FAQs About Financial Aid for Online Colleges & CoursesFinancial Aid
Eligibility to Apply
Application Process for Financial Aid
Renewal of Financial Aid
Other Payment Options
Other Important Internet links/Contacts/Resource
Financial Aidback to top
What is financial aid?
Financial aid plans are provided through the Federal Pell, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), or the Direct Lending program (Subsidized loans for undergraduate students only, Unsubsidized loans, and Federal PLUS loans). Ashford University encourages its students to borrow responsibly. When reviewing the costs of attendance budgets, students are strongly encouraged to borrow only what they need.
Financial aid encompasses any resource that you receive which assists you with paying for college expenses. When choosing to apply for financial aid, you may apply for loans and grants (if applicable). Student loans are low interest loans that must be repaid, generally after graduation or when you withdraw from school. Loans are also available to parents of dependent students. Grants and scholarships are types of aid that do not need to be repaid unless, for example, you withdraw from school and financial aid funds must be returned to the Federal Government, or are unable to meet the terms of the grant. Your eligibility for grants and scholarships will always be considered first before any eligible loans, and you're encouraged to accept any grants and scholarships that you are offered.
The University provides a convenient online process for completing your financial aid. This process includes all required financial aid forms, options for electronically signing your application, and links to complete any additional documents. If you are currently enrolled, you may begin the financial aid application process right away.
Financial aid applicants must provide Ashford University with all documents required to complete the verification and certification of federal financial aid funds. If you fail to supply the documents or are unable to qualify for federal financial aid, you will be responsible for any outstanding balances incurred and must select another payment option. Continuous attendance with no breaks greater than 14 calendar days is required to retain disbursed federal financial aid funds, unless you are on an officially approved break from the University.
What types of grants/loans are available?
A Pell Grant is awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or professional degree and have financial need. Pell Grants provide a foundation of financial aid for many students to which other aid may be added. When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your eligibility for a Pell Grant is automatically determined. The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount. The amount a student receives depends on the EFC, cost of attendance, and enrollment status. Pell Grants are limited each award year in amount depending upon Pell Grant program funding and a maximum per student amount and is set by the federal government.Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
An FSEOG is awarded only to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need. Priority is given to students who have received a Federal Pell Grant. The amount a student receives depends on the level of need, the amount of available FSEOG funding available at the institution, and the policies of the financial aid department at the school. Each year a maximum amount that each student may receive in the form of a FSEOG is specified. These grants will be awarded to the neediest and eligible students. A school's packaging philosophy must ensure that FSEOG funds are reasonably available to students who enroll throughout the year. Funds can be reserved throughout the award year (based upon institutional experience form previous periods) to ensure that selection criteria are consistently applied. Ashford University may use priority awarding deadlines and historical experience to ensure that those students with exceptional financial need receive priority in receiving FSEOG funds.
Federal Direct Loans
There are two main categories of federal Direct Loans, subsidized loans (need based) and unsubsidized loans (non-need based). Students generally begin repaying these low-interest loans six months after graduation or following withdrawal from school. Loans are also available to the parents of dependent students.
Direct Subsidized Loan
Available to undergraduate students only, these need-based loans are awarded to families to assist with educational expenses.
- U.S. Department of Education acts as the lender; loan is federally insured
- Loan available to students enrolled at least half-time and demonstrate financial need
- Student is usually not charged interest on the loan during certain periods
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Available to graduate and undergraduate students, these loans are non-need based, meaning financial need is not required.
- U.S. Department of Education acts as the lender; loan is federally insured
- The federal government does not pay interest on the loan. Interest begins to accrue as of the date of the first disbursement of the loan
- Loan available to students enrolled at least half-time
- Students have the option of paying the interest while they are in school or waiting until the principal repayment plan begins.
Direct PLUS Loan
A Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a loan borrowed by the parents of the student. Parents can borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.
- U.S. Department of Education acts as the lender; loan is federally insured
- Parents are responsible for the interest that begins to accrue as of the date of the first disbursement of the loan
- Repayment of a PLUS loan generally begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan and may extend for 10 years; however, parents do have the option of delaying repayment until six months after their dependent student is no longer enrolled at least half-time
- Borrower must not have negative credit history
PLUS for graduate/professional students allows graduate/professional students to borrow a PLUS loan up to cost of attendance (COA) minus other aid.
