Frequently Asked Questions about Eligibility and Applying for Financial Aid
1. How do I apply for a Federal Pell Grant and other types of need-based aid?
Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To indicate interest in student employment, student loans and parent loans, you should check the appropriate boxes. Checking these boxes does not commit you to accepting these types of aid. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline each part of your aid package later. Leaving these boxes unchecked will not increase the amount of grants you receive.
2. I am not sure that I would qualify for financial aid, should I apply anyway?
Yes. Many families find they can receive financial aid after an application has been processed. In addition, there are a few sources of aid that are available regardless of need. Those sources include Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans.
3. What is your school code?
The school code for Alabama State University is 001005.
4. Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid at a particular university?
No. You can apply for financial aid any time after January 1. However, you must be admitted and enrolled at the university before receiving the funds. Students should submit the FAFSA as soon as possible. Once admitted, the university will be able to process your FAFSA.
5. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
Yes. You are required to apply for financial aid every year if you want to be considered for federal or state aid which includes grants, loans, and work-study.
6. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?
No. In general you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans. However, parents are responsible for the Federal PLUS loans.
7. I have received an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the Office of Financial Aid?
Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from the university, private sources, or government sources; you must report the scholarship to the financial aid office.
The university may adjust your financial aid package as needed to prevent an overaward. In most cases, outside scholarships are used to replace loans instead of grants.
8. Where can I get information about federal student financial aid?
Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1-800-730-8913 if hearing impaired. This toll free hotline is run by the U.S. Department of Education and can answer questions about federal and state student aid programs and applications. You can also go to www.fafsa.ed.gov or write to
Federal Student Aid Information Center
PO Box 84
Washington, DC 20044
9. How soon after January 1 should the FAFSA form be sent in?
Send in the form as soon as possible after January 1.
10. What is an FSA ID?
An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov
11. How can I get an FSA ID?
Go to fsaid.ed.gov
12. Why should I get an FSA ID?
You can use your FSA ID to access your financial aid data at these U.S. Department of Education websites:
• FAFSA on the Web: Access and complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA (if you applied for federal student aid last year) at www.fafsa.gov. You can also:
o submit corrections to your processed FAFSA,
o use your FSA ID to electronically sign your submitted FAFSA,
o get a copy of your processed FAFSA information, or
o add a school code to your FAFSA application
• The National Student Loan Data System website: www.nslds.ed.gov/nsld. View a history of the federal student financial aid you have received.
• The Federal Direct Loans website: www.studentloans.gov. To log in and complete master promissory notes, entrance/ exit counseling and print or review these items.
13. What other filing options are there? What happens after I file my FAFSA electronically?
You may choose any of these three methods to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
• Login to apply online at www.fafsa.gov (Recommended) or
• Complete a PDF FAFSA download from www.fafsa.gov under other filing options (Note: PDF FAFSAs must be mailed for processing) or
• Request a paper FAFSA by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 319-337-5665. If you are hearing impaired, please contact the TTY line at 1-800-730-8913.
Generally, it takes less time to process and send the SAR (Student Aid Report) to you when you submit the FAFSA online and provide a valid e-mail address. If you provide a valid e-mail address, you'll get your SAR e-mail in three to five days. This e-mail contains a secure link to your SAR online. If you don't provide a valid e-mail address, it takes about seven to 10 days before you'll receive your SAR by postal mail.
If you submit a paper FAFSA, you'll receive your SAR by e-mail within 2 weeks, or 3 weeks if you do not provide an e-mail address.
Note: If you have an FSA ID and your FAFSA has been processed, you can login at www.fafsa.gov to view SAR information regardless of whether you filed the online or paper FAFSA or provided an e-mail address or not.
The University will receive a copy of this SAR electronically and will use this information to determine what types of aid you may be eligible for upon your acceptance to the University. If you do not receive a SAR within 4 weeks of submitting your FAFSA to the processing center you should call (800)-4-FED-AID to verify the status of your application.
14. How will I be notified of the types of aid I'm eligible for?
If you have applied for federal or state aid, the Office of Financial Aid will create a package specifically for your family and notify you by email with instructions on how to view your award notification online.
15. My SAR says I have been selected for verification. What does that mean?
Verification is a process whereby the government or school selects your application for review. This basically means that you must supply the requested financial documents so the Office of Financial Aid may ensure the information you submitted on your FAFSA is accurate. If you do not comply, you will not be eligible to receive federal funds.
16. Will I receive the same amount of financial aid each year?
The institutional scholarship you receive from the University will be renewed according to the provisions specified in your contract provided you maintain satisfactory academic progress. Since your financial situation can change from year to year; your award may be affected. Your package will be evaluated annually to account for changes in income, family status, satisfactory academic progress and enrollment status. Special circumstances may arise during the time you are in attendance. Some circumstances may be taken into account through a request for Professional Judgment Review by the parent or student. Forms may be downloaded from our web page. Please complete necessary documents and submit it to the office as needed.
17. I still owe a balance to ASU after all of my aid has been applied. What should I do?
Keep in mind that financial aid will rarely cover 100% of your expenses. It is up to you and your parents to cover the remaining balance. How you do it is up to you. First, you should exhaust all options that involve "free money" such as scholarship searches by surfing the web. Discuss the situation with your parents and talk about any options there may be to pay the balance without having to borrow. Only after all options are exhausted should you consider loans. If loans are necessary, consider Federal Stafford Loans first. If your parent borrows a PLUS or you borrow an Alternative Educational Loan, it will be more expensive than paying the balance out of pocket as the loans involve interest and fees.
18. My parents do not claim me on their tax returns and do not want to help me pay for college. Can I apply for financial aid as an independent student?
If you are under age 24, you are generally considered a dependent student by Federal definition.
19. I am under age 24 and do not live in my parents' home. Do I still have to include my parents' information on the FAFSA?
Yes. You are still considered to be dependent even if living on your own unless you meet the criteria set forth by the federal government for independent students.