Apply for Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to students who are enrolled at least half-time as a regular degree-seeking student. To apply for financial aid, all students must complete the appropriate steps and all required forms.

Applying for Grants and Scholarships

Because grants and scholarships vary by academic program, there is no single application process. For information on how to apply for individual scholarships visit Scholarships.

Applying for Federal Student Aid Loans

STEP 1: Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Complete your FAFSA online at using the IRS Data Retrieval tool to upload your tax information. APU’s Title IV Code is 001117. Apply for a PIN at The PIN acts as your electronic signature for the FAFSA and as your password to federal websites. Do not share it or lose it.

STEP 2: SAR (Student Aid Report)

After you have submitted your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Please review your SAR for any incorrect information. Make any necessary corrections online for faster processing.

STEP 3: Verification (selected students only)

The Department of Education randomly selects students who have completed the FAFSA for a process called verification. If you are selected for verification, you will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your and/or your spouse’s income information. We encourage you to take advantage of this option. Otherwise, you will need to request a tax transcript from the IRS. Submitting a transcript will result in delayed processing.

STEP 4: APU sends a Graduate Financial Aid Offer letter

The Graduate Financial Aid Offer letter will be mailed to you with a list of required forms and processes for you to complete. Students who complete their To Do List and the Graduate Information Worksheet by July 1 can expect their loan funds to be disbursed as early as the first week of classes if they are enrolled at least half-time.

STEP 5: Complete your To Do List items

The offer letter will include your To Do List items. If you did not receive a letter, you can also find your To Do List in the upper right hand corner of the Student Center tab at You must complete all To Do List items to secure financial aid. To Do items may include the following documents for first-time borrowers: Graduate Information Worksheet, Online Entrance Counseling Interview, and a Master Promissory Note. Do not forget to accept or decline your loans online at

STEP 6: Enroll at least half-time

Federal regulations require you to be enrolled at least half-time per term in order to receive financial aid. APU defines a term as all sessions within a traditional semester. For example, Fall Session, Fall Session 1, and Fall Session 2 together comprise the fall term.

  • Credential or certain certificate-only programs: 6 units per term
  • Master’s degree: 5 units per term (3 units in summer)
  • M.A. in Clinical Psychology: 4 units per term (3 units in summer)
  • M.S. in Nursing: 3 units per term
  • Doctor of Ministry: 4 units per term
  • Doctoral degree: 3 units per term

STEP 7: Refund check

If you have a credit balance from your Federal Stafford and/or Federal Graduate PLUS Loan that is above and beyond the cost of your current term charges, your Student Account Counselor will process your refund based on your answer to the Statement of Permission question on your Graduate Information Worksheet. You could be responsible to repay any refund you receive should you drop your classes or completely withdraw from the university.

Important Deadlines and Reminders


  • Per federal regulations, all required loan paperwork and processes must be completed while the student is still enrolled.
  • You must have all financial aid documentation submitted no later than three weeks before the end date of the term to receive financial aid for that term.
  • The 2015-16 FAFSA cannot be completed any later than June 30, 2016.


  • Check your APU email and Student Center To Do List items frequently at
  • Keep copies of all information that you fill out and submit to APU.
  • Financial aid is a lengthy process. Please start as early as possible and respond quickly to all requests for additional information from Graduate Student Financial Services.
  • If you have any questions about the process, please contact your Student Account Counselor.