- There is no grace period for a Grad PLUS loan and interest accrues on the loan from the point of disbursement
- Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan, however, while enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis, you are eligible for an in-school deferment that allows you to postpone payments on your Grad PLUS Loan until you graduate or separate from school
Federal Pell Grant
A Pell Grant is awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or professional degree and have financial need. Pell Grants provide a foundation of financial aid for many students to which other aid may be added. When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your eligibility for a Pell Grant is automatically determined. The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount. The amount a student receives depends on the EFC, cost of attendance, and enrollment status. Pell Grants are limited each award year in amount depending upon Pell Grant program funding and a maximum per student amount and is set by the federal government.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
An FSEOG is awarded only to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need. Priority is given to students who have received a Federal Pell Grant. The amount a student receives depends on the level of need, the amount of available FSEOG funding available at the institution, and the policies of the financial aid department at the school. Each year a maximum amount that each student may receive in the form of a FSEOG is specified. These grants will be awarded to the students with the greatest need that also meet eligibility requirements. A school must ensure that FSEOG funds are reasonably available to students who enroll throughout the year. Funds can be reserved throughout the award year (based upon institutional experience form previous periods) to ensure that selection criteria are consistently applied. Ashford University may use priority awarding deadlines and historical experience to ensure that those students with exceptional financial need receive priority in receiving FSEOG funds.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant (Clinton Campus only)
The TEACH grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work necessary to begin a teaching career. There are several conditions that must be met in order for someone to receive a TEACH grant. Details can be found at the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid website.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
This grant is available to students whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001. Students applying for this grant must meet several criteria, which are listed at the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid website.
What are the interest rates and fees for federal student loans ?
Interest is money paid to the lender in exchange for borrowing money. In the case of federal student loans, the U.S. Department of Education is the lender. Interest rates are determined by Congress and are calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount (loan amount) borrowed. Interest rates vary depending on the loan type and the disbursement date of the loan. The U.S. Department of Education provides an updated table of interest rates on its website.
When do I become financially responsible for my tuition?
As a first-time degree-seeking student at Ashford University, you qualify to be admitted under the Ashford Promise. This conditional admission policy allows you to attend up to three weeks of your first course with no financial obligation. During this period, Ashford University will assess whether you meet the basic academic requirement to be successful at our institution. You also have the opportunity to assess whether or not Ashford University is the right fit for you. If you are denied admission or choose not to continue in the first course, you will not be responsible for any tuition and fees incurred during the conditional admission period, and all charges will be reversed.
Can I use the Ashford University Mobile App to check on my Financial Aid Status?
Yes. You can access your Student Profile in the Ashford University mobile app to check the status of your financial aid. You can do this by touching "My Finances," to display. You will be taken to your "FA Status," page which displays a summary of your financial aid status as well as all financial aid activities for the last year. Information and notifications such as the status of Financial Aid documents, Award Letter and Stipends can all be accessed through the mobile app.
For more detailed information regarding the Ashford University Mobile app, please click on the link: http://www.ashford.edu/student_services/ashford_mobile.htm
Eligibility to Applyback to top
What are the eligibility requirements to apply for financial aid?
For you to receive federal financial aid, including loans and grants, there are various eligibility requirements. To fulfill these requirements, you must:
- demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA and federal methodology*;
- have a high school diploma or equivalent**;
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student;
- be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have a valid Social Security number;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress;
- provide all required documentation if selected for Verification by the US Department of Education
- register with the Selective Service, if required; and
- cannot be in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment on a federal student grant.
*Most financial aid funds are awarded on the basis of financial need. The exceptions to this include the Direct Unsubsidized loans and all Federal PLUS loans. **If no high school degree was earned, applicants who have successfully passed a General Education Development (GED) Test or completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree from an appropriately accredited postsecondary institution as defined by Ashford University transfer credit policies, may be admitted and meet this eligibility criteria.
*If no high school degree was earned, applicants who have successfully passed a General Education Development (GED) Test or completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree from an appropriately accredited postsecondary institution as defined by Ashford University transfer credit policies, may be admitted and meet this eligibility criteria.
