Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year?
Yes, especially if you are receiving institutional funds and/or plan to apply for a student loan. The earliest to submit a FAFSA is January 1 prior to the academic year in which you plan to enroll. Example: January 1, 2015 if you plan to enroll Fall 2015. (International students do not qualify for federal aid.)
FAFSA website — www.fafsa.gov
2. When will I hear from financial aid? / When will I receive my award letter?
- Step 1: Have you completed the FAFSA? When did you submit the application? It can take 3-5 days to process.
- Step 2: Check Admissions status. Have you been fully accepted (including all official transcripts)? Depending on where the file is in the Admissions process will determine when the award letter will be created and sent to you.
- Step 3: Check financial aid document tracking in Hawklink.
- Select Student HawkLink from the Login Drop Down on the Thomas University Homepage (thomasu.edu).
- Log in with your user name and password.
- Select My Documents to view any incomplete documents.
- If your financial aid file is complete and you have been accepted and registered for classes, then the next step is the award letter.
3. Can I enroll part-time and still receive financial aid?
Part-time students are eligible for some types of aid. The Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant and most institutional endowments or scholarships require you to be full time (12 or more credit hours). Federal Student Loans do not require full time enrollment but do require at least halftime enrollment (6 or more credit hours). Students can receive the SEOG Grant or Federal Work Study whether full-time or part-time. The Pell Grant also does not require full time enrollment but is adjusted for 3/4 (9-11 credit hours), 1/2 (6-8 credit hours) and some students are eligible for some Pell Grant even if they enroll less than halftime.
4. Can I register if my financial aid file is not complete?
Yes. You may register, but your file must be complete by the tuition payment deadline (2 weeks into the semester) if you expect to use financial aid.
5. What is considered full-time? Part-time?
- Full-time = 12+ hours
- ¾ time = 9-11 hours
- ½ time = 6-8 hours
- Less ½ time = 5 or less
- Full-time = 9+ hours
- ½ time = 6 hours
- Less ½ time = 3 hours
6. What scholarships are available?
TU scholarships: www.thomasu.edu/TUscholarships
Check our website for more details. Your financial aid and academic file must be complete for you to receive any endowment or scholarship award. You can also find other scholarship information as well as links to free scholarship search websites on our Financial Aid page.
7. What is the deadline for financial aid?
Priority deadline for Fall Semester — May 1st, Next deadline - June 1st
Please note that you can still apply for financial aid after the June 1st deadline, but we can only guarantee that your financial aid will be processed in time for the start of the semester if you complete all the necessary paperwork by June 1st.
Deadline for Spring Semester - November 1st
The same rules apply as above to guarantee that your financial aid will be ready for the start of the semester. Students who do not complete their financial aid files until after the semester deadline are not guaranteed that their aid will be available by the start of their semester.
8. How do I qualify for HOPE?
As a first-time freshman, you must have graduated from high school as a HOPE scholar to receive HOPE for your first semester. However, those who were not HOPE scholars out of high school may establish eligibility if they have a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the 30th, 60th, or 90th attempted (not earned) hour. If you have attended previous institutions, those courses will be considered for the HOPE evaluation, and eligibility depends on your GPA at the established checkpoints. You must use HOPE within 7 years of high school graduation.
9. How do I apply for a loan?
To apply for a Federal Direct loan, you must complete the FAFSA (www.fafsa.gov) first. When your award notification is sent via your TU email, it will include information regarding a Federal Direct loan. A specific loan amount will be included in your award offer. At that time, you will have the opportunity to accept, decline or request an adjustment to the amount(s) listed. More detailed instructions will be included with the award notification sent via e-mail.
10. What if I am not eligible for Federal/State Financial Aid or what if I need additional aid?
Students may consider Alternative Education Loans to supplement traditional financial aid awards. You can find additional information on Alternative Education Loans at: http://www.thomasu.edu/Content/Default/12/202/33/financial-aid/loans/alternative-loan-guide.html.
11. When will refunds be available?
For financial aid purposes, we verify enrollment after the drop/add period ends. Please allow sufficient time for us to receive the funds once they have been requested. If there is a credit balance on your account after the funds have been applied to your student account, the Business Office has 10 days to release those excess funds to you. If you were late completing your financial aid file, there will likely be a delay in us being able to request your funds. Therefore, there will also be a delay for any applicable refunds.
The Office of Financial aid recommends visiting the Federal Student Aid website, studentaid.ed.gov, for comprehensive information on all aspects of Federal Financial Aid.