Get answers to your questions about the financial aid process, verification, loans, grants, and My Financial Center.  Avoid long wait times on the phone or in line by referring to these questions first. 

Financial Aid Process

My Financial Center

FAFSA

Verification

Loans

Grants

How do I apply for financial aid?

  • The OneStop Financial Aid Checklist takes you through the financial aid process step-by-step. Click here to go to the checklist.

What is the timeline for receiving financial aid?

  • If all the eligibility requirements for disbursement are met, your financial aid is applied to your account (disbursed) on the tuition deadline (one week prior to the start of classes). If you have excess funds after the aid applies to charges on your student account, refunds begin to go out on the 3rd day of classes.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress and how does it affect my eligibility for federal financial aid?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a measure of a student’s progress towards graduation. It takes into account:

  1. GPA: must have cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  2. Max Attempted Hours: A student cannot have more than 150% of the number of credits required for graduation. Most programs require 120 credits to graduate which means a student can attempt up to 180 credits. This includes all college credit (AP/IB, transfer credit, repeated classes, language exam credit, withdrawal, incomplete and failed credits). Certain allowances can be made for transfer students with AP or IB credit.  Click here for the complete SAP policy.
  3. Pace: A student has to have a rate of progress of at least 66.67%. This is calculated by dividing earned hours by attempted hours. These hours can be found at the bottom of your Record Summary screen.

If you fail to meet any of these requirements, you will not be eligible for financial aid. If extenuating circumstances apply you can meet with a BYU OneStop counselor (801-422-7075) to discuss your options.

What is the difference between awarding, disbursing, and refunding financial aid?

  1. Awarding is the notification of how much financial aid you can receive after your FAFSA has been evaluated and your eligibility for aid has been determined.
  2. Disbursement is when your financial aid money is applied to your student account to pay for existing charges. This happens on the tuition deadline (7 days before classes start) as long as you meet all eligibility requirements.
  3. Refunding is when your excess financial aid money is given to you (after it pays for authorized charges on your account like tuition, fees, and on-campus housing). Refunding begins on the 3rd day of classes .
  • If you set up direct deposit you will usually have your money between the 4th-6th day of classes, depending on your bank.
  • If you don’t setup direct deposit your money will be mailed by check to the address listed in your personal information on myBYU. Note: It usually takes approximately 10 business days from the time refunding begins for you to receive your check.

What charges will my financial aid money pay for automatically?

  • Charges are paid in the following order: Tuition, program fees, housing, and meal plan (if applicable). Any excess funds after these charges are paid are issued to you through direct deposit (if you set it up), or by a mailed check. To learn more, click here.

Can I stop my financial aid from paying for on-campus housing and meal plan charges?

  • Unfortunately, it is a federal requirement that financial aid must be applied to housing and meal plan charges if they exist. This means you may not have any or as much excess financial aid refunded to you. Keep this in mind as you plan how you will pay for textbooks and other personal expenses. For more info, click here.

Will my federal financial aid money automatically cover my BYU health plan charges?

  • Federal financial aid will not automatically pay health plan charges. You are responsible for paying the charge on your own. If you receive a refund of excess financial aid money,  you may consider using it to help you pay for the BYU health plan charges. To see what your financial aid does go towards, click here.

When will I receive my refund (excess financial aid money)?

  • Excess financial aid money begins refunding on the 3rd day of classes. If you set-up direct deposit you could see your money as early as 4-6 days after the first day of classes.

How will my financial aid be refunded to me?

There are two ways to receive your excess financial aid money:

  1. Online through direct deposit – if you set up direct deposit your funds will be deposited into the bank account you specify. This is the fastest way to receive your refund (generally takes 1-3 days from the time we begin refunding on the third day of classes).
  2. Mailed check – if you don’t set up direct deposit, a check is mailed to the address listed on Personal Information in myBYU. It usually takes 10 days for you to receive the check after we mail it. We strongly suggest setting up direct deposit so you can get your money faster.

What do I do if it has been more than 10 business days and I still don't have my refund check?

  • Make sure the address you have listed on your personal information through myBYU is correct. If it is, contact OneStop Student Services by secure email, or call at 801-422-4104.

What are the financial aid options for graduate students?

  • Graduate students are eligible for unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Apply for an unsubsidized Stafford Loan by filling out the FAFSA.
  • In addition to a Stafford Loan, you may apply for a GradPlus loan which allows you to borrow up to your cost of attendance minus any other forms of aid. Approval of a GradPLUS loan is contingent on credit approval. Apply for a GradPLUS loan at studentloans.gov.
  • Full-time graduate students in the Marriott School of Management may qualify for an MSM Loan. After accepting all available Stafford Loans and if cost of attendance has not been met with federal and other aid, MSM students will automatically be offered an MSM loan.
  • Talk to your graduate program directly to learn about scholarship opportunities.