How is eligibility determined?
The amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive will be based on:
- your FAFSA results;
- established minimums and maximums of financial aid programs;
- distribution formulas based on University, state and federal guidelines; and
- financial need*
How much money will I be eligible to apply for?
The amount of money that you will be awarded depends on a variety of factors including but not limited to income level, household size, grade level, and cost of attendance. In general, you should be awarded the maximum yearly loan limits for your particular grade level in a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans depending on your eligibility and on your expected family contribution (EFC) unless you request a lesser amount.
If you are an undergraduate student:
• $5,500 to $12,500 per year in Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans depending on certain factors, including your year in college and dependency status
If you are a graduate student:
• Up to $20,500 each year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans
• The remainder of your college costs not covered by other financial aid in Direct PLUS Loans (Note: A credit check is required for a PLUS loan)
• If you are a parent of a dependent undergraduate student:
• The remainder of your child’s college costs that are not covered by other financial aid (Note: A credit check is required for a parent loan)
If I'm not eligible for any Subsidized loan amounts, will I be able to get a higher Unsubsidized award?
Any Subsidized award within your current grade level amount that you are not eligible for can usually be made up for and awarded in the form of Unsubsidized funds
What determines if I am a dependent or independent student?
Students are classified as dependent or independent because federal student aid programs are based on the idea that students and their families, if applicable, have the primary responsibility for paying for their post-secondary education.
For the 2013-2014 aid year, you will be considered an independent student if you can answer 'yes' to at least one of the following questions:
- Were you born before January 1, 1990?
- As of today, are you married?
- At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, will you be working on a Master's or Doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
- Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2014?
- At any time since you turned the age 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2010, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2010, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2010, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you can answer "Yes" to any of the questions above, then you are considered an independent student and information about your parents is not required on the FAFSA.
If you are considered a dependent student, your parents must answer the parental questions on the FAFSA.
If you have a special circumstance that prevents you from providing parental information you may be able to submit your FAFSA. However, your FAFSA will be incomplete. You must contact your Financial Services Advisor and provide them with documentation to verify your situation.
What if I have unusual circumstances concerning my dependency or financial status?
If you feel that you have unusual circumstances regarding your dependency or financial status or are unsure about your dependency or financial status, please contact your Financial Services Advisor. Please note that the unusual circumstances must have caused a drastic and significant change in your household income. If your circumstances warrant a change in your dependency status, it can be changed based on the documentation you provide.
Do I need to register with the Selective Service to receive financial aid?
Yes, but please note the requirement to register with the Selective Service applies to males who were born on or after January 1, 1960, are between the ages of 18 and 25 years old, are a permanent resident or US citizen, and not currently on active duty in the US Armed Forces. You may give the Selective Service permission to register you by checking a box on the FAFSA. You may also register through the Internet at www.sss.gov or call 1.847.688.6888. TTY users may call 1.847.688.2567. If you are over 26 years old and have not registered with the Selective Service, please contact your Financial Services Advisor.
What if I have defaulted on a student loan? Can I receive financial aid?
You are not eligible to receive any financial aid if you are currently in default or are in an overpayment status on a federal grant or loan until your default or overpayment is resolved. To resolve your default or overpayment status, you may check your student loan information through the Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at nslds.ed.gov. You must have your federal PIN to access this site. You may rehabilitate defaulted loans by making satisfactory payment arrangements with your lender or by consolidating your loans.
What is a consolidation loan?
A consolidation loan allows student and parent borrowers to simplify their loan repayments by allowing the borrower to consolidate several types of federal student loans with various repayment schedules into one loan (with only one payment per month).
What if I have a bankruptcy?
Any student who has filed for bankruptcy protection within the past seven (7) years may be determined to be ineligible for federal financial aid by the US Department of Education. A student interested in using financial aid as a payment option upon re-entry or upon reapplication to the University may be required to do so as a secondary payment option and deferment of tuition and fee payment will not apply. The student may be required to pay any tuition and fee balance in full on an as-incurred basis.
Application Process for Financial Aidback to top
How do I get my financial aid application started?
The University provides a convenient online process for completing your financial aid. This process includes all required financial aid forms, options for electronically signing your application and links to complete any additional documents. If you are currently enrolled, you may begin the financial aid application process right away.
