Am I Eligible for Financial Aid?
To receive Financial Aid, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Possess a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Make satisfactory academic progress (continuing students)
- Be registered with the Selective Service, if required
- Not have been convicted of certain drug offenses
- Sign a statement of educational purpose and a certification statement on overpayment and default (both found on FAFSA)
- Not be in default on a prior Federal education loan, or owe a repayment on a prior Federal grant.
How is Federal Aid Awarded?
When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and indicate The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division as one of your school choices, we will be able to receive an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) electronically.
The ISIR will contain Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is determined by a set formula, and relates to the amount that you (and your parents, if you are a dependent student) might be expected to pay for direct and indirect costs for one academic year. The EFC is used as a guide to determine financial aid eligibility.
What is The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Federal School Code Number?
The U.S. Department of Education assigns a number called a Federal School Code to each school that is qualified to receive and disburse federal financial aid. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division, Federal School Code number is 007470.
How Do I Determine My Dependency Status?
If you can answer "Yes" to any of the questions below, you will be considered "independent" for Federal Financial Aid purposes. If you answer no to all of these questions, you are considered to be "dependent" for Federal Financial Aid purposes.
- Where you born before January 1, 1987?
- Are you married?
- Are you supporting legal dependents other than a spouse?
- Are you an orphan?
- Are you a ward of the court?
- Were you a ward of the court until age 18?
- Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
- Are you homeless or at risk of being homeless?
What Other Methods are Available to Help Me Pay for School?
Federal Pell Grants
These grants can assist you to pay for a portion of your education. For the year starting July 1, 2012, Pell Grants can be up to $5500 per award year, depending on the student's enrollment level and financial need. You can find out if you are eligible for a Pell Grant and for how much by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The Federal Pell Grant is based on the student's need as determined by a formula provided by the US Department of Education.
When you complete the FAFSA, and indicate The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division as one of your school choices, the school will be able to receive and Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) electronically. The ISIR will tell us whether or not you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. The ISIR also authorizes us to receive the Pell Grant funds on your behalf.
Your Student Financial Plan, which you will receive from your Student Finance Counselor, will tell you how much you will receive from the Federal Pell Grant Program. Those funds are then credited no earlier than 10 days before the beginning of each quarter in which you receive a Pell Grant, if you registered for a quarter, and if all of your financial aid paperwork has been completed.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
These grants assist you to pay for a portion of your education. The funds for this are limited, so you are encouraged to apply early, and financial need is a factor. These grants are usually given to the neediest students based on the US Department of Education's formula for determining need.
Your Student Financial Plan, which you will receive from your Student Finance Counselor, will tell you if you are eligible and how much you will receive from the Federal SEOG Program. If you receive a Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, the funds are electronically credited to your account, and the amount is deducted from the amount that you will need to pay. Your account is credited no earlier than 10 days before the beginning of each quarter in which you receive a Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, if you registered for the required number of credits for that quarter, and if all of your financial aid paperwork has been completed.
A Merit Award Scholarship is offered to students of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division who show evidence of merit and motivation to successfully complete the program, but who are unable to enter classes or continue in the program without additional financial assistance. You can download the Merit Award Program form.
Some students may be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, based on physical limitations or other needs. Your State or County Department of Social Services should be able to provide you with more information. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division will accept Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, and the amount of the benefit will be deducted from the amount that the student needs to pay after all the paperwork has been completed.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division is an eligible institution for veteran's benefits. If you are a veteran and eligible for VA benefits, you should start the application process to receive your benefits as soon as you decide to attend school. Generally, the amount of the veteran's benefits is not deducted from the student's payments; rather, veteran students use these benefits to pay for some of their living expenses. You can call your local VA office for more information about your individual eligibility. Veterans' benefit information is available through the VA Web site.
Students, and parents of dependant students, may be eligible for federal tax credits. These tax credits are for a portion of payments for tuition or other eligible education expense. The payments can include payments made through loan funds. Please consult a tax advisor for more details.
What Types of Loans ( Stafford , PLUS) are Available?
Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Student Loans
These are loans that you must repay. Generally all students are eligible for these types of loans if they meet basic Federal eligibility requirements, and have not utilized all of their lifetime loan limits at previous schools. Annual loan limits depend on your grade level and your dependency status. Loan limits for the time you will be in school further depend on you program of study, and how you progress through the program.
The difference between "subsidized" and "unsubsidized" is that the Federal Government pays the interest on the Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan while the student is enrolled in school at least half time, interest on the Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan will begin to accrue immediately on disbursement. The student can pay this interest while in school or not pay it and let it capitalize on the original loan amount, increasingly the overall amount required at repayment.
Almost all students who meet Federal eligibility requirements can receive a Stafford Loan to pay for part of the education costs. The Subsidized Loans are available to students with remaining need after the Expected Family Contribution, any Grants or Scholarships, and some other forms of aid, are deducted from the total of direct and indirect costs of education. Students who have no remaining need can receive the Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan. Independent Students may receive an additional Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan. Dependent Students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan can borrow at the Independent student levels.
There are fees deducted from the loan that are passed on to the federal government, and that reduce the loan amount received. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8% (unsubsidized) and 3.4% (subsidized) for undergraduate students. Payments on the loan will begin six months after the student graduates, withdraws from the school, or starts attending less than half time. This six month period is called the "grace period."
