Home > Finances > Apply for financial aid

Apply for financial aid

Financial aid is money provided to a student in order to pay for college expenses. There are several types of financial aid and most students are eligible to receive at least some form of financial aid.

Use this page to understand how your financial aid is processed. Check your financial aid status by going to MyU: My Finances. Depending on the aid awarded to you, you may not need to complete all the steps below. 

Steps to receive financial aid

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used for all types of financial aid, including federal and state aid. The 2017-2018 FAFSA is available as of October 1, 2016. 

It is in your best interest to file the FAFSA before the priority filing date. Some financial aid programs have limited funding and deadline requirements.

  • Priority deadline for incoming freshmen: February 15
  • Priority deadline for returning students: April 15

If your tax data is not ready to transfer before a priority filing date you should go ahead and file your FAFSA using the best information available. However, you should update your FAFSA using IRS data retrieval as soon as the information is available to transfer.

You will be notified by mail or email if additional documentation is needed to process your financial aid. You can also monitor your progress in MyU: My Finances. See step 2 in the Financial Aid section (or view see step-by-step instructions).

You will receive an email notification with a link to view and respond to your financial aid award online. Follow the instructions in the email to:

  • View financial aid package
  • Accept/decline awards if you have any
  • Report any other financial aid (e.g. outside scholarships)

Please note, your financial aid award is based on full-time attendance for one academic year (fall and spring semesters). The total aid is divided equally between semesters; one-half for fall expenses and one-half for spring expenses. The amount of your award is based on your financial need, which is determined by:

  • A federal process that calculates your expected family contribution (EFC), based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) result, and 
  • An assumption that you will be enrolled full-time.

If you do not receive notification that your financial aid award is available, check MyU: My Finances.

If you choose to accept loans, check your status in MyU: My Finances to complete all required documentation. If you accepted a Federal loan(s) you will need to complete all required promissory notes, counseling, and disclosures before the loans can be disbursed. A promissory note is the legal agreement that you will repay your loan(s).

If your parent(s) wants to borrow a PLUS loan, they will need to complete the PLUS loan application at StudentLoans.gov and the PLUS Master Promissory Note before the funds will disburse to your student account.

If you are applying for an alternative loan, you will need to complete all necessary documents required by the lender you have chosen.

If all prior steps are complete, you should receive your financial aid disbursement to your student account approximately one week prior to the start of the semester. When this happens, you will be sent an email to your University account indicating that your financial aid has been disbursed.

If your financial aid exceeds the university charges, you will have a credit balance on your student account. Sign up for direct deposit to receive your credit balance electronically to your bank account. If your financial aid does not cover the balance on your student account you will receive a billing notice via email.

The disbursement process continues throughout the semester. After the initial disbursement prior to the start of the semester, funds are generally dispersed within seven business days of the steps being completed. 

Related Resources

Important Dates