Ashford University encourages its students to borrow responsibly. When reviewing the costs of attendance budgets students are strongly encouraged to borrow only what they need.
To be considered for any type of financial aid (including Pell Grants and Direct Loans), you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov for the appropriate aid year; add Ashford University (Title IV School Code: 001881) as one of the schools on the FAFSA; and submit the FAFSA. In addition to the FAFSA, a Master Promissory Note (MPN), and Entrance Loan Counseling (ELC) will need to be completed on the Student Loans Government website, studentloans.gov Other institutional forms are required in order to complete the financial aid process. These forms can be completed once admitted and enrolled.
What is a FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA determines basic eligibility for financial aid and establish financial need based on the Expected Family Contribution it provides. You must complete this federal form to be considered for most state and federal financial aid. The application process is the same for undergraduate and graduate students. Additional documents may or may not be needed to complete your file or to process your application information. If additional documentation is required, you will be notified.
If I need help filling out the FAFSA, who can I contact?
The FAFSA is a lengthy form and can be complicated. It is important to read the instructions prior to completing the form. If additional help is needed, call 1.800.4FEDAID or your Financial Services Advisor.
What is verification?
Verification is a process used to ensure the information provided by you on your FAFSA is accurate. This process requires you to submit certain required documentation verifying income, household size, number in college, and certain untaxed income. Upon completing your FAFSA, you will be notified if you are required to submit verification documentation.
What is the MPN?
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) essentially opens a line of credit for your educational expenses during your academic career. You may only need to sign one MPN for your entire academic career as it remains valid for ten years from the date it is signed. When you sign an MPN, you promise to repay your student loan(s). The note also includes important language about your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. The MPN can expire if your first loan disbursement is not received within 12 months after you signed your note.
What is Entrance Loan Counseling?
Entrance Loan Counseling is a 30 minute session completed online at studentloans.gov and provides students with information regarding how the student loan process works as well as how to manage educational expenses. All students taking out Direct Subsidized Loans or Direct Unsubsidized Loans are required to complete entrance loan counseling. You will need your Federal Student Aid PIN (if you do not have a Federal Student Aid PIN, visit pin.ed.gov) in order to sign and complete your session.
How long will it take to receive notice of my award?
Packaging your financial aid may occur upon receipt of a valid Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). It is expected that all your awards will be reviewed for accuracy prior to sending notification. It takes approximately 8 weeks after your start date or 8 weeks after all of your financial aid documents are completed properly and are on file, whichever comes later, for your eligibility to be determined. You will soon thereafter receive a notification by email stating that your award letter is available to view in your student portal. This award letter will include details of your awarded amount of any federal student aid in which you are eligible, along with tentative disbursement dates.
How do I submit my financial aid documents in the most efficient way?
Once you have been admitted to the University, you will be given access to an online financial aid website, SFAonline. You can complete your documents by accessing SFAonline at www.sfaonline.com. This site will direct you to complete your Personal Identification Number (PIN) registration, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Loan Counseling, the Institutional Financial Aid Application, and the optional Student Account Authorization Form. If you are notified that additional documents are being requested, you can also complete those by logging into SFAonline. You may also upload any requested documents through SFAonline by accessing the My Documents page.
How can I expedite the process?
Be sure to have all of your paperwork completed and submitted at the same time. If you need to submit additional paperwork to process your aid, your prompt return of requested materials will expedite the process. Changes in your course schedule start date can impact your financial aid. The sooner you complete the financial aid process, the sooner you will know if additional documentation is needed and receive your award letter. Please note that funds will not be distributed until you are enrolled and attending class.
What is a Credit Balance Stipend?
When Ashford University provides any eligible credit balance to a student it is referred to as a "stipend." Please note that the primary goal in financial aid is to help students secure enough funding from all sources, including federal, private and other to cover tuition and fees. Federal regulations allow aid and resources up to the amount of the student's calculated Cost of Attendance (COA). Funds beyond direct costs (tuition, books, supplies, fees, and occasionally Room and Board if contracted by the school) will create a credit balance on the student's account. A stipend should still be used for educationally related expenses.
Am I eligible to receive a credit balance stipend?
