How To Apply for Financial Aid

There is a perception that applying for financial aid can be a grueling process, but in reality it’s actually simple!

  • Complete the FAFSA.
  • The university reviews your financial aid application. If you need to submit additional information, it’s listed as a “To-Do” on your application checklist.
  • You are awarded and then accept the loans.
  • Complete the master promissory note (MPN) and entrance counseling.
  • Loans are disbursed, and if the amount you receive is greater than your balance, you will receive a refund.


A very important step of the application process – and one that can cause some confusion – is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA. Make sure you have your tax returns handy, because you will need to enter dollar amounts from specified boxes in your FAFSA application. Once you have completed your FAFSA, make sure you include ASU’s school code, 001081, and electronically sign it using your Personal Identification Number.

Because securing financial aid is so important to many applicants, it’s common to stress about making a mistake. If you make a mistake, it’s OK! If it’s one that is going to affect your ability to obtain financial aid, ASU will catch it and request supporting documentation. You certainly don’t want to lie on the application, but let’s face it: Not everyone understands tax jargon or financial aid lingo, so mistakes may happen.

Students who qualify as U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for loans only at the university level. The loans you may see offered to you are the Federal Stafford Unsubsidized loan and the Graduate PLUS Loan. Both of these loans accrue interest immediately upon disbursement and there is a credit check required to obtain the Graduate PLUS loan. Please note that just because you’ve received the offer of the Graduate PLUS loan, it does not mean you have received an approval on your credit check. In order to process the credit check, you have to accept the loan first.

Scholarships may also be available, depending on your program of choice and when you apply. These scholarships will range in dollar amount based on need, as determined by the FAFSA and the academic competitiveness of your application pool. Scholarship application deadlines may vary, so be sure to thoroughly review all the appropriate deadlines for admission and financial aid.

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