The availability of federal student financial aid can be a major consideration in planning your educational future, so it is important that you clearly understand how to apply for federal financial aid and your responsibilities during the process.
All financial aid is processed by the University of Louisville’s central Student Financial Aid Office. For more detailed information on financial aid processing, packaging and disbursement, please contact the Student Financial Aid Office at (502) 852-5511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completing the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application you must complete annually in order to qualify for financial education assistance from the government and deferred repayment of such assistance while you remain enrolled. The FAFSA opens on October 1 each year and may be filed using income and tax data from either the year in which the application opens or the previous year.
First-time FAFSA applicants should follow the steps below to get started. For more detailed information, please review the University’s Financial Aid: Start-to-Finish online guide.
The University of Louisville’s FAFSA school code is 001999.
- Assemble your tax asset information, including your W-2 and 1040 tax forms.
- Create an FSA ID if you do not already have one. Your FSA ID will be used to electronically sign your FAFSA. Please note that if you are required to provide parental information on your FAFSA, your parent will need to create an FSA ID as well.
- Visit the FAFSA website to complete your FAFSA. If eligible, you may import your tax data into your FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
- Once your FAFSA has been processed, you will be sent a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you filed electronically, the SAR will be sent to you via email. If you filed by paper or did not provide an email address, the SAR will be sent to you via USPS.
- Review the SAR for comments and incorrect information. If accurate, keep the SAR for your records. If you find any errors, you can make corrections to your processed FAFSA online or return the paper SAR with corrections.
- Check ULink to monitor the status of your financial aid package.
Eligible students may borrow up to a total of $20,500 per year from the federal government in Direct Loans, also known as Stafford Loans. You may be familiar with Direct Loans from your time as an undergraduate student, but be aware that for graduate students, all Direct Loans are unsubsidized. While a student does not have to demonstrate need to qualify for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, all interest is paid by the student, as opposed to being paid by the government while the student is in school or the loans are in deferment.
Students may also be eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance (less any other financial assistance, including Direct Loans) in Direct PLUS Loans, also known as Grad PLUS Loans. A credit check is required, and loans may not be available to students with adverse credit histories. Direct PLUS Loans are automatically awarded to law students who pass the credit check. Because of the comparatively favorable interest rates and terms, many students who have good credit opt for Direct PLUS Loans over private loans.
For both Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans, repayment is not required until six months after graduating, leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment. However, interest starts accruing as soon as the funds are disbursed and continues to accrue throughout the student’s enrollment and the six-month grace period, with unpaid interest added to the loan balance. Interest rates reset for new federal student loans on July 1 each year and are fixed for the life of the loan.
Financial Aid Disbursement
Most financial aid awards are disbursed to student accounts at the beginning of each semester or upon gaining eligibility during a semester of enrollment. Disbursement of awards is based on compliance with all eligibility requirements, including enrollment status and satisfactory academic progress. Since most awards are based on full-time enrollment, part-time students must complete an enrollment adjustment form prior to the start of classes in order for aid to disburse at the beginning of the term. Enrollment status is established as of the day after the last day to drop and receive a 100% tuition credit, and courses for which a student is on a standby list are not included in the student’s enrolled hours.
Disbursed financial aid that exceeds the balance owed to the University is considered excess. Excess financial aid will be delivered to you in accordance with the University’s refund delivery process. For more information on how to establish your preferred refund method, please refer to the University Bursar’s website.