Receiving Aid

How is my aid received?

Financial aid, with the exception of Federal Work-Study, is paid (disbursed) directly into a student’s APU student account. A financial aid disbursement will occur once a completed financial aid application is submitted to APU, and once all financial aid requirements listed on a student’s To Do List are completed.

Authorization to Use Title IV Aid for Other Charges

You can now give permission to have your Title IV aid cover additional charges on your account. For more information, read carefully through the information below.  

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • PLUS Loans (Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS)

The Department of Education has specified that Title IV financial aid funds can be automatically applied only to a select list of allowable charges. Other charges can be paid for by Title IV funds only if authorization is given by the student.

Allowable Charges

  • Tuition and Course Fees
  • Mandatory Fees
  • Housing and Food

Other Charges Allowable with Student Permission

  • Parking Permits
  • Health Center charges
  • Health Insurance
  • Slingshot (textbook charges)
If you grant authorization, your Title IV aid will automatically be applied to the other charges listed above.
If you do not grant authorization, your aid will continue to be applied to your account as it always has been, only covering allowable charges. Keep in mind that if you receive a refund, you’ll still be responsible for paying the other charges. Receiving a refund does not mean there are no outstanding charges on your account.
The benefit of granting authorization is that your Title IV aid will automatically be applied to all of the allowable and other charges listed above. In some cases, this will mean that if you get a refund, you won’t have to send any of it back to pay for other charges. Keep in mind, there may still be some charges on your account that Title IV aid can never cover— fines, for example; you’ll still need to be responsible for paying those charges. However, granting authorization reduces the number of outstanding charges on your account if there is enough Title IV aid to cover them.
  1. Visit
  2. Under the “Financials” section, click on “Student Permissions”
  3. Click on “Grant Permissions”

You may rescind the authorization at any time in person at the Student Services Center during normal business hours. Once authorization has been given, it will remain in effect for the rest of your time as a student at APU.

When do I receive my aid?

Students who proactively submit a completed financial aid application and who complete all To Do List requirements before the start of the semester will generally receive their financial aid disbursement beginning the week after Add/Drop. Exception: APU academic scholarships and APU participatory/other scholarships do not require a completed financial aid application or To Do List in order to disburse.

Funding from your financial aid disbursement will first pay for charges on your APU student account. If the amount of your financial aid disbursement exceeds the total amount of charges on your student account, you’ll receive a refund within two weeks of the date of your financial aid disbursement.

Why hasn’t my aid disbursed?

Receiving your financial aid in a timely manner is important. Below are common reasons a financial aid disbursement might be prevented from taking place.


Each year, the federal and state governments select a percentage of financial aid applicants for a process called ‘verification’. The law requires colleges to obtain information from the family that confirms the accuracy of the information that was reported on the FAFSA (e.g., tax information, household size information, etc.).

Beyond those applications selected for verification, the law requires colleges to also request further documentation when a FAFSA application and/or subsequent paperwork appears incomplete or inaccurate.

Students who are selected for verification will have a to-do list item on their student portal.

Accepting Aid (Loans)

APU uses ‘active confirmation’ before processing and disbursing federal loans. Put simply, we need you to specify how much of your federal loan you intend to borrow.

Students who intend to receive federal student loans must take action by accepting their loans at Parents intending to borrow a federal loan for their dependent student must submit an online Parent PLUS Loan application. For more information about receiving your federal loans, visit Apply for a Loan.

Reminder: If this is your first time taking a Direct Loan, you need to complete Loan Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note. Learn How to Complete Entrance Counseling and the MPN (PDF).

Missing Signatures

Before your financial aid is processed and ready to disburse, you’ll need to provide all required signatures. Students must sign their completed financial aid applications. Students who are determined to be dependent students based on their financial aid application must also have a parent sign their completed financial aid application.

Additional Required Forms

The financial aid forms below may be required if:

  • You’re requesting a faculty/staff award.
  • You’re a student receiving funding through the California Dream Act program.
  • You’re a student-athlete submitting an Athletic Aid Appeal.

Scholarship Applications

Student Forms

General Forms