Financial Aid for SPS Students

The Office of Financial Assistance at University of the Incarnate Word is committed to helping you understand the aid application process, assist in estimating your costs and providing you information on programs for which you are eligible.

SPS Financial Aid Guidebook

View the 2020-21 SPS Financial Aid Award Package to learn about the following: Your award letter, financial planning, scholarships, grants, federal direct loans, payment options, maintaining eligibility, online tools and more.


Application Process

  1. Create your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at Fsaid.ed.gov/npas The FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. The electronic FSA ID process takes about 3 days.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You must apply for FAFSA each year. Applications for the following year open October 1st. The electronic FAFSA process takes 3 - 5 days. Once we receive your FAFSA results, we will send you a notification of the next steps to your Cardinal e-mail within 5 business days. The UIW FAFSA school code is 003578.
  3. Complete any additional requirements. The Office of Financial Assistance will notify you concerning outstanding requirements via Cardinal e-mail, your award letter, or in a separate tracking letter. All required forms are available in our office or can be downloaded at www.uiw.edu/finaid under “Forms.”
  4. Review your award letter for details about the resources available to you. Important information about additional requirements and processes will be noted on your award letter.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for federal loans, you must meeting the following requirements:

  • You must be enrolled and attending at least half-time. SPS funds are certified in 8 week term periods. As long as half-time attending requirements are met, funds will be disbursed at the beginning of each 8 week term. Students enrolled in terms of eight weeks or less will not receive disbursements for federal loans until they attend half-time hours for the overall semester. For example, undergraduate students taking 3 hours in Term 1 and 3 hours in Term 2 will not receive loan funds until Term 2 begins. Summer enrollment requirements are the same as Fall and Spring. Please refer to the table below for half-time enrollment requirements.
  • Maintain SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress). This means that you must complete at least 75% of the coursework attempted, maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average for undergraduate students or 3.0 for graduate students, and not exceed 125% of the credit hours required for graduation.
  • Not be in default on any federal and/or state loan, or owe a refund on any federal or state grant. 

Financial aid awards may be adjusted if any reported FAFSA information changes, or if you receive outside resources (i.e. VA benefits, Resident Assistant, Graduate Assistant, discounts, outside scholarships, waivers, employer-paid tuition, etc.). You must notify our office of any outside resources.

Important Note: Do not register for courses you do not believe you will be able to attend, as this may affect your calculation of aid return if you withdraw or stop attending (unofficial withdrawal). ALL courses you register for are taken into account in a withdrawal calculation, even if you receive a 100% refund of tuition and fees. Contact the Office of Financial Assistance for more information.

Minimum Credit Hours Needed Per Semester

Please note: Courses must match your admit level.

Minimum Credit Hours Needed Per Semester
  Undergraduate Graduate Doctoral
Full-Time 12 undergraduate hours 6 graduate hours 6 doctoral hours
Half-Time 6 undergraduate hours 3 graduate hours 3 (1 during dissertation)

Undergraduate Enrollment Examples

Undergraduate Enrollment Example 1
Fall 1 Fall 2 Half-time? Loan Disbursement?
3 hours 3 hours Yes, at Fall 2 Yes, at Fall 2
6 hours 3 hours Yes 1/2 in Fall 1, 1/2 in Fall 2
None 3 hours No No
3 hours None No No
3 hours 6 hours Yes, at Fall 2 Yes, at Fall 2
6 hours 6 hours Full-time 1/2 in Fall 1, 1/2 in Fall 2
Undergraduate Enrollment Example 2
Fall 1 Spring 1 Half-Time? Loan Disbursement?
3 hours 3 hours No, you cannot combine terms from separate semesters No

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’m a graduate student, but I need to take undergraduate pre-requisites. Will my aid cover that?
    Undergraduate hours do not count towards graduate half-time requirements. However, you may have options to get those hours covered, if you are taking at least 6 hours in a semester and if you have not used all of your undergraduate loan eligibility. Contact the OFA immediately for options. You may also wish to speak to your academic advisor about other options to complete pre-requisite courses, especially if you have a large number of pre-requisites to complete.
  • How will my aid be split?
    Aid is divided evenly between Summer, Fall, and Spring. These amounts are then divided into Summer 1, Summer 2, Fall 1, Fall 2, Spring 1, and Spring 2. Keep these splits in mind when planning your enrollment and/or reviewing your bill – you may not have enough aid available to cover the entire cost of your intended enrollment. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance for help in determining your anticipated balance (if any) based on your intended enrollment and to discuss options.
  • How do I check the status of my aid?
    You may view your award, your balance, and your student requirements (missing documents) online through BannerWeb on Cardinal Apps.
  • Where will reminders be sent?
    All electronic correspondence will be to your UIW email (Cardinal email) address. Even if not required by SPS, you should become familiar with your UIW email address, and check it on a regular basis for important information.