Frequently Asked Questions

Q   When should I apply for financial aid?

A   You must apply for financial aid every year. The best time to apply is as soon as possible after January 1 and before the end of March for the following school year (Fall and Spring semesters).


Q   How do I apply for financial aid?

A   The best way to submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you have a PIN from the Department of Education, you can do a renewal FAFSA online. Another option to complete the FAFSA is by completing a paper application, available at most high schools. 


Q   What is your federal school code?

A   The federal school code for USA is 001057. To find others, check on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov and then select "Find My Schools Codes".


Q   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?

A   No, Graduate and professional students are "Independent" of their parents income for federal money.


Q   The school is asking for a copy of my tax return or W2s and I didn't keep copies. What should I do?

A   If you had a tax preparer complete your tax returns, you may want to contact him/her for a copy. Otherwise, you can get a printout or transcript from your local IRS office by calling (800) 829-1040 or completing Form 4506. You       should receive your transcript via mail within 10-15 days.


Q  The school is asking for verification of my Selective Service System registration. I don't have anything. What should I do?

A   You must contact Selective Service System at www.sss.gov or (847) 688-6888 to verify your registration. If it is determined you haven't yet registered and you are between the ages of 18 and 25, you must do so. If you are not
registered and you are over 26 years of age, you need to request a status letter from the Selective Service System and provide a copy to our office. 


Q  The school is asking for verification of my Selective Service System registration and I'm female. What should I do?

A   You can provide a written statement to our office indicating that you are female and not required to register with the Selective Service System. Be sure to include your full name and Social Security number on the statement before you sign and submit it. 


Q

   I've already submitted my FAFSA, but I need to make some changes. How should I make them?

A   If you have your PIN number from the Department of Education, you can make your changes online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Click on "Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA". If you have a Student Aid Report, you can
make the corrections on that and mail it to the Department of Education. 


Q   I've already submitted my FAFSA, but I need to add a school. How do I do that?

A   If you have your PIN number from the Department of Education, you add a school online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you have your Student Aid Report (SAR), you may call the Department of Education at (800) 433-3243. Give them   your name, Social Security number, the DRN number and the transaction number from your SAR (in the upper right corner of the front page), and the name of the school you want to have added to your FAFSA. If you no longer have your SAR, you may also call to request a duplicate. 


Q   I haven't heard from the Financial Aid Office at USA. Why?

A   All financial aid students at USA must be accepted for admission before your financial aid award will be processed. If you have not applied to USA, visit the Office of Admissions. If you have been admitted or readmitted   but have not heard from the Financial Aid Office, you should check your mailing address. You can check your address and the status of your application on PAWS.  


Q   How long will it take before I get my Award Notice?

A   It may take 6-8 weeks after you complete your file at USA before you'll find out what aid you're eligible to receive. Ensure the fastest processing time by turning in all requested information in a timely manner. 


Q   Is it too late to apply for financial aid?

A   You can apply for financial aid anytime during the current school year as long as the school receives a valid FAFSA from the Federal Processor before the last day of the current school year. However, some funding is limited and/or may not be available when your award is finalized. 

 

Q   How much can I earn and still be eligible for financial aid?

A   The Department of Education considers many factors in determining your eligibility. It is almost impossible to       answer this question without submitting a FAFSA and completing the review process.          


Q   How do I get my money?

A   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         in a check mailed to your address on record. You can check your address on PAWS


Q   When are financial aid refunds given to students?

A   The Office of Student Accounting handles all refunding of financial aid to students. Refunds are processed after     the end of the drop/add period each term. You can contact the Office of Student Accounting at (251) 460-6195 or         at studentaccounting@southalabama.edu. 


Q   How much will I get?

A   The amount of financial aid disbursed is based on your enrollment at 6:00 p.m. on the third day of classes. Classes
must be taken for credit to count toward financial aid. Classes taken as audit will not be covered by financial aid. Aid for Summer term is disbursed at 6:00 pm on the 3rd day of the term.


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

A   Please check to see of any of these items apply:

  • Check PAWS for the following:
    • Is your address correct? 
    • Do you have outstanding requirements for your financial aid file? 
    • Did you complete entrance and/or exit counseling for your student loan?
    • Did you e-sign your master promissory note (MPN)? 
    • Are you in enough credits for your financial aid to disburse?
  • If you enrolled in direct deposit, is your bank account accurate?
  • Is your financial aid disbursement more than your tuition, fees, and other institutional charges?

Q   How many hours must I take to be eligible for student loan funds?

A   You must enroll at least half-time to receive student loan funds. As an undergraduate student, half-time is 6       hours. For a graduate student, half-time is 3 hours. The classes you take must be required for your declared                   program and major.


Q   Are there any fees charged on a student loan?

A   Yes. Direct Loans will charge an origination fee.  Please go to studentloans.gov for more information. 


 

Q

   Are there any special requirements for the disbursement dates of Stafford Loans?

A   Yes. All Stafford Loan must be disbursed in at least two (2) disbursements per loan period. For example, if your     loan period is Fall-Spring, you will get 50% of your funds for Fall term and 50% of your funds for Spring term. 


Q

   Where can I get more general information about Federal Direct Student Loans?

A   Go to studentloans.gov  for more information regarding loan programs.

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

A   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 the College of Medicine Admissions. If you have been admitted or         readmitted to USA but haven't heard from the Financial Aid Office, you should check your mailing address. You         can check your address on PAWS. You can also check the status of your application on PAWS.

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

Q   How can I print forms requested in DOCUMENTS NEEDED email or required to complete my file?

A   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

Q   How can I check the status of my application?

A   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

Q   How do I check my award?

A   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 Award Information
  6. Click on Award by Aid Year
  7. Select Aid Year

Q   How do I check my loan application data?

A   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 Award Information
  6. Click on Loan Amounts and Disbursements
  7. Select Aid Year

Q   Is Loan Entrance or Exit Counseling Required?

A   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

Q   How do I complete Loan Entrance or Exit Counseling online?

A   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 Loan Counseling
  5. Select Entrance or Exit Interview

Q   How do I verify my address?

A   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