You are only eligible for a credit balance stipend if you have excess financial aid funds left over from your award after tuition and applicable fees have been satisfied. You may also contact your Student Advisor for confirmation of credit balance stipend eligibility once your financial aid disbursement has posted to your student account at the University.
Why did I receive a credit balance stipend when I have a balance due from a prior Academic Year?
Per federal guidelines, Universities can't apply more than $200 from your current award year aid toward prior year balances. So there may be an occasion where Ashford University may send you a stipend and you still have an outstanding balance due to the University. Please note that you are responsible for paying any outstanding balance(s) and you may be removed from class if your outstanding balance is not taken care of.
Who can I contact if I have a question pertaining to my credit balance stipend amount?
You can check your Student Portal for financial aid disbursement and credit balance stipend transactions. If you have further questions, contact your Student Advisor.
Can I sign up for direct deposit?
Yes. Direct deposit accelerates your credit balance stipend delivery. Generally funds become available to your bank account or financial institution no more than two (2) business days after the credit balance stipend appears on your student ledger in the Student Portal, excluding holidays. The timeframe of when the funds will actually be available for use will depend on your bank or financial institution.
You may sign up for direct deposit in your Student Portal, under the "My Finances" link; click the "Direct Deposit Set Up." However, you should wait until you receive an email invitation from Tuition Management Systems (TMS) (a third-party group with whom Ashford University has partnered) to sign up. The invitation will be sent to you within one (1) day of posting attendance in your fourth (4th) week.
How will I receive a stipend if I do not have a checking account?
If you are eligible for a credit balance stipend and do not have a checking account, you may choose to receive paper checks through the mail as your disbursement method. Checks however will not bear the Ashford University logo, but will bear a TMS logo instead. Checks will also have the return address of TMS's corporate office in Minnetonka, Minnesota. TMS mails paper checks from Minnetonka, Minnesota no more than three (3) business days after the credit balance stipend appears on your student ledger in the Student Portal, excluding holidays. Transit time may vary. This disbursement method is the default option if you do not choose the direct deposit option in your Student Portal. No action is needed on your part to choose this method.
Can I receive my check by overnight mail if I pay for the shipping costs?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer overnight mail. If expedited delivery is necessary, signing up for direct deposit is your best option.
What is the customer service number for Tuition Management System (TMS)?
Service Number: 1.800.307.6347
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am – 10:00 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (EST)
Renewal of Financial Aidback to top
Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
The Department of Education requires that you complete a new FAFSA for financial aid each award year. Fortunately, many of the initial documents you fill out will remain on file and will not have to be filled out again. On occasion however, additional documents may be required from you. In this event, an Accounts Receivable Specialist will contact and advise you as to what needs to be completed. It is imperative that you reapply for future loans or grants early to ensure that your courses are not interrupted. If reapplication is not completed in a timely manner, you will no longer qualify for a financial aid deferment, and you will be required to comply with the terms and conditions of another payment option. For more information related to these payment options, please refer to the Ashford University Academic Catalog at ashford.edu/catalog. In order to remain eligible for subsequent federal funding, you must meet the following requirements:
- Academic Good Standing: Maintain good academic standing in your program and make satisfactory progress toward the degree sought, as outlined below.
- Complete the correct FAFSA as it relates to the current award year. For information on which document should be completed please contact your Student Advisor.
- Enrollment: be actively enrolled. Contact your Student Advisor or consult the Ashford Catalog to understand the parameters on enrollment.
Repaymentback to top
What are my repayment options?
Under this plan a fixed monthly amount will be paid for a loan term of up to ten years. There is a $50 minimum payment requirement.
Under this plan the loan term may be extended up to 25 years, depending upon the amount borrowed.
Unlike the standard and extended repayment plans, this plan begins with lower payments, which gradually increase usually every two years. The loan term may be extended up to 10 years.
Income Based Repayment Plan
Under this plan your maximum monthly payments will be 15 percent of discretionary income, the difference between your Adjusted Gross Income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence (conditions apply). You have to have a partial hardship to be eligible. The loan term is extended up to 25 years, at which point any remaining portion may be eligible for cancellation.
