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FSA Academic Years, Semesters, and Course Registration

For packaging Federal Student Aid (FSA), APUS requires students take classes within a defined academic year schedule. APUS defines an academic year as two consecutive 16-week academic semesters (32 weeks).

Because the university has rolling monthly starts, and 8- and 16-week course sessions, the dates of each academic year and corresponding semesters vary. View our academic year table to determine the start date of each FSA semester.

You must select your FSA academic year at least 10 days prior to the start of your first semester. To create your academic year, answer yes to "Using Federal Student Aid?" when registering for courses. Once you select "Continue Registration", you will be provided with the start dates that are currently available. Select the best fit and continue through the prompts to complete your registration.

Otherwise, to establish your academic year you may log into the ecampus and select My Academic Year under the Finance/Federal Student Aid menu. 

  • Planning and registering for courses early minimizes the risks of losing part or all of your financial aid eligibility. When using FSA to pay for school, it's wise to register no later than one week prior to the start of each semester.
  • It is recommended that you register for all of your courses for the entire 16-week academic semester. For example, if you are taking multiple 8-week courses, you'll want to register for all of those courses before the semester begins.
  • If you do not take a course in the first month of your planned academic year, the academic may be pushed or cancelled. 
  • Keep in mind that each course must fit within the start and end dates of each academic semester.
  • If you do not see a course session listed during registration, it may be that the current session is not available for your selected academic year.
  • Be sure you register for enough credits to meet FSA requirements for half- and full-time student status as this varies by undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • FSA students may only register late for courses up to the Friday before the course starts.

When you register for courses using FSA, please select Federal Student Aid as your payment type. Many of our students make the mistake of choosing Loan as their payment type, but that should only be selected if you are receiving a private loan.