Financial Aid FAQs

Applying for Financial Aid


To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, loans, and work-study, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college. Apply here.


Yes
! You must reapply for financial aid each year by completing the Renewal Application for Federal Student Aid (if you receive one from the federal processor) or by completing the next year's Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA.gov ).


Your application is processed by the Department of Education and then sent to Texas A&M-San Antonio so that eligibility can be determined.

Please watch this short video for an overview of the process.


Yes
. Although applications can be submitted at any time during the academic year, FAFSA's received after our priority filing date of January 15 th will be considered for grants with limited funding only after all priority filers have been awarded and then only if funds are available.


We will request copies of all required documents through your electronic student forms  account, after your FAFSA is initially reviewed. Do not submit any documents to our office unless we have specifically requested you to do so.


No
. You can apply for financial aid any time after October 1 st for the following academic year. To receive communications from the financial aid office and actually receive funds you must be admitted and enrolled at our institution.


The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site.

Eligibility


Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don't qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply. In addition, there are some sources of aid that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. Follow the steps outlined in Applying for Aid  to begin the application process.

Please watch this short video for more information.


No. Every application is individually reviewed so that factors such as assets, family size, and number in college are considered, in addition to the family income.


Federal student aid requires the recipient to be a US citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) or an eligible non-citizen. Texas is one of a few states that allows undocumented students to qualify for state aid.

Texas A&M-San Antonio has several state grants available to undocumented students. To apply, complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) available electronically, HERE . Please visit tamusa.edu/TASFA for more information and see more FAQ’s related to TASFA below.


Unfortunately, unless you are a permanent resident or a political refugee granted status by the INS, you are not eligible. International students who have a F1 or F2 student visa are not eligible for federal aid.

Dependency Status (Dependent vs Independent)


When you fill out the FAFSA, you will be asked a series of questions to help determine your dependency status.

Watch this short video for more information .


Maybe! To determine dependency status, first see if you meet any of the automatic criteria on the FAFSA. If not, but feel that you should be considered as an independent student, visit with a financial aid advisor.

Watch this short video for more information about dependency .


Dependency for financial aid purposes is defined to include all students who are undergraduates and who are under the age of 24, not married, not supporting dependents of their own, not veterans, not orphans or wards of the court, not an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship, not homeless and not in foster care since turning 13 years old. 

Even if your parents choose not to help you with school, their income and assets are used to determine how much they could pay, and financial aid eligibility is based upon this information. Exceptions to this policy do exist. Consult with a financial aid advisor at your college campus for help in documenting your situation.


If your situation changes after filing the FAFSA because of unusual circumstances, contact the Office of Financial Aid. For more information, visit our  Special Circumstance Request and Dependency Override Appeal webpage.


No
, you can only receive financial aid at one school/college at time. Failure to disclosure that financial aid for the current award year has been disbursed to you by another college may result in an over award.

Maintaining Eligibility


If your tuition is adjusted because you drop a course, it may be necessary to reduce your financial aid. If you totally withdraw from the college during the first 60 percent of the term, your financial aid eligibility must be recalculated.

Dropping courses and withdrawing are academic actions which might have serious financial implications and may affect your future aid eligibility because of failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress. It is your responsibility to understand the effects these actions will have on your financial aid award.


If you fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements you may be denied additional financial aid assistance.

 If you are denied additional financial aid assistance you may regain your financial aid eligibility by submitting a written appeal with documentation explaining why you failed to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.


SAP ( Satisfactory Academic Progress ) is calculated at the end of every spring semester after grades are submitted. If your grade change occurs before the official day of record, you may be eligible to request your SAP be recalculated for eligibility in the upcoming term. (Please note this is done on a case by case basis and should be requested by visiting your campus financial aid office.)

Disbursements and Refunds


Financial aid disbursement for the fall semester begins no sooner than a week before the semester starts. If your pending financial aid exceeds your charges due you can expect a refund. Visit the Student Refunds webpage for more information.


Disbursement is the process of transferring the anticipated aid for each semester to a student’s account. This process occurs in the Financial Aid Office. The Business Office uses those funds to pay outstanding tuition, fees, and book advance charges.