Income Contingent Repayment
Under this plan, repayment is based on the borrower's income and the total amount of debt. Monthly payments are adjusted each year as the borrower's income changes. The loan term is up to 25 years, at which point any remaining balance on the loan may be forgiven. You may have to pay income tax on the amount that is forgiven.
Your servicer must approve each of these repayment plans. Please contact your servicer to arrange a repayment plan that fits you, or visit the Federal Student Aid website for further information.
After you graduate, leave school, or cease enrollment less than half time, you will receive information from your loan servicers about repayment and will be notified of the date repayment begins. You may also contact your servicer directly to schedule repayment. You are responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if you do not receive information from the loan servicer. Be sure to keep your address current with your servicer(s). Failing to make payments on your loan may have a negative effect on your credit rating. If you have any questions about your status, please contact your loan servicer directly.
What are my responsibilities as a borrower?
As a recipient of student financial aid, you have certain responsibilities related to repayment:
- Repay student loans, both principal and interest, on time each month and in full even if you don't receive a notice.
- Maintain current name and address records with lenders, and notify them when you either graduate, drop below full time status, or you transfer to another school.
- Participate in exit counseling before leaving school.
What if I can't afford my student loan payments?
If you cannot afford to make your monthly student loan payment, or if you need to reduce your payment, you can choose an alternative repayment plan such as income sensitive, graduated, extended, or loan consolidation. Another option would be for you to apply for either a loan deferment or forbearance, as both would allow for a period of time during which no loan payments would be required. You should contact your loan servicer if you are having problems repaying your student loan as they can give you more information on the options available to assist you.
When do I have to start repaying my loans?
Subsidized Direct Loans
Payment of a Subsidized Direct Loan may be deferred as long as you are enrolled in an eligible program at least half-time. Repayment will begin six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status.
Unsubsidized Direct Loans
Payment on the principal balance of the loan may be deferred while you are in school. You may choose to pay or defer the interest payments while you are in school until repayment of the principal balance begins. Repayment will begin six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status.
Repayment of a PLUS Loan generally begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan and may be extended up to 10 years, however parents do have the option of delaying repayment until six months after their dependent student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.
Grad PLUS Loans
There is no grace period for a Grad PLUS Loan. Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan; however, while enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis you are eligible for an in-school deferment that allows you to postpone payments on your Grad PLUS Loan until you graduate or drop below half-time status. The standard repayment period is up to ten years.
What are grace periods and repayment periods?
Standard grace and repayment periods for federal loans vary. There is a one-time six month grace period which begins either after you graduate or drop below half-time status, whichever is earlier. Interest payments are due on the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans during this period unless you chose to postpone the payments when you originally completed their application. The standard repayment period is up to ten years.
What will happen if I withdraw from or drop a course?
Dropping a course may result in a personal expense and your federal financial aid to be returned. A calculation process known as a Return to Title IV (R2T4) will determine the amount of aid to be returned if needed. Contact your Financial Services Advisor to help you determine your financial responsibilities if you have no other choice but to withdraw. For more information related to withdrawals, please refer to the Ashford University Academic Catalog at ashford.edu/catalog
What is a Return to Title IV (R2T4)?
The law specifies how the University must determine the amount of federal financial aid that you earn if you withdraw from school, either through an official withdrawal process or unofficially. When you withdraw during your payment period, the amount of funds that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or your school or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you. The determination of the amount of aid you earned is done by an R2T4 calculation and is performed once you are considered to be withdrawn.
An R2T4 is performed each time a student transitions out of attendance (through graduation, drop/withdrawal, or ceasing to attend courses) for more than 14 days. The calculation is based on attendance and successfully completed course work. The calculation will take up to 30 days to complete from the date that the University is able to determine the student has withdrawn. In the event that there are excess funds on the account after the calculation is complete, the funds will be sent to the student before the 45th day after the determination that the student withdrew. If funds need to be returned to the student's lender or any other sources, this fund return will also be completed before the 45th day after the determination that the student withdrew. Finally, if the student does not receive all of the funds earned, the student may be due a Post-withdrawal disbursement. If the Post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the University will request permission from the student before disbursement. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so as not to incur additional debt.
What if I owe a balance to Ashford University once I'm no longer in attendance?
