FAQ

AppalNet User Guides

Applying

See the Loans section for more information.

See the Scholarships page for more information. 

Click here to watch a video tutorial from the Department of Education.

Eligibility

To be eligible to receive any federal student aid, a student must meet all of the requirements outlined by the US Department of Education.

The FAFSA form Step Three requires students to answer seven questions which determine if the student is considered to be independent or dependent for financial aid purposes. To view these seven questions or more information on this issue, please visit the FAFSA Website.

Financial aid can only be awarded to courses that are required for a student's degree. If you have required electives, you can take extra classes to fulfill those elective requirements. Once you have fulfilled those elective requirements, you can not take extra classes to receive financial aid. If our office determines you are receiving aid for courses that are not required at any point during the semester, your aid will be recalculated which may result in a balance owed to the university.

If you have been asked to provide a Required Course Checklist use this form: Required Course Checklist (PDF, 166 KB).

Receiving my Aid

Generally, refunds are available during the first week of classes if:

  • You have completed the FAFSA Application process;
  • You have submitted all necessary documentation. To view outstanding documents needed, log onto your AppalNet account and click on Student Requirement" under Financial Aid;
  • You are registered for full-time hours by the end of drop/add or you have notified the Financial Aid Office that you will be part-time;
  • AND
  • You understand how to receive your Financial Aid Refund.

Each registered student has an account where charges are posted and where financial aid and payments are credited. The financial aid for which your student is eligible and has accepted will generally credit to the student's account just before the beginning of each semester.

Generally, refunds are available during the first week of classes if:

  • The student has completed the FAFSA Application process.
  • The student has submitted all necessary documentation.
  • The student is registered for full-time hours or has notified the Financial Aid Office that they will be part-time.

Learn how the Office of Student Accounts will forward the student's refund.

For more information about financial aid disbursement, read the Terms and Conditions by clicking here.

Loans

See the Loans section for more information.

When you borrow from a student or parent loan program, you must sign a contract with the lender confirming an understanding of the loan and how it is to be repaid. This contract is called a " Master Promissory Note" (MPN).

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document, which is a promise to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. The MPN also explains the terms and conditions of the loan.

Simply put, a promissory note is your promise to repay the loan under the terms detailed within it. Because the promissory note is a legal document, you should read it very carefully and make sure you understand all the information before you sign. The details will include the terms and conditions under which the loan is made as well as your rights and responsibilities as the borrower. If there are errors on the promissory note, contact your lender before signing it. A promissory note for a student loan is also an agreement between the borrower, the lender, and the school that authorizes the school to credit the funds to the student's account, to use the borrower's Social Security number, to report to credit agencies, and to share information about the loan.

To complete your MPN please log on to studentloans.gov and sign in using your FSA ID number. When a parent needs to complete the MPN for a PLUS loan they will need to sign in using their own pin number, not the student's pin number.

See the Loan Cancellation Form (PDF, 77 KB) for more information. 

Student Loan Consolidation, also called a Consolidation Loan, combines several student or parent loans into one larger loan from a single lender, which is then used to pay off the balances on the other loans. Consolidation loans are available for most federal loans, including FFELP (Stafford, Grad PLUS, PLUS and SLS), FISL, Perkins, Health Professional Student Loans, NSL, HEAL, Guaranteed Student Loans and Direct loans. Some lenders offer private consolidation for private education loans as well.

Completely understand your rights and responsibilities for loan consolidation before you begin the process of consolidating your loan. A good place to start is with the U.S. Department of Education Loan Consolidation website.

Use the U.S. Department of Education Consolidation Loan Checklist to determine if loan consolidation is right for you.

Another good resource for loan consolidation information is the FinAid website.

If you wish to consider loan consolidation after reviewing the websites above and the completing the checklist, click on your lender as listed below for your lenders loan consolidation procedures.

If your lender is not listed, go to www.nslds.ed.gov to locate your lender. Your will need your U.S. Department of Education PIN to access your data. If you do not know your PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov.

For more information on the Federal Student Direct Loan Program, such as interest rates, forbearance, deferment, loan consolidation or repayment, click here.

See the studentaid.ed.gov website for more information. 

Parents

FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act)
Please be aware that our office will only discuss financial aid information with the parent(s) whose information is included on the student's FAFSA. You may be asked to provide your Social Security number and date of birth in order to verify the parents whose information is included on the student's FAFSA.

