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, 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 online at We recommend that you file your FAFSA online.  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 (800) 305-6828.

  • When applying online, remember to save your work as you progress. If your Internet service is interrupted, 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 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. Internet applications are processed in one to two weeks – paper applications take much longer. You can check the status of your FAFSA application at 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 JagMail email account. 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.

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Step 3:  Finalize Award Notifications & Loan Processes

Once a student’s file is complete and accurate, the Financial Aid Office 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, this 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 Financial Aid Office should be contacted immediately. You can also view the award via PAWS. 

If a student has been awarded a Federal Direct Loan and this is his/her first loan at USA, a Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed or e-signed at

First time Direct Loan borrowers at USA will also need to perform an online "entrance counseling" before they can receive loan funds. You will perform the entrance counseling when you e-sign your MPN.

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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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