General Financial Aid FAQs
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
A : You can apply for financial aid on-line at http://www.fafsa.gov. Please make sure to include your housing plans on the FAFSA, since leaving this section blank could result in underfunding.
Q: How long does the process take?
A: Normally about four to six weeks. You should apply as early as possible. (January 1st through March 1st, prior to the following Fall term). Some program funds are limited and awarded on a "first come first served" basis.
Q: How will I know how much aid I qualify for?
A: An award notification will be emailed to you via your FAU email account. If you are a First-Time-In-College (FTIC) student, in addition, an email will be sent to the email filed on your FAFSA. You will be instructed to log on to "Accept Your Award".
Q: What happens if I don't accept my awards online?
A: If you do not accept your awards online, we will assume you do not need or want financial aid and cancel the award. However, if you realize that you do need it, you can submit a Revision Request form and request to have your aid reinstated.
Q: Do I have to pay my fees up front if I have been awarded financial aid?
A: If you submit your award letter by the last day of the drop/add period, your fees are automatically deferred and the system generated late payment charge of $100 will be waived. For those students who apply on time there is not a problem getting the fees deferred.
Q: What happens if I decide to attend part-time?
A: Your aid may be reduced or canceled in some cases in order to comply with regulations or eligibility requirements.
Q: What if I need to take some or all of my classes at another school?
A: As long as you are degree seeking at FAU and the classes will be credited toward your FAU degree, you may be eligible to receive assistance. Contact the FAU Financial Aid Office to see what forms you must complete and for which programs you may qualify. Please refer to Financial Aid Policies - Concurrent Enrollment page.
Q: I was awarded a Direct loan but I want to reduce the amount, how can I do that?
A: If you want to reduce any award on your award letter, you simply submit an Award Revision Request form located on the Forms to Download page and state the amount of the that you want to reduce.
Q: I was awarded PELL grant and added a course after the drop/add deadline. Will my PELL grant increase?
A: If a student who has been awarded a PELL grant adds a class after the drop/add deadline, the PELL grant award will NOT increase due to late enrollment. The student will be awarded for the number of credits enrolled at the end of the drop/add period.
Q: How will I receive the funds?
A: Signing up for direct deposit will expedite receipt of funds for financial aid and all other refunds due from your student account. Effective January 2013, refunds checks will no longer be mailed; they will have to be picked up at the Controller's office on the Boca Raton campus. For more information on direct deposit instructions, click here.
Q: How will my fees be paid and what happens to the money that exceeds my fees?
A: Approximately 3 weeks after school starts your aid will be applied to your tuition. Any remaining funds will be electronically transferred to your bank account (see previous question) or mailed by the Controller's Office to your local address on file at the Registrar's Office.
Q: If my fees were deferred, what will happen with my financial aid?
A: The Controller's Office will deduct any tuition fees you owe (except from federal work-study) the university and send you the balance (see previous question).
Q: I have been awarded a Direct loan, what paperwork do I need to complete for the loan to disburse?
A: To receive a Direct loan, you must have a valid Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file with the U.S. Department of Education and have satisfied Direct Loan Entrance Counseling requirements. Both the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and Direct Loan Entrance Counseling requirements may be satisfied on-line at www.studentloans.gov .
Q: Will the Financial Aid Office award me for Summer terms also?
A: Yes, however, you must complete the Summer Financial Aid Request online form via Self-Service (Under the Resources/Additional Information tab on the Award screens). The Request for Summer Financial Aid will be available the first business day in February each year. The Request for Summer Financial Aid is located on MyFAU (Click on Money Matters tab). Apply for Summer Financial Aid early! Some funds are limited and awarded based on when the application is submitted. Click here for instructions on how to access the application and important information regarding Summer Financial Aid.
Q: What happens if I don't do well in my classes?
A: Financial aid regulations require that you make satisfactory academic progress. Generally, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA and successfully complete 67% of your classes. If you do not, you may be placed on probation or denied future assistance. You may appeal if denied by submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form available in our download area.
Q: How can I get information about my award?
A: Due to the Privacy Act, only general information can be given over the phone. However, you may access your Financial Aid information online. Click here for instructions on how to access this information.
Q: My award is based on last year's income. My income and/or my parents' income has changed. What should I do?
A: Speak with your Financial Aid Counselor and you may be able to submit a request for Professional Judgment to our office. The request for Professional Judgment and Checklist forms are available in the Office of Student Financial Aid. You will be asked to submit written documentation of the change. After a review, you may be awarded additional assistance.
Q: The financial aid application asks for information about my parents but I do not receive any support from them. What do I do?
A: Federal regulations require your eligibility to be based on your income and that of your parents' unless you are 24 years old; married, or have legal dependents other than a spouse; are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces; an orphan or ward of the court (or you were until age 18); or will be working on a degree beyond a bachelor's. If you think that you have exceptional circumstances contact your FAU financial aid counselor about a possible dependency override. The request for Dependency Override form is available in the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Q: What is Entrance Counseling?
A: Entrance counseling is an on-line “webinar” which teaches students about the rights and responsibilities assigned to federal loan borrowers. All students must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling on-line at www.studentloans.gov prior to receiving their first Direct Loan disbursement from FAU. Students who have received Direct Loans at other institutions prior to attending FAU must re-satisfy the Entrance Counseling requirement for FAU prior to receiving their first Direct Loan disbursement from FAU. Graduate PLUS loan borrowers must also complete Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling for FAU at www.studentloans.gov prior to receiving their first Graduate PLUS Loan disbursement.
Q: What if I completely withdraw from classes, will I have to repay my financial aid?
A: Yes, if you withdraw before 60% of the term is completed, you will be required to repay a percentage of the aid you received since the funds were awarded to meet educational expenses for the entire semester. Please review the Refund Repayment policy.
Q: How do I get money for books?
A: Disbursement of aid is a function of the Controller’s office. The scholarship and financial aid fund disbursement process takes several weeks. It is essential that you set aside personal funds to cover expenses incurred during the first few weeks of class. For students who do not have sufficient monetary resources, FAU offers a “Short Term Advance” - a University monetary advance to all students - ONLY if they meet all eligibility criteria. The Short Term Advance application is located on MyFAU - Click on the Money Matters! tab and the application is located under the Financial Aid Online Applications channel.
NOTE: For students under 18 years of age, please download and submit the Parental Short Term Advance Application to the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Q: How do I find how much I owe the school? How do I track my balances?
A: The financial aid disbursement estimator is designed as a tool to help you determine what you need to pay the University and represents only an ESTIMATE of what financial aid may disburse based on your enrollment and award status. For details, click here. The Controller’s office handles all student account transactions. To check on the status of your account, please log on to MyFAU and click on FAU Self-Service link and then click on Student Services tab or link.
PLEASE NOTE: Students receive their account statements via their FAU E-mail address ONLY.
Q: What is the IRS Data Retrieval and why do I have to transfer my taxes?
A: The benefit (to families) of utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Process is that it will greatly simplify and expedite the verification process. You will NO LONGER have to submit complete copies of your federal tax returns to our office before we can finalize your federal aid eligibility. Visit this webpage for more details: http://www.fau.edu/finaid/fafsa_dataretrieval.php.