Financial aid must be reapplied for every year.
FAFSA forms can be completed on or after January 1 each year. Appalachians priority deadline is always March 1. Please note that the earlier the FAFSA is completed, the more chance your student has of receiving federal and state need-based grants, if they are eligible. If the FAFSA is completed after March 1st, the financial aid may not be available by the time bills are due or when classes begin.

Financial Aid Counselors
Information on contacting a Financial Aid Counselor.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
All students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (PDF, 27 KB) in order to receive financial aid.

Communication From the Office of Student Financial Aid
All communication from our office will be sent to the attention of the student. Communication will be mailed to the students ASU post office box during periods of enrollment. Only during periods of non-enrollment will information be mailed to the permanent home address.

Students are responsible for checking their ASU post office box and their ASU e-mail account at least twice a week. Additionally, students should read The Appalachian and set their AppalNet Personal Announcements to receive financial aid information.

Parents are invited to Orientation!
For more information about Parent Orientation, please visit the Admissions website.

 

Click here (PDF, 486 KB) to see the new student orientation presentation on paying for college.

Click here (PowerPoint, 102 KB) to download the open house presentation. 

Click here (Powerpoint 105kb) to download the FAFSA night presentation.

Communication from the Financial Aid Office

The following are responsibilities you must take in order to receive communications from the Financial Aid Office:

  • Check your Appalachian State University e-mail account daily; and
  • Set your AppalNet preferences to receive Financial Aid announcements; and
  • Check the Financial Aid tab of your AppalNet account weekly for updates to requirements, messages, and awards (the Financial Aid tab will appear once we have processed a FAFSA for you)
  • Update your contact information via your AppalNet account; and
  • Read The Appalachian newspaper; and
  • Check your ASU post office box each week, if you have not opted out of using an ASU box

Most likely the reason you have not received a financial aid award notification is:

  • We have not received your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information.
    • Did you list Appalachian as a school that could receive your FAFSA? Log back into your FAFSA at FAFSA.ED.GOV or call the Federal Student Aid Center at 1-800-433-3243 to have your information sent to Appalachian State University by adding school code 002906
  • We have not been able to process your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • If your name, Social Security number or birthdate on the FAFSA don't match the same information on your student record at Appalachian then your FAFSA can't be processed. Check these items on both your FAFSA and your student record, and fix anything that is not correct. The Financial Aid office cannot make changes to your student record - only the Admissions or Registrars offices can do that for you.
  • You have outstanding, unsatisfied requirements. Check your AppalNet account for outstanding requirements and complete them right away.

Costs, Billing, Refunds

What exactly is the "cost of attendance?"
The cost of attendance (COA)—sometimes referred to as the "student budget"—is an estimate of what it costs a typical student to attend a college or university for one academic year. Don't be startled by your COA at Appalachian State University. The COA doesn't only include tuition; it takes into account your basic living expenses, too. Based on our research, these amounts are averages for what most students like you will spend.

How do I find my COA?
Your COA is listed on your AppalNet Self Service account. Once you log into your account, follow these steps to view your COA:

  1. Click on the Financial Aid tab.
  2. Click on My Award Information.
  3. Click on Accept Award Offer by Aid Year.
  4. Choose the award year from the drop down list.
  5. Click on Award Overview.

Why do I have a COA?
Every student who applies for aid is assigned a cost of attendance. The COA serves two purposes:

  1. To give you an estimate of the cost to attend Appalachian State University for one year, and
  2. To set a limit on the amount of financial aid you can receive during the academic year (which federal regulations require us to do).

This means your actual expenses may be different from your COA. It also means that the total amount of your financial aid—including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study—can't exceed your COA.

If I am offered loans, do I need to take the full amount to meet the COA?
Not necessarily. You may find as you work through the COA components that you don't need to borrow the full amount of the loans offered to you. You may have funds saved, plan to work, or just don't feel like you'll spend the full amount allocated in non-institutional COA costs. If that's the case, please don't borrow more than what you need. You can reduce the loan amount offered to you via your AppalNet account by typing in a lower amount when you accept your loan, or if the loan has already been accepted, by contacting the financial aid office directly.

What's included in my COA?
Your cost of attendance is made up of two different types of costs: direct and indirect.

  • Direct costs are items that will appear on your University bill, such as tuition, fees, and room and board (if you live on campus).
  • Indirect costs will not appear on your bill, but are estimated costs associated with going to college and should be included in your budget. These include items like books and supplies, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous expenses.

