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The Financial Aid Process

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1. File your FAFSA.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the key to determining your federal financial aid eligibility.

The financial information you provide will determine how much aid you may qualify for and what types of funding you may be eligible to receive.

Federal Student Aid has an award year that runs from July 1st to June 30th. The FAFSA has a 21-month application cycle that begins on October 1st, nine months before the start of the award year, and ends on June 30th, the last day of the award year. This application is available online at the Federal Student Aid website (

2. Get to know the various types of financial aid available.

While your FAFSA is being processed, take some time to read up on the different types of financial aid available to help fund your degree. This will help you get ready to talk with your Financial Aid Advisor and feel confident about the aid package you receive.

Getting a handle on your options now can make a big difference later on.

Woman at Computer learning about various types of financial aid available

3. Talk with an AIU Financial Aid Advisor.

An advisor will walk through the financial aid process and award letter with you and be available throughout the aid process. They can:

  • Help you with paperwork
  • Explain your aid package
  • Remind you of upcoming deadlines
  • Answer questions

Other Forms You May Need

Your Financial Aid advisor can help answer questions about the:

  • Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Student Authorization Form
  • Entrance Counseling Quiz
  • Loan Option Form
  • Verification documents, if applicable

4. See if you qualify and apply for AIU grants and scholarships.

AIU offers 13 grants and scholarships for AIU Online students, 13 grants and scholarships for AIU Atlanta and 12 grants and scholarships for AIU Houston students.

Your award letter will include the grants you’re eligible for, based on your admission application and your FAFSA if applicable.

Man typing at a computer learning about grants and scholarships

5. Apply for outside grants and scholarships.

Since most grants and scholarships don’t usually need to be paid back, they’re well worth the time it takes to apply.

Keep in mind that outside grants and scholarships operate on their own schedules, and funds you qualify for may not be available until your second session or later.

Recommended Reading

Financial aid is available for those who qualify. University grants and scholarships are based on established criteria as published in the University Catalog and are awarded after verification that the conditions of eligibility have been met.

Classes Start December 15, 2021