During the Student Financial Planning process we will recommend the amount that you should borrow for each academic year and for the program. If you would like to see an estimate of what your monthly repayment amount will be after graduation, visit the FinAid Loan Payment Calculator.
Dependent students may borrow up to $31,000 in Federal Stafford Loans for their total undergraduate career, and independent students may borrow up to $57,500; if you have borrowed Stafford Loans to attend previous schools, those amounts will be counted in your aggregrate total. Federal Stafford Loan payments are usually sent to the school through a process called electronic funds transfer (EFT). This means that the funds are credited directly to your account each quarter to pay part of your educational expenses. You will receive a receipt from the school at the time that the account is credited.
The amounts of the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans will be shown on your Student Financial Plan. The Stafford Loan payments are credited to your account in equal payments for each quarter in the loan period (usually 3 quarters) if you are registered for the required number of credits for that quarter, and if all of the financial aid paperwork has been completed. .
The Stafford Loan payment for the first quarter that you attend school will be credited to your account after 30 days for of the quarter has passed, if you are still in school and taking 6 or more credits, and if all of the required paperwork has been completed. In subsequent quarters, the loan will be credited about 10 days before the beginning of the quarter, as long as you are registered for 6 or more credits, and if all of the financial aid paper work has been completed.
Before your first loan payment can be credited to your account, you must participate in an Entrance Interview. This is a loan counseling session during which you will learn more about your loan, and your rights and responsibilities associated with the loan. When you are ready to graduate, or if you decide to withdrawal from school, you will need to participate in an Exit Interview to review your rights and responsibilities, and to discuss repayment options. You will receive information about the required Loan Counseling from your Student Finance Counselor.
You will also need to to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) which is the legal contract for the loan. MPN’s are good for a period of ten years so you should only have to fill out one MPN while attending at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online.
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
A parent of a dependent student, who passes a simple credit check, can borrow the difference between the student's cost of attendance and the student's other aid. This is a low interest rate loan. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. There are fees that are deducted from the loan and passed on to the Federal Government; the fees reduce the amount of the loan disbursed. If, for some reason, your parent does not pass the credit check, you (the student) can borrow the Federal Stafford Student Loan limits available for independent students. These are loans that must be repaid. Payments on the loan begin about 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed.
Federal PLUS Loan payments are sent to the school through a process called electronic funds transfer (EFT). This means that the funds are credited directly to the student's account each quarter to pay part of the student's educational expenses. The borrower will receive a receipt from the school at the time that the account is credited.
The PLUS Loan payments are credited to your account in equal payments for each quarter in the loan period (usually 3 quarters). The loans will usually be credited no earlier than 10 days before the beginning of the quarter, if the student is registered for 6 or more credits for that quarter, and if all of the paperwork has been completed.
Can I use a Home Equity Loan to Finance My Education?
If you or your parents own a home, they/you may apply for a home equity loan to help finance your education. Interest on home equity loans may be tax deductible.
Will I be able to receive Financial Aid if I attend an Online School?
Yes. Our online programs are fully accredited and all Federal Financial Aid programs are available to those who qualify.
What type of Financial Aid is available?
Federal Grants, Federal Student Loans, Private Loans based on lender credit evaluations, and in some cases State Grants.
Are there any Age Restrictions for Obtaining Financial Aid?
There are no age related restrictions in receiving Federal Grants or Student Loans.
What if I Already Borrowed Federal Student Loans when I was Younger while Previously Attending College?
Provided you have not borrowed Federal Stafford Loans in excess of the lifetime limits established, you can borrow up to your remaining balance.
Do I need good credit to borrow Federal Student Loans or receive grants?
Absolutely not. Credit scores are not used to determine eligibility.
What is the Federal Pell Grant?
The Federal Pell Grant is the most common type of Federal Grant and is awarded to students who apply and qualify based on a need calculation that takes into consideration your family income, assets, family size and other factors.
What is a Grant?
A grant is an award provided to students who qualify to help pay for education. Grants do not need to be repaid.
How can I obtain a Federal Grant?
Federal Grants are available every year based on an individual need for assistance. However, if you have already earned a Bachelor's Degree, you are no longer eligible for Federal Grants.
Both Federal Grants and Federal Student Loans require the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
What if My Child is Currently Attending College?
This could increase both of your eligibility to receive the Federal Pell Grant. Each of you will have your own access to Federal Student Loans and will have your own lifetime limits.
What is a FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the Federal Government’s application required in order to be considered for Federal Grants or receive Federal Student Loans. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.edu.gov
If I Borrow Federal Student Loans, When will I Need to Repay it?
Federal Student Loans, also called the Stafford Loan, are repayable typically over 10 years starting 6 months after dropping below halftime enrollment status. Interest rates are fixed and the length of repayment may be adjusted by your lender to extend payments over a maximum of 25 years.
What about Scholarships?
Scholarships, another type of "gift aid" are a form of financial aid and must be applied for by the student. All scholarship programs are different and have unique eligibility requirements. You should look for scholarship programs that respect your decision to obtain your degree online.
Will Financial Aid Cover all of My Costs?
That will depend on the exact amount of financial aid you qualify for, the number of courses you take each year, and the actual cost of your program. It is possible to use financial aid to cover 100% of your direct cost of obtaining your degree.
What is a Financial Aid Package?
Most students use a combination of loans and grants to pay for their college education. This "package" of aid must be established each year that you continue your education based on your renewed eligibility.