Student Financial Aid - Frequently Asked Questions

Office Information

How do I find the Student Financial Aid Office? 
Our office is located at 865 University Research Park, Suite 240, 73104. A campus map can be found here. Office hours are 8AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday. You may reach us by phone at 405/271-2118 or by fax at 405/271-5446. Our e-mail address is If you need to mail documents to us, the address is: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Office of Financial Aid, P. O. Box 26901, Oklahoma City, OK 73126.

There is a limited number of one-hour parking spots on the north side of the building. OUHSC permit holders can park in the parking garage that is listed at P12 on the lower left corner of the campus map.

What are your office hours? 
We are open 8AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday.

Besides calling, how can I get in touch with the office? 
Because our office handles numerous phone calls per week during peak times, you can send an e-mail to our office at You will receive a response either via email or by phone. If you are a current student and log into Self-Service, you can send a message to a counselor via the Request Counselor Action link.

Looking for a quick reference for how the aid process works?

Financial Aid Top 10

Graduating? Your exit information

Aid Application Information

How do I apply for aid at OUHSC?
The Free Application for federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available at For the 2023-2024 aid year, the FAFSA became available October 1, 2022. We have no institutional application, so the FAFSA is the only way your federal aid eligibility will be assessed.

What is the deadline for submitting my FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
For the 2023-2024 aid year, you can complete the FAFSA anytime on or after October 1, 2022. The recommended date to have your application submitted is January 1 of each year, for the following academic year. While we process FAFSAs throughout the year, the January 1 date is recommended to be considered for aid that is limited.

How can I get a scholarship? 
Most OUHSC scholarships are based either on your admissions application, or the department in which you are majoring, or come from an outside source. To assist your needs, a guide to financial aid and scholarships at the University of Oklahoma for undergraduate, graduate, and Health Sciences Center students can be found here, along with other scholarship information.

How can I apply for the Sooner Heritage Scholarship? 
Notifications of awards will be sent in mid-August every year.  The scholarship is a Fall/Spring award; funds are not disbursed during the Summer term. 

Students awarded the Sooner Heritage scholarship must be enrolled at least half-time to retain their eligibility at the time of disbursement. The Sooner Heritage application process will require that you sign into OUHSC Self-Service.  Follow the navigation Main Menu->OUHSC Custom->Student Self-Service->Scholarship Application in order to submit an application. You must have a valid FAFSA on file in order to apply. No essay or other supporting documentation is required, as all information necessary is on file with your FAFSA and student information. 

How does Summer financial aid work?

The Summer term begins the new aid year.  Each degree program dictates whether Summer is a mandatory term of attendance or whether it is an optional term.  If you are in a program that has an optional Summer term, will need aid for that term, and you will be enrolled at least half-time, you will need to complete the Summer application.

FAFSA Information

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is free to complete, so never pay someone to do to it for you.  It is also the only application you need to complete to be evaluated for federal aid, which includes both grants and loans, depending on grade level, dependency status, financial need, the program in which you are enrolled, and your enrollment status. Even if you think you will not need student loans, we encourage you to complete the FAFSA.  Many scholarship applications require your FAFSA be on file with our office to evaluate your scholarship eligibility.

Completing the FAFSA is an annual process, so you will need to complete it ever year you are enrolled.

When should I file the FAFSA?

For the 2023-2024 aid year, the FAFSA became available October 1, 2022.

What is OUHSC's Title IV Code required for the FAFSA? 

What is the FSA ID? 
The FSA ID serves as your identifier to let you access your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. To create an FSA ID, please click hereIf you need a tutorial on the FSA ID process, please see this.

What information is collected on the FAFSA?

The FAFSA collects demographic, household, and financial data from you, and in the case of dependent students, your parents. The information is submitted to the schools the student indicates on the application. The school(s) then use that information to evaluate award eligibility.

For students and parents who are tax filers, we highly encourage you to utlize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to collect and validate income and dax information when at all possible. This ensures the accuracy of the data collected.


If you are enrolled Submit this FAFSA You can submit the FAFSA Use income and tax information
July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024 2023-2024 October 1, 2022 - June 30, 2024 2021


What if I need more aid and/or the FAFSA does not reflect my present situation? 
You can come in or send e-mail to our office explaining your situation and how it has changed. We will be glad to review your information to see if there is anything more we can do for you. Our e-mail address is

My parents did not claim me on their tax return this year. Can I file my FAFSA as an independent student? 
If you are able to answer "Yes" to any question in Step 3 of the FAFSA, you will be considered an independent student for the academic year. If you cannot answer "Yes" and feel you should be considered an independent student, you should contact our office and make an appointment with your Counselor to discuss your situation BEFORE you send in your FAFSA.

My SAR indicates I was selected for "Verification." What does this mean? 
Verification means that you must confirm income and demographic elements that were reported on your FAFSA.  You must do this by submitting a correction to your FAFSA, authorizing the IRS Data Retrieval Process, by submitting particular documents, and/or completing worksheets.  Dependent undergraduates will need to include parental information. Further information can be found on our Verification Information and Forms page.

