Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some commonly asked questions. If you do not find the answers you are looking for, please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.
How do I apply for a loan?
Before your federal student loan eligibility can be determined you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Your financial need is determined by the results of the FAFSA. Based on these results, eligible students are subsequently awarded loans.
How much federal loan funding is available?
Award amounts vary and depend upon your financial need (as determined by the federal government), grade level, and dependency status.
Yearly Loan Limits
Aggregate Loan Limits
- $31,000 as a dependent undergraduate student.
- $57,500 as an independent undergraduate student (only $31,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).
- $138,500 as a graduate or professional student (only $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans). The graduate debt limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.
Is there aid available in the summer?
Typically, financial aid is awarded for the academic year, which includes fall and spring semesters. Summer financial aid is based on remaining eligibility, if any, from the academic year. In other words, if you use all your available grants and/or student loans during the academic year, you will most likely not have eligibility for the summer term.
Federal law limits annual loan amounts. This means that you may not borrow more than your annual maximum during the fall, spring, and summer terms combined. If you borrow your maximum for fall and spring, you will not have any funds available for summer.
Summer financial aid will be awarded based on enrolled hours. All students need to complete the Summer Request Form to be considered for summer aid.
Students must be enrolled for a total of at least 6 hours for the summer term before summer financial aid will be awarded.
Is it necessary to apply every year?
Yes, you must apply each year to renew your financial aid. The best way is to apply electronically. This method is faster and more accurate -- logic errors are rare, thanks to verification editing programmed throughout the electronic form.
After January 1 but before March 1, review your renewal FAFSA record on the ED web site and revise the information to reflect your income for the preceding year (and other information only if it has changed) and send the application electronically. Be sure to specify Auburn Montgomery’s school code 008310 as a recipient of your information. It is not necessary to complete a paper FAFSA if you correctly complete the Renewal FAFSA.
Students are strongly encouraged to apply electronically. Paper FAFSA applications are extremely limited.
When your FAFSA is processed, the Federal Processor will notify you by email. If you have a PIN number, you will be able to view your SAR on the FAFSA website. You will receive a paper SAR only if your email address is not provided on the FAFSA.
Regardless of the method you use, remember that the U.S. Department of Education must receive your FAFSA information no later than March 1 in order to be considered for priority need-based funding. If you have not filed your tax returns by March 1, you can use estimated information on the FAFSA but you must later correct this data on your SAR. Please make every effort to apply on time so that you are considered for all types of available aid. If you miss the priority application date (March 1) you may still apply, but some aid may not be available.
Can I reject all or part of my loan?
Yes, you can reject all or part of your loan. It will not affect the loan amount that you are offered for the next academic year.
When can I expect my loan refund?
Financial aid refunds are administered by Cashier Office. Keep in mind that funds are not disbursed to the student account until after the first registration/cancellation date each term.
What is an outside resource and how do I report an additional resource?
Scholarships, grants, and any other educational funds awarded from departments and/or agencies outside the Financial Aid Office are known as outside resources. Report additional resources to our office via the Outside Resource tab on Webster. Outside resources could affect your financial aid award.
Below is a list of examples; report these types of awards:
- Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation benefits
- Air Force/Army ROTC
- Alabama GI Bill
- Faculty/staff tuition grant
- Tuition grant
- Teaching/research assistantship
- Graduate fellowship
- Technology Scholarship Program for Alabama Teachers (TSPAT)
- Alabama National Guard Education Assistance Program (ANGEAP)
- Academic Common Market
- Resident Assistant Scholarship
- Local scholarships (high school, church, community, clubs)
What is a PLUS Loan?
The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is not based on financial need and is limited to a parent borrower for a dependent student. A parent is currently defined as a person's natural or adoptive mother or father, step-parent, or legal guardian. The annual limit is equal to the student's cost of attendance, as defined by Auburn Montgomery, minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. Parents are required to pass a credit check. The interest is variable, adjusted each year on July 1, but will not exceed 9 percent. Interested parents should print, complete, and submit the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request Form.
What is a Perkins Loan?
