Cincinnati Online students can complete the entire financial aid process without ever stepping foot on the University of Cincinnati campus. All of the financial aid resources, applications and forms you need are available online, and the Student Financial Aid Office has dedicated staff to offer assistance and answer any questions you may have.
Nearly all students are eligible for some form of financial assistance. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
After your FAFSA is processed, which typically takes 3-5 business days, you will be able to view your aid status by logging in to Catalyst, UC’s student portal that provides access to financial aid as well as billing and registration.
Your “To-Do List” in Catalyst will display any additional requirements that need to be completed before you can view or accept your financial aid award. It is important to monitor your Catalyst account on an ongoing basis.
Key Considerations as an Online Student
Although all UC students follow the same financial aid process, there are some financial aid matters that may be particularly relevant to you as a distance-learning student:
- Enrollment eligibility - The financial aid awards that UC offers assume full-time enrollment, so if you plan to attend part-time you will need to be aware of how it may affect your aid eligibility.
- Year-round loan distribution - A standard financial aid award is based on fall-spring attendance, so if you plan to attend year-round (fall, spring and summer), you will need to contact the Student Financial Aid Office to have your aid adjusted accordingly.
- Prior aid history - The Department of Education has established limits to how much financial aid students can receive over the course of their education, so if you have received federal aid in the past, you should review your prior aid history on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which will help you to determine your remaining eligibility.
- Federal Work-Study - You can receive Federal Work-Study funds even if you do not live in the Greater Cincinnati area, so if you have been awarded work-study, you can contact our office for assistance with securing a position in your area.