Federal Student Aid
Federal aid is categorized as:
- Grants (free money)
- Federal Work-Study (paycheck from a job)
- Loans (which have to be paid back)
- Military Benefits (based on qualifying military service)
To apply for federal aid in the form of grants, Federal Work-Study, or loans, students must complete the FAFSA.
To be eligible for and to continue receiving federal aid, students must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Education. The information provided below is a general overview of the programs provided. For more information on federal aid programs, the amounts, and their qualifications and restrictions, refer to the Department of Education website.
The Pell Grant is awarded to eligible students who have met a financial need requirement as determined by the correct Student Aid Index (SAI) on the FAFSA.
- Financial need requirement (as determined by the FAFSA).
- Has not previously received a bachelor’s degree.
- Enrolled at least part time.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The extremely limited funds for the FSEOG are awarded to the neediest students as determined by the FAFSA based on exceptional need until the funds run out.
- Extreme financial need requirement (as determined by the FAFSA).
- Student has not previously received a bachelor’s degree.
- Eligible for a Pell Grant.
- Returning Students: Complete new FAFSA application by March 2.
- Up to $1,500 ($750/semester).
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Federal Work-Study enables students to earn part of their financial aid award through employment. Federal regulations allow the university to offer qualified students a certain amount of college work-study earnings.
This money is not gift aid, but is an opportunity for students to work and have part of their salary paid by the federal government.
Any student participating in the FWS program will be paid directly through the on-campus student payroll. Base-rate pay on campus is minimum wage. Individual earnings are not credited to the student’s APU account but paid directly to the student. FWS earnings are taxable.
- Financial need requirement as determined by the FAFSA and other financial aid received.
- Hired and satisfactorily working in an FWS-eligible position (certain religion-related positions are not eligible). APU reserves the right to alter the amount of FWS offered.
- The student must also maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents
The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a low-interest loan borrowed directly from the U.S. government that parents can apply for to help their dependent student pay for college.
If denied a PLUS Loan, parents may:
- Appeal the decision by contacting Direct Loans.
- Apply for the PLUS loan with an endorser (cosigner).
- The student can then take out an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (freshmen and sophomores, $4,000; juniors and seniors, $5,000).
- Complete the FAFSA.
Parents of a Dependent Student
- Complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application.
- New borrowers must also complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) online.
Once the student’s financial aid file is complete, the PLUS Loan usually disburses into the student’s APU account during the first month of the semester (first half of the loan in fall, the second half in spring), or later depending on when documentation is received. If the parent borrower was originally denied the PLUS Loan based on adverse credit and was then later approved (or obtained an endorser), the parent must complete PLUS Credit Counseling online. The Parent PLUS Loan will not disburse to the student’s APU account until the credit counseling is completed.
The student must be enrolled at least half time (6 units per semester). The student must also maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Repayment of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents usually begins 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed (after the second disbursement in early January for most students). In some cases, payment can be delayed by deferment or forbearance. Learn more about repayment of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents.
Federal Direct Loan for Students
The Federal Direct Loan is a low-interest loan borrowed directly from the U.S. government designed to help students pay for college. Depending on eligibility as determined by the FAFSA, the student may be offered a subsidized and/or unsubsidized loan. Subsidized means that the government will pay the interest on the loan while the student is in school. Unsubsidized means that the student is responsible to pay the interest on the loan while in school.
- Freshmen (0-29 units): $5,500 (up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized)
- Sophomores (30-59 units): $6,500 (up to $4,500 of which may be subsidized)
- Juniors and Seniors (60+ units): $7,500 (up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized)
If the student is independent or the parent is denied a PLUS Loan, the student can take out an additional Unsubsidized Loan (freshmen and sophomores, $4,000; juniors and seniors, $5,000).
Post-9/11 GI Bill® and VA Yellow Ribbon
For up-to-date information regarding eligibility requirements, award amounts offered by the government, and specific details, contact the VA. You may also contact the Office of Military and Veteran Education Benefits at (626) 815-3837 or [email protected].
‘‘GI Bill®’’ is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).