Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I get an estimate of the financial aid I might receive?
  2. How do I apply for financial aid?
  3. When can I file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
  4. Do I need to have completed the admissions process before I can apply for financial aid?
  5. Can I receive financial aid at Troy University as a transient student?
  6. Can I receive financial aid at Troy University as a student in a certificate program?
  7. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
  8. Should I apply for aid even if I don't think I would qualify?
  9. What is a SAR, and how do I read it?
  10. How is my aid determined?
  11. My parents are separated or divorced. Which parent is responsible for filling out the FAFSA?
  12. My parents are divorced, and the parent I'm living with has remarried. Does my stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?
  13. Why am I considered dependent?
  14. I was told I cannot receive an award letter because I do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). I have a 3.0; how can I not be meeting academic standards?
  15. What is a Pell Grant?
  16. Can I use my Pell Grant at two schools for the same semester?
  17. What is SEOG?
  18. How do I apply for a student loan?
  19. What is a Stafford Loan?
  20. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?
  21. Are alternative loans (private loans) guaranteed by the federal government?
  22. Where are my student loans?
  23. If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?
  24. Where can I find scholarships?
  25. How can I receive a GRE 50% fee waiver?
  26. If I get an outside scholarship, should I report that to my financial aid office?
  27. If you are in the National Guard or are an Active Duty military member, are you considered a veteran?
  28. If you (the student) are separated but filed a joint tax return, how is the information reported?
  29. When will financial aid be placed on my student account?
  30. What does a date have to do with my financial aid?
  31. Can you give me an example?
  32. What happens if I drop courses?
  33. I owe a balance from a prior term/semester and financial aid credited to current charges providing a refund but I still owe for a prior term/semester; why were the earlier charges not deducted?

  1. Can I get an estimate of the financial aid I might receive?

    Yes. If you want an estimate of financial aid prior to applying for either admission or financial aid, you may use an expected family contribution (EFC) financial aid calculator. You will need to provide information on your household size, number of household members attending college, and income and asset information for yourself, and if you’re filing as a dependent student, for your parents as well.

  2. How do I apply for financial aid?

    All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The fastest way to get you application processed is to apply over the internet. To apply online, go to http://www.pin.ed.gov. Web site and apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN). A PIN allows you to electronically sign and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) without having to print, sign, and mail a signature page to the processing center. A PIN saves time and mistakes. If you prefer to file via a paper application, you can pick one up from the financial aid office.

    To complete the FAFSA, you will need to provide information on your household size, number of household members attending college, and income and asset information for yourself, and if you’re filing as a dependent student, for your parents as well. Be sure to follow the directions carefully because making corrections is a time consuming process.

  3. When can I file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

    You can file the FAFSA anytime after January 1st of the year that you plan on attending or returning to college. For example if you plan to attend in Fall 2014, Spring 2015, or Summer 2015, you would complete the 2014-2015 FAFSA. If you don’t have your tax returns completed, please wait until all the information is completed before completing the FAFSA.

  4. Do I need to have completed the admission process before I can apply for financial aid?

    No. You can apply for financial aid any time after January 1st of the year in which you will need funding. However, to actually have your aid processed you must be admitted in a degree program.

  5. Can I receive financial aid at Troy University as a transient student?

    No, Troy University only administers financial aid for students who are seeking a degree through Troy University for courses at Troy University.

  6. Can I receive financial aid at Troy University as a student in a certificate program?

    No, as a University accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, we can only provide financial aid for Troy University students seeking the associate's degree, the bachelor's degree, the master's degree, and the education specialist degree. We are authorized by the US Department of Education to provide funding for those degrees only. The non-degree certificate programs offer certification recognized by the State of Alabama and do not offer a degree through Troy University.

    Students who require funding while in a non-degree certificate program will need to apply through a private lender for a private educational loan.

