Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions
What is the minimum number of units I need to take to receive federal student loans?
A student must enroll at least half-time per term to be eligible for federal financial aid. At APU, a term is comprised of all academic sessions within that term. For example, Fall Session, Fall Session 1, and Fall Session 2 together comprise the Fall Term.
- Credential-only and certain certificate-only students: 6 units is half-time
- Master‘s degree students: 5 units is half-time; for summer, 3 units is half-time
- M.S. in Nursing (MSN): 3 units is half-time
- M.A. in Clinical Psychology (MFT): 4 units is half-time
- Master of Social Work (MSW): 4 units is half-time
- Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.): 4 units is half-time
- Other doctoral degrees: 3 units is half-time
What does my financial aid offer cover?
You will be offered up to the cost of attendance, unless you are a credential- or certificate-only student. Cost of attendance covers your tuition, books and supplies, room and board, and transportation. The exact cost of attendance varies from student to student depending on a variety of factors, including academic program and living arrangements.
Students in the LVN to BSN program or BSN (2+2 Upper-Division Transfer Program) need to secure additional funding, such as an outside loan. Subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans do not cover the entire cost of these programs.
Will I qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA?
To qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA, you must meet the following criteria:
- Must be enrolled as a student at least half-time for each term you are seeking aid.
- Cannot be in default on a student loan.
- Cannot have had any drug convictions while receiving federal aid.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- For males, must be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements.
What types of financial aid can I get through the FAFSA?
With your FAFSA information, APU is able to offer you a package of Federal Direct Loans that will be comprised of Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans.
How does my income affect my loan package?
Your income and financial standing will determine the level of your loan subsidy only if you are in a credential or certificate program that allows you to qualify.
Is there any free money (scholarships, grants, etc.) that I can apply for?
There are a variety of resources available to assist you as a graduate student. APU grant and scholarship opportunities are listed by college and school:
- Behavioral and Applied Sciences
- Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Music and the Arts
Also, be sure to review our listing of outside scholarships.
How much will I be offered in loans?
Loan offers depend on the program you are enrolled in. For more information contact your Student Account Counselor.
How do I get money for books and living expenses?
Money for books and living expenses is provided by your refund check. All incoming loan funds pay the current owing balance of the academic term for which the loan has been borrowed. If there are excess loan funds after your term balance has been paid, this will generate a refund check. We will send you this refund check via direct deposit or mail.
Sample refund check calculation
If you accepted loans totaling $20,500 for the academic year, and you attend 9 fall units, 7 spring units, and 3 summer units in the School of Education ($622/unit) then your loans and refunds might break down as shown:
|Fall disbursement||$6,833 ($20,500 ÷ 3 terms)|
|Fall tuition||$5,598 (9 units x $622)|
|Spring disbursement||$6,833 ($20,500 ÷ 3 terms)|
|Spring tuition||$4,354 (7 units x $622)|
|Summer disbursement||$6,833 ($20,500 ÷ 3 terms)|
|Summer tuition||$1,866 (3 units x $622)|
When does my refund check get mailed?
Refund checks are usually mailed at the beginning of each term. Provided that you have fulfilled all loan requirements and are enrolled in all of your units for the term, your refund check should be mailed within the first one to two weeks of the start date of your classes for the term. If you sign up for direct deposit, your refund check will arrive much faster.
I don’t want to borrow loans for books and living expenses. Can I borrow just enough to pay for tuition?
Yes. Though we may award you in excess of your tuition amount, you do not have to accept the full amount that is awarded to you. During the loan process, you will have the option to specify how much money you want to accept.
How do I get started on the loan process?
Graduate Students: Fill out your FAFSA and submit an Online Information Worksheet.
Professional Students: Fill out your FAFSA.
I completed a FAFSA before and got student loans. Do I have to submit it again?
Yes. All students seeking federal aid must complete a FAFSA each academic year. You will also need to complete an Online Information Worksheet each year.
I completed my FAFSA. What happens next?
Graduate Students: If you have been fully admitted, once you have completed your FAFSA, you will receive a letter of instruction from Graduate and Professional Student Financial Services. You must complete the instructions before you can receive a financial aid offer.
Professional Students: If you are in the RN to BSN program, your FAFSA will be reviewed after you have started the program. If you are in the BSN 2+2 or LVN to BSN programs, your FAFSA will be reviewed before your start date. Student Financial Services will send an offer in the mail that will provide you with detailed information regarding loans and grants you may be eligible to receive.
I already completed my FAFSA and got my offer letter in the mail. What do I do now?
Please read your offer letter carefully. On the reverse side of your offer letter, you will find instructions detailing the steps necessary to secure your financial aid loans.
How do I defer my old student loans?
Loan deferment is normally an automatic process. APU verifies half-time enrollment for the student to the National Student Clearinghouse. Your lender or servicer should also check with the Clearinghouse and refrain from collecting on students who are enrolled at least half-time. If you are attending at least half-time and your lender is still trying to collect from you, please contact your lender to notify them of your status. If they request that you fill out an in-school deferment request form, please contact the Graduate and Professional Registrar at (626) 815-4570 for assistance.
How can I find my outstanding loan and what lenders hold the loans?
The federal government administers the National Student Loan Data System that provides detailed information on the outstanding loans that you have. You can log in to this database using your Federal Student Aid ID.