By Richard Reyna
Financial Aid Advisor, APUS
As of July 1, 2019, Federal Student Aid entered the 2019-2020 award year. This award year runs through June 30, 2020. It is basically a “fiscal year” that coincides with the time frame when students most typically attend school.
Start a degree program at American Public University.
If you use financial aid, here are a few tips to help you through the next 12 months.
Complete Your 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
If you plan to attend school and use Federal Student Aid to help pay for your education in the 2019-2020 award year, you’ll need to complete a 2019-2020 FAFSA. If it’s your first time completing a FAFSA, the university offers a helpful video tutorial.
A few days after submitting the application, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR contains general information regarding your Federal Student Aid eligibility and also provides your answers to the FAFSA questions. Review the report carefully to make sure that all of the information you provided is correct.
On your SAR, you will also find your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is a measurement of your financial strength in contribution to education costs and is used to determine how much financial aid you may be eligible to receive.
The EFC is not the amount you are required to pay for school, nor is it the amount of Federal Student Aid you will receive. The EFC is used to determine the type of aid for which you may be eligible.
Take Action during the New Award Year
A new year is a time to take action. Here are some actions you should take:
- Borrow responsibly: Federal Direct Loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized, are required to be repaid. Discuss your budget with a financial aid advisor, and you may find that you do not need to borrow as much as you think.
- Review your award letter: Take the time to read your Financial Aid Award Letter thoroughly. Make sure you understand your FSA package.
- Check in prior to each semester: Contact a financial aid advisor before each semester within the award year to confirm your eligibility, and get the information you need to financially plan for your semester.
- Know your loan limits: Know where you stand in terms of lifetime limits for Pell Grant and Direct Loan funding. Review your Federal Student Aid history at any time by logging into My Federal Student Aid.
Have a great 2019-2020 Financial Aid Award Year! If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to a financial aid advisor.