If I am a graduate student taking only 2 credits of research, can I still get a loan?

  • To receive a federal loan, Graduate Students must be enrolled at least half-time (8.5 credits per semester/4.5 credits per term). If you're enrolled less than half-time, you may still be able to receive a Stafford Loan by submitting a petition through Graduate Studies. Click here to print the petition.

What happens to my financial aid if I take a leave of absence or defer for a mission?

  • If you received Pell Grant and take a leave of absence or defer for a mission, your Pell for that semester is forfeited.
  • If you received loans and take a leave of absence, you will enter a 6-month grace period as soon as you drop below half-time (6 credits). At the end of the grace period you will enter repayment. When you return to school, repayment will be put on hold.
  • If you received loans and are planning to go on a mission, you need to contact your loan servicer directly to talk about loan repayment options while you’re serving. Submitting a BYU missionary deferment does not automatically make repayment arrangements with student loan lenders. Your specific loan servicer information is found by logging into www.nslds.ed.gov using your FSA ID. 

How can I talk to a Financial Aid Counselor?

  • You can schedule an appointment with a BYU OneStop counselor by calling OneStop Student Services at 801-422-4104. OneStop counselors can meet with you in person, on the phone, or through video (i.e. Skype).

What does this required task mean?

  • The best way to find out what a required task means is to click on the link as it appears in your My Financial Center. It will give you a detailed explanation about what you need to do to complete the item.

I completed the required task but it's not coming off my account?

  • It takes time for BYU to process documents and load them onto your account, so you can generally expect 2-3 days for a required task to come off your account once submitted. If it has been longer than a week after you completed the task and it is still on your account, call OneStop Student Services (801-422-4104).

I already set up direct deposit for my on campus job; do I have to do it again?

  • Yes. You WILL need to set up an additional direct deposit through My Financial Center in order to receive excess financial aid funds. The payroll direct deposit system used to deposit your pay check is a completely different system from what is used to deposit your excess financial aid.

Am I eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

If any of the following apply, you are NOT eligible to use the IRS data retrieval tool:

  • Married, but filed separately or as head of household
  • Filed an amended tax return
  • Filed a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return
  • SSN is invalid, or begins with '666'
  • Marked taxes "not complete" on the FAFSA

If none of these apply to you, we recommend you use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when submitting your FAFSA.

What if I file a tax extension?

You can still receive a temporary award in this case; however, you are required to give BYU a copy of:

  1. The application for extension (Form 4868), and
  2. A copy of all W-2’s
    • If your employer doesn't issue W-2's we will accept a signed statement of income in place of a W-2. 

These will be assigned as required tasks in your My Financial Center.

You are required to file your tax return by Oct. 15th of that tax year. After October 15th, you will receive an additional required task in My Financial Center indicating that BYU must receive the final tax form. The financial aid office generally gives until late January/early February as a deadline to submit the final tax form. If no final tax form is received, all current and future aid will be canceled.

How does the FAFSA determine how much aid I can get?

  • The federal government uses a formula to determine a person’s expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is used to determine eligibility for Federal Pell Grants and Subsidized Stafford Loans. Typically, the lower your EFC, the more aid you qualify to receive.

My parents do not support me financially, so why does the FAFSA consider me "dependent"?

  • Dependency status is based solely on information provided on the FAFSA (questions 45-57). Lack of financial support or not being claimed/being claimed on parents’ taxes does not determine dependency status for financial aid purposes.

I was selected for verification. What do I have to do?

  • In the task list in My Financial Center you will find links that give you instructions about the documents you need to provide. We recommend you begin completing the verification worksheet first. Then, review the assigned tasks. You can use the DETAILS arrow to see the progress through verification. Once we receive all the documents, we will process them promptly and send your file to the Central Processing Center for final review and award authorization. From that point, it may take 2-3 weeks before funds arrive. See the OneStop Financial Aid Checklist for more information.

Why was I selected for verification?

  • Verification is a review process in which the Financial Aid Office determines the accuracy of the information provided on your FAFSA. BYU selects applications based on a specific set of criteria, known common mistakes, as well as randomly, to ensure quality control. If discrepancies are uncovered during verification the Financial Aid Office may require additional information for clarification.

Do I have to go through the Verification process?

  • If you are selected for verification it is required that you complete the process in order for federal aid to be awarded (loans and/or Pell Grant).

How do I submit documents?

