Student Financial Aid
Frequently Asked Questions
General Financial Aid

Contacts   |    Application   |    Award   |    Billing/Aid Refunds


Who should I contact if:
  • I need help completing the FAFSA or need to check the status of my federal application?
    Contact the Department of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID, or visit their web site at

  • My funds did not transfer to my account.
    Contact the AU Financial Aid Office at 334-844-4634.

  • I didn't receive my financial aid refund.
    Contact the AU Financial Aid Office at 334-844-4634.

  • I need to change my address.
    Address changes can be made on AUAccess.



Where can I get the forms I need for financial aid?
Visit our Forms web page for current forms and more information. There are paper copies of these forms available in our office in Room 203, Martin Hall.

How do I know if I am considered a dependent or an independent student for financial aid purposes?
There are thirteen questions on the FAFSA which you must answer to determine your dependency status for financial aid purposes. Keep in mind that your dependency status for financial aid purposes is not based upon the IRS tax filing criteria, but is based solely on your responses to the dependency status questions outlined on the FAFSA.

What is verification? Does it mean I did something wrong on the FAFSA?
Verification is the process whereby we review the information you reported on your FAFSA and compare the figures to your and/or your parents' tax returns. The Federal Processor selects about 30% of our financial aid applicants to be verified. It does not mean that you made a mistake or that you are suspected of mis-reporting. It simply means that you were picked as part of a sample to be reviewed. If your file is chosen to be verified, it is important for you to submit any requested documents as quickly as possible. Financial aid cannot be offered to you until verification has been completed.

If I was selected to be verified last year, does that mean I will also be selected this year?
Not necessarily. You will know when you receive your Student Aid Report each year if you have been selected to be verified.


    See more on Award Letter FAQ.

I applied for and received financial aid last year. I haven't received any this year. Why?
You must reapply for financial aid each year. Applications are available each January for the upcoming academic year, which begins with the fall term.

I plan to attend during the summer term, but when I got my award letter, it only shows an award for fall and spring semesters. Why?
Financial aid for summer is awarded separately. Generally, we offer your maximum eligibility for fall/spring. If you plan to attend summer term and accept all the aid offered to you for fall/spring, you may have no remaining eligibility left for summer. We review summer aid eligibility beginning in March after you have registered for summer term.

I received an email that says I haven't made Satisfactory Academic Progress. What should I do?
If you have been notified by our office that you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and you feel that there are extenuating circumstances that you wish us to consider, you must send an appeal letter in writing to our office. Your appeal will be reviewed and a decision made within 3-5 working days as to whether you will be given a conditional exception to these standards.

What are the minimum required credit hours to receive aid?
For most grants and scholarships, full time enrollment (12 semester hours) is required. For most loans, half-time enrollment (6 hours for undergraduates, 5 hours for graduates) is required.

I want to drop a class. How will it affect my financial aid?
If you resign or drop below full time status, you may have to repay all or part of your loans and/or grants. Contact the AU Financial Aid Office before you decide to drop a class or resign completely.

I'm a graduate student at the Research/Dissertation level. Can I be considered enrolled full-time for financial aid purposes?
Graduate students working on thesis/dissertation must register for at least 1 hour thesis/dissertation and GRAD7AA0 (MST) or GRAD8AA0 (PHD) in order to be considered sufficiently enrolled to qualify for financial aid. The form is on the Graduate School website.



When can I expect to receive a bill from AU for tuition/housing?
Billing statements are sent monthly and are available on ebill for all currently enrolled AU students. Email notices for fall bills are generally scheduled mid July with a due date of early/mid August. Email notices for spring bills are generally scheduled mid November with a due date of early/mid December. Email notices for summer bills are generally scheduled mid March with a due date of early/mid May. If your financial aid as shown on your bill is not enough to cover the amount due, you must pay the difference by the due date or your class schedule is subject to cancellation.

What address are my bills mailed to? My financial aid documents? My refund checks?
Paper bills are NOT mailed, emails are sent monthly re: Ebill activity. See question above for Ebill information. The majority of financial aid correspondence is sent via AU email. Refund checks are direct deposited, please provide your bank account information for Direct Deposit on the Student Financial Services channel on My Finances.

Can I pick up my refund check instead of having it mailed?
No, you cannot pick up a check in person. Direct Deposit of refunds is available.

My award letter says I'm entitled to $2000 in Federal Work Study per semester, but it does not show up on my bill. Why?
Some types of financial aid reflected on your award letter are not disbursed to your student account. Federal Work Study aid is an example. These funds must be earned over the course of the term. The figure reflected on the award letter is the maximum potential earnings you are allowed per semester. AU Work Study students receive a paycheck bi-weekly for the hours worked and reported on a time sheet through the hiring department.