Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions

What is the minimum number of units I need to take to receive federal student loans?

A student must enroll at least half-time per term to be eligible for federal financial aid. At APU, a term is comprised of all academic sessions within that term. For example, Fall Session, Fall Session 1, and Fall Session 2 together comprise the Fall Term.

Minimum number of units to receive federal student loans
Type of Program Units Required for Half-Time Enrollment
All professional programs and teaching credentials 6 units
All Azusa Pacific Seminary master’s degrees 4 units
All doctoral degrees 3 units
MS in Nursing (MSN) programs 3 units
Master of Social Work (MSW) and MA in Clinical Psychology (MFT) 4 units
(3 units in summer)
All other programs 5 units
(3 units in summer)

What does my financial aid offer cover?

You will be offered up to the cost of attendance. Cost of attendance covers your tuition, books and supplies, room and board, and transportation. The exact cost of attendance varies from student to student depending on a variety of factors, including academic program and living arrangements.

Students in the LVN to BSN program or BSN Transfer program need to secure additional funding, such as an outside loan. Subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans do not cover the entire cost of these programs.

Will I qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA?

To qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate financial need (for most programs)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • For males, must be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that:
    • You are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant
    • You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Show you’re qualified to obtain a college education by:
    • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate;
    • Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law); or
    • Enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the “ability-to-benefit” alternatives.

What types of financial aid can I get through the FAFSA?

With your FAFSA information, APU is able to offer you a package of Federal Direct Loans that will be comprised of Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and/or PLUS loans.

How does my income affect my loan package?

Your income and financial standing may affect your eligibility for the Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized loans, if you are enrolled in a program that qualifies for those funds.

Is there any free money (scholarships, grants, etc.) that I can apply for?

There are a variety of resources available to assist you as a graduate student. APU grant and scholarship opportunities are listed by college and school:

Also, be sure to review our listing of outside scholarships.

How much will I be offered in loans?

Loan offers depend on the program you are enrolled in. For more information contact the Student Services Center at or (626) 815-2020) to speak with a Student Account Specialist.

How do I get money for books and living expenses?

Money for books and living expenses is provided by your refund check. All incoming loan funds pay the current owing balance of the academic term for which the loan has been borrowed. If there are excess loan funds after your term balance has been paid, this will generate a refund check. We will send you this refund check via direct deposit or mail.

Sample refund check calculation

If you accepted loans totaling $20,500 for the academic year, and you attend 9 fall units, 7 spring units, and 3 summer units at $698/unit, then your loans and refunds might break down as shown:

Fall disbursement (after lender fee) $6,760
Fall tuition $6,282 (9 units x $698)
Refund check $478
Spring disbursement (after lender fee) $6,760
Spring tuition $4,886 (7 units x $698)
Refund check $1,874
Summer disbursement (after lender fee) $6,760
Summer tuition $2,094 (3 units x $698)
Refund check $4,666

When does my refund check get mailed?

Refund checks are usually mailed at the beginning of each term. Provided that you have fulfilled all loan requirements and are enrolled in all of your units for the term, your refund check should be mailed within the first one to two weeks of the start date of your classes for the term. Once mailed, it takes refund checks 2-3 business weeks to arrive at the listed mailing address. If you sign up for direct deposit, your refund will arrive much faster directly in your bank account.

If you are interested in enrolling in direct deposit, follow these steps.

I don’t want to borrow loans for books and living expenses. Can I borrow just enough to pay for tuition?

Yes. Though we may award you in excess of your tuition amount, you do not have to accept the full amount that is awarded to you. During the loan process, you will have the option to specify how much money you want to accept.

How do I get started on the loan process?

To get started, fill out the FAFSA.

I completed a FAFSA before and received student loans. Do I have to submit it again?

Yes. All students seeking federal aid must complete a FAFSA each academic year.

I completed my FAFSA. What happens next?

If you have been fully admitted, once you have completed your FAFSA, Graduate and Professional Student Financial Services will put together a financial aid offer for you based on the information you provided on your FAFSA and your enrollment status for each of your program’s required terms (if the term has not started yet, an assumption of full-time enrollment will be used). You will then receive a Financial Aid Offer Letter in your Message Center on

I already completed my FAFSA and received my offer letter. What do I do now?

Please read your offer letter carefully. In addition to your offered aid, this letter will also include instructions detailing the steps necessary to secure your financial aid.

How do I defer my old student loans?

Loan deferment is normally an automatic process. APU verifies half-time enrollment for the student to the National Student Clearinghouse. Your lender or servicer should also check with the Clearinghouse and refrain from collecting on students who are enrolled at least half-time. If you are attending at least half-time and your lender is still trying to collect from you, please contact your lender to notify them of your status. If they request that you fill out an in-school deferment request form, please contact the Graduate and Professional Registrar at (626) 815-4570 for assistance.

How can I find my outstanding loan and what lenders hold the loans?

The federal government administers the National Student Loan Data System that provides detailed information on the outstanding loans that you have. You can log in to this database using your Federal Student Aid ID.

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