If you are beginning classes during the current academic year (fall through summer), you should apply for financial aid immediately. If you are attending college in the fall semester, the calendar below is a timeline for early consideration.
The first step in applying for financial aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education offers a free online application process for your convenience. Be sure you select the correct FAFSA year for the school year you will attend Thomas University. Each school year at TU begins fall term in August.Before completing the FAFSA make sure to:
Be sure you complete the appropriate form for the year you intend to begin classes.
Complete the form for the academic year you plan to begin classes. Academic years run fall, spring and summer.
You will submit your FAFSA using the tax information from 2 years prior. We encourage students and parents to download their tax information into the FAFSA using the IRS data retrieval tool you are prompted. This reduces the likelihood of mistakes.
Once completed, you will receive notification by mail and/or email from the Department of Education confirming your application has been received, processed, and notifying you if you are selected for verification. If selected, additional forms and processes are necessary to process your funds. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at (229) 584-2460 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
You can complete the Application for Financial Aid is at this site: fafsa.gov
Be sure to send a copy to Thomas University. Our school code is 001555.
If you transfer to/from another institution, the financial aid you were awarded at your other school or, at Thomas University does not automatically transfer to the new institution. Your financial aid application will have to be received and evaluated at the new school. There are a number of steps to take to ensure that your financial aid is processed in a timely manner at the new institution.
First, contact the financial aid office and cancel your financial aid at your old school. This request can take several weeks to process. After your financial aid is canceled at your old school, be sure to obtain a copy of your updated award letter from the financial aid office to present to your new school as proof that you do not have any pending financial aid elsewhere (you can only receive financial aid from one school at a time).
Once your financial aid is canceled at your old school, add your new institution’s school code to your FAFSA. (TU School Code 001555) This will allow your new school to receive and review your FAFSA and determine your financial aid eligibility. Once your FAFSA is updated, follow up with your new school to ensure that your financial aid is being processed and you do not have any additional requirements.
Financial aid that you received at your prior school will be deducted from your annual and aggregate eligibility and may affect your eligibility at your new school.
Graduate students typically pay for their education through a combination of loans, scholarships, grants, fellowships and employment through their institution.
There are some departments who are able provide some funding through various grants and fellowships as well as teaching assistantships and research assistantships.
Graduate students should apply for financial aid as soon as possible.
Degree-seeking graduate students may apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA application at fafsa.gov each year. If the student is eligible, the FAFSA will result in an offer for an unsubsidized Ford Direct loan. The FAFSA application will also allow the student to apply for the Graduate PLUS loan online if they need additional aid. Both of these federal loans require the student to be enrolled at least halftime in a degree-seeking program. Graduate students are not eligible for federal Pell grants or federal subsidized Ford Direct loans.
To receive federal loans, a graduate student must be enrolled at least halftime (5-8 credits each term). Aid is packaged based on the expectation of full-time enrollment. To avoid disbursement delays, you must submit an enrollment revision form to let us know if you plan to be less than fulltime for the year. If our office has not been notified of your enrollment plans, your aid will be adjusted and disbursed after the Financial Aid Census Date for that term.
*Graduate certificate-seeking students may only receive aid based on credits that are required for their certificate program.
Private/Alternative loans are loans obtained from a bank, credit union or other lending agency. For most students, federal loans are a better option and should be utilized before private loans are considered. Alternative loans require a credit check and may have higher variable interest rates. They also do not offer the flexible repayment, consolidation, and loan forgiveness options that you get with federal loans.
Not all graduate certificate programs are eligible for federal financial aid. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for a list of programs that are currently aid eligible. Further information about both aid eligible and non-eligible programs may be found on our Gainful Employment page.
Students in an aid eligible graduate certificate programs may only receive federal loans based on enrollment in courses that are required for that program. Other courses may not be counted towards the minimum halftime enrollment that is needed for federal loan eligibility. For the list of required courses, please review the course catalog or contact your academic advisor.
Before each school year you’ll need to re-submit your FAFSA application as soon as the applications open, check to see if additional documents are needed to process your financial aid application, review and accept your financial aid award and make sure that you’re making satisfactory academic progress towards your degree.
Whether you’re a new or returning student, you’ll need to maintain eligibility for your financial aid such as making sure that your enrollment level each term matches your financial aid award with the Financial Aid Office. If you’ll be attending less than full-time, submit a revision request form and make sure that you’re making satisfactory academic progress towards your degree.
Your FAFSA has to be processed, and then you get an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which TU will use to determine how much aid you can get.
Find out more about what happens after you fill out the FAFSA, including how aid is calculated and when and how you’ll get your aid.
You may need additional funding for school and opt to apply for funding through a private lending agency. For most students, federal loans are a better option and should be utilized before private loans are considered. Alternative loans require a credit check and may have higher variable interest rates. They also do not offer the flexible repayment, consolidation, and loan forgiveness options that may be available with federal loans.
Thomas University cannot recommend private lenders, but we have provided additional information on questions to ask and things to consider in our Alternative Loans publication. Our best advice is to explore options with a lender you may already do business with and feel comfortable using. We also recommend doing your research to be sure that you will not be in for any surprises later. The Federal Student Aid website provides some additional information on how to compare federal and private loans. More information about taking out a private loan may also be found on the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau websites.