Frequently Asked Questions
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is funding awarded to eligible students to assist with the cost of attending a college or university. ASU’s Financial Aid Office helps students make and finalize financial aid arrangements.
Financial aid is awarded in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Grants and scholarships are generally considered gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Loans must be paid back, usually upon the completion of the degree. However, many loans have different repayment requirements, so please check with the Financial Aid Office concerning the various loan programs. College work-study programs allow students to work on and off campus to earn a portion of their financial aid through a monthly paycheck.
Where does financial aid come from?
Financial aid can come from a variety of sources, including federal and state governments, the university or outside sources, such as companies or civic groups.
When should a student apply for financial aid?
The application period for federal and state aid begins Oct. 1 of each year for the following award year (Sept. 1 through Aug. 31). As soon as possible after Oct. 1, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be submitted electronically. Since the FAFSA is filed electronically, please be sure to record all personal identification numbers (PINs).
All other required forms should be completed and submitted directly to the ASU Financial Aid Office. Please see the financial aid checklist and priority dates pages for more information. The application period for institutional and outside agency scholarships will vary, depending on the program.
How does a student qualify for need-based financial aid?
Financial need is the difference between the cost of attending the university and the resources available to the student to help meet that cost. Thus, financial need is:
Cost of Attendance (COA)
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Other Available Resources
The EFC is determined by filing the FAFSA and combining the student’s contribution and the parents’ contribution (for dependent students). All applicants are required to inform the Financial Aid Office of any additional assistance to be received from outside sources during the application period.
Who determines what financial aid a student will receive?
Upon the student’s completion of the application, the Financial Aid Office will determine programs that the applicant is eligible for and then offer a financial aid package that may include grants, scholarships, loans and/or work-study.
How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
Please read “Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool”
How do I request a copy of my Income Tax Return Transcript?
Please read “Requesting a Tax Transcript”
How does enrollment affect my financial aid?
Please read “Enrollment”
How is repeat coursework treated?
Please read “Repeat Coursework”
How will dropping a class affect my financial aid?
Please read “Dropping a Class”
Where can I find information on refunds?
Please read “Refunds”