Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

▼   When should I apply for financial aid?
You must apply for financial aid every year. The best time to apply is as soon as possible after October 1st for the following school year (Fall and Spring semesters).
▼   How do I apply for financial aid?
The best way to submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is online at studentaid.gov using your FSA ID.
▼   What is your federal school code?
The federal school code for USA is 001057. The USA College of Medicine uses this same code.
▼   I don't live with my parents, they don't claim me on their tax returns, and they don't give me any financial support. Do I still have to include their information on my FAFSA?
No, graduate and professional students are "independent" of their parents income for federal money. College of Medicine students are not required to put their parental tax information on the FAFSA.
▼   The school is asking for verification documentation. What should I do?
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be notified through your JagMail email account. You will also be able to view the requirements online by going to https://www.southalabama.edu/services/logins/students/ and selecting the ‘USA Financial Aid Verification Portal’.
▼   I've already submitted my FAFSA, but I need to make some changes. How should I make them?
Go to studentaid.gov and sign in with your FSA ID. Update the FAFSA by selecting ‘Make Corrections.’
▼   I haven't heard from the Financial Aid Office at USA. Why?
All financial aid students at USA must be accepted for admission before your financial aid award will be processed. Make sure all of your outstanding requirements are completed.
▼   How long will it take before I get my Award Notice?
The Office of Financial Aid will start processing awards for the following aid year in March. You will receive an email to your JagMail account when your award is ready to review.
▼   Is it too late to apply for financial aid?
You can apply for financial aid anytime during the current school year as long as the school receives a valid FAFSA.

Receiving Your Money

▼   How do I get my money?
Most financial aid funds are credited to your student account after tuition, fees, and other institutional charges are deducted. Any remaining funds will be issued to you by the Office of Student Accounting via direct deposit or by check mailed to your address on record. You can check your address on PAWS.
▼   When are financial aid refunds given to students?

The Office of Student Accounting handles all refunding of financial aid to students. Refunds are processed within 14 business days of disbursement. You can contact the Office of Student Accounting at (251) 460-6195 or studentaccounting@southalabama.edu.

▼   Why didn't I get a financial aid refund?

 Please check to see of any of these items apply:

  • Check PAWS for the following:
    • Is your address correct? 
    • If you enrolled in direct deposit, is your bank account information accurate?
    • Do you have outstanding requirements for your financial aid file? 
    • Did you complete the Entrance Counseling and MPN online at studentaid.gov?
    • Are you registered?
  • Is your financial aid disbursement more than your tuition, fees, and other institutional charges?

Loans

▼   Are there any fees charged on a Direct loan?
Yes, Direct Loans will charge an origination fee. Please go to studentaid.gov for more information.
▼   How much could I be eligible for in Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

Typically, M1 and M2 students are eligible for $40,500 in an unsubsidized loan. M3 and M4 students are normally eligible for $47,167 in an unsubsidized loan.

▼   What requirements need to be completed for my loans to disburse on time?

For an unsubsidized loan to disburse, a student must complete the Entrance Counseling and MPN online at studentaid.gov. A student must complete the Graduate PLUS loan application and Graduate PLUS loan MPN at the same website if the student wants the Graduate PLUS loan to disburse.

▼   I don’t want one or all of my loans. What do I do?

Please email Stephanie Roote, the Associate Director of Financial Aid in the College of Medicine, at sroote@southalabama.edu in order to decline one or all of your loans.

Problems

▼   I haven't heard from the financial aid office at USA. Why?

All financial aid students at USA must be accepted for admission before your financial aid award will be processed. If you haven't applied to USA, visit College of Medicine Admissions. If you have been admitted or readmitted to USA but haven't heard from the Financial Aid Office, please email Stephanie Roote at sroote@southalabama.edu.

▼   I did my FAFSA late. Can I still receive aid?

A valid FAFSA has to be on file in order to review a student’s eligibility and process aid. We continually receive FAFSAs throughout the academic year.

Viewing Financial Aid on PAWS

The following questions and answers include instructions requiring the user to access the PAWS system.

▼   I have not been admitted to the USA College of Medicine. How do I activate my PAWS account?
If you have not been admitted to USA, please go to https://www.southalabama.edu/services/logins/students/. From there, click 'Student Account Activate' and enter the requested information. Your Jag Number can be found at the top of this email.
▼   How can I check the status of my application?

Follow these steps to access PAWS:

  1. Go to https://www.southalabama.edu/services/logins/students
  2. Click on "PAWS" (log in using your JAG Number and JagNet password)
  3. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid
  4. Click on Financial Aid
  5. Click on My Eligibility
  6. Click on Student Requirements
  7. Select Aid Year
▼   How do I check on my award?

Follow these steps to access PAWS:

Follow the steps below to view your offer:

  1. Go to https://www.southalabama.edu/services/logins/students/ and select 'PAWS'
  2. Log in (if prompted) using your JagNet credentials
  3. Click on 'Student Services and Financial Aid'
  4. Click on 'Financial Aid'
  5. Click on 'My Award Information'
  6. Click on 'Award By Aid Year'
  7. Select Aid Year

Graduate PLUS Loans will remain in an offered status until the application has been received from https://studentaid.gov.

If you have federal aid in an offered status other than PLUS Loans, you must accept both the offer and Terms and Conditions (if applicable) by continuing with the steps listed below:

  1. Select the 'Terms and Conditions' tab.  Read all sections carefully and choose to accept or not.  If you do not accept, your federal aid WILL NOT DISBURSE.
  2. Click on the 'Accept Award Offer' tab.
  3. Federal financial aid funds other than Graduate PLUS Loans must be accepted or declined. You may accept a partial amount by selecting 'Accept' and indicating the amount.
  4. Click 'Submit Decision' at the bottom of the page.

After you accept your offer(s), be sure to scroll down the page to see if you have any remaining 'Unsatisfied Disbursement Requirements'.

▼   How do I check on outstanding requirements?

To see what is incomplete, you will use USA's Personalized Access Web System for students (PAWS):

  1. Go to https://www.southalabama.edu/services/logins/students/
  2. Click on 'PAWS' and log in using your JagNet credentials
  3. Click on 'Student Services and Financial Aid'
  4. Click on 'Financial Aid'
  5. Click on 'My Eligibility'
  6. Select Aid Year

* If you have not been admitted to USA, click on the JagNet hyperlink listed in the first bullet point. From there, click 'Student Account Activate' and enter the requested information. Your Jag Number can be found at the top of this email.

Read the directions for each student requirement.  You must complete all of the unsatisfied requirements.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is important to review any active messages listed in your PAWS account.  Active messages can be viewed under 'My Overall Status of Financial Aid' on the Financial Aid menu in PAWS.

▼   How do I verify my address?

Follow these steps to access PAWS:

  1. Go to https://www.southalabama.edu/services/logins/students
  2. Click on "PAWS" (log in using your JAG Number and JagNet password)
  3. Click on Personal Information
  4. Select Update Address(es) and Phone(s) to verify current address or to make changes