FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCIAL AID

If the question you have is not answered below, please utilize Aggie Answers.



How and when do I apply for financial aid?

You will first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) either online or via the paper application. Be sure to add Texas A&M University’s school code 003632. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA to the federal processor as early as possible since Texas A&M University awards financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Our priority deadline is March 15th proceeding the Fall term you will be attending, but we will still accept FAFSAs after this date and up till June 30th follow the end of the academic year. We encourage you to submit your FAFSA at least one full week ahead of any priority date to ensure it is processed.

You should check with other institutions you are considering to see if they have any priority dates or deadlines for the FAFSA. It typically takes one week for the online application to be processed (assuming that no additional documents are requested) and 4-8 weeks for the paper application to be processed. We strongly recommend you utilize the online application. After we receive the electronic results from the federal processor, we will then send you a request for any additional documentation we may need.

Do I have to wait until I am admitted before I apply for financial aid?

You do not have to be admitted to Texas A&M University in order to file the FAFSA. However, a financial aid offer will not be made until you have been fully admitted. You do not have to be admitted to any institution before applying for financial aid.

If my parents are divorced or separated, whose financial data should be used when completing the FAFSA?

If your natural parents are divorced and not living together, use the natural parent with whom you lived the most in the past 12 months. If you lived with neither parent or lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent that provided the most financial support to you over the past 12 months. If that parent has remarried, you must also include the step-parent’s financial information on the application. If your parents are separated, and not living together, and divorce proceedings are in progress, make an appointment to speak to a financial aid advisor.

I am in a common-law marriage. Am I considered married when filing the FAFSA?

If a couple lives together and has not been formally married but meets the criteria in their state for a common-law marriage, they should be reported as married on the application. If the state doesn’t consider their situation to be a common-law marriage, then they aren’t married. A dependent student would follow the rules for divorce to determine which parent’s information to report (see question above). Check with the appropriate state agency concerning the definition of a common-law marriage.

My biological or adoptive parents are unmarried and living together. Whose information do I report on the FAFSA?

Beginning with the 2014-2015 award year, students whose biological or adoptive parents are unmarried but living together would report the information for both parents.

My parents don’t claim me on their tax return and don’t give me any money. Can I file as “independent”?

Only if you can answer “YES” to any of the following questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and can provide documentation to support this status, you are considered independent for financial aid purposes:

  • Were you born before January 1, 1991?
  • As of today, are you married? (Also answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced.) 
  • At the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, graduate certificate, etc.)? 
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training? 
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? 
  • Do you now have or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015?
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2015?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court? 
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor immediately before you reached the age of being an adult in your state?
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship immediately before you reached the age of being an adult in your state?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless? 
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless? 
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

If you cannot answer “YES” to any of these questions, yet have other extenuating circumstances, please make an appointment to meet with your financial aid advisor.

I have already filed my FAFSA. Why haven’t I received a financial aid award package from Texas A&M University?

First, make sure that Texas A&M University is listed on your Student Aid Report (SAR). If Texas A&M University is not listed on the SAR, call 1-800-4-FED-AID to ask the federal processor to add our school code 003632. You will need the DRN number located on the first page of the SAR in order to do the update by phone. If Texas A&M University is listed on your SAR and you have been admitted to the University, make sure you have submitted all documents that have been requested by Scholarships & Financial Aid. To review the status of your financial aid, you can check online at howdy.tamu.edu. Click the My Finances tab and enter the Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal or contact our department at (979) 845-3236 between the hours of 8;00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

What if my parents or I will not be earning the income that we did in the previous year?

If any of the following circumstances apply to you/your family, please download the Counselor Review Form (CRF) from the Forms section of this site.

  • Loss of employment of parent or spouse
  • Loss of income or benefits (such as Social Security or child support) by you or your parents
  • Divorce of parent or spouse
  • Death of parent or spouse
  • Excessive medical/dental expenses due to illness of a family member

Please submit the CRF and all required documentation to the financial aid office. If you wish to meet with an advisor to discuss your specific situation, please contact our office to make an appointment.

How is my “financial need” determined?

The federal processor determines your individual family’s ability to contribute to the cost of education by calculating an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using the information you provide on the FAFSA. After receiving your FAFSA information from the federal processor, Scholarships & Financial Aid then subtracts your EFC from our calculated Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA includes estimates for the academic year for tuition/fees, computer costs, books/supplies, housing, meals, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

COA – EFC = FINANCIAL NEED

How do I change the information I already submitted on my Student Data Form?

