When am I going to receive my financial aid refund?
Refunds are normally processed about 45 calendar days after the semester begins. APUS receives your loan disbursement about 30 days into the semester and any remaining funds (above and beyond your tuition and fees) will be processed and sent to you typically within 14 days. Please note that this process may take longer if this is your first semester and/or you haven’t completed necessary paperwork. To check on the status of your refund, please email email@example.com.
For what purpose may I use my financial aid refund?
Credit balance funds may be used for any additional educational expenses incurred in pursuit of your degree or certificate. These funds can assist with housing expenses, purchasing supplies needed for school, computer equipment purchase or rental, software, or dependent child care expenses, etc.
How do I begin the financial aid process?
To begin the financial aid process you will need to first select your academic year and register for classes at least three weeks before your intended start date. Once your academic year is in place, you will be prompted to complete the steps in your My Aid Portal.
How does financial aid work?
The amount of aid that you are eligible to receive depends on several variables, but the most important are your financial circumstances and the Cost of Attendance at your school.
You tell the government about your financial circumstances when you complete the FAFSA each year. The information that you provide is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC score. Your EFC score is sent to each school you indicate when completing the form with the Department of Education.
Estimated Family Contribution is an indication of how much a family can contribute based on entries on your FAFSA. It includes: family income after taxes, family’s assets, family size, and the number of family members currently attending college.
When the financial aid office at your school receives that EFC, they compare it to the Cost of Attendance at that particular school. Cost of Attendance is a financial aid term that estimates what it will cost an average student to attend school at a particular university or college.
To estimate Cost of Attendance, each school considers the average cost of tuition, room and board, books, supplies, loan fees, and miscellaneous educational expenses.
Because the Cost of Attendance differs from school to school, when you change schools, your financial aid package is completely recalculated. The new school’s financial aid office will start with the same EFC score (because you only get one EFC for the entire academic year), but they will calculate a revised financial aid package based on the new school's Cost of Attendance.
Estimated Family Contribution – Cost of Attendance = Financial Need
When your new school receives your EFC, they will evaluate your aid, and prepare an "aid offer letter." This letter will inform you of what forms of aid you qualify for and in what amounts.
Financial aid is available to all students who attend an institution that participates in the federal aid program (which includes American Military University). To remain eligible to continue receiving aid, you must satisfy your school's Satisfactory Academic Progress, or SAP, standard.
So long as you continue to satisfy the SAP standard, you may apply for aid each year (you must fill out a new FAFSA form every spring). Some forms of aid automatically end when you complete your first bachelor's degree - other forms of aid may continue even beyond this point. However, there is a lifetime maximum to the amount that may be borrowed from the Stafford Loan Program.
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is funding intended to help students pay for their education expenses, which include: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other related expenses to your education. Federal financial aid consists of the Federal Stafford Loan Program, the Pell Grant Program, and the Teach Grant Program. Other forms of financial aid consist of private loans, state grants, and scholarships.
Who do I contact about my financial aid status?
If you have questions regarding your financial aid status:
Do I qualify for financial aid?
There are three types of eligibility requirements for financial aid:
- You may not be in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment on a federal student aid grant or loan
- You may not have borrowed in excess of the annual or aggregate loan limits for the federal student aid
- Demonstrate financial need to receive subsidized federal loans
- You must have a valid social security number
- You may not have been convicted of an illegal drug-related offense. If previously convicted, complete and submit the FAFSA to determine your eligibility. You will be required to complete the drug worksheet as part of completing the FAFSA.
- You may not be incarcerated
- If you are a male, you must be registered with Selective Service as required
- You must be a U.S. citizen or national, or an eligible non-citizen (verification of eligible non-citizen status may be required)
- You must be an admitted student, enrolled in an eligible program of study for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate
- You must have a high school diploma or the recognized equivalent (such as a GED). In some cases, the University may need to validate the high school diploma/GED. Failure to provide documentation could result in loss of Title IV aid eligibility
- You must be enrolled at least half time to receive a Federal Student Loan. See enrollment status requirements for more information
- You may not be enrolled solely in remedial coursework
- You may not be currently enrolled in a secondary school
- You must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) once approved for funding
- You must certify that federal student aid will only be used for educational purposes
When I drop a course will I lose my financial aid?