Where can I locate my Selective Service information? 
Selective Service information can be obtained by visiting the Online Verification at the Selective Service System website.

Award and Loan Information

How many hours do I have to be enrolled in to get aid?

Loan recipients have to be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for a loan disbursement.  Loan eligibility is not prorated like Federal Pell grants described below.


Academic Program Minimum Summer Enrollment Minimum Fall Enrollment
Professional* and Graduate 2 credit hours 5 credit hours
Medicine (MD) 160 clock hours 320 clock hours
Undergraduate 6 credit hours 6 credit hours


*Professional program students are encouraged to contact our office if enrollment will be less than the minimum listed above.

Only undergraduate students who have not yet received a first bachelor's degree, who demonstrate financial need per a valid FAFSA, and do not exceed federal lifetime eligibility limits may qualify for Federal Pell grant funds.  Federal Pell grant recipients are eligible for grant amounts based on enrollment.  Amounts are prorated to coincide with full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, and less-than-half time enrollment.


Enrollment Level Hours Enrolled
Full time 12 credit hours or more
Three-quarter time 9-11 credit hours
Half-time 6-8 credit hours
Less-than-half time 1-5 credit hours


How does the awarding process work?
If we have received a valid FAFSA and you have completed any additional requirements that may have been requested from you, we will begin the awarding process immediately for the current aid year. For the upcoming aid year, we will begin the awarding process in late March/early April.

Based upon your estimated cost of attendance for the program you are in or have applied for and your year in that program, your initial award package will reflect your aid eligibility up to that cost of attendance. Cost of attendance expenses include estimates for tuition and fees, books and supplies, the purchase of a computer during your first year in attendance, and a modest cost of living allowance.

If you receive a waiver or a scholarship after your loans have been offered to you, we will reduce your loan eligibility when we award the waiver or scholarship. Grants, scholarships, and waivers are accepted on your behalf and typically require no action on your part once awarded. If you wish to accept loan funds, you must accept them by either returning your paper award letter to our office, indicating your acceptance, or accept loan funds in Self-Service.

How can I view my awards online? 
Once you have been given an OUHSC user name and password, you can log into Self-Service to view your awards. If you need assistance navigating Self-Service, please see our How-To Guide.

How do I get my money? 
Provided that all requirements have been met by you, i.e. sufficient enrollment, entrance counseling, and promissory note completion, we can begin the disbursement process 10 days prior to the first day of the term, per the academic calendar. While some programs require that students attend class before this time, our disbursement process follows the academic calendar. When all requirements have been met, your funds will be released to the Bursar's Office. Your funds will be used first to pay any outstanding charges you have on your Bursar's account. What remains will be refunded to you.

If you have previously signed up for direct deposit, your refund will be sent to your designated bank account. If you have not signed up for direct deposit, your refund will be mailed to the address that is designated as your Home address. Our office does not guarantee the timing or delivery of funds, so please do not make any assumptions about when your funds should be delivered to you until you have confirmed receipt of funds by either receiving a check or a deposit in your designated bank account.

I have never had to borrow federal loans before. What is a Federal Direct Loan?
Please refer to our Loans page for more detailed federal loan program information.

What is the interest rate on a Federal Direct Loan?

Interest rates, the amounts and the structure for how they are determined, have changed quite often over the years.  Please see this chart for historical information on loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2013.  Or, log into NSLDS to see the interest rate(s) on your own loan(s.)

August 2013, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, changing Direct Loan interest rate structures.  The law stipulates that the rate will be based upon the sum of a uniform index rate of the 10-year Treasury Note plus a statutorily defined "add-on."  Each year, interest rates could vary based upon the index rate, but the interest rate will then be fixed for the life of each loan.  Interest rate caps are in place to ensure that rates will never exceed the maximum rate.  Please see the chart below for current interest rates.

Interest rates for Federal Direct Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023

Loan Type Interest Rate Interest Rate Cap
Undergraduate Subsidized Direct Loan Fixed at 4.99% 8.25%
Undergraduate Unsubsidized Direct Loan Fixed at 4.99% 8.25%
Graduate and Professional Unsubsidized Direct Loan Fixed at 6.54% 9.50%

Parent Plus Direct Loan and Grad Plus Direct Loan

Fixed at 7.54% 10.50%

Interest rates for Federal Direct Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024

Loan Type Interest Rate Interest Rate Cap
Undergraduate Subsidized Direct Loan Fixed at 5.49% 8.25%
Undergraduate Unsubsidized Direct Loan Fixed at 5.49% 8.25%
Graduate and Professional Unsubsidized Direct Loan Fixed at 7.05% 9.50%

Parent Plus Direct Loan and Grad Plus Direct Loan

Fixed at 8.05% 10.50%

How does interest accrual and capitalization work?

Interest is essentially the cost of borrowing money and the borrower of a loan has to repay the accrued, plus the original amount of the loan, or the principal, to the lender.

For federal student loans, interest only accrues on the principal balance of the loan while the student is in school at least half-time and in periods of grace. However, upon entering the repayment period, interest is then capitalized, meaning that new interest charges are then based upon the principal balance AND any accrued interest.

