Frequently Asked Questions
Other than a financial aid administrator, there are three authorized authorities that can verify that you “were determined at any time since July 1, of the previous award year, to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.” These authorities are:
a school district homeless liaison
the director (or designee) of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
the director (or designee) of a runaway or homeless youth (RHY) basic center or transitional living program
If you are a current high school student, you should ask for a letter from the school district homeless liaison. Or, if you are currently a resident in a homeless shelter or transitional living program or HUD-funded shelter or transitional housing program, you should ask the director (or someone the director designates) to provide the letter.
Additionally, these authorities are now permitted to write determination letters for homeless youth for subsequent years as long as they have the necessary information to write such letters. This means if you are no longer in high school but still have a relationship with the homeless liaison from your former high school, or were previously a resident in a homeless shelter or transitional living/housing program, you should visit the school or program to request a letter. Note that school district homeless liaisons can only write letters for youth up through age 23.
If you are not able to get a letter from any of the three aforementioned authorities, then you will need to visit the financial aid office so that the financial aid administrator (FAA) can make the determination.
YES! In 2017, Congress reinstated year-round Pell, which allows students to receive up to 150 percent of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year so that they can continue taking classes in the summer and finish their degrees faster than they would otherwise. In order to qualify you must have either have submitted a FAFSA for the 2017/2018 school year and been awarded a Pell grant or, if you did not submit a FAFSA, you can still submit the 2017/2018 application before June 30 of this year.
Depending on how many units you were enrolled in during the academic year, there may be minimum unit requirements. You should be aware that Pell grant used during the summer counts towards your federal 6-year maximum and so it would not be wise to take summer classes while receiving a Pell Grant that are not required for your degree. Please contact the financial aid office in order to determine exactly how much aid you would qualify for and what restrictions are in place based on your particular circumstances.
The FAFSA now uses “prior-prior” year tax data, so for the 2018-2019 school year, 2016 taxes would be used. Many students do not file taxes because they have earned less than the standard deduction. Students applying for the 2018-2019 academic school year who did not file taxes may now be required to submit an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter. This letter confirms that the IRS has not received a federal income tax return from the individual. The Verification of Nonfiling Letter is not an indication that the person is not required to file a return, just that they did not file one.
To obtain an IRS Verification of NonFiling Letter, you will need to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript. This can be a complicated process and we encourage you to ask for help if you need assistance.
You can request a transcript online at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript. Through this website you can either have your transcript sent to you online or via mail.
- To obtain a transcript online, you must satisfy certain security requirements such as owning a cell phone with your name on the account and having a credit card, auto loan or mortgage in your name.
- To have the transcript mailed via the online tool, it will take 5-10 days to receive the tax transcript. Generally, there will be no address on file with the IRS if you have never filed taxes. In this case, the letter will be mailed to the current address you provide. However, the IRS may already have your address in their system, such as from W-2 or 1099 statements or a prior tax return. In this case, the mailing address on the form must match the address on file with the IRS.
- If your current mailing address does not match the address on file with the IRS, you should first file IRS Form 8822 to change your address, which will take approximately 10 days.
- Students may also call the IRS automated phone transcript service at 800-908-9946 to order a tax return or tax account transcript to be sent by mail.
Alternately, you can complete IRS Form 4506-T on paper, check box 7 and send this form by mail or fax. On line 5 of IRS Form 4506-T you can specify that the Verification of Nonfiling Letter be sent to a third-party address. In most cases you should have it sent to yourself, not directly to the college. However, if you're not sure what you should do, contact us (or the college you plan to attend) to verify! If you submit this paper form by mail, it will take 7-14 days to be processed.
Note that there is no fee for obtaining the Verification of Nonfiling Letter or a tax transcript. If you are being charged a $50 fee, you are filing the wrong form. The form that is required is IRS Form 4506-T, not IRS Form 4506.
We sure do!!
The first place you should start looking after you are admitted to the UA, is on Scholarship Universe.
