Important Spring 2014 Reminders to Financial Aid Recipients
Multiple Loan Disbursements
Beginning Spring 2014, student loans processed for just the spring semester will be disbursed in two equal payments. The first payment is scheduled for January 13, the beginning of the semester. The second disbursement is scheduled for March 14, the half-way point of the semester. Multiple disbursements will help students manage the expenses that continue throughout the enrollment period. Due to an increase in UALR’s student loan default rate, federal regulations require UALR to release all student loans in multiple disbursements to minimize student loan defaults and support student success toward degree completion.
Scholarships Require 15 Credit Hours
Many scholarships require full-time students to be enrolled in 15 credit hours. Review your scholarship requirements and make sure you are enrolled in the number of credit hours needed to receive your scholarship. While 12 hours are considered full-time for undergraduate full-time attendance and Pell Grant eligibility, you may need more semester credit hours of enrollment to receive your scholarship.
ADHE Funds will not Disburse until 11th Day Enrollment is Checked
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education enrollment requirements are monitored at the end of the eleventh class day, which is January 28 for the Spring 2014 semester. Make sure you are enrolled in the required number of credit hours at the end of that eleventh class day to ensure you’ll receive the grant and/or scholarship monies you’ve been awarded. Once ADHE approves the enrollment, UALR will pay the funds that are expected and approved.
If you are only enrolled in courses that meet for just a part of the semester, your financial aid will be adjusted for the cost of attendance for that period of enrollment. For example, if your total semester enrollment is only eight weeks, your transportation, room and board, and personal expenses are half the expense of that for a student attending 16 weeks, the full semester. We will adjust your awards as soon as registration ends and student schedules are finalized. Also, if your enrollment does not begin until later in the semester, your federal student aid will not credit to your account until you begin attending classes.
First-Time Freshman Loan Special Disbursement Schedule
For the Spring 2014 semester, UALR must disburse first-time loans for new, first semester freshman borrowers 30 days after the semester starts, on February 12, 2014. This change will promote retention by potentially lowering your student debt burden, with the added benefit of lowering UALR’s institutional student loan default rates.
All students face uncertainty during their first semester in college. If you adjust your schedule during the first 30 days of the semester, this delay in disbursement will give the Financial Aid Office the flexibility to adjust loan amounts to better reflect your financial aid eligibility. This will reduce the need for collecting returned financial aid for courses that you may drop during this period, thus keeping your student loan debt burden lower, which in turn encourages you to continue your college education.
We do not anticipate this change will affect your ability to pay for books, tuition, and other charges. Student Accounts is aware of this change and understands that you will be receiving loan disbursements later in the semester. Book vouchers up to $900 are available from the UALR Bookstore (online or in the campus store) for purchasing required books and supplies.
The Central Arkansas Development Council, Inc. (CADC) serves the metropolitan Little Rock area. They coordinate several programs that may offer needed assistance. will provide additional information about locations of local offices and the variety of services available. Some examples of assistance programs include:
Another website with a wealth of information on local assistance programs is . Information is available about organizations that provide assistance with food, shelter, and paying utilities.