Frequently Asked Questions

Q Am I eligible?

A To be eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid at USA, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
  • Be accepted for admission and admitted to an eligible degree-seeking or certificate-seeking program at USA.
  • Be enrolled for at least the minimum course load required for the requested aid program. All loan programs (including alternative loans) require an enrollment of at least halftime. Audit classes do not count.
  • Meet and maintain all requirements under the USA Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
  • Not be in default on a prior student loan or owe a repayment on any Title IV aid.
  • Be registered for Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.

Q When should I apply for Financial Aid?

A You must apply for Financial Aid every year. The best time to apply is as soon as possible after January 1 and
before the end of March for the following school year (Fall, Spring & Summer semesters).


Q How do I apply for Financial Aid?

A The best way to submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is online www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you have a PIN from the Department of Education, you can do a renewal FAFSA online. You can request a PIN online www.pin.ed.gov. Another option to complete the FAFSA is by completing a paper application, available at most high schools.

Q What is your federal school code?

A The federal school code for USA is 001057. To find others, check on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov and then select
"Find My Schools Codes".


Q I do not live with my parents, they do not claim me on their tax returns, and they do not give me any financial support.Do I still have to include their information on my FAFSA?

A If you cannot answer YES to any question in the "Step Three" section of the FAFSA, you MUST include parent
information. Parent information is required in these cases because the federal government has decided paying for the cost of education is the responsibility of the student and the student's parents until the student can answer YES to any one question in "Step Three".

Q

 I already filed my FAFSA, but now I'm married. Can I be considered independent now?

A Your marital status for Financial Aid purposes is determined on the day you applied for Financial Aid. So, if you included parent information on your application, their information will be taken into account for that year.


Q

 My step-parent is not willing to support me. Do I have to list his/her income under the parent section?

A Yes, if your supporting parent is remarried, you must include his/her spouse's information on the FAFSA.


Q

 I live with my grandparents/other relatives/guardians who support me. Should I report their income on my FAFSA instead of my parents?

A No, you must list your parents' information under the parent section. If unusual circumstances exist, you may want to check with the Financial Aid Office before submitting your FAFSA.


Q The school is asking for a copy of my tax transcript. How do I obtain a copy?

A You can obtain a copy of your tax transcript at www.irs.gov. From that site, in the Tools section of the
homepage click 'Get Transcript of your Tax Records'. Next, choose 'Get Transcript Online' or 'Get Transcript by Mail' and follow the instructions through the process. If you select 'Get Transcript Online' you can print a copy of your tax transcript immediately. If you select 'Get Transcript by Mail', you should receive your request within 5-10 days.


Q The school is asking for verification of my Selective Service System registration. I don't have anything. What should I do?

A You must contact Selective Service System at www.sss.gov or 1-847-688-6888 to verify your registration. If it is determined you haven't yet registered and you are between the ages of 18 and 25, you must do so. If you are not registered and you are over 26 years of age, you need to request a status letter from the Selective Service System and provide a copy to our office.


Q The school is asking for verification of my Selective Service System registration and I'm female. What should I do?

A You can provide a written statement to our office indicating that you are female and not required to register with the Selective Service System. Be sure to include your full name and Social Security number on the statement before you sign and submit it.


Q

 I've already submitted my FAFSA, but I need to make some changes. How should I make them?

A If you have your PIN number from the Department of Education, you can make your changes online at
www.fafsa.ed.gov. Click on "Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA". If you have a Student Aid Report, you can make the corrections on that and mail it to the Department of Education.


Q I've already submitted my FAFSA, but I need to add a school. How do I do that?

A If you have your PIN number from the Department of Education, you add a school online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you have your Student Aid Report (SAR), you may call the Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243. ; Give them your name, Social Security number, the DRN number and the transaction number from your SAR (in the upper right corner of the front page), and the name of the school you want to have added to your FAFSA. If you no longer have your SAR, you may also call to request a duplicate.


Q How long will it take before I get my Award Notice?

A It may take 6-8 weeks after you complete your file at USA before you'll find out what aid you're eligible to receive. Ensure the fastest processing time by turning in all requested information in a timely manner.


Q Is it too late to apply for Financial Aid?

A You can apply for Financial Aid anytime during the current school year as long as the school receives a valid FAFSA from the Federal Processor before the last day of the current school year. However, some funding is limited and/or may not be available when your award is finalized.

Q  How much aid will I get?

A  The information you provide on your FAFSA as well as other information submitted to our office will allow us to determine your eligibility. Funding availability, federal regulations and cost of education (budget) will also be 
considered.


Q How much can I earn and still be eligible for Financial Aid?

A The Department of Education considers many factors in determining your eligibility. It is almost impossible to answerthis question without submitting a FAFSA and completing the review process. You can, however, see an estimate of whether or not you might receive a Pell Grant based on your particular circumstances at
www.fafsa.ed.gov (click on "Determine My Eligibility"). Keep in mind that Pell Grant is not the only source of Financial Aid. So even if it appears that you are not eligible for the Pell Grant, you may be eligible for other types of aid.


Q How do I get my money?