  7. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

    Yes. You must complete a FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA for each year you attend school. Renewal of your financial aid package NEVER happens automatically. It depends on factors including academic progress, income, number of members of your family in college, and changes in your family’s financial status.

  8. Should I apply for aid even if I don’t think I would qualify?

    Yes. While many people hate the paperwork involved, you really should file a FAFSA even if you don’t think you’re eligible for federal assistance. Why? Because the FAFSA is also used to find out if you qualify for federal loans. Applying for Federal Student Aid Programs Using the FAFSA is free, so there is no good excuse for not applying. Unfortunately the belief that their own family is not eligible stops many parents and students from applying early - resulting in a late application after families are requested to write a check for tuition. Apply early and know for sure about your eligibility - then you will be in position to know all of your financing options when faced with the tuition bill.

  9. What is a SAR, and how do I read it?

    The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a detailed explanation of the information you supplied on you FAFSA. 

    The SAR is used for three purposes. First, it is a means of conveying important information about your application for federal aid. Second, it tells you your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Finally, it can be used to make changes to your application information.

  10. How is my aid determined?

    The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) on your SAR (Student Aid Report) is a measure of your family’s ability to pay for college. The financial aid office establishes a Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA includes tuition, fees, estimated living expenses, and books and supplies. Financial need is an official term for how much need-based financial aid you’re eligible for. Your financial need is calculated by subtracting the EFC from COA.

    To put it simply, the equation is used is:

    COA – EFC = Financial Need

    In order for you to receive need-based aid, your Cost of Attendance must be greater than your Expected Family Contribution.

  11. My parents are separated or divorced. Which parent is responsible for filling out the FAFSA?

    If your parents are separated or divorced, the custodial parent is responsible for filling out the FAFSA. The custodial parent is the parent with whom you lived the most during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided you with the most financial support should fill out the FAFSA. This is probably the parent who claimed you as a dependent on his or her tax return. If you have not received any support from either parent during the past 12 months, use the most recent calendar year for which you received some support from a parent or lived with either parent. Note, however, that any child support and/or alimony received from the non-custodial parent must be included on the FAFSA.

  12. My Parents are divorced, and the parent I’m living with has remarried. Does my stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?

    Yes. If you parent and stepparent are married at the time you fill out the FAFSA, they must report their income and assets even if they were not married in the previous year.

  13. Why am I considered dependent?

    Many students ask, “Why am I considered dependent, even when I live on my own, my parents don’t support me and do not claim me as a dependent on their tax returns.” The answer to this question is somewhat involved. Basically, in order to be considered independent by the government, your must be able to answer “YES” to a least ONE of the following questions:

    Are you 24?

    Are you married?

    Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?

    Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you?

    Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?

    Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

    Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

    Are you an orphan or ward of the court?

    Are you homeless which would be determined by a school district homeless liaison, director of an emergency shelter funded by HUD, or by a director of homeless youth basic center?

    Are you a graduate or professional student?

    Do you have legal dependents other that a spouse?

    If you can answer yes to any one of the above questions, then you are independent and it is not necessary to provide your parent’s information on the FAFSA. If you cannot answer yes to any of the above questions then, you are dependent. Therefore, you must provide parental information on the FAFSA.

    Last, but not least: It is a common misconception that if you are not claimed as a dependent on your parents’ federal income tax return, then you can be considered independent for the purposes of financial aid. In fact, your status on your parents’ tax return has no bearing whatsoever on your dependency status for financial aid!

  14. I was told I cannot receive an award letter because I do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). I have a 3.0; how can I not be meeting academic standards?
  15. All financial aid applicants must meet our Standards of Satisfactory Progress to receive financial aid. The US Department of Education requires all institutions to set minimum standards which students must meet to receive financial aid. The standards for financial aid are different than those used by the Office of the Registrar; we must count all courses attempted (including all repeated courses, dropped courses, incomplete courses, and withdrawals); for example, if you took a course and received an "F" and retook the same course receiving an "A", the Registrar will determine you have a 4.0 (allowing the highest grade for the course to stand) but financial aid will consider you to have a 2.0 counting all credits completed and all credits attempted.

