please check the job board on the Career Services website for the most up-to-date job postings.

Enrollment and Financial Aid

All financial aid awards are initially created based on full-time enrollment (12 credit hours for undergraduates, 9 credit hours for graduate students). If a student is not full-time, their financial aid will be adjusted before the semester begins. Students must be at least half-time (6 hours for undergraduate students, 5 hours for graduate students) to be eligible for student loan deferment. In addition, if a student withdraws during the semester, a portion of their financial aid may be returned to the Department of Education.

Academic Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility

All students must meet certain academic standards to be eligible for financial aid. These standards are listed below. It is important for students to understand our policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). For more information, please review our Financial Aid Academic Progress website.

  • Minimum GPA: 2.0 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduates

  • Pace of Progression: Students must complete 67% of all attempted coursework at UNI.

  • Maximum Time to Complete a Degree: Students must complete a degree within 150% of the degree requirements.

Need more information?

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships creates a Required Readings booklet yearly to assist students and families in navigating the financial aid process. We strongly encourage students and parents to read this booklet and use it as a resource for financial aid information.