Policies and Things to Know



Cost of Attendance


Your Cost of Attendance is the estimated amount that it will cost you to attend the University of South Alabama during the nine-month academic year using standard costs.

 

Standard Costs:
Standard costs reflect a modest, adequate living allowance. They include: registration fees, an allowance for books and supplies, and average living expenses. They do not take into consideration all individual circumstances or discretionary expenses.

 

The Cost of Attendance or (COA) is sometimes called the Cost of Education and sometimes "your budget." It is composed of standard tuition, fees, books, supplies, personal expenses, transportation, and room and board. 

All students are encouraged to use the Net Price Calculator for more detailed information.  The table below shows in-state and out-out-state Cost of Attendance for the 2014-2015 academic year:

 

In State Description Out of State
$8,464 Tuition and Fees $16,504
$8,270 Room and Board $8,270
$1,200 Books and Supplies $1,200
$2,196 Transportation $2,196
$2,412 Personal Expenses $2,412
$238 Loan Fees $238
$22,780 Total $30,820

Amounts shown above are for the estimated Costs of Attendance for the 2014-2015 academic year for an in-state and out-of-state student living on or off campus.  Room and Board will be slightly lower for a student living at home. For current tuition and fee rates, please click here.

The following programs may have an increased Cost of Attendance:

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Important Dates


Use this timeline as your guide throughout the Financial Aid process. Take the time to note events as they occur so that you have a record of when you complete them. Also, look ahead to plan for upcoming events. 

Bench Mark Event
January 1

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available for new and returning students.

January

spacerspacer

Complete federal tax returns

Spring term classes begin. Financial Aid is disbursed to eligible students beginning on the first day of classes.

January
February                              
March

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online as soon as possible after January 1. The FAFSA takes about 4-8 weeks to be processed by the Federal Processor before USA receives the information.

Mid-February  Summer aid applications are available for those students interested in attending Summer term classes.
March 31 Priority deadline for Summer term. Students may continue to apply for aid by completing the FAFSA after March 31 for Summer term, though aid may not be processed by the time Summer payment is due.
April The Financial Aid Office will begin reviewing Financial Aid files for the upcoming Fall term. Respond to all requests for information from USA in a timely manner.
May

The Financial Aid Office will begin sending Award Notifications via JagMail email accounts for the upcoming Fall semester to students who have completed their files with USA and have eligibility. 

Complete Electronic Direct Deposit Forms for the Summer semester. Forms for EDD only have to be submitted once. It is not necessary to re-enroll each semester provided your bank account information stays the same.

May 31

Priority deadline for Fall term. Students may continue to apply for aid by completing the FAFSA after May 31, though aid may not be processed by the time Fall payment is due.

Early June Summer classes begin. Financial Aid is disbursed to eligible students beginning on the first day of classes.
July Complete Electronic Direct Deposit Forms for the Fall semester. Forms for EDD only have to be submitted once. It is not necessary to re-enroll each semester provided your bank account information stays the same.
Summer New USA students should complete Loan Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov
August

Federal Work Study orientation letters are mailed to students with a Federal Work Study award.

Federal Direct Loan borrowers must complete Loan Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov if they have not already done so. It can be completed in the Financial Aid Office if you wish to use our computers.

Late-August

Fall classes begin. Disbursement of Financial Aid funds to eligible students beginning on the first day of classes.

October 31 Priority deadline for Spring term. Students may continue to apply for aid by completing the FAFSA after October 31 for Spring term, though aid may not be processed by the time Spring payment is due.
December Complete Electronic Direct Deposit Forms for the Spring semester. Forms for EDD only have to be submitted once. It is not necessary to re-enroll each semester provided your bank account information stays the same.

 

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Eligibility


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 half time. Audit classes do not count. 
    • Meet and maintain all requirements under the USA Satisfactory Academic Policy.
    • Not be in default on a prior student loan or owe a repayment on Title IV aid. 
    • Be registered for Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.  

 

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 Verification


 

Approximately 30% of all applications each year will be selected by the Federal Processor for verification, a review process which requires documentation of select data elements of a student's FAFSA. In this review, the financial aid staff compares the FAFSA with information provided in the required verification documents. The documents that are required can be viewed in PAWS under “My Eligibility”. To expedite this process, send all required documents together at one time. When submitted documents are reviewed, it may become necessary to request additional information. You will be made aware of these requests via JagMail.

Our office will make corrections to your FAFSA, if necessary, as a result of verification. You will be notified by the Federal Processor and/or our office either with a corrected FAFSA or a revised award notification. A FAFSA that is completed correctly will not require corrections.

Failure to have a complete financial aid file at least 60 days prior to the beginning of each term may delay or prevent your receipt of aid. If this is the case, you will be responsible for payment of any charges on your student account or your schedule may be cancelled.

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How Financial Aid is Awarded


Data you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be analyzed according to federal, state and institutional guidelines. A formula established by the United States Congress will be used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC number is used to determine Pell Grant eligibility for undergraduates. It is also used in an equation to determine your financial need (undergraduates and graduates). Once all processing requirements are met, students award offers will be determined and the student will be notified through university email to review their award offer in paws.

For students selected for verification, an email will be sent to their university email account directing them to paws for the requested documentation.  Please remember that it is the student's responsibility to submit  all requested information as soon as possible to ensure adequate processing time for meeting payment deadlines.

 

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Disbursement Information 


Your Financial Aid will be applied to your USA student account and will officially 'pay' toward your institutional charges beginning the first day of classes each term if you have met all outstanding requirements and met all eligibility requirements. All credit balances and refunds of Financial Aid are handled by the Office of Student Accounting. Refunds for Financial Aid will not be made by the Office of Student Accounting until after the drop/add period.