What is not included in my COA?
While the COA includes the expenses that most Appalachian students incur, you may have additional expenses. If you have additional educational expenses that are not included in your COA and you find that you need to request additional financial aid, please contact the financial aid office directly to find out your eligibility. Examples of some educational expenses that are not automatically included in the COA are:

  • Health insurance for which you or your parent, if you are dependent, are paying.
  • The purchase of a computer.
  • Costs associated with care for your dependents while you are in class.
  • Additional required materials or supplies for your classes.

You should know that if you request an increase to your COA, this may result in additional loan eligibility. It will not increase grant or scholarship eligibility.

For more information on your Cost of Attendance at Appalachian State University please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

  • All questions concerning your bills should be directed to the Office of Student Accounts at 828.262.2113.
  • ASU Office of Student Accounts sends e-mail bills only. Bills will be e-mailed to the student ASU e-mail address, and an e-mail notice will be sent to parents or guardians that have been given Student Accounts access by the student and have provided an e-mail address. For instructions on granting parent access go to www.registrar.appstate.edu/ferpa.html. Students will be able to view and print the bills on AppalNET and parents/guardians (with Student Accounts access) will be able to view and print the bills on the Parent Portal.
  • If the student has enough financial aid to completely cover all institutional charges, a bill will not be sent.
  • The financial aid will be identified on the bill as a "MEMO" or an "AUTHORIZATION." The "MEMO" or "AUTHORIZATION" amount is the lesser of the institutional charges for the semester or the net financial aid. The MEMO" or "AUTHORIZATION" indicates to the Office of Student Accounts that the amount of the anticipated aid is the amount that should be credited to the student's account to pay for some or all of the institutional charges. Financial Aid will only cover tuition and fees, room (if on campus) and meal card charges. All other university charges are your responsibility to pay. The Current Due" amount must be paid by the payment date. The student's classes may be canceled if they do not have enough financial aid to cover the institutional charges and the balance is not paid by the due date.
  • Keep in mind that the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized and Federal Direct PLUS may charge fees, and these fees will be deducted from the gross award amount listed on the award letter.
  • Also keep in mind that Federal Work-Study earnings are not credited to the students account to pay the bill but are paid directly to the student for the hours worked.

A financial aid refund may be due if the total financial aid (excluding FWS) is greater than the University charges of tuition, fees, and room and board (if contracted with the University).

Refunds are not available until registration day of each semester. Refunds are available 3 to 5 business days after financial aid has been credited to the student's account, but not prior to registration day.

The Office of Student Accounts handles all financial aid refunds. For information on the methods available to receive the financial aid refund, please visit the Student Accounts webpage.

Distance Education

Dropping Classes/Withdrawing

If you are considering withdrawing from the university or dropping courses, please select the appropriate link below to determine how this decision will impact your financial aid award. Please contact the Registrar's office for more information on officially withdrawing from the university.

Dropping to Zero Hours
If you withdraw from the University, you must contact the Registrar's Office to begin the official withdrawal process and establish your withdrawal date. If you stop attending all of your classes, you are required to officially withdraw from the University. If you stop attending all of your classes but fail to complete the official withdrawal process, you will be considered as an unofficial withdrawal.

Please note that you may be considered a withdrawn student for financial aid purposes if:

  1. You enroll in one or more courses that do not span the entire length of the semester; and
  2. You enroll in one of more courses that do last the entire semester; and
  3. You drop the course(s) that lasts the entire semester after you have completed the course(s) that does not span the entire semester.

The Financial Aid Office will be notified when you drop courses and are no longer enrolled in any other courses. Based on the Return of Title IV funds calculation, you may be required to repay all or a portion of the financial aid you received.

Dropping Hours During Drop/Add
If you are an undergraduate, generally, your financial aid is based on an enrollment status of twelve or more credit hours per semester during the academic year, or a total of six credit hours for summer terms. If you are a graduate student, generally, your financial aid is based on an enrollment status of nine or more credit hours per semester during the academic year, or a total of five credit hours for summer terms. If you drop below the respective enrollment status during a drop/add period, your financial aid will be adjusted according to the credit hours you are enrolled in as of the end of the drop/add period.

Dropping Hours After Drop/Add
If you drop hours (not to zero hours) after the end of the drop/add period, your financial aid will be adjusted only if you are allowed to receive a refund of tuition and fees. An important fact to keep in mind if you are a current or previous Federal Direct Loan borrower with an in-school deferment status and you drop to less than six credit hours as an undergraduate student or less than 5 credit hours as a graduate student, you will go into your six month grace period to repay your Federal Direct Loan.