If you transition out of Ashford University with a balance remaining, your account will be transferred to our internal collections department. You will have a specific collections specialist assigned to your account who will work with you to arrange a mutually beneficial repayment plan for up to 12 months. During this time, you will not be able to receive your diploma or official transcripts until your balance owed is paid in full.
Other Payment Optionsback to top
How do I apply for scholarships?
Scholarships are available in a wide variety of forms. They may be based on need, ability, grades, profession, heritage, etc. Every scholarship has unique eligibility criteria. Additional scholarship information may be found by visiting one of the websites listed below.
- FastWeb Scholarship Search
- Scholarship Programs Search
- Sallie Mae Scholarship Search
Ashford University provides links to other websites and institutions for your convenience. Ashford is not responsible for, and does not endorse or warrant any information, goods, or services provided by others. Ashford is not responsible for the privacy practices or other conduct of such others, whether or not they use the Ashford name or trademarks. If you decide to use any of the sites to which Ashford provides links, please understand that you do so at your own risk. Please be cautious when providing credit card, bank, or personal information to outside sites for potential risk of fraud.
When is my payment due?
The payment option you qualify for determines when payment is due. Here is a summary of due dates:
Payment is due on or before the start of each course.
Military Tuition Assistance (TA)
If you are active duty, drilling reservist, or a member of the National Guard, you may be eligible to receive Tuition Assistance (TA). To determine your eligibility for TA, please contact your Education Service Officer (ESO) for details. TA vouchers are due prior to the start of each class.
Military Veterans Benefits
Tuition payment is deferred for the first 60 days of your program. You may place a credit card on file for automatic payments of future courses if you choose.
Payment is due within 90 days after each course start date.
Vouchers, purchase orders, or other authorized mediums are due five days prior to the start of each course or payment period; payments from Third Party Agencies are expected within 90 days of each course or payment period start date.
How do I make a payment?
Payments can be made over the phone to your assigned Financial Services Advisor, to any Accounts Receivable representative, or online through the Student Portal. Ashford University accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit card payments. Checks or money orders can be mailed to the online accounting office at:
Attn: Finance Office
13500 Evening Creek Drive, Suite 600
San Diego, CA 92128
Additional payment questions can be directed to email@example.com or to your Financial Services Advisor.
Will I get a receipt for each payment?
Credit card payments generate an automated emailed receipt when processed. Check payments are reflected on the Student Portal ledger once received, and the cancelled check may serve as your receipt.
How can I receive an invoice for employer reimbursement?
If you are approved for a tuition reimbursement payment plan, an automatic invoice will be emailed to you two weeks prior to the start of each course in your schedule. No other invoicing will be mailed. You may request an invoice to be re-sent by contacting the Accounts Receivable department at firstname.lastname@example.org or to your Financial Services Advisor.
Will I receive an invoice?
Students with Tuition Reimbursement, Cash, or Military Veterans Benefits payment options will automatically be emailed an invoice two weeks prior to starting each course. This invoice is a reminder of what tuition charges are due.
Will I receive an invoice if I have selected financial aid as my payment option?
Only students whose payment option requires you to send in payments for each course will receive invoices. If you have selected Financial Aid, Direct Bill, or Military Tuition Assistance, no invoice will be sent. You can review your student account by going to the Student Portal and selecting the Payment tab. You are encouraged to review your account on a regular basis. If you need an invoice to present for reimbursement purposes, you can print out your ledger card from the Student Portal for a detailed list of charges and payments.
Can I receive an invoice for administration fees?
The invoicing process is only for tuition charges. You may print out the ledger card from the Student Portal to present for reimbursement or serve as an invoice.
Why did I receive an invoice for a class I already paid for?
Invoices are sent out two weeks prior to the start of each course whether or not a payment has been received. The invoices do not reflect any payments made to the account. Please review the ledger card on the Student Portal under the Payment tab to ensure payment has been received.
Other Important Internet Links/Contacts/Resourcesback to top
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
To apply for financial aid, call 800.433.3243
US Department of Education PIN
To apply for a PIN, call 800.433.3243
To request copies of Federal Tax Returns & W-2's, call 800.908.9946
Selective Service Registration
To confirm registration status call, 847.688.6888
Social Security Administration
For corrections and requests of benefit statements, call 800.772.1213
Direct Lending Customer Service for Students