financial aid for the summer semester
Posted : April 6, 2003
Last Updated : March 17, 2014
While taking college courses during the summer months doesn't sound like an ideal break, at least it will get you closer to graduation. If you need financial aid for the summer semester, make sure you:
1. Have filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can fill out the FAFSA for free at fafsa.ed.gov. (Don't forget to register for a PIN number in order to file the FAFSA online.) Be sure to select the correct school year for which you are applying for financial aid. Because the FAFSA is on an academic schedule from July 1, 20XX to June 30, 20XX, you will need to check with your school to verify which school year application you should complete for the summer session(s). For most schools, student aid eligibility for the summer will follow the academic year; however, at some schools, the academic year begins with the summer semester.
2. Contact your school's financial aid office to see if you need to fill out another form just for summer semester, such as a Summer Intent Form or a Summer Financial Aid Application.
3. Find out the deadline by which you should have all forms turned into your school's financial aid department. The later you submit your FAFSA and/or summer application, the later your funds will be available. For most schools, if you file a late FAFSA application, you will be expected to pay your own expenses and wait until your funds arrive to be reimbursed.
4. Talk with a financial aid administrator at your school to see what types of financial aid are available for the summer. Grant funding is usually limited, and some schools do not even offer university grants during the summer semester. Federal Work-Study availabilty for the summer will also vary among schools.
5. Find out how many credit hours you must take during the summer in order to qualify for financial aid. Most schools require that you be enrolled at least half time in order to be eligible for summer financial aid.
If you drop hours or do not initiate course participation at any time during the summer semester, your aid may be adjusted and you may receive a bill, so be sure to notify the financial aid office if you decide to cancel your summer aid application. If you have any specific questions pertaining to financial aid awards for the summer semester, please contact the financial aid office at your school.