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The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is required to monitor and adjust students’ financial aid awards to eliminate overawards and/or overpayments in compliance with federal and state regulations and institutional policy.

What is an Overaward?

An overaward exists when any of the following situations occur: 

Cost of Attendance Overaward
  • The student’s financial aid exceeds the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA). Financial aid is defined as any educational cash or cash-equivalent (i.e., gift cards, meal cards) benefits paid to the student's account or directly to the student because of enrollment, such as:
    • Pell Grants;
    • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans;
    • Direct PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loans;
    • Long-term need-based loans;
    • Grants (federal, state, institutional, external)
    • Scholarships (federal, state, institutional, external), including athletic scholarships and scholarships that require future employment;
    • Employer reminbursement of employee's tuition;
    • Waivers of tuition and fees; 
    • Fellowships or assistanships, except non-need-based employment portions of such awards;
    • Income from insurance programs that pay for the student's education;
    • Net income from need-based employment such as FWS;
    • AmeriCorp awards or post-service benefits (except when determining eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans);
    • McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program;
    • TEACH Grants
    • Private Education Loans
    • Monetary Prizes and Awards
Financial Need Overaward

The student is receiving Federal SEOG, Federal Work-study, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, KY College Access Program Grant (CAP), other institutional, state, or external need-based scholarship or grant programs, or Health Profession Loans (HPSL) and the student’s total gift aid (scholarships and grants) in combination of the aforementioned financial aid programs exceed the student’s demonstrated Financial Need.  

Other Types of Overawards
  • The student receives multiple tuition-specific awards (scholarships, grants, fellowships, or waivers) that exceed the student’s tuition assessment. The student receives multiple housing-specific awards that exceed the student’s housing assessment. 
  • The student’s award in an individual program (e.g., Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loan) exceeds annual or aggregate/lifetime limits. 
  • The student is receiving Federal Pell Grant or Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant at multiple schools for the same payment period. 


How does an Overaward occur?

Overawards are usually the result of the student receiving aid that the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships was not aware of when the student’s Financial Aid Package was created. 

Overawards may also be created when the student’sExpected Family Contribution (EFC) (or Student Aid Index, SAI) increases as a result of Verification. Overawards can result from application errors as well. Regardless of the reason for the overaward, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is bound by regulations and policy to correct it. 

Resolving the overaward could result in the student owing the University money if the overawarded financial aid funds have already disbursed to the student’s account. It is the student’s responsibility, therefore, to submit a Declaration of Outside Scholarship Resource Form to the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships as soon as possible when the student becomes aware that he or she is receiving an external financial aid resource. 

How are Overawards corrected?

Following federal and state regulations and institutional policy, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will resolve the overaward in a way that is most favorable to the student. 

To avert or alleviate an overaward, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will determine whether the student has increased costs that were not anticipated when the student was initially awarded. Following this step, if the student’s total aid still exceeds their COA or financial need, loans will be canceled or reduced and returned to the lender. Following this step, if there is still an overaward and the student is employed under the Federal Work-Study Program, the student will be requested to stop working. If after loans and Federal Work-study have been adjusted and an overaward still remains, grants and scholarships or other forms of gift aid will be canceled or reduced. 

The order in which aid funds are adjusted or reduced to resolve an overaward is as follows: 
  1.  Private Educational Loan 
  2. Federal Direct PLUS Loan 
  3. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan 
  4. Federal TEACH Grant 
  5. KY Teachers Scholarship 
  6. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan 
  7. Institutional Loan 
  8. Health Professions Loan 
  9. Federal Work-Study 
  10. Federal SEOG 
  11. UK need-based scholarships or grants  
  12. UK Academic Scholarships  
  13. UK Mandated Tuition Programs 
  14. UK Employee Education Program 
  15. UK Family Education Program 
  16. UK Endowed/Gift funds 
  17. UK College and/or Departmental awards 
  18. KY College Access Program (CAP) Grant* 
  19. Other state funds 
  20. Non-Service Fellowships/Stipends 
  21. External scholarships 

*Institutional scholarships and grants awarded in combination with a CAP Grant may cause an overaward. When this occurs, it may be necessary to reduce the institutional scholarship or grant by the value of the CAP Grant to alleviate the overaward. In no case will the student's overall scholarship and grant eligibility in combination with CAP Grant be lower than the original offer, as UK is committed to packaging financial aid to students the most favorable way possible while ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations and institutional policy.