    • You must meet a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate students.

    • You must have a pass rate of 80%; in the example provided, the student would have a 4.0 according to the Registrar, a 2.0 according to financial aid and a pass rate of 50%: 3 credits completed divided by 6 credits attempted. In this example, the student would not meet the pass rate standard and would have to submit an appeal with mitigating circumstances.

    • Students may not receive financial aid after attempting 150% of the hours required to complete their degree. The academic records office according to the published standards in the University Bulletin establishes the length of each program. Courses, which transfer from another post-secondary institution, will reduce the time frame accordingly.

      Examples: (1) If your degree is a 120 hour degree: 120 x 150% = 180 hours maximum time frame. You are eligible for only the first 180 hours of attendance. (2) If you transfer and bring 70 hours credit into a 120 hour degree program: 120 x 150% = 180 – 70 = 110 hours maximum time allowed for degree funding.

    All students must meet all three parts of Satisfactory Academic Progress: GPA, Pass Rate, and Maximum Hours/Time Frame. Students who do not meet the standard may appeal using the appeal form in the forms area of the web site.

  16. What is a Pell Grant?

    A Pell Grant is gift aid that you do not have to repay. Pell Grants help undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or higher degree pay for their higher education. The U.S. Department of Education determines who is eligible by using a formula established by Congress and the information provided by the applicant on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will produce an expected family contribution (EFC) number. The amount the applicant receives depends on the EFC, cost of attendance, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and length of enrollment. Only full-time students may receive the full Pell Grant amount. The grant is prorated for three-quarter, half-time or less-than-half-time enrollment.

  17. Can I use my Pell Grant at two schools for the same semester?
    No, a student who is attending two different post secondary schools during the same enrollment period cannot receive Pell Grant funds at both. The Parent school will administer the funds only for the hours enrolled at their school. The second school will not receive any funds and the student will be responsible for paying their tuition. It is the student's responsibility to notify the financial aid office at both schools.

  18. What is SEOG?

    A Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a federal grant given to the neediest students.

  19. How do I apply for a student loan?

    Most students these days find that they need to get some type of loan to help finance their education. Federal Stafford loans are the best place to start, because they are the least expensive. The student loan program is a government, private industry, educational partnership.

    First, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine your eligibility for a student loan. In about three to four weeks the school will receive information from the federal processing center which will determine what type of loan you will be able to receive. (Subsidized, Unsubsidized or both). At this point you should have received a letter from the financial aid office to let you know what other documentation will be needed to process your request for a loan. Once all the required documentation is received and verified, you will be sent an award letter to accept your loan. At this point you can cancel your loan or reduce the amount listed on the award letter and return this to the financial aid office.

    All first time borrowers or students must complete an Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at www.studentloans.gov.

  20. What is a Stafford Loan?

    A Stafford loan is fixed interest rate loan made to students based on financial need. There are two kinds of Stafford Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. With a Subsidized Stafford loan, you are not responsible for the interest charged on the loan as long as you are in school as an at least half-time student. Instead, the government pays the interest for you while you are in school. Students receiving Unsubsidized Stafford loans are responsible for the interest charged on the loan while in school. A student can choose to either pay the interest or capitalize it. Capitalization occurs on a periodic basis and compounds over time – meaning interest charged on the principal is added to the principal, and then interest is charged on the principal plus interest and so on. Beware; capitalized interest can be a very costly! It’s best to pay the interest if you can. Repayment of either type does not begin until six months after the student graduates or stops attending on an at least a half time basis. It is recommended that students make an effort to pay down the interest on an annual basis.

  21. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?

    Parents will only be responsible for your educational loans if you are under 18 and they endorse/co-sign you loan.

