More than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year. Follow these steps to apply for financial aid and to stay on track to receive funds.
Use these interactive tools to help you and your family estimate costs and plan a budget:
Students can apply for financial aid before they apply for admission to the university; however, students must be admitted to a degree-seeking program of study in order to be offered financial aid. See undergraduate admission information.
The FAFSA can be filed beginning January 1 of each year. Submit your FAFSA before ASU's priority filing date of March 1 each year to maximize the amount of aid you receive. Eligible students who apply by this date have a greater chance of receiving need-based aid. We encourage you to submit your FAFSA even if the priority filing date has passed. The exception to this is the Obama Scholars program for Arizona students which has implemented unique deadlines for new participants. See Obama Program for details. The FAFSA is a free application; avoid online scams requesting payment to complete the FAFSA.
After filing your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) listing all the information you provided in the online application. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be included in the SAR. ASU then calculates your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). Your EFC is subtracted from your COA to determine your eligibility for need-based aid. Please review your SAR for accuracy and make any necessary corrections online. Contact the U.S. Department of Education if you do not receive your SAR or have questions regarding your SAR.
Need-based scholarships require completion of the FAFSA. Note deadlines (most occur between December and March) and requirements. Continue searching for scholarships throughout the year as new scholarships are posted regularly.
If you are selected for financial aid verification, you will be sent an email from ASU notifying you to check My ASU under My Tasks for a current list of requested items, including instructions and/or forms needed to complete your file. Please complete any To Do items on My ASU promptly since financial aid processing can only continue once you have submitted all requested financial aid documents. February through September are peak processing times, please allow up to four weeks for ASU to process submitted items. Keep up on your To Do list as new requests for items may arise throughout the year.
Not all students are selected for verification so please do not submit additional information unless requested by ASU. Because ASU participates in the Federal Quality Assurance Program, ASU selects students for verification based on its own criteria and not that of the U.S. Department of Education. If you have questions related to the completion of any requested item, please contact Student Financial Assistance.
The awarding process for new freshmen usually begins the first week of March. After all requested items needed for verification are processed by Student Financial Assistance, you will receive a Financial Aid Notification (FAN). Your FAN lists your offered financial aid for the entire academic year (i.e., fall through spring). Offered awards are contingent upon full-time enrollment (i.e., 12 credits for undergraduates) and are based on your academic level, estimated cost of attendance, need and application completion date. If your enrollment changes, we will prorate your awards through the 21st class day of the semester. Please see our Census Policy for complete details on how your enrollment affects your awards.
Our primary method of communication is through your ASU email address. If you are a new student, we will send you a paper FAN as well as email notification once your financial aid offer is determined. If you are a continuing student, you will receive email notification directing you to sign in to My ASU to view your FAN online. All students can view their FAN through My ASU once a financial aid award offer has been made.
Think carefully before accepting private student loan offers. Please be careful when considering private student loan offers you receive as unsolicited direct mail or email offers from banks and other private lenders. Also carefully consider how much you need to borrow and avoid borrowing more than you really need. When borrowing, be sure to check terms and conditions before accepting any loan and be sure you understand how much you will need to repay. Private student loans can be very expensive and could adversely affect your eligibility for other financial assistance.
ASU encourages you to accept your financial aid on My ASU by the national commitment date of May 1 in order to reserve your financial aid. If you are awarded after May 1, accept your financial aid as soon as possible. Accepting your aid after July 1 could delay your fall semester disbursement.
In order to accept your financial aid, you must use My ASU to accept any grants (except the Federal Pell Grant), ASU scholarships and loans (except the Parent PLUS Loan). Decline any loans you do not plan on borrowing. You may also reduce your offered loan amounts if the loan has not been disbursed. Once any amount of the loan has disbursed, this option will not be available online and you must request a change in person.
If you and your parents are planning on accepting the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, follow these instructions.
Incoming freshman not planning to attend ASU must notify us of your decision. All other students not planning to attend ASU should notify Student Financial Assistance in writing and also initiate a complete university withdrawal.
We recommend enrolling in direct deposit through My ASU so funds post directly to your bank account. Otherwise, any financial aid refund will be mailed to your local address no sooner than a few days before the start of each semester. See the Financial Aid Calendar for disbursement dates. Allow up to two weeks for your direct deposit enrollment to activate. Check with your bank to ensure your funds are available in your account before drawing on your refund. Visit the Student Accounts Office if you have questions regarding your direct deposit enrollment.
If you are considering applying for the Federal Parent PLUS loan, you and your parents will want to start the process about a month before the start of the semester to avoid delays in the disbursement of loan funds. The PLUS loan process can take 3–4 weeks to complete; starting early will help ensure you have funds once the semester begins.
If you have accepted loans, you will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling for each type of loan you have accepted before your funds can be disbursed. If you have already completed an MPN and/or Loan Entrance Counseling at another school, you must still complete them at ASU.
Some students need to work in order to meet educational and living expenses while others wish to work because they feel the experience can be a valuable part of their education. The skills you obtain from working complement your academic performance and communicate to future employers your ability to succeed in a professional setting.
Receive Your Financial Aid
To receive your financial aid refund during the week before classes, you must register for classes, complete your financial aid file and accept your awards at least two weeks before the semester begins. Financial aid disbursement will begin no sooner than a few days before the start of each semester. The amount that is disbursed is determined by the number of credits you are enrolled in at the time of disbursement (see our Census policy for details). Available financial aid will begin paying your ASU charges at that time. If your credited aid is in excess of your university charges, you will receive a financial aid for the difference either by direct deposit to your bank account or by check. If you do not enroll in direct deposit, any refund owed will be mailed to you no sooner than a few days before the start of the semester. Sign in to My ASU to confirm and/or update your local address. If you need your check to be re-issued, please see Re-issuing Checks for further information.
Paying Tuition with Financial Aid
Your financial aid will be applied to your current ASU charges first. If financial aid is canceled or does not pay all tuition and fees, you will be responsible for these remaining charges. Tuition and billing correspondence will be sent to your official ASU email account. ASU expects students to check their ASU email frequently to stay current with university-related communications, including e-billing notifications. View your account balance and make a payment on My ASU.
If tuition and fees are not fully covered by financial aid, ASU will not drop your classes and your account balance must be paid using one of these options. If your ASU account is not paid by the tuition payment deadline, you will automatically be enrolled in the Tuition Installment Plan (including a non-refundable fee). Students are required to pay all tuition and fees for any registered course unless they officially withdraw from the university.
Buying Books with Financial Aid
Only students who have been awarded a Federal Pell Grant are eligible to use their financial aid to purchase required books and supplies from Sun Devil Campus Stores (in-store purchases only). If you are a Pell Grant recipient, you must present your ASU ID and inform the cashier you want to pay with financial aid at time of check out. Campus Store charges will be applied to your ASU account. This payment option is available during specific times at the start of each semester. See the financial aid calendar for details. View all Campus Store payment options.
Paying Student Housing and Meal Plan with Financial Aid
All meal plans and most residence halls will be charged to you through the ASU billing system and these charges will be paid with any available financial aid. Residence hall charges that are billed through a third party (e.g., Vista del Sol) are not automatically paid with your financial aid; consult with your residence hall office on how to pay these charges with your financial aid refund. For additional information, please see Residential Life FAQs.
As a financial aid recipient, you are required to continue eligibility by maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP), filing a FAFSA each year, completing all requested financial aid items on your To Do list on My ASU and maintaining all other eligibility criteria. Your SAP status appears in the Finances section of My ASU at the top of your financial aid award information.