A refund is the credit balance that is generated after all allowable institutional charges are deducted from your disbursement. The Student Business Services Office (SBS) releases those funds to students in the form of a refund. Refunds are processed twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday), and funds are sent for processing with BankMobile Disbursements the following day. Visit the Student Refunds webpage for more information.


A refund may occur if there is a credit balance in a student account as a result of financial aid residual, overpayment of an account, or dropping/withdrawing from a class within a refund period. The Student Business Services Office disburses credit balances in student accounts routinely. Refunds are processed twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday), and funds are sent for processing with BankMobile Disbursements the following day.


If the financial aid assistance you are offered is not enough to pay for your entire college charges (tuition, fees, books, etc.), you are responsible for making other arrangements to cover these charges (cash payment or installment plan). Visit payment options for more information.

Student Loans


Unlike grants and scholarships, loans are loans, not gifts, and must be repaid.


Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

The chart below shows the loan fees for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2019.

Loan Fees for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans

First Disbursement Date Loan Fee
On or after 10/1/20 and before 10/1/22
1.057%
On or after 10/1/19 and before 10/1/20
1.059%

Loan Fees for Direct PLUS Loans

First Disbursement Date
Loan Fee
On or after 10/1/20 and before 10/1/22
4.228%
On or after 10/1/19 and before 10/1/20
4.236%

Loans first disbursed prior to Oct. 1, 2019, have different loan fees.


The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid which includes grants, student loans and work-study eligibility.


You must be enrolled in  at least six (6) credit hours. If at any time you drop below the six hour minimum any portion of your loan that has not been released to you will be canceled and your lender will be notified.


  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Complete all JagWire requirements for financial aid
  3. Complete the Student Loan entrance Counseling online: https://studentaid.gov/entrance-counseling/
  4. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online: https://studentaid.gov/mpn/
  5. Accept/Decline Loan amounts via JagWire

  1. Student must have completed the FAFSA
  2. Student must have completed all JagWire requirements for financial aid
  3. Parent signs into studentaid.gov to apply for Parent PLUS

https://studentaid.gov/plus-app/parent/landing

  1. Complete the Parent PLUS Loan entrance Counseling

https://studentaid.gov/app/counselingInstructions.action?counselingType=plus

  1. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN)

https://studentaid.gov/mpn/parentplus/landing

  1. Student Accepts/Declines Parent Loan amounts via JagWire.

  2. Parent Authorization Form must be submitted via JagWire.

  1. Student must have completed the FAFSA
  2. Student must have completed all JagWire requirements for financial aid
  3. Student signs into studentaid.gov to apply for Grad PLUS

https://studentaid.gov/plus-app/grad/landing

  1. Complete the Grad PLUS Loan entrance Counseling

https://studentaid.gov/app/counselingInstructions.action?counselingType=plus

  1. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN)

https://studentaid.gov/mpn/grad/landing

  1. Student Accepts/Declines Grad Loan amounts via JagWire

The earliest your loan can be released is after the 30th day of class of your first semester.


No. For first time loan borrowers only: as long as loan funds are in an Accepted status on your JagWire account, and all financial aid requirements have been satisfied, you will not have to pay up front.


The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and (for most types of federal student loans) the first disbursement date of the loan. The table below provides interest rates for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, and before July 1, 2022.

Loan Type
Borrower Type
Fixed Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate 3.73%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate or Professional 5.28%
Direct PLUS Loans Parents and Graduate or Professional Students 6.28%

All interest rates shown in the chart above are fixed rates that will not change for the life of the  loan .

View the  interest rates on federal student loans first disbursed before July 1, 2021 .


Direct Subsidized loans will not be eligible for an interest subsidy during the six month grace period. Subsidized loans are loans for which the borrower is not responsible for the interest while the student is enrolled in college on at least a half-time basis, when the loan is in the six month grace period after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time, or if the loan or loans are in a deferment stats.

This provision eliminates the interest subsidy provided during the six-month grace period for subsidized loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2014. If a student receives a subsidized loan during this timeframe, the student will be responsible for the interest that accrues while the loan is in the grace period.


The Direct Loan Program offers loan repayment plans designed to meet the needs of most borrowers. Direct Loans are funded by the U.S. Department of Education through your school and are managed by a loan servicer, under the supervision of the Department. The Direct Loan Program allows you to choose your repayment plan and to switch your plan if your needs change.