The amount of Financial Aid you receive depends on the number of credit hours you are enrolled in on the last official drop/add day (3rd day of class). Classes MUST BE taken for credit and be required for your program and degree to count toward Financial Aid. Classes taken as audit will not count for Financial Aid. The amount of Financial Aid you receive may be different from that shown on your award letter. Award amounts for Federal Pell Grants are based on full-time enrollment or 12 credit hours for undergraduates. Your Financial Aid payment amount will be calculated based on your enrollment as of 6:00 pm on the 3rd day of class.  No award adjustments will occur for enrollment adds or original registrations after that date.


15% Payment Requirement:

To see if your Financial Aid covers your 15% due to Student Accounting, go to PAWS and follow the steps below:

Click on Enter Secure Area
Enter your JAG Number and Pin
Click on Student Services and Financial Aid
Click on Student Records
Click on 15% Payment Calculator
Select the term

If it displays $0, you do not owe the 15%. Otherwise, pay the amount listed to Student Accounting. For further information, please contact studentaccounting@southalabama.edu or call (251) 460-6195.

Direct Loan Borrowers

You must be enrolled at least half-time at the time loan disbursements are made to be eligible to receive loan funds. First time Direct Loan borrowers will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling before they can receive loan funds. Entrance counseling is only required once when a student receives loan funds while attending USA. Exit counseling is required once each year for all student borrowers who withdraw, drop to less than half time, graduate, or do not return to USA. You can check PAWS online to see if you need to complete Loan Entrance Counseling or Exit Counseling.


Alternative Loans

Students who borrow alternative loans must meet eligibility criteria as follows:

  • You must be attending a four-year college at least half time
  • You must be working toward your degree
  • You must meet credit criteria
  • You must be making progress toward a degree



Cancellation

You have the right to decline receipt of a loan disbursement, or to cancel your loan entirely. Simply notify the Financial Aid Office if you wish to cancel a loan disbursement. Enrollment in less than half-time credits may cause cancellation of all loan disbursements for the remainder of the academic year and will be reinstated by request only. Cancellation of the first disbursement of a loan causes the entire loan to be canceled. As long as you remain eligible, you can request loans again in future terms.

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Charging Privileges at the USA Bookstore (For Financial Aid Recipients Only)


Students who (a) have been awarded Financial Aid by USA, and who (b) have excess funds after all tuition, fees, meals, and housing have been paid, may charge up to $1500 (or the available balance, whichever is less) towards books at the USA Bookstore. The Bookstore will have a student's account balance available at checkout. Bookstore charges will be placed on the student's account and covered by Financial Aid disbursement. Check the Monthly News on the Financial Aid homepage for the bookstore charge period.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

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Rights and Responsibilities


Students Have the Right to Know:

  • The names of organizations which accredit and license the University
  • The University’s programs, instruction, laboratories, physical facilities, and faculty
  • The cost of attending the University and its refund policy
  • The type of financial assistance offered by the University from federal, state, local, and private programs
  • Who the Financial Aid personnel are and the location of the Financial Aid Office
  • What the procedures and deadlines are for applying for Financial Aid
  • How the University selects its Financial Aid recipients
  • How the University determines financial need
  • How much financial need has been met
  • How Financial Aid is received
  • About each type of financial assistance offered
  • Information about all student loans offered
  • The kind of Work-Study jobs offered, hours, duties, rate, and frequency of pay
  • When and how Financial Aid awards are adjusted
  • About special facilities for the handicapped
  • The University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
  • USA Complaint Policy: http://instresrch.usouthal.edu/resources/DOE_Complaint_Policy.pdf

Students Have The Responsibility To:

  • Review and consider all information about the University before enrolling
  • Pay special attention to the application for Financial Aid, complete it accurately, submit it on time and to the right place
  • Know all deadlines for applying for aid and meet them
  • Provide all required documentation, corrections, and/or information requested by the Financial Aid Office
  • Notify the University of any information that has changed since the Financial Aid application was submitted
  • Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms
  • Repay any student loans borrowed
  • Perform an entrance and exit interview
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office of a change in name, address, or enrollment status (half-time, full-time, three-quarter-time)
  • Satisfactorily perform the work agreed upon in a College Work-Study job
  • Understand the University’s refund policy.

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Entrance Counseling


It is a federal requirement that students complete a student Loan Entrance Counseling prior to obtaining a Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan or a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, and that they complete Exit Counseling prior to graduating or ceasing at least half-time attendance. The purpose of the session is to help you to understand your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower.

Financial Aid can make a difference in your life. But with Financial Aid comes certain responsibilities. These student loan counseling sessions will prepare you for proper management of your student loan, helping you make the most of your higher education.


Exit Counseling


It is a federal requirement that students complete a student Loan Entrance Counseling prior to obtaining a Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan or a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, and that they complete Exit Counseling prior to graduating or ceasing at least half-time attendance. The purpose of the session is to help you to understand your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower.

Financial Aid can make a difference in your life. But with Financial Aid comes certain responsibilities. These student loan counseling sessions will prepare you for proper management of your student loan, helping you make the most of your higher education.

Conduct Your Exit Counseling

Exit Counseling Information

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Study Abroad


Student's enrollment in a program of study approved for credit by the home institution (USA) may be considered enrollment at the home institution (USA) for the purpose of applying for federal student aid. Please contact our office for more information regarding your federal aid eligibility. 

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