Understanding Your Aid Overview

For approximately 66% of App State students, financial aid helps make education accessible. The financial aid process can be overwhelming for those who have never been through it, but it's completely manageable if you know what to do.

What happens after you apply for financial aid?

Now that you've applied for financial aid, you may be asking: what happens next? When App State receives your FAFSA, the Office of Student Financial Aid and University Scholarships reviews your eligibility for financial aid, including federal and state grants, and then packages your aid together into a financial aid offer.

All students will be sent an official financial aid offer in March. Your offer is based on both the information you provided on your FAFSA and the cost of attendance at App State. Use your offer and the tools below to help you and your family when planning how to pay for college.

Login to Appalnet to view your financial aid offer.

Questions? Our financial aid counselors are here to help.

Please don't hesitate to give us a call or schedule an appointment. The entire Financial Aid team looks forward to assisting you as you take the next step toward becoming an App State Mountaineer.

How to Compare Your Aid

College is a valuable investment in your future, so take the time to consider what is best for you. When considering college options, it is important to be sure you are comparing true costs.

  • Some schools have low tuition costs but high fees (or vice versa), so be sure you look at the total net cost.
  • Compare cost per year or cost per semester.
  • Indirect costs are often standardized, so examine your particular situation: the school’s distance from your home, the cost of living in the area, transportation needs and other factors.

Use this table to help you compare true costs.

  1. Enter the figures for each school you are considering.
  2. Subtract university scholarships as well as federal, state, and institutional grants.
  3. What remains is your net cost – sometimes called the gap – which is the amount you will need to pay for school from other sources, such as savings, outside scholarships or loans. 

Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate designed to help you determine what it may cost to attend Appalachian for an academic year. The COA (sometimes referred to as a “budget”) is not a final bill, but an estimate of educational expenses. This budgeting tool is based on full-time enrollment (12+ hours) and includes direct and indirect costs.

  • Direct costs are billed by the university and include expenses such as tuition, fees, standard room, meal plan, and health insurance. (May opt out if covered under an approved plan).
  • Indirect costs are expenses you will likely incur, but will not pay to the university. Indirect costs vary from student to student and may include off-campus housing, transportation to campus and elective expenses. (Examples include: clothing, food and personal hygiene items).

Visit Cost of Attendance to learn more. 

Types of Aid

From state and federal grants, loans and work programs, to university and outside scholarships — assistance is available for almost anyone to afford college. Visit Types of Aid to learn more.

Grants and Scholarships

You do not need to repay grants and scholarships. (Outside scholarships are not factored into your overview until we have been notified. Make sure your scholarship provider knows you are coming to App State.)

Visit Types of Aid to learn more.


Depending on eligibility, you may be offered two types of federal student loans:

  • Subsidized loans are need-based and do not accrue interest as long as the student is enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.
  • Unsubsidized loans are not considered need-based aid. These loans accrue interest upon disbursement.

Both types of loan offers can vary from year to year and are dependent on FAFSA information, cumulative credit hours earned and student loan borrowing history.

Visit Types of Aid to learn more. 

Other Options for Paying Your Remaining Balance

If your grants and scholarships don’t cover your full cost of attendance, you still have additional options, including:

  • Outside Scholarships: Last year, App students received $4.9 million in scholarships from outside organizations. There are many great outside scholarship resources available – let us help you in your search! Learn more about applying for outside scholarships.   
  • Private Education Loans: Private loans are offered by private lenders, such as a bank, credit union or state agency. We do not recommend one lender over another, but we do recommend that you compare loans carefully to find the loan that has the interest rates, fees, and repayment terms and conditions that are best for you. 
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan: Parents of dependent students can apply for this loan at studentaid.gov.
  • Monthly Payment Plan: Pay each semester’s balance in monthly payments through the Office of Student Accounts. Visit studentaccounts.appstate.edu to learn more about payment options.

What's Next?

Use the checklist and other resources below to navigate the financial aid process.

Financial Aid Checklist

  • Review your financial aid overview thoroughly.
  • Use the worksheet to compare your aid to other institutions.
  • Research outside scholarships and other loan options.
  • Check your App State email often for communications from the Office of Financial Aid & University Scholarships
  • Sign in to your AppalNet Account (appalnet.appstate.edu) to review and take action on your official financial aid.
  • Consider giving your family members access to your information (see below).
  • Bills are generated in July. You will be billed separately for fall and spring semesters. To learn more about payment options visit studentaccounts.appstate.edu.

Access to Your Information

Students can authorize access for two parents or guardians through the AppalNet Portal. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Appalachian and the Office of Student Financial Aid & University Scholarships are not able to provide confidential information pertaining to students unless authorized by the student.

To give a parent or family member access to your information:

  1. Go to appalnet.appstate.edu and log in using your AppalNet account information. Your account information was emailed shortly after your acceptance to Appalachian.
  2. Click on the “Student” tab and select “Parent Access” from the menu.
  3. Enter the full name and a current email address for up to two people.
  4. Assign a 6-digit, numbers-only PIN. If you are adding two people, they will share the same PIN.
  5. Select the areas that you would like to give access and click “Submit.”

For authorized family members

When contacting an office on behalf of your student, please have your student’s full name, Banner ID number and your PIN. The university will need this information in order properly to assist you.