Federal Student Aid (Grants, Work, and Loans, Including Parent PLUS)
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year as soon as possible after January 1st for the upcoming school year. You may submit the FAFSA to the federal processor by filing electronically through the Internet by using FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. We recommend that you file your FAFSA over the Internet.
For students planning to attend USA, computers are available in the Financial Aid Office (by appointment only) to be used for completing the FAFSA via the Internet. For more information or to make an appointment, call (251) 460-6231.
When applying via the Internet, remember to: save your work as you progress - if you get cut-off from the Internet hosting service you can pick up where you last saved. Print the signature page when prompted, sign it and mail it immediately to the address printed on the signature page (unless you used a PIN to electronically sign). Do not exit the program until you are sure your FAFSA information has been transmitted to the Department of Education.
If interested in a student loan and/or work-study, be sure to check these boxes on the FAFSA.
Complete the FAFSA process each year as soon as possible after January 1st for the upcoming school year.
USA’s Federal School Code is 001057.
Note: Approximately 30% of all applications each year will be selected by the federal processor for a process of review called verification. If your application is selected you will be notified via mail and the documents requested will be specified. You will also be able to view the requirements online at PAWS.
In addition, the Department of Education processor will perform database matches by comparing your application data with the Social Security Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Selective Service System, National Student Loan Data System, and others. Depending on the outcome of these database matches, you may be required to submit additional documentation to USA.
When the Department of Education receives the FAFSA, they will process the application. Internet transmissions are processed in one - two weeks – paper applications take much longer. You can check the status of your FAFSA application at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Furthermore, Federal student aid applicants will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) as a result of filing the FAFSA. Review the information on the SAR for accuracy and to be sure the University of South Alabama was listed as a college to receive your FAFSA results.
If USA was listed on the FAFSA and the FAFSA was completed correctly, the University should receive the application results electronically. The Financial Aid Office will then begin corresponding with the student.
All correspondence will be emailed. If you have been admitted to USA, you are assigned a school email account. All financial aid emails will be sent to your USA school jaguar1 email address. If you have not yet been assigned an email address by the Admission Office, the email will be sent to the email address indicated on your FAFSA. PLEASE BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL OFTEN AND RESPOND PROMPTLY AND ACCURATELY TO ALL REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION.
Once a student’s file is complete and accurate, the Financial Aid Office processes a student award package. The awarding process takes approximately two - three weeks.
Students are awarded federal aid based on eligibility and the availability of funds. Depending on eligibility, this award could include grants, part-time employment, and/or low-interest loans.
Students are notified of their awards by e-mail. Award letters are e-mailed to the student’s USA Jaguar1 e-mail account and can also be viewed on PAWS. If a student is awarded money that he/she wishes to refuse, the Financial Aid Office should be contacted immediately. You can also view the award via PAWS. Award letters mailed by the University will explain the procedures for applying for a Stafford loan and/or a Parent PLUS loan.
If a student has been awarded a Federal Stafford Loan and this is his/her first loan at USA, a Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed or e-signed.
First time Stafford Loan borrowers at USA will also need to perform an on-line "entrance interview" before they can receive loan funds. You will perform the entrance interview when you e-sign your MPN.
ALL financial aid refunds are processed by the Office of Student Accounting. If the student is due a refund after all tuition and fee charges have been paid, the refund can be issued one of ways:
Electronic Direct Deposit (EDD). An EDD Authorization Form must be completed with the Office of Student Accounting at least 30 days prior to the expected aid disbursement date. All financial aid refunds will be electronically deposited into the student's checking account within 14 days after disbursement.
The EDD form can be downloaded here (print the form, complete the form, sign the form, attach a void check, and return it to the Office of Student Accounting).
Check Refunds. If Electronic Direct Deposit is not used, a refund check will be mailed to the student's mailing address within 14 days of the disbursement date.