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Apply for a Federal Direct Loan
Students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), are in a qualified degree seeking program and are eligible to receive federal aid may apply for Federal Direct loans. Federal Direct Loans are federally supported, low-interest student loans with flexible repayment options. Subsidized loans are offered to students who have demonstrated financial need as determined by the Department of Education based on the Financial data reported on the FAFSA. Students who do not demonstrate financial need may apply for unsubsidized loans. All applicants must submit the FAFSA for determination of Direct Stafford Loan eligibility. Students must also complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note before the INITIAL disbursement of a Direct Stafford Loan can be made.
Step 1: FAFSA
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov for the academic year in which aid is being requested.
If possible, be sure to file taxes prior to completing the FAFSA. To use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, custodial parent(s) and student (if applicable) must file the preceding year’s tax returns. It typically takes two weeks after filing tax information before it is available for use in the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
American University School Code for the FAFSA is 001434.
Students will need to fill out or renew the FAFSA each year
The CSS Profile is not required for graduate students or currently enrolled undergraduates.
A pin number is required to electronically sign the FAFSA. to request on, go to www.pin.ed.gov
Step 2: Review your Student Aid Report (ISIR)
Once a FAFSA has been submitted, you should review the information IMMEDIATELY and make any corrections (if necessary). To update information provided on the FAFSA got to www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Step 3: Federal Verification (if necessary)
Note: if you do not receive a notice of Federal Verification, proceed to the next step.
Students selected for a Federal Verification will receive a notice from the Financial Aid Office. Students selected for the Federal Verification process will be notified in writing and via e-mail and provided instructions on how to complete the Federal Verification process.
Verification documents must be submitted one of two ways: All materials must be faxed to 202-885-1025 or mailed to the Financial Aid Office (4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 attn Financial Aid.
You (and your parents) MUST provide all the necessary information required for Verification in order to receive your financial aid. The sooner you return the necessary documents to AU, the sooner you will be able to complete the financial aid process
Step 4: Your Financial Aid Award Letter
Assuming you have completed the relevant steps above, American University will make your Financial Aid Award letter available online through your student portal at https://myAU.american.edu by July 1st.
You will receive an email notifying you that your award information is available. After you sign in, click on the heading “Finances” in the right hand column. Then click on the option Financial Aid: Accept My Award Package under the column titled “Personalized Links”. There you will see a statement of the amount and types of aid you have been awarded.
Indicate on the award letter whether you accept or decline your awards.
Step 5: Loan Entrance Counseling Session (for new students and first-time borrowers)
The U.S. Department of Education requires all first-time borrowers and/or new students to American University to complete an Entrance Counseling Session. This explains your rights and responsibilities as a student receiving federal financial aid. You may complete the Entrance Counseling Session online at www.studentloans.gov. AU will be notified electronically upon completion of your session within 3 business days.
Note: You will not receive your financial aid until you complete the loan counseling session.
If you have previously completed an Entrance Counseling Session while at AU, you may skip this step.
Step 6: Sign Your Master Promissory Note
If you are a first time borrower in the Direct Loan Program (Stafford Loans), you MUST sign a Master Promissory Note which lists the terms of your loan, how much money you have decided to borrow, and the earliest possible date that the loan can be disbursed. It is also a promise to repay any federal Direct (Stafford) loans you decide to borrow.
To complete the Master Promissory Note, you may go online to the Direct Loan website at http://studentloans.gov. You will need your FAFSA PIN to electronically sign the Master Promissory Note. AU will be notified electronically once you have signed the Master Promissory Note within 3 business days.
Note: if you have previously signed a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note, you may skip this step.
You will NOT receive your Direct Loan funds until you sign your Master Promissory Note.