How can I find information about my current or previous Perkins, Direct, or Alternative loans? 
In order to view your Perkins or Direct loans, you can visit NSLDS. You will need your FSA ID in order to log in. If you need to review the Alternative loans you have borrowed while you have been at OUHSC, please contact our office for a full list.  If you borrowed Alternative loans while at a prior institution, you will need to contact that institution's financial aid office.

Why does it take so long for a private Alternative loan to disburse? 
Because of legislation requiring lenders to increase their communication with potential borrowers that is meant to protect potential borrowers from making hasty decisions about borrowing private loans, there can be protracted delays in the Alternative loan application, approval, and disbursement timeline. Please see our step-by-step guide on how the private loan process works.

I was not offered a Lew Wentz/Nursing Student/Health Professions Loan. How can I request one?
The Lew Wentz Loan, Nursing Student Loan, and (Dental and Pharmacy) Health Professions Loans each have limited allocations to be awarded to students. Our awarding process looks at students financial need first, as demonstrated on the FAFSA, and awards these funds on a first-come, first-served basis. The funds are typically exhausted early, so we urge you to file your FAFSA prior to January 1 of every year.

If you were not offered these loan funds but are interested, you can contact our office. We have waiting lists for each loan fund. As other students decline offers, we work the waiting list as funds become available.

What if I do not need all of this loan money? 
If you do not need all of the loan money offered to you, simply do not accept it all. You can accept a portion of a loan or decline it altogether. If you have already received a refund and find that you do not require all of the funds, you can return the unnecessary funds to the Bursar's Office. We will then reduce your award, reducing your debt burden.

What if I need additional loan money than what was offered to me?
If you pay for childcare expenses and would like to have those evaluated for inclusion in your costs, please complete the Dependent Care Verification Form. If you have above average living expenses or have had unusual one-time expenses, please see the Cost of Living Worksheet.

What are my rights and responsibilities as a financial aid recipient? 


  • To be informed about financial aid application procedures, cost of attendance, aid available, and renewal requirements. To have confidential protection of your financial aid records.  The contents of your financial aid file are maintained in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • To appeal decisions made by the financial aid staff at OUHSC.  A written appeal must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid.


  • To complete applications correctly and on time. To read and understand all materials sent to you from the Office of Student Financial Aid and other financial aid agencies. To keep copies of all forms and materials submitted. To comply with the rules governing your aid programs. To comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign. To enroll for the number of credit hours required and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • To request personal assistance if you have questions or do not understand the information provided to you

Cohort Default Rate

The Cohort Default Rate (CDR) for an institution is based upon the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter into federal loan repayment during a fiscal year, and default before the end of the following fiscal year. Federal loan borrowers at the University of Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma Health Science Center are calculated under a single CDR; OUHSC student loan borrowers are not calculated under its own CDR.

The most recently calculated CDR for the University of Oklahoma can be found here

The percentage of OUHSC students who had to borrow some sort of loan during their program, as calculated for the Fall 2022 term, is 59.9%.

Withdrawal Information

I am considering withdrawing from the term. What do I need to do and what will happen if I do?
Please see our withdrawal fact sheet for instructions on the withdrawal process. Financial aid eligibility can be significantly affected upon your withdrawal, so it is very important that you are aware of the possible repercussions.

Parent Information

Why do I have to provide parental income information for Health Professions Loans? 
Parental income is required on the FAFSA by the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency which funds these programs. Parental income does not affect eligibility of other federal aid for independent students.

I am the parent of a dependent undergraduate student. How do I apply for a Federal Direct Parent Plus loan?
Parents of dependent undergraduate students can apply for a Federal Direct Parent Plus loan. The parent will be the borrower of these funds, not the student. Parents of independent undergraduate or graduate/professional students are not eligible to borrow these funds. If you would like more information on how to apply, please see our Loans page.

Norman Information

Do you share information with the Norman campus?
Our office functions separately from the OU Norman Financial Aid Services. If you have only sent your FAFSA to OU Norman but need OUHSC to have the results, you will need to make a correction to your FAFSA and add the OUHSC school code of 005889. If you previously attended OU Norman and have a scholarship or waiver that you believe should transfer, please complete the Transfer Form.

Did you receive Crimson Commitment on the Norman campus?
If you did, you may still have eligibility remaining while enrolled at the HSC campus. Please contact us so we can verify your eligibility.

Oklahoma's Promise

I am an Oklahoma's Promise student. How can I make sure that I am awarded those funds?
Incoming students with Oklahoma's Promise need to contact our office, by phone, by email, or visit the office, to let us know. We will then verify your eligibility with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. On average, the earliest these funds can be disbursed will be one month after the beginning of each term.

Residency Status

How can I obtain Oklahoma residency for tuition purposes? 
The Admissions and Records Office determines residency status. Please contact Admissions in the Registrar's office, Robert M. Bird Library Building, room 121, 405/271-2655.

Your Privacy

Will you discuss my aid with family or friends?  
FERPA (Federal Right to Privacy Act) prohibits us from discussing any of your specific financial matters with anyone without your written permission.