To find out more about repayment options before receiving a Direct Loan, borrowers may contact their school's financial aid office or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). If you currently have a Direct Loan and would like the exact payment amount on your loan, you can find it out by contacting your loan servicer.

  • Standard Repayment
  • Extended Repayment
  • Graduated Repayment
  • Income Contingent Repayment
  • Income-based Repayment
  • Pay As You Earn Repayment

For more information see repayment plans.

Scholarships


All scholarships can be accepted online in your
JagWire account.


External scholarships are posted when the funds are received. Please contact the scholarship donor to establish the date when your scholarship funds will be sent to A&M-SA.


All scholarship checks should be mailed to:

Attn: Student Business Services
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
One University Way
San Antonio, TX 78224

The check needs to be made out to Texas A&M University-San Antonio and the donor needs to include the student's name and ID number on the check or on attached documentation. Donors should specify which semester(s) the check should be applied to in addition to minimum enrollment hours for disbursement (full-time, half-time, less than half-time).


Each recipient of federal student aid has a calculated financial need and the combination of all sources of aid cannot exceed this need figure. It may be necessary to reduce your financial aid, especially loans, if an outside scholarship arrives after our aid offer.


If you are a first-time freshman or a transfer student, please reach out to our scholarship inbox so we can verify your eligibility and begin the award process.  
scholarships@tamusa.edu 


The Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships reviews enrollment after census date (varies by semester) after enrollment is verified awards are posted. Please be advised the San Antonio Education Partnership does state there is not an official post award date. This varies by institution.  


No. The SAEP Scholarship will continue to renew if you:  

  1. Maintain SAP .  
  2. Are enrolled full-time for the duration of the semester.  
  3. Are enrolled consecutive Fall/Spring semesters. 

The Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships reviews eligibility requirements for renewal at the end of each semester once final grades are posted. If you did not remain enrolled full-time (12+ credit hours) the funds will be pulled back and this may give you a balance. If you are considering dropping a course, please contact us scholarships@tamusa.edu


 The Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships does not conduct the appeal process for SAEP. However, please contact our inbox ( scholarships@tamusa.edu ) and we can help you get in contact with the San Antonio Education Partnership coordinator.  

  Summer Aid


There is no separate summer aid application. Students who enroll for the summer and have a FAFSA on file for the aid year preceding the summer semester will be automatically considered.


If you received less than a full academic year of Pell Grant in the fall and spring semester(s), you may be eligible for the remainder of your Pell Grant scheduled award in the summer. You will be automatically considered and awarded any Pell Grant funds for which you are eligible for in the summer.

If you were enrolled full-time (12+ credits) during both the fall and spring semesters, and received the full-time Pell Grant amount for fall and spring, you must enroll in a minimum of 6 credits in the summer term to receive a Summer Pell Grant.


Your summer financial aid is determined based on your enrolled credit hours, your remaining aid eligibility and availability of funds.

  TASFA


You must not be a US citizen or permanent resident, must be classified as a Texas Resident (lived in TX for at least 3 years), must submit an Affidavit of Intent to Registrar’s Office, males between the ages of 18-26 must register for Selective Service. For more information, visit tamusa.edu/TASFA .


We have a priority deadline of January 15 each year, but you can still submit your application even after that date and you will be awarded if funds are still available.


No
. You must complete the electronic TASFA application. Click  HERE  to access the eTASFA student portal.


We will need parents and student tax returns for the prior-prior year or non-filing forms if parent/students did not file taxes, verification worksheets, Affidavit of Intent (notarized), Selective Service form and proof for males only. Visit tamusa.edu/TASFA for the checklist of required documents.


If your parents live in the U.S. and work, they are required to file an income tax each year even if they do not have a social security number. Immigrant workers can apply for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) when they complete their income tax returns.

However, on our TASFA webpage we have TASFA Forms, where you can download a Dependent Tax-Non-Filers Affidavit.


It depends. In some states, undocumented students, or specifically DACA students, are eligible to receive in-state tuition. International students for example will not be eligible for in-state tuition, but check with the Registrar’s Office.


Your information will only be reviewed by the financial aid officer reviewing your documents and none of the information is shared with other departments or agencies.


It is a legal document that must be submitted in which the student promises that he/she will apply for legal status as soon as he/she is able to.