Here are a few other scholarships that have crossed our path that you may be interested in applying for:
- The Horatio Alger Association State & National Scholarships
- SchoolHouse Connection Youth Scholarship Program (for students have have experienced homelessness in the last 6 years)
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
If you were in foster care after your 13th birthday, you should select this option on your FAFSA. Your foster care status will still be verified by the Department of Child Safety, but this verification isn't something you should have to submit to the UA again. If you select the option indicating you are currently homeless or at risk of being homeless, you will have to verify that situation every year you complete a FAFSA. You will not lose out on any financial aid or support options by selecting the foster care option instead of the homelessness option... select foster care!
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is one of the most important documents you will fill out as a college student. It can also be incredibly confusing. There are a lot of really excellent resources that you can use to help you through.
1. The University of Arizona Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid has an amazing team of counselors that can help you navigate this process. The UA hosts FAFSA completion events where current and future students can sit down with a financial aid counselor and complete their FAFSA.
2. Can't make it to campus for any of the FAFSA events? Check out the free Arizona FAFSA toolkit online whenever it's convenient for you.
3. If you are still in high school, reach out to your high school counselor. Your school most likely has some FAFSA completion events planned for students where you'll have assistance and support on hand.
4. Contact Fostering Success! Our Program Manager, Karla, and our Program Coordinator, Dani, have a lot of experience helping students with their financial aid and would love to help you too. Email them at email@example.com and they would be happy to answer any questions you have. If they don't know the answer, they will find someone who does.
YES! Life happens and bad grades can be a disappointing result. Grade Replacement Opportunities, or GROs, give students a chance to replace grades of C, D, or E by repeating the course. GROs are centrally managed by the Office of the Registrar, so if you are interested in undertaking a grad replacement opportunity, please refer to the policies listed in the Academic Catalog for the most up-to-date information. You should also discuss your individual circumstances with your academic advisor before proceeding.
You've put in the effort, you've gotten the grades, and now it's time to celebrate! In order to be eligible for graduation, you must maintain a 2.000+ GPA for all coursework you've taken at the UA. You also need to apply for degree candidacy through Graduation Services in the Office of the Registrar. Processes for this application differ by college, so you should check in with your academic advisor to make sure everything's in order before you can move your tassel.
Campus & Community Supports
YES! ASUA Student Legal Services is a free service offered to all currently enrolled UA students including UA Online, UA South and any other satellite campus students. Students get a thirty-minute consultation with a legal professional. You can make an appointment by calling (520)621-2782, visit the ASUA office in person, or use the online system. After you set up your appointment, make sure you bring your current UA Student ID and any relevant paperwork with you. For example, if your problem involves your landlord, bring a copy of your lease. If you received a criminal citation, bring the citation and police report.
Parking and Transportation Services has a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate website for all of your campus parking and transportation questions. You can also go speak to them in person! Their address is 1117 E. 6th St. and they are open from 8am-4pm Monday-Friday, except Thursdays when they open at 9am instead. If neither of those options works for you, just give them a call at (520)626-7275.
Your CatCard is your official UA ID card. You'll need it to access residence halls, the Campus Recreation Center, and serves as your ZonaZoo pass. You will also be able to make charges to your Bursar account and gives you checkout privileges for books, equipment and rooms at the Campus Libraries. Your CatCard can also hold money! CatCa$h is an excellent way to store funds on your CatCard. This is how you will pay to do your laundry in the residence halls or pay for campus parking in the garages or metered lots. You can also pay for printing at FastCopy or any of the CatPrints across campus.
If you're interested in dining on campus often, you might be in the market for a Meal Plan, which you can load onto your CatCard for quick swipes at on-campus eateries. If you bank with Wells Fargo, you can link your checking account to your CatCard for ATM access and making purchases. You can add CatCa$h to your CatCard by going online or by visiting the Meal Plans Office on the lower level of the Student Union Memorial Center.
If you find yourself facing questions or issues and are unsure of where to go for answers, reach out to SOS for round-the-clock support. Contact SOS any day, any time, with any question, and they will help you resolve it within 24 hours. You can
Not if you're enrolled... student fees built into your tuition give you access to the Student Recreation Center for all your health and wellness needs. The Rental Center even offers equipment for all your outdoor activities. The SRC also hosts tutoring services, a computer lab, a restaurant, and UA retail store.