Submit copies of documents with your Student ID Number on every sheet using one of the following options:

  • In person to OneStop Student Services (D-155 ASB),
  • Mail to OneStop at A-41 ASB, Provo, UT 84602,
  • Fax to 801-422-0005,
  • Attach documents to a message in YMessage. Make sure you scan both sides of each page of your document, and include your student ID number on each page. You can attach up to three documents per message (max size per document is 5 MB).

What is a Tax Return Transcript?

  • A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return as it was originally filed, and is only available from the IRS. If you are required to submit a transcript to complete verification, you can request a free tax return transcript online by going to irs.govYou can order an electronic tax return transcript (in PDF format) or request one to be delivered by mail.  If you choose to receive an electronic transcript it can be available to you immediately. 

Can't I just submit my tax return?

  • Starting with the 2012-13 aid year, federal aid regulations no longer allow us to accept a copy of your tax return. Instead, you must request a Tax Return Transcript from irs.gov, or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA.
  • To avoid having to request a Tax Return Transcript, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA, or return to your FAFSA and make a correction using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Do I have to come in to the office to give you my tax return transcript?

  • No, you can attach the electronic PDF you received through irs.gov to an email and send it to us through our secure email system.  If you received a mailed copy of the transcript, scan both sides of each page of your tax transcript (make sure to include your student ID number on every page) and send it through our secure email system.

Do I have to turn in my W2's if I get selected for verification?

  • In some cases W2’s are needed to clarify differences between wages listed on the tax form and the FAFSA. You do not need to turn in W2’s unless you have a required task telling you to do so.

Do I have to submit the Independent/Dependent Verification Form electronically?

  • Although we recommend submitting the form electronically, there is an option to print the form. To sign the paper version complete the online Independent/Dependent Verification form, click 'submit', and then print. Submit the signed form to OneStop Student Services (D-155 ASB).

How does my parent get a Net ID?

  1. Click here to create a Net ID.
  2. Continue through the process by giving the information required on each screen. (Note: in order to sign the verification form your parent is required to provide social security number, name, and date of birth when creating a Net ID).
  3. Write the Net ID and password down, as you are likely to need it again in the future.

My parent is having trouble creating a Net ID?

  • Call the Office of Information Technology at 801-422-4000 for help creating a Net ID.

What is a PLUS loan?

  • A PLUS Loan is a loan available for parents of dependent students. Parents apply for a PLUS loan on studentloans.gov. The PLUS Loan has a 7.00% interest rate and is contingent upon a credit approval.

What is the difference between a subsidized Stafford Loan and an unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

  • With unsubsidized Stafford Loans, interest starts accruing the day you receive the funds.
  • With subsidized Stafford Loans, the government pays the interest on your loans while you are in school.

If I already accepted all my Stafford Loans and need more money, what options do I have?

  • You can pursue a non-federal (Alternative) loan with the lender of your choice. The lender will send us a certification form and we will verify your enrollment and eligibility. Lenders offer different interest rates and fees, so it would be smart to look at several lenders before making a choice.

I have applied for a private loan through a bank (Alternative Loan). How long does it take to get these funds?

  • Your lender sends BYU a certification form to verify your enrollment and eligibility for the loan. Once this certification is completed by BYU and returned to the lender, it usually takes 7-10 business days for your lender to guarantee the loan.
  • It can take up to 30 business days for the third party to deliver the check to BYU. You will get a message in YMessage (formerly known as Message Center) when the check is ready for you to pick up.

When do I have to start paying my federal loans back?

  • Repayment for federal loans starts 6 months after you drop below half time enrollment. You will be notified by your lender, but you can go to www.nslds.ed.gov to see information regarding the repayment of your loans. (You will need your FSA ID in order to access information about your loans).

My parents qualified for a PLUS loan. Will the excess money from that loan come directly to me?

  • Excess financial aid from a PLUS loan is refunded to your parent, unless your parent authorizes otherwise (which they can do on the PLUS application at studentloans.gov).

What is a BYU Short-term Loan?

  • Once tuition charges have posted to your account, you can apply for a BYU Short-term Loan up to the full amount of full-time tuition to help you pay tuition. Click here for more information about the BYU Short-term Loan.

How much Pell will I get if I add one more class?

  • Once you are awarded your Pell Grant, you can reference your Pell Breakdown Chart which shows the amount of Pell you will receive based on the number of credits you have. To view your Pell Breakdown chart click the Accept/Decline Awards link in My Financial Center.

Can I choose to decline my Pell Grant?

  • Your Pell Grant is automatically accepted for you; however, if you would like to decline the award, schedule an appointment with a BYU OneStop counselor by contacting OneStop Student Services (D-155 ASB) or (801) 422-4104.
Questions?