Unofficial Withdrawal
An unofficial withdrawal is a student who does not successfully complete any of their courses (receives all F grades or U grades), stopped attending classes, and did not complete any coursework as of the 60% point of the semester or summer term without officially withdrawing from the University, as required. An unofficial withdrawal may be required to repay up to 50% of the financial aid received for the term.

Students who never attended any of their classes and did not complete any coursework are required to repay 100% of the financial aid received for the semester or summer term.

Students who stop attending all of their classes are required to officially withdraw from the University.

Be sure to review Appalachian's Withdrawal Policy.

Study Abroad

See the Study Abroad page for more information. 

Can I apply for financial aid to cover the costs of a study abroad program?
Students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree program at Appalachian State University may apply for financial aid assistance. Students applying for study abroad financial aid must also meet all financial aid eligibility criteria.

Note that there is no guarantee that you will receive enough financial aid to completely cover the total costs of the study abroad program.

What study abroad programs are approved for financial aid?
All study abroad programs must be approved through the Appalachian State University Office of International Programs to be eligible for financial aid.

What financial aid is available for study abroad programs?
The Office of Student Financial Aid does not have special grants or scholarships to award students who wish to study abroad.

Financial aid will be awarded based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the student's financial need.

For summer, generally, only the loan programs will be offered. If the aggregate or annual maximum Federal Direct Loan limits have already been received for a dependent student, the only alternative is for a parent to apply for the Federal PLUS loan. If the aggregate or annual maximum Federal Direct Loan limit has already been received for an independent student there will be no additional Federal Direct loan eligibility. Graduate students who have already borrowed their maximum amount of Federal Direct Loan eligibility may apply for the federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.

It is the student's responsibility to apply for scholarships through outside sources.

Several publications which list additional scholarships and financial resources for international study are available on the Office of International Programs Website.

How many credit hours do I have to take to be eligible for financial aid?
For the semester study abroad programs an undergraduate student must be enrolled in at least twelve (12) credit hours and a graduate student must be registered for at least nine (9) credit hours to be considered full-time for financial aid. If you do not maintain full-time status, awards may be canceled or adjusted.

For summer undergraduate students must be in a study abroad program that is no less than six (6) credit hours and a graduate student must be in a study abroad program that is no less than five (5) credit hours.

Will financial aid cover my deposit and airfare?
The student is responsible for paying any deposits required for study abroad programs. If the airfare is not included in the study abroad costs that are charged to the student account, the student will responsible for buying their airplane ticket. Keep in mind that financial aid funds may not be disbursed to your student account until ten days prior to the beginning date of the study abroad program. Generally, you will need to plan to pay from these expenses from your own resources.

When will I get my financial aid refund?
You must work with International Program and the Office of Student Accounts to obtain any funds that are not applied to the study abroad charges on your student account.

*It is highly recommended you complete the Direct Deposit Authorization Form in the Office of Student Accounts to have the remaining funds automatically deposited in your checking account.

Summer Sessions

The Financial Aid application for Summer Sessions 2016 will be available soon! Usually around the end of February or early March we have the information needed to start accepting those applications.

And remember that a 2015-2016 FAFSA must be completed for the summer application to be considered.

For financial aid purposes, summer sessions are considered trailers – the last term of the 2015-2016 academic year. Because summer sessions are considered trailers, aid received during the 2015-2016 academic year will be considered in determining remaining financial aid eligibility for the 2016 summer sessions.

For additional information about Summer Sessions at Appalachian, visit http://summersessions.appstate.edu/.

Terms & Conditions

Verification

Appalachian Access Program

Appalachian Commitment to a College Education for Student Success (ACCESS)

The ACCESS program offers low-income students from North Carolina a four-year university education at Appalachian debt-free. Specifically, the ACCESS program supplements federal financial aid grants, state financial aid grants and scholarships, and other forms of financial assistance with sufficient funds to cover the cost of institutional charges (tuition, fees, room, board) and possibly an on-campus job for personal expenses for up to four years (eight semesters).

To be eligible for the ACCESS program, a student must enter Appalachian as a first-time freshman, attend full-time, be a resident of North Carolina, make satisfactory academic progress (as defined by federal regulations), and be from a family with an income at or below the Federal Poverty Level (indexed by family size).

2015 Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia 

Persons in family/household

Poverty guideline

1$11,770
2$15,930
3$20,090
4$24,250
5$28,410
6$32,570
7$36,730
8$40,890
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,160 for each additional person.