The answer to this question depends on several variables. If you fully withdraw (drop all your courses), then your aid is subject to Return of Title IV aid regulations. To determine the answer for your specific circumstance, ask yourself the questions below:
- Was my financial aid based on full-time enrollment, and after I drop the class(es), will I still be considered full-time? If yes, then there is no impact on aid.
If, for example, an undergraduate whose financial aid was based on full-time enrollment was taking 15 credits and dropped a three-credit class, s/he would still be considered full-time (12 credits minimum for full-time status) and aid would not be affected.
If for example, an undergraduate whose financial aid was based on full-time enrollment was taking 12 credits and dropped six credits or two classes, s/he would not be considered half-time and aid will be impacted if you received PELL grant funds.
What happens to my financial aid if I am put on academic probation?
If you are placed on academic probation you are still eligible to receive financial aid. Please be aware that if you are not making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) your eligibility will be affected.
Do I have to reapply if I am deployed for military obligations?
The answer to this question has many variables; if the student is being deployed they should contact the financial aid application team for assistance. We can be reached Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST at 877-372-3535.
When are representatives available?
- Student support is available Monday- Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
- Financial aid services specialists are available Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST
How often do I have to apply for financial aid?
Your academic year is for eight consecutive months, consisting of two, four month semesters. You will need to complete a new FSA Intent Form close to the end of your academic year.
Subsequent academic year starts, students are able to put their intent form in place for their next award year after the registration period has closed for the third month of their second semester.
Example: The second semester starts in January so students can fill out a new intent form once the registration period is over for March (which is three months after January). March registration ends approximately one week prior to the start of March classes.
How do I contact financial aid?
You can contact the financial aid application team at 877-372-3535 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Representatives can also be reached by emailing email@example.com or calling 877-468-6268 ex. 3630.
What is my financial aid and how do I use it?
Financial aid will be disbursed directly to the school approximately 30 days after the student’s semester starts and attendance has been confirmed. Financial aid funds will be applied to tuition first, and any remaining credit balance will be processed based upon the credit balance authorization provided in MAP.
Financial credit balances can be used for the following:
- Books, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses
- Computers and software
- Room and board
How is my credit balance issued?
All refunds are now processed through Higher One. Students will be sent a refund access card in the mail. Please see the financial aid refund process faqs below for more details.
Where do I find the My Aid Portal?
You can locate the My Aid Portal under the financial aid menu in your e-Campus.
What is deferment?
A deferment is a period of time during which your loan holder (the institution loaning you the money) suspends your regular loan payments.
Who do I contact for deferment?
You should contact your lending institution to determine the type of deferment that you may be eligible for.
Depending on the type of loan you have, the government may pay the interest for you (called a federal interest subsidy) during deferment periods.
- If you do not qualify for a federal interest subsidy, your loan will increase by the amount of unpaid interest that accrues during the period you are not making payments.
- Whenever possible, try to make your interest payments, even when they are not required. Making payments toward accrued interest will minimize the growth of your loan balance.
Deferments are granted for specific situations and have certain time limitations and eligibility conditions. Common deferment situations:
- Enrollment in school
- Study in a graduate fellowship program
- Rehabilitation training program for disabled individuals
- Economic hardship
- Military service
In-school deferment forms should be sent to the registrar to complete at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 304-724-3790.
How do I access my student ledger?
You can access your student ledger through the My Student Account link under the Records Menu in your e-campus.
What is the student ledger?
The student ledger is a reflection of any balance you may owe or any credits on your account. It will list the courses you are registered for, the cost of those courses, and the amount and type of funding you have or will receive.
Why does my student ledger show a zero balance?
A student’s ledger may show a zero balance because pending funds may not have been applied to the balance. When viewing a student ledger the student should go to the account detail for the term in question. There it will detail the courses, their cost, and if there is an outstanding balance. If you click on view details once inside the account detail for that term, students will see what funds were applied specifically to each course.
The account detail also shows disbursed aid, payments received, refunds, and anticipated funding.
If the student is waiting to receive financial aid, the financial aid will show as pending until the aid is received; once received, it will then show up under disbursed federal financial aid.
If the student has any questions with regards to their financial aid and how it is applied to their ledger they should contact our funding team at email@example.com.
What programs are not eligible for financial aid?
The current programs that are not eligible for financial aid are:
- Courses being taking as “audit”
- Undergraduate courses for transfer to another institution
- Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) in General Studies
Will financial aid cover graduation fees?
