How to Apply

Step 1:  Submit Applications


Future students must apply for admission to The University of South Alabama and be accepted before eligibility for any student aid programs can be determined.

Federal Student Aid (Grants, Work Study, and Loans, Including Parent PLUS)

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year as soon as possible after October 1st for the upcoming school year. We recommend that the FAFSA be submitted online to the Federal Processor by completing the application at Click below to watch the video for helpful tips:

  • For students planning to attend USA, computers are available in the Financial Aid Office to be used for completing the FAFSA online. For more information, call (251) 460-6231.

  • When applying online, students should remember to save their work as they progress. If Internet service is interrupted, students 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 the student used their FSA ID to electronically sign). Students should not exit the program until they are sure their FAFSA information has been transmitted to the Department of Education.

  • If interested in Federal Work-Study, be sure to check the box on the FAFSA.

  • Complete the FAFSA process each year as soon as possible after October 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 through your JagMail email account. You will also be able to view the requirements online through your PAWS account. In addition, the Federal 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.

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Step 2:  Confirm That Your Application Was Received

When the Department of Education receives the FAFSA, they will process the application. Online applications are processed in one to two weeks – paper applications take much longer. Students can check the status of their FAFSA at Furthermore, federal student aid applicants will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) as a result of filing the FAFSA.  Students should review the information on the SAR for accuracy and confirm that the University of South Alabama was listed as a college to receive their FAFSA results.

If USA was listed on the FAFSA and the FAFSA was completed correctly, the University should receive the application results electronically. The Office of Financial Aid will then begin corresponding with the student.

All correspondence will be emailed. If the student has been admitted to USA, they are assigned a school email account. All Financial Aid emails will be sent to the student's JagMail email account. If the student has not yet been assigned an email address by the Admission Office, the email will be sent to the email address indicated on their FAFSA. STUDENTS SHOULD BE SURE TO CHECK THEIR JAGMAIL EMAIL ADDRESS OFTEN AND RESPOND PROMPTLY AND ACCURATELY TO ALL REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION.

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Step 3:  Finalize Award Notifications & Loan Processes

Once a student’s file is complete and accurate, the Office of Financial Aid processes a student award package. The awarding process takes approximately two to three weeks.

Students are awarded federal aid based on eligibility and the availability of funds. Depending on eligibility, the award could include grants, part-time employment, and/or low-interest loans.

Students are notified of their awards by email. Award notifications are emailed to the student’s USA JagMail email account and can also be viewed on PAWS. If a student is awarded money that he/she wishes to refuse, the Office of Financial Aid should be contacted immediately. 

If a student has been awarded a Federal Direct Loan for the first time, a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling must be completed at before they can receive loan funds. 

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Step 4:  Receive Financial Aid Funds

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 two ways:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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