If you previously submitted your Student Data Form and need to make a change to the information, you must resubmit the form in its entirety. Access https://howdy.tamu.edu. Click the My Finances tab and enter the Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal. If the form is not allowing you to update, please email us at financialaid@tamu.edu with your UIN and list specifically what you need to update.

How do I apply for financial aid for Summer classes?

Students who are enrolled at least half-time at Texas A&M University during the Summer term may qualify for financial aid for expenses in that term. The Summer semester is the last semester in Texas A&M University’s academic year. Any student who has completed a FAFSA for the current academic year and enrolls at least half-time for the Summer semester during the registration period will be reviewed for financial aid eligibility. Students will be notified of any financial aid offers via their University email account if you have elected to do business electronically. Anticipated outside scholarships for the Summer term should be reported on the Summer Supplement form in the Financial Aid Portal. This online form is typically made available in April.

If I am not eligible for need-based aid, is there anything else available?

Yes, students with no established financial need are still eligible to apply for Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans. You may also apply for an alternative student loan, and your parent(s) may apply for a Federal Parent Loan (PLUS). More information about the different types of loans may be reviewed on our website.

I only want a loan. Do I have to file a FAFSA?

Yes, the FAFSA is the backbone of determining what type of loan for which you are eligible to apply. However, there are Alternative Student Loans that do not require FAFSA information. You are encouraged to complete the FAFSA so that we can determine what type of loan would be in your best interest. Federally guaranteed student loans generally have more advantageous terms and conditions than alternative loans.

How do I use my Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan (formerly the Texas Tomorrow Fund) at Texas A&M University?

Existing Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan accounts are administered by the administered by Student Business Services. Please visit their online FAQ for more information regarding this program's benefits and how to redeem them. For more information about this State of Texas Prepaid Higher Education Program, visit the Texas Tomorrow Fund website.

What scholarships can I apply for at Texas A&M University?

OPPORTUNITY AWARD – INCOMING FRESHMEN

Awards are for a student’s first full-time college work in a regular semester. Apply online starting your senior year in high school. Click here for more information about this scholarship.

TRANSFER SCHOLARSHIP

Transfer scholarships are available to students transferring with a minimum 24 hrs or an associate’s degree from a two-year or community college. Click here for more information about this scholarship.

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE / ACADEMIC INCENTIVE AWARD

Continuing students must have completed at least one semester at Texas A&M University, have an overall GPR of 2.75, and be enrolled in order to receive a scholarship payment. Click here for more information about this scholarship.

AGGIE LEADER SCHOLARSHIP – CONTINUING STUDENTS

This scholarship is available to currently enrolled students who have demonstrated leadership and involvement. Students must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting course of study with a minimum GPR of 2.5 at Texas A&M. Click here for more information about this scholarship.

DEPENDENT CHILDREN OF FACULTY/STAFF & SUPPORT STAFF

This scholarship is available to dependent children of faculty, staff and support staff employees who have been continuously employed by Texas A&M University (College Station campus) for a minimum, College Station campus, for a minimum of two years prior to the award period. Click here for more information about this scholarship.

Can I receive financial aid if I am enrolled in distance education courses?

If you are enrolled in distance education courses through Texas A&M University and are seeking a degree from Texas A&M University, you may be eligible for financial aid. More information regarding eligibility can be found at the U.S. Department of Education's Student Guide. In addition, you must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most distance education students qualify for the Federal Direct Loan. This is a low-interest bearing loan available to students to assist in paying for educational costs.

How will my financial aid be affected if I take some of my classes at another school?

You typically cannot receive assistance from Texas A&M University to attend another school. In addition, a student who is co-enrolled (taking classes at more than one school) cannot receive aid at both institutions. The amount of financial assistance you receive is determined by the college or university in which you are enrolled. Therefore, a student who changes schools must apply to the new school to have his or her eligibility for financial assistance determined. Certain co-enrollment situations covered by a formal consortium agreement between the two institutions may allow the student to qualify for financial aid based on the combined enrollment. For assistance in determining if this applies to your circumstance, please set an appointment with our office.

 
Texas A&M is a member of the Texas A&M University System