Your financial aid will not cover graduation fees; however, you can use any refund that you receive to help cover the cost of your graduation fee.
I’m a graduate student; will financial aid cover my books?
As a graduate student you are responsible for the upfront cost of your books. Additional financial aid funding is factored in (based on eligibility) to help cover the cost of the books through reimbursement by way of your financial aid refund check. You can use your refund to cover the cost of books.
What pay type do I select if I a paying with financial aid?
When using financial aid you will need to select federal student aid as your payment type. Many of our students make the mistake of choosing loan as their payment type because they are receiving a Federal Stafford Loans. The loan payment type should only be used if you are receiving a private outside loan.
How do I register for classes if I am using financial aid?
If you are using financial aid you will need to choose Federal Student Aid as your payment type when registering for your courses. All of your courses must fall within your 16 week semester format determined by your established academic year.
When do I register for classes if I am using financial aid?
All of your registrations for your semester should be in place before your semester begins. This will ensure that you are packaged correctly and your enrollment status is reported correctly. Your enrollment status can affect the amount of your Pell Grant.
What is a Pell Grant?
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded usually only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Pell Grant.) Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources might be added.
What is the fax and email address for the Financial Aid Office?
Financial Aid Application Fax: 877-372-3292; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Aid Customer Service Fax: 304-724-3710; email: email@example.com.
Why is financial aid asking for my tax information?
If your FAFSA was selected for verification, we will request your hand signed federal tax return. We use this information to compare it to the information you listed on your FAFSA. You are required to comply with this request within the stated period of time in order to receive your aid.
What is SAP?
Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Scholarships and financial aid must require the monitoring of progress for each student toward the completion of a certificate or degree in order to meet federal and state guidelines governing the administration of student financial assistance. Students who fall behind in their coursework or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes may lose their eligibility for all types of financial aid.
Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to receive Federal Student Aid.
- According to federal regulations, students who fail to make satisfactory progress towards their degree or certificate will lose their ability to receive Federal Student Aid.
- This regulation applies to all students, including those that have not previously received financial aid.
- Students who lose their aid may appeal the loss provided there are mitigating circumstances that inhibited their academic progress.
- If mitigating circumstances do not exist, you may take classes at your own expense to demonstrate improvement for a future appeal.
- To otherwise restore eligibility students, must achieve the GPA and hours target as defined in the policy.
The University evaluates SAP at the beginning of each semester, defined as a 16-week period of academic study, and prior to the student receiving FSA for the first time at our University.
- APUS may grant administrative waivers or probationary terms (i.e., grades are not posted before the start of the next term in consecutive terms).
The requirements of each criterion must be met and are described in detail below:
- Cumulative grade point average (qualitative)
- Credit hour completion (quantitative)
- Program deadline
Who do I contact about my SAP appeal?
If you have questions regarding your SAP appeal you will need to contact our financial services department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-468-6268 x3610.
Why am I not receiving emails from the financial aid department?
If you are not receiving any emails from the financial aid department, please make sure to check your “spam” or folder. You can adjust your settings in your email to accept emails from senders “@apus.edu”. To ensure the university receives your email, please be sure to use your campus mailbox in the e-campus.
What is considered full-time, part-time, and ¾ time?
- Full-time: 12+ credits per 16 week semester
- ¾ time: 9 credits per 16 week semester
- Part-time: 6 credits per 16 week semester
- Less than half time: 3 credits per semester
- Full-time: 6 credits per 16 week semester
- Part-time: 3 credits per 16 week semester
What do I need to know about the new refund process?
All financial aid refunds will now be processed through Higher One. This change enables the university to provide student refunds more quickly and efficiently through electronic transfer to a student’s existing checking or savings account or to a new account with Higher One.
By the end of first quarter 2013, a refund access card is being sent to every student who uses Federal Student Aid at the university. The refund card mailing will arrive in the envelope pictured to the right and may look like an unwanted credit card offer, please do not discard it.
In order to receive any refund due, you must take action once you have your refund access card in hand. Even if you don't normally receive a refund it's a good idea to activate your card and because you may get a refund in the future.
Once your card arrives, visit www.apuschoicecard.com and click on “Get Started” to choose your refund preference. Follow the on-screen prompts to elect to have your refund directly deposited into an existing bank account or to open an account with Higher One. To complete the process, you’ll need to have your driver's license or other ID and/or current checking or savings account information on hand. You will also need to print and sign a direct deposit authorization form to fax or send via mail to Higher One, so make sure you have access to a printer.