  22. Are alternative loans guaranteed by the federal government?

    No. Alternative loans are private loans issued by private lenders. Third party organizations may guarantee these loans, but the federal government has no involvement. The responsibility lies with you. However, the financial aid office is required to consider this as financial aid and students may not borrow in excess of their COA (cost of education).Troy University will expect you to submit the FAFSA and be considered for federal loans before applying for private loans.

  23. Where are my student loans?

    NSLDS Student Access National Student Loan Data System (Requires FAFSA PIN)
    The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or Pell grant data.

    Apply for a PIN US Department of Education PIN Registration
    Your PIN can be used each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access your U.S. Department of Education records online. If you receive a PIN, you agree to not disclose or share your PIN with anyone. Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records. You should never give your PIN to anyone, including commercial services that offer to help you complete your FAFSA. Be sure to keep your PIN in a safe place.

  24. If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?

    Not immediately. The Stafford loan has a grace period of 6 months before the student must begin repaying the loan. If you use up your grace period you will have to begin repaying your loan. The loan repayment can again be deferred when you are again enrolled at least half time. However, you agreed to contact your lender if you drop to less than half time.

  25. Where can I find scholarships?

    Finding scholarships is a challenging, time consuming, but very worthwhile and potentially rewarding task. Some scholarships are site specific - You can view available scholarships by going to the Troy Campus of interest. Outside scholarship searches can be completed at www.fastweb.com and www.finanid.org.

  26. How can I receive a GRE 50% fee waiver?

    2014-2015

    The only individuals who can be granted a 50% fee waiver for 2014-2015 (for tests from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) are seniors receiving financial aid and returning unenrolled college graduates who have applied for financial aid and have an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR - our version of the Student Aid Report - SAR) on file with Troy University. If you no longer have your paper SAR, you may call 1-800-4-FED-AID and request a copy or request one on line using your PIN.

    To be eligible for a GRE® Fee Reduction Certificate, an applicant must be a United States citizen or resident alien who is a college senior or an unenrolled college graduate. 

    • College seniors must be (1) receiving financial aid through an undergraduate college in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, AND EITHER (2) a dependent, who has an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) that shows a parental contribution of not more than $1,500 for the senior year, OR (3) self-supporting and have an ISIR that shows a contribution of not more than $1,900 for the senior year.

    • Unenrolled college graduates must (1) have applied for financial aid, AND (2) have an ISIR that indicates self-supporting status and a contribution of not more than $1,900.

    The GRE Program requires that a copy of the applicant's ISIR be sent with the GRE fee waiver certificate. If the student meets these conditions they should send their completed fee waiver certificate with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Troy Financial Aid Office, 134 Adams Administration Building, Troy, AL 36082.

    ETS offers a limited number of GRE Fee Reduction Vouchers on a first-come, first-served, basis that are available for college seniors and unenrolled college graduates who meet eligibility requirements. The applicant must mail to ETS the following: (1) the original, signed Fee Reduction Certificate, (2) payment equivalent to 50 percent of the full test fee (the most up-to-date test fees are available at www.ets.org/gre), (3) page one of the ISIR showing his or her estimated family contribution, and (4) the GRE test registration forms for the test(s) for which he or she is registering.  If registering for both the GRE®  revised General Test and a Subject Test, the GRE test registration materials for both tests must be mailed together in one envelope. Additional information for applicants appears on the Fee Reduction Certificate.

    Starting in July 2013, individuals who are approved for a GRE Fee Reduction may retake a GRE test for 50 percent of the full test fee within one calendar year of the receipt of their original Fee Reduction Certificate and ISIR materials without resubmitting a new Fee Reduction Certificate or ISIR form. These individuals can complete the Declaration of Eligibility form available at www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/fees/reductions, and send it with the appropriate payment and registration form(s) to GRE-ETS, Financial Need Fee Reduction Program, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton NJ 08541-6000.

  27. If I get an outside scholarship, should I report that to my financial aid office?

    Yes. Any kind of financial aid from outside sources must be reported to your financial aid office. You agree to do this when you complete the FAFSA.