A Federal Perkins Loan is a fixed rate, low-interest (5 percent) loan awarded on the basis of financial need. The borrower is not charged an origination fee. Funds are limited. Students are encouraged to meet the March 1 priority application date.
What are alternative loans?
Alternative loans are private (non-federal) loans. The terms vary widely as do the eligibility criteria.
You (and your co-borrower, if applicable) should carefully research the options and apply for the alternative loan that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that usually your best option is to pursue federal loans. Be sure you have applied for all of the federal loans you are eligible for before you consider private loans. If you do wish to take out a private educational loan, you need to provide any documentation requested by the sponsor of the loan and follow the application procedure that is specific to that loan and that lender.
In most cases, the Financial Aid Office must certify your alternative loan. Our office certifies that you are enrolled in school, and that the loan you requested is within the allowable Cost of Attendance established by Auburn Montgomery.
A student with an $11,500 cost of attendance who has received $5,500 in financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, etc.) has $6,000 in remaining eligibility that could be funded through an alternative loan. Our office could certify an alternative loan application for the student's requested amount, not to exceed $6,000.
A student with an $11,500 cost of attendance who has received $11,500 in financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, VA benefits, etc.) has no remaining eligibility. Our office could not certify an alternative loan application for this student.
If you have any questions about your remaining loan eligibility, please contact our office.
What is the difference between a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan?
A subsidized student loan is awarded on the basis of the student's financial need and other specific eligibility requirements. The federal government does not charge interest on these loans while borrowers are enrolled at least half-time, during a six-month grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment.
An unsubsidized student loan is not based on the student’s financial need, but students must also meet specific eligibility requirements. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal).
Why am I still considered a “dependent” student?
It's a federal regulation.
There are basic requirements a student must meet in order to be considered an independent student (see the Federal Guide to Student Financial Aid for criteria). If you do not meet the requirements listed in the Federal Guide and feel that you have extenuating circumstances, contact our office.
To whom do I speak about a question or problem with my bill?
Billing transactions and associated student account issues are administered by the Cashier Office, (334) 244-3286. The Cashier Office is located in room 109 of the Taylor-Robbins Center. Their office hours are 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.
You can also visit Webster or Webpayto view your bill.
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard and how does it apply to me?
The Federal Government mandates that students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their degrees within a reasonable period of time. Auburn Montgomery’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is published in the Auburn Montgomery Undergraduate Catalog, and the AUM website.
If I am in default on an educational loan, can I still receive financial aid?
Students who are currently in default on educational loans are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. Our office recommends that you contact your lender and attempt to make satisfactory payment arrangements with them.
If your default status has been resolved, you must provide a letter from your lender(s) stating that the default status has been resolved and that you are again eligible to receive federal financial aid.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility, contact our office.
My grade level is going to increase. Will I be eligible for more financial aid?
You might be eligible for more Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Once your Fall/Spring grades have been posted on Webster, if your grade level has increased from a Freshman level to a Sophomore level, or has changed from the Sophomore level to a Junior level you may be eligible for more Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. This depends on your Cost of Attendance and the amount of your initial financial aid award.
If you would like your eligibility for a loan increase to be reviewed, stop by the Financial Aid Office and complete a File Update Request with your specific request. If you are eligible, the loan amount will be increased and you will receive a revised award notification email with the loan increase. The increase could affect your loan eligibility for the upcoming summer if you plan on attending and receiving federal loans.
How do I check the status of my FAFSA?
You can check your application status here or you can call the Federal Processor at 1-800-4FEDAID.
If you included Auburn Montgomery’s federal school code (008310) and have received an email from the Federal Processor, our office has probably received your information. You can check the status on Webster.
Is it too late to file my FAFSA?
No. As long as the term in which you are applying is still in session.
You may not qualify for the same amounts or types of aid if you did not apply on time, but there are still many aid programs available. For example, you will likely be eligible for some type of federal loan(s), and possibly federal grants and work-study.
How do I apply?
It is best to use FAFSA on the Web, but you can also use the paper FAFSA version.