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Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

QUICK STEP BY STEP Reference For Financial Aid

In our office we get many questions about “what to do next.”  Hopefully, the checklist below will help serve as a quick reference for many of the common questions.

Step #1: If you are requiring all possible Federal Funds and/or State Funds (Pell, SEOG, Work Study, HOPE, Zell Miller, and/or Direct/Direct Plus Loans) you MUST complete a FAFSA application. This can be done online at or HOPE recipients can complete the GSFAPPS application, however, eligibility is for state aid only; no federal aid will be available when completing this application. Also, if you will only complete the GSFAPPS application, you will also need to complete our HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship Only Waiver.

Step #2: OK, so you’ve completed your FAFSA form.  If you completed the form online and included our school code (001541) on the application, it will be processed, and then your information will be released to our office.  If you complete the FAFSA by hand, please submit it to the Department of Education for processing (Federal Student Aid Programs, PO BOX 4691, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864-0059).  NOTE: Processing time can take up to three weeks or longer depending on the time of year for online submission and six weeks or longer if submitting the paper application by mail.  All of your information will be available with current updates through BANNER. Please check BANNER for ALL updates.

Step #3: Once we have received your FAFSA information; we will contact you via letter and/or email (through your ABAC email address). Required documents will also be listed on BANNER. Please check BANNER for ALL updates.

If your FAFSA record is selected for standard verification, we will transmit your information electronically to the School Servicing Center, they will process it and determine what information they need to confirm the information you submitted on your FAFSA. After they have received your documentation, you will be able to log onto their website at and view what information they need and submit it electronically.  Click here to learn more about the School Servicing Center.

The School Servicing Center will handle the majority of students selected for verification.  However, the ABAC Office of Financial Aid will still request documents to resolve C flags, special circumstances, and statements of identity.  Click here to learn more about the documents that are most commonly requested by the Office of Financial Aid.

Step #4: After all required documents are received, a processor will review the student’s file to determine award packaging. Note: during the verification process, it can be determined that additional documents are needed to complete the verification process.  Once this process is complete (between 5-7 days to process), the award package will be available for viewing. NOTE: Awards are made beginning in April each year for the following academic year, so early completion of the FAFSA application is important.

Step #5: Once you have been awarded, an award letter will be mailed out to you and emailed to you through your ABAC email account with amounts. Note: Please read the award letter thoroughly. Keep in mind that if anything changes on the account, the awards can also change.  All of your information will be available with current updates through BANNER. Please check BANNER for ALL updates.

Step #6: Alright, so now you have been awarded and received an award letter or have reviewed your award information online.  Now what?  If you have been awarded federal and/or state funds (i.e. HOPE, PELL, SEOG, scholarships, etc.), these are automatically applied on your account once you have registered for classes. (Some of these amounts may be adjusted if enrollment status changes by adding or dropping classes).  Note: Please check with a financial aid representative if you are interested in the federal work study program to see if you are eligible.  Note: If you do not wish to take out any loans, you are done.

Step#7: What if you want to take out loans? Loans are offered in the award packaging. You can accept loans online through BANNER.  Once this has been done, your loan will be created.  You will need to make sure you have also completed Student Loan Counseling (Entrance Counseling) and signed the Master Promissory Note (MPN).  These processes can be completed via Note: The Direct Parent Plus application is available via for submission. Please make sure that your parent logs in with their FSA I.D. when applying for the Parent PLUS Loan.

Step #8: Once you have completed loan counseling and signed the Mastery Promissory Note (MPN), the loans will be generated on your account with other eligible aid. Note: Loans are sent up to DOE for certification before applying on the account as credit, so this can take up to 5 days after accepting the funds.

Step #9: You are now ready to receive financial aid.  Once awarded, you can use your excess aid to purchase books and supplies in the ABAC Bookstore.  Excess funds for financial aid awards are usually refunded after the third week of classes if you are not a new student or first time loan borrower.