Process – Start to Finish

1. Apply for a U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid ID
Go to www.FAFSA.gov to apply; Click the “FSA ID” link to create an FSA ID; you will be asked to create a username and password and enter your email address. You will receive a secure code by email at the address you entered asking you to confirm your email address with the code. The FSA ID will be your electronic signature for the FAFSA, renewal FAFSA, Master Promissory Note for loans and other Department of Education websites. Parents of dependent students must also have their own FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically, apply for the Parent PLUS Loan and complete the Master Promissory for the PLUS Loan.

Important TIP: Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. Never share your FSA ID.

2. Apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and click on the orange “START HERE” button.  Follow the prompts and hints in the right hand column of the site through the completion and submission of the application.

Athens State University’s School Code – 001008

TIP:  For fastest processing time, students should complete the application online and submit an electronic signature using their Federal Student Aid ID.  It is possible to interrupt an application session by saving the application and returning later using the information provided on the site.

3. Check Eligibility and Student Requirements at www.athens.edu, then sign into your Athens State Online account (you will need your Athens State ID and PIN number) 5 days after completing the FAFSA and submit any missing documents.

The Department of Education selects 30% of all students for verification. If you are selected there will be additional information you will be required to submit.

TIP: Failure to provide all documentation requested in a timely manner will delay your award offer and payment of aid to your account.

4. Review and Accept Award Offers (as needed):
Student notification of award offers is made via Student Email Accounts.  When notified of offers the student may review and accept desired awards online by following these steps:

  • Go to www.athens.edu
  • Select Athens State Online and login using your Athens State ID and pin
  • Select Financial Aid
  • Select My Account and Award Information
  • Select View Awards by Aid Year
  • Read and Accept the FA Terms and Conditions
  • Select Accept Award Offer

TIP: The official form of communication at Athens State University is the student email account.   Please check your student email account regularly.

5. Complete Direct Student Loan Steps (if applicable):
Accept loan offer online.  Continue to www.studentloans.gov to complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling  and a Master Promissory Note.

TIP:  Loans require student enrollment of at least 6 semester hours at Athens State University for disbursement.   Loans are paid out equally over expected terms of enrollment for the academic year. Confirmed class attendance is required for loan disbursements. 

6. Complete PLUS Loans for Parents ( if applicable):

Go to www.studentloans.gov to complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note and PLUS Request Process.

TIP:  PLUS loans require an acceptable credit history and can be disbursed to the student on parent instruction.   The student must have a FAFSA on file prior to a PLUS application.

7. Apply for Federal Work Study Program (if interested):

Apply for Federal Work Study at http://www.athens.edu/career-development-center/student-employment/

TIP: Institutional Work Study Positions are also available (contact the Payroll Office).

8. Apply Aid to your Student Account
Register for courses each semester during regular registration.  Get books during the book charge period.  Meet each course’s participation requirements during the first week of the term.

TIP:  During the first week of the semester aid is “Authorized” to student accounts.  At the end of the drop/add period aid will be “AUTHORIZED” for payment. “Authorized” aid will hold your course registrations until the Business Office posts funds to student accounts approximately the third week of classes. At this time charges will be paid and refunds issued to each student whose attendance has been verified.

9. Get Books for Class:
The student may use the on campus bookstore “charge” procedures to have the cost of books applied to the student’s aid account.

Web page: http://athensstatebookstore.com/

Email:

TIP:  Bookstore charges are allowed no more than 10 days prior to the start of the term.  Contact the University Bookstore for assistance with charges.  “Authorized” aid can be viewed by the staff of the University Bookstore.

10. Attend Classes:

Aid disbursements require documented attendance from each course instructor.

TIP:  Be sure to review the course syllabus and complete attendance or participation requirements for each course during the first week of the semester to ensure timely aid disbursements.

11. Maintain Aid Eligibility: 

Students must complete a minimum of 67% of attempted courses; must earn a 2.0 GPA at Athens State and Overall and complete first degree requirements to maintain eligibility for federal aid. For more information, visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards webpage.

TIPNever simply stop going to class.  Always check with the Financial Aid Office when your enrollment plans change to determine your best course of action.

12. Get Year End Tax Information:

To assist you with your annual federal tax return filing, the Business Office mails students a 1098-T by the end of January each year.  Please contact the Business Office at 256-233-8100 for further information.

TIP:  Reapply for aid each year using your completed federal tax return information.

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