Tuition/Financial Aid FAQ

Financial Aid

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.

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.

Federal Pell Grants
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


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

RN to BSN Grant
If you start in Ashford’s RN to BSN program, you will be eligible for a grant that reduces tuition for all undergraduate courses to $350 per credit (a $135/credit savings) for your entire BSN program.

The RN to BSN Grant may not be combined with any other Ashford University grants, scholarships, or discounts. If you are eligible for the Ashford Military Grant or Full Tuition Grant, you are not eligible for the RN to BSN Grant. For full details, please review the official terms and conditions of the grant.

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.

Other Payment Options

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.


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 [email protected] or any Financial Services Representative.

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.

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.

Ashford University accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit card payments. Payments can be made online through the Student Portal. To make a payment through the Student Portal select the “My Finances” tab and “Make Payment Online” link. Please note: you will need to add credit card information under the “Payment Information” tab first before posting a payment online. You can also make a payment over the phone by calling 800.798.0584, ext 20066. 

Checks or money orders with your Student ID listed can be mailed to the online accounting office at:
Ashford University
Attn: Accounts Receivable
8620 Spectrum Center Blvd
San Diego, CA 92123

Additional payment questions can be directed to [email protected] or 800.798.0584, ext 20066.

The payment option you qualify for determines when payment is due. Here is a summary of due dates:

Cash Pay
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.

Tuition Reimbursement 
Payment is due within 90 days after each course start date.

Direct Bill 
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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

Renewal of Financial Aid

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.


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.

Standard Repayment
Under this plan, your monthly payments are a fixed amount of at least $50 each month and made for up to 10 years for all load types except Direct Consolidation Loans and FFEL Consolidation Loans.

Extended Repayment
Under this plan the loan term may be extended up to 25 years, depending upon the amount borrowed.

Graduated Repayment
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.

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.

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.

Washington residents: For information and resources about student loan repayment, or to submit a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer, please visit www.wsac.wa.gov/loan-advocacy or contact the Student Loan Advocate at [email protected]

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.

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.

Students who drop or are administratively withdrawn from a course (or the institution) may be eligible for a tuition refund. Tuition refunds are based upon course length. Please see the Tuition Refund Schedule in the Ashford University Catalog for more details. 

Financial aid students that drop or withdraw from his or her program may have a portion or all of their Title IV (financial aid) returned to the Department of Education. This process is called Return of Title IV (R2T4) and is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of days the student attended to the total number of days in the payment period. Students who do not complete at least 60 percent of a payment period will have part or all of their financial aid disbursed for this period returned.  This applies to students who have officially or unofficially withdrawn. The Return of Title IV calculation may result in the student owing the University for unpaid tuition and fees and the Department of Education for grants and Direct 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.

PLUS Loans
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.

Other Important Links, Contacts and Resources

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
Call 800.848.0979

Financial Student Aid Glossary

US Department of Education FSA ID
To apply for an FSA ID, call 800.433.3243

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