College can be scary! Everything we hear on the news, in movies, and from other people, it can be intimidating to be on campus. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available on the University of Arizona campus to keep everyone safe!
UAlert is a free messaging service to deliver emergency notification to your preferred point of contact (cell phone or campus email) to notify and update you of any on-campus emergencies. Even if you are not a student on the main campus, you can select which campus best applies to you to receive relevant alerts.
UAPD is available 24/7 by calling 911 or the non-emergency line at 520-621-8273. Our officers are part of our campus community and committd to the safety and security of everyone on our campus. Other services offered include fingerprinting, purchasing locks for bicycles and steering wheels, and providing ride alongs.
Some general safety tips to keep in mind:
- Don't be an easy target for theft. Never leave your valuables unattended!
- Don't walk alone at night. If you have to walk around on campus at night, go with a friend or call SafeRide.
- Never share your Social Security number, ATM Pin, or other important passwords with anyone, not even your closest friends.
- Before leaving home, always make sure you lock your windows and doors.
- Be socially smart! Make sure all of your social media pages are secure and private.
- Park in a well-lit area if you plan to come back to your car after dark.
Fostering Success Program
There are NOT any age requirements to participate in Fostering Success, although some of the resources we are able to connect students with do have certain age requirements attached. Many higher education programs similar to Fostering Success, require that youth were in foster care after a certain age, however, this is not a requirement to participate here at the UA. Any current or future UA students that have experienced foster care at any point in their lives, are struggling with homelessness, or lack a support system to help guide them through being a college student are welcome to join our program. Just click on the red JOIN button on the top right of this page to get started.
Natural supports are essentially people that are in your life that are not paid to be there. Some examples of supports that are part of a system include teachers, case managers, counselors, foster parents, group home staff, probation officers, and life skills case managers or mentors. Many of these supports are not individuals that will continue to provide guidance and support to a youth once their case closes or once the youth reaches a certain age.
Fostering Success students that are actively participating in peer advising (at least 5 per semester) are qualified for priority registration - this means that they are able to register for classes with honors students and athletes. This priority registration timeframe is limited, however, if students do not register for classes during the priority registration time frame, they will still be able to register for classes as they would otherwise be scheduled with their respective classes.
Peer mentors are the ongoing supports Fostering Success students connect with to work toward individual goals. Peer mentors typically meet with students on a bi-weekly basis, however, scheduing varies based on each student's needs. Each Fostering Success Peer Mentor is a UA student and has been here for at least 1 full academic year. Program participants that qualify for employment with the program, will receive information about applying to be a peer mentor as positions become availabe. Hiring for the peer mentor position may occur throughout the academic year depending on program need, however, this application and hiring process is open solely to program participants.
Peer advisor meetings are individualized to meet the specific needs of each student in our program. Peer advising meetings range from addressing academic goals and needs, to connecting with social clubs, learning about campus resources, and addressing other barriers. Each peer advisor works with their students to ensure they are successful.
Fostering Success typically hires peer advisors before the start of the fall semester. Fostering Success participants are informed of open positions and are encouraged to apply to take on leadership roles within our program. Each peer advisor is required to complete a training and to meet regularly with the program coordinator.
There are no deadlines to apply for the Fostering Success program - we accept students year round and provide support and guidance as needed. To submit an interest form to participate in Fostering Success, click on the red "JOIN" button at the top of this screen.
For UA Admissions deadlines, see the most up-to-date information online at: http://admissions.arizona.edu/deadlines
For financial aid deadlines, see the most up-to-date information online at: http://financialaid.arizona.edu/other-resources/deadlines
For on campus housing deadlines, see the most up-to-date information online at: https://housing.arizona.edu/yourUAhome
Going to College
Our Fostering Success program staff are available to help you navigate the application and financial aid processes. If you are an incoming freshman or transfer student, we are here to answer your questions about what it takes to be a Wildcat! Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org