A Most Financial Aid funds are credited to your student account after tuition, fees, and other institutional charges are deducted. Any remaining funds will be issued to you by the Office of Student Accounting via direct deposit or in a check mailed to your address on record. You can check your address on PAWS.


Q When are Financial Aid refunds given to students?

A The Office of Student Accounting handles all refunding of Financial Aid to students. Refunds are processed after the end of the drop/add period each term. You can contact the Office of StudentAccounting at (251) 460-6195 or at studentaccounting@southalabama.edu.


Q How much will I get?

A The amount of Financial Aid disbursed is based on your enrollment at 6:00 p.m. on the third day of classes. Classes must be taken for credit to count toward Financial Aid. Classes taken as audit will not be covered by Financial Aid. Aid for Summer term is disbursed at 6:00 pm on the 3rd day of the term.


Q Why didn't I get a Financial Aid refund?

A Please check to see of any of these items apply:

  • Check PAWS for the following:
    • Is your address correct?
    • Do you have outstanding requirements for your Financial Aid file?
    • Did you complete Entrance and/or Exit Counseling for your student loan?
    • Did you e-sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
    • Are you in enough credits for your Financial Aid to disburse?
  • If you enrolled in direct deposit, is your bank account accurate?
  • Is your Financial Aid disbursement more than your tuition, fees, and other institutional charges?

Q How many hours must I take to be eligible for student loan funds?

A You must enroll at least half-time to receive student loan funds. As an undergraduate student, half-time is 6 hours. For a graduate student, half-time is 3 hours. The classes you take must be required for your declared program and major.


Q Are there any fees charged on a student loan?

A Yes. Direct Loans charges origination fees. Please refer to www.studentloans.gov for the most current origination fees.


Q Where can I get more general information about the Federal Family Educational Loans (FFELP)?

A Visit www.studentloans.gov or www.studentaid.gov for more information regarding loan programs.

Q What is Federal Work-Study?

A Federal Work-Study is a job program that provides part-time jobs to eligible students either on or off campus. You
must be awarded a Federal Work-Study job by the Financial Aid Office to participate in this program.


Q How much Federal Work-Study do I have?

A The amount you are authorized to earn is listed on your Award Notification on PAWS. You may work and earn up to the total Federal Work-Study award amount each term. You may not exceed the awarded amount.


Q What is the rate of pay?

A $8.25 per hour for on-campus Federal Work-Study; $9.50 per hour for off-campus Federal Work-Study.


 QHow do I get the money?

A Students are paid bi-weekly for actual hours worked. Payday is every other Friday. Time sheets must be signed by
the student and supervisor, and they must be submitted to Payroll by the Friday before payday.


Q How do I find a job?

A Available jobs are listed on the Job Database. Select a job, note the supervisor and location, then contact the
supervisor to request an interview.


Q Where are the jobs located?

A Jobs are located on the USA campus or in Mobile County public elementary schools. The job list will indicate the
location.


Q Can I have more than one job on campus or through Work-Study?

A Yes, you may have a Work-Study job as well as a Student Assistant job.

Q What happens if I drop all of my classes (completely withdraw)?

A Federal Financial Aid regulations have defined that a student who completely withdraws or stops attending prior tocompleting 60% of a term has not earned 100% of the federal Financial Aid that was received. The student may be required to return a portion of the federal aid that was disbursed to them. You may read the entire policy here.

Additionally, a student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and maintain a 67% completion rate of all attempted classes. Failure to meet any of the standard requirements is reason in itself for denial of federal Financial Aid at USA, whether or not any Financial Aid was received. You may read the entire policy on the Academic Progress Policy page .

The following questions and answers include instructions requiring the user to access the PAWS system.

Q How can I check the status of my application and access the requested forms or requirements to complete my file?

A Follow these steps in PAWS:

  1. Click on Enter Secure Area
  2. Enter your JAG Number and Pin
  3. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid
  4. Click on Financial Aid
  5. Click on My Eligibility
  6. Click on Student Requirements
  7. Select Aid Year

Q How do I check my award?

A Follow these steps in PAWS:

  1. Click on Enter Secure Area
  2. Enter your JAG Number and Pin
  3. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid
  4. Click on Financial Aid
  5. Click on My Award Information
  6. Click on Award by Aid Year
  7. Select Aid Year

Q How do I check my loan application data?

A Follow these steps in PAWS:

  1. Click on Enter Secure Area
  2. Enter your JAG Number and Pin
  3. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid
  4. Click on Financial Aid
  5. Click on My Award Information
  6. Click on Loan Amounts and Disbursements
  7. Select Aid Year

Q

 How do I verify my address?

A Follow these steps in PAWS:

  1. Click on Enter Secure Area
  2. Enter your JAG Number and Pin
  3. Click on Personal Information
  4. Select Update Address(es) and Phone(s) to verify current address or to make changes

Q How do I check to see if my 15% due was satisfied by Financial Aid?

A Follow these steps in PAWS:

  1. Click on Enter Secure Area
  2. Enter your JAG Number and Pin
  3. Click on Student Services and Financial Aid
  4. Click on Student Records
  5. Click on 15% Payment Calculator
  6. Select the term