Financial Aid & Scholarships
At American University, you have many options. See below for listings of opportunities, scholarships, fellowships, stipends, and loans. You can receive funding as you begin or while you are pursuing your education.
Federal Loans and Federal Work-Study
Graduate students enrolled at least half time in a program may be eligible for federal loans and/or federal work-study. Graduate students enrolled in online programs are ineligible for federal work-study.
To apply, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is no deadline, and the FAFSA will be reviewed on a rolling basis as it is received. It is recommended that the FAFSA be completed by May 1 each academic year. FAFSAs should be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the end of the academic semester in which you are enrolled
You must also register with the U.S. Department of Education for a Personal Identification Number (PIN), which you can obtain at studentaid.ed.gov.
More information on applying for federal loans can be found on our Graduate Students page.
*Be sure to use the correct academic year when applying. For example, the January 2021 through June 2021 is part of the 2020-2021 academic year. July 2021 is part of the 2021-2022 year. You must submit a new FASFA each year to continue to receive Federal student aid.
Merit scholarships are awarded by the academic departments.
The Financial Aid Office does not administer these awards. Please visit your school’s merit scholarship webpage or contact their admissions office for further information.
Complete your FAFSA online.
Be sure to list the American University (AU) FAFSA code, 001434, in the college release section.
Continuing students will receive their notification letters via the student portal in late June after spring grades have been received and reviewed. Missing grades may delay the arrival of your award letter.
You may be asked to download and complete a Verification Worksheet or other documentation as needed to complete your aid application. Do not complete these forms unless asked to do so by the Office of Financial Aid.
Typically, graduate students are eligible for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan as long as they are enrolled at least half time. Half time is defined as 3 credits per term beginning with the July 2019 term. If your program has a summer semester, 2 credits is considered half time. Eligibility for the Unsubsidized Loan is determined based on information on the FAFSA as well as loan history found once logged in on the federal student aid website.
In order for your loan to pay, you must accept the loan through the myAU portal. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling must be completed at www.studentloans.gov after accepting the loan. Please use your FSA ID and password to access the site and complete the required paperwork.
Grad PLUS Loan
Graduate students may be eligible for the Graduate PLUS loan to assist in defraying additional educational expenses not covered by the Stafford loans. The Grad PLUS loan is a credit-based loan from Direct Loans and requires an additional Master Promissory Note (MPN), if approved. For more information about this loan or to apply, please go to www.studentloans.gov. If approved by the lender, graduate students are eligible for up to the total cost of attendance minus all other aid received. In order for the PLUS loan to pay, you must complete both the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling for this loan. Be sure to complete the correct documents on the lender website as there will be options for both the Unsubsidized loan and the Graduate PLUS loan.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
The Federal government requires that you be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the completion of your degree program. In general, this requires that you maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, complete two-thirds of all attempted credits, and complete your degree program within the maximum timeframe as defined in the AU academic regulations. The AU Financial Aid Office will evaluate your SAP at the end of your program’s April term once all grades have been recorded in your academic record. To review AU’s complete SAP policy, visit our website.
More information on applying for federal loans can be found on our Graduate Students webpage.