Home Financial Aid Tips What You Need to Know: Federal Student Aid Academic Years
What You Need to Know: Federal Student Aid Academic Years

What You Need to Know: Federal Student Aid Academic Years

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By Kathlyn Cooper
Financial Aid Advisor, APUS

If you are receiving Federal Student Aid funding at APUS, you’re required to attend courses within a Federal Student Aid Academic Year.

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An academic year is the period when a student is enrolled in school, attending courses, and can be packaged with Federal Student Aid funding.

The length of an academic year varies. APUS academic years are 32 weeks, consisting of two consecutive, 16-week semesters.

At APUS, Funding Is Disbursed At Least Once per Semester

Disbursements of Federal Student Aid funds occur throughout the academic year. Generally, loans must be disbursed in at least two installments over the course of an academic year or loan period.

At APUS, Federal Student Aid will be disbursed at least once per semester. Actual timing can vary depending on different situations. For example, first time undergraduate borrowers receive their loan disbursements at a minimum of 30 days after their semester starts.

FSA Loan Disbursements Vary in Timing and Frequency

APUS students may see their loans disbursed more than once in a semester. In the following scenarios, a loan is disbursed twice in equal amounts within each 16-week semester of the academic year.

  • Undergraduate students who have never earned credit at the university receive their loan funds in two disbursements each semester for their first academic year.
  • Students completing their program in one semester will also receive their loan funding in two disbursements in their final semester.

Sometimes Two Academic Year Periods Overlap

An overlapping academic year occurs when a student who has received Federal Student Aid begins an academic year, but does not continue to the end of that academic year period before starting another academic period. An overlapping academic year can occur if the student chooses to attend a different school and academic year before the last academic year ended elsewhere.

There are some special considerations in these cases, and students should discuss their eligibility with a Financial Aid Advisor.

Learn More to Financially Prepare for the Academic Year

You should also review additional information on the different types of aid: who is eligible, steps to apply for aid, and requirements for repayment of student loans.

Understanding the academic year and when to anticipate Federal Student Aid disbursements will help you prepare your financial budget for your time in school.

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