Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for financial aid?
When is the application deadline?
Our priority financial aid deadline is March 15 of each year. We accept applications throughout the school year, but we recommend that you complete yours early to make sure you don’t miss out on available aid.
Scholarship deadlines are February 1 of each year.
What is SFA’s school code?
The Title IV School Code for SFA is 003624.
How long will I have to wait to find out if I’ve been approved for assistance?
Depending on how you submit your FAFSA, it can take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks for the U.S. Department of Education to process your application and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR) with your expected family contribution. SFA will receive a copy of your FAFSA, and we’ll use that information to create your financial aid package offer. That process can take as long as 2-3 weeks.
How can I find out if I’ve been approved?
We’ll send all of your financial aid communications to your mySFA email address. If you’re a financial assistance applicant or recipient, we recommend checking your mySFA email at least once a week so you can respond to messages and make sure your financial aid processing isn’t delayed. If you receive financial aid offers, you’ll need to accept each of them individually before they can be disbursed to you.
How do I accept my financial aid offers?
- Log in to mySFA.
- Click on the Financial Aid tab.
- Click on the hyperlink Click here to view Financial Aid Awards.
- Click on Award.
- Select appropriate academic year.
- Click on Terms and Conditions tab (fourth tab over).
- Read and accept your Terms and Conditions. You will need to accept Terms and Conditions before you can continue to the Accept or Decline tab.
- Click on Accept Award Offers.
- This will open up your personal award letter. For each award listed, please Accept or Decline the award by making the selection in the “Action” column. You may click on each award for a brief description of the program.
- Proceed to the bottom of the page and click Submit Decision.
When will I receive the aid? How will I get it?
If you are a one-term only student, your Direct Loan funds will disburse in two separate disbursements.
What are my options if my application is denied?
If you are denied federal student aid because of missing information, you will be informed and given an opportunity to update your FAFSA. If aid is denied because you are not eligible, we encourage you to talk to a representative from our office to discuss your options.
What’s the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?
When you take out a subsidized federal loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays your interest while you’re in school, for the first six months after you leave school and during deferments (when loan payments are postponed). If you receive an unsubsidized loan, you will be fully responsible for paying the interest, which will start accruing as soon as you take out the loan.
I’ve been offered three loans, but I don’t want them. Is that allowed?
Absolutely. The decision to accept individual financial aid offers is entirely up to you. You won’t be penalized for your choices. We encourage you to carefully review each assistance offer that you receive to determine if it’ll sufficiently cover your college expenses — and how it’ll impact your finances after you graduate.
How do I know which loans to accept?
If you need to take out a loan, we suggest starting with federal loans when possible. The interest rates on federal loans are fixed and tend to be lower than other loan options, and they usually give you flexible repayment options. No matter what types of loans you’re considering, we strongly encourage you to carefully review all fees, terms and conditions. We want you to understand exactly what you’re committing to and for how long.
When will I have to start repaying my loan?
The answer to this question depends on your particular loan(s). If you take out a federal loan, you won’t have to start repaying it until you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. Some loans also have a grace period — a set time after graduating or leaving school — before you have to start making payments.
Your loan servicer or lender will be required to provide you with a loan repayment schedule that informs you when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments and the amount of each payment.
I received an offer for federal work-study. What do I do next?
First of all, log in to mySFA to accept or decline the offer (please see the instructions for accepting aid at the top of this page). If you decide to accept the offer, you’ll need to contact SFA’s Human Resources office to search for a job. The office provides an online job board that will let you review openings and apply for them online.
Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?
Yes, you will need to complete a FAFSA for every year you’re enrolled in college. But that can work in your favor. Your eligibility for certain programs may increase from one year to the next, and that could result in more and/or improved offers of assistance. Also, after completing the FAFSA for the first time, you’ll be able to use an online renewal form that prefills your basic information (institution, address, date of birth, etc.).
May I receive financial aid to repeat a class I have previously taken?
Yes - you may repeat a course and have it count toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility purposes. However, due to federal repeated-coursework rules that began in 2016, each course attempt counts toward your pace of completion, and all previous attempts with lower grades will count as unsuccessful credit hours attempted.
Note: The federal guidelines mandate that you can only receive federal financial aid for one repeat of a previously passed course. So if you decide to repeat a course to improve your GPA, you can repeat it one time and receive financial aid for that class. However, if you want to repeat it a second time, it won’t count for financial aid purposes, and you could lose your eligibility for financial aid, depending on how many hours you are taking. If you are in this situation, please contact the financial aid office for more information.