  28. If you are in the National Guard or are an Active Duty military member, are you considered a veteran?

    No. You are a veteran only if you have been discharged from Active Duty honorably.

  29. If you (the student) are separated but filed a joint tax return, how is the information reported?

    You should complete the FAFSA according to your situation at that time. You should give only your portion of the exemptions, income, and taxes paid if you are separated or divorced at the time of application. Use your W-2’s to separate the income and tax information. If you become separated or divorced after completing the FAFSA, you should contact us - we will help you divide the income and assets appropriately. If you have any questions, please contact your financial aid office for help - Dothan, Montgomery, or Troy. (check under Contact Us at the bottom of the page) If your next years FAFSA information again reports you as separated, we will request documentation.

  30. When will financial aid be placed on my student account?
    Financial aid for students who have accepted and returned their award letters is placed on student accounts by the Business Office within 10 days of receipt of the award letter but no sooner than the end the free drop/add period or Census Date. Remember if you adjust your course load up or down after the end of the drop/add period, your site should contact the financial aid office indicating the change in credit load. The financial aid office will be disbursing aid based on the number of credit hours you have at the end of the free drop/add period or Census Date.

  31. What does a date have to do with my financial aid?

    Your enrollment status for financial aid eligibility is directly related to the number of credits for which you are enrolled at the end of the free drop/add period; this is also called the Census Date. The financial aid shown on your Award Notification is based on the assumption that you will be enrolled full-time. The aid you receive (in check, payment of fees, direct deposit, or payment to residence halls) is based upon the number of credits for which you were enrolled at the end of the free drop/add period. Credits added after the Census Date - after the last day of free drop/add are not seen by the system; students should have their site notify financial aid when classes are added after the Census Date.

    Federal and state regulations require that certain portions of your award be reduced if you are enrolled less than full-time. If you are enrolled for 6 credits or less after drop/add, your cost of education is reduced to reflect the fact that you pay part-time fees. A reduction in your cost of education may mean that you are eligible for less aid.

  32. Can you give me an example?
    Pell Grant is one of the aid programs that must be reduced for students enrolled less than full-time. In this example, the student, Jamie T., was awarded a full-time Pell grant of $1,000 for the spring term. When the term began, he was enrolled in 12 credits; however, because of the demands of his part-time job, Jamie decided to drop one class and was enrolled in only 9 credits after the free drop/add period. As a student enrolled three-quarter-time, Jamie is eligible for only $750 in Pell Grant, so his award was reduced and he was sent a bill for the amount owed. If Jamie were to enroll in an accelerated term and for an additional 3 credits, he would have the $250 placed on his account. If Jamie added any credits after the end of free drop/add for the term, his site should notify the financial aid office.

  33. What happens if I drop courses?

    If you drop prior the end of free drop/add, you are paid for the number of credits remaining after the end of free drop/add. However, the action taken for a drop after the end of free drop/add depends on whether Troy University adjusts your charges when you drop. If your charges do not change, then your financial aid does not change. While your financial aid may not change for that term, you may have a problem with future financial aid due to the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement if you do not complete 80% of the courses attempted at Troy University. If you are granted an administrative drop so that charges are reversed when you drop, then your financial aid is adjusted according to the number of credits for which you are actually charged (if your charges are reversed due to the drop, then some of your financial aid may be reversed and you would be responsible for the difference).

  34. I owe a balance from a prior term/semester and financial aid credited to current charges providing a refund but I still owe for a prior term/semester; why were the earlier charges not deducted?

    In the event of an unpaid balance of any nature on a student's account (including any unpaid check returned by a bank), the following services will be withheld until the balance is paid in full:

    • Enrollment for subsequent terms/semesters
    • Transcripts
    • Diploma
    • Please contact the Student Financial Service Office should you have any questions concerning any unpaid balance.

Apply Now!