Is this effective immediately?
No. You should activate your card as soon as it arrives though and select your refund preference. If you were expecting a refund prior to April 1, 2013, you may still receive a paper check.
I received my refund access card but misplaced it or threw it out before activating it. Now I think I have a refund coming to me, what do I need to do?
You will have to order a replacement card. Before doing so, please check the accuracy of your mailing address in the e-campus under “Change Contact Information.” If you need to make an address correction, please do so. To request a replacement card, contact Student Support at 877-755-2787.
Who do I speak with regarding my financial aid refund?
Higher One will notify you via email or text message when your refund has been deposited. If you have not received notification from Higher One, questions about the status or amount of your refund should go to Student Support at 877-755-2787.
How do I verify my refund has been processed?
You may check on the status of your refund by logging into your Higher One online profile using your email address and password. You can find this information in the sub-menu listed under the "Refunds" tab, select "Refund Status & History." A new page displays the status of your refund and provides a history of your refund preference. A short explanation of each status is provided next to the status.
Higher One will send an email to the address you entered during activation when your refund has been processed. You can also stay informed about the status of your refund by signing up for mobile alerts. With mobile alerts, you can personalize your preferences by opting to receive "Refund Status Alerts." If your mobile phone accepts text messages, changes to your refund status and preference will be automatically sent to the mobile phone number listed on your profile. To sign up, please log into your profile (with your email address and password), select "Mobile Alerts of Refund Status" from the menu listed under the "Refunds" tab, and follow the instructions to complete your registration. Remember to update and confirm any mobile phone number changes you make in the future.
Once I make my refund method selection, do I need to keep the refund access card?
Yes, you should keep the card in a safe place. Should you desire, at a later time, to change your refund selection method and/or if you need a password reset, you will need your 16 digit card number and security number from the back of the card. If you misplace your card, you will have to pay a $20.00 replacement fee to Higher One.
Is there a fee for Higher One to cut a paper check?
What if the check is returned undeliverable by Higher One?
Higher One will attempt to redeliver the check. If the check is still uncashed or undeliverable by day 150, a stop payment will occur and the funds will be returned to APUS to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education
What if I do not select a Higher One account or direct deposit to my bank account?
Higher One will mail a paper check by day 10-14.
What if the bank account the refund is being sent to is closed?
Higher One will handle all refunds if the bank account has been closed.
I forgot my password and I am having trouble logging into my account. How can I reset it?
Passwords can be reset online at www.apuschoicecard.com or by contacting Higher One Customer Service between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST (Monday to Friday) at 877-327-9515.
Will there be any cost to me for having a Higher One Account?
There is no monthly charge for the Higher One Account and no minimum balance is required. As with any bank account, overdraft charges and returned check charges will be assessed when required, and there are fees for PIN-based transactions. Please review the account disclosure information provided by Higher One for complete information.
Should I be concerned about providing my personal information to Higher One when selecting my preference?
The Higher One site is safe and secure and the information requested is solely for identification purposes. Higher One will never share or sell your information to a third party.
Why is Higher One sending me emails asking me to verify my identity?
In order to open a Higher One Account, government regulations require Higher One to collect specific identifying information from its customers. Typically, all you need to do to verify your information is to send in a copy of a government-issued photo ID.
Will I have to setup my preferences each time I am anticipating a refund?
No. This is done just once. You choose whether you want your refund to go a Higher One account or whether you want to have your refunds deposited to an existing account. You would only have to do this again if you want to change your initial choice at a later date.
Will my credit balance be sent from Higher One or APUS?
In most cases, your credit balance will be sent from Higher One. However, please be aware that various administrative activities may cause your credit balance to be sent from APUS. Those activities include, but are not limited to:
- If you have chosen to have your credit balance to remain on your account until the end of the academic year
- If your funds were being held for an R2T4 calculation
- If you have requested a reissue of a previous credit balance check
Any questions may be directed to our Student Support team at email@example.com or 877-755-2787.
Why did the university choose Higher One?
The university is working with Higher One to handle its refund disbursements due to the costs and time associated with generating refund checks and handling them when students fail to cash them. The new service will provide students with two options for how they receive refunds. Students may choose to open a free checking account and activate the debit card or authorize a direct deposit to another banking institution.