-- How to Apply for Aid --
Step 3: Receive Your Aid

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Financial Aid Disbursement

The Office of Student Financial Services bills you for on-campus charges through your University account. Your financial aid is disbursed directly into your student account. The account is a part of an automated system that Student Financial Services uses to manage the billing and payment of tuition and fees, on campus housing, and other miscellaneous charges.

Before your aid is disbursed to your account, you must meet all eligibility requirements. You can check on the web to confirm that your aid has been disbursed to your account. Charges are billed to your account each semester. Some charges, such as parking fees, are not eligible to be paid automatically with financial aid. If charges to your account are not paid in full the Office of Student Financial Services will mail you a statement for the balance due. DO NOT IGNORE THESE STATEMENTS! If you cannot pay your balance due, you may be able to pay on an installment plan. For additional information, contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

Note: Aid is disbursed for use in a specific term. If your account has charges from a prior term, and you receive aid for the current term, only eligible charges for the current term are paid automatically.

Credit Balances

Any credit balance (surplus) in your account after all charges owed to the University have been paid will be disbursed to you. Charges added to your account after a credit balance check (refund) is issued to you will appear on your next billing statement. You should be sure that the University receives your payment by the due date to avoid late fees.

Check Payments

A few private scholarship and loan programs disburse checks instead of crediting funds to your account. The check is usually made payable to both you and the University. The Office of Student Financial Services will notify you by mail that the check has been received and is ready for your endorsement. You must endorse your check before it can be credited to your account. Student Financial Services holds checks for 45 days before returning them to the sender. Take your Scholarship checks to the Office of Student Financial Services.

You must notify Financial Aid of any scholarships you will receive from outside sources. You must submit all scholarship checks that you receive to have the funds deposited into your student account. When you submit the check, attach a copy of all letters, memos, or other printed materials that came with it. If the check is made payable to both you and Howard University, you must endorse it. If the name of the donor is not on the check, you should attach the information to the check. Outside scholarships are disbursed in two installments; one-half each term, unless the donor gives specific disbursement instructions.

Refunds and Repayments

Changing your registration may reduce or cancel your financial aid eligibility. Before making any changes, you should consult with your Academic Advisor and your Financial Aid Officer. If you reduce the number of credit hours for which you are registered, you may be required to repay financial aid that you have already received. In this case, you will receive a repayment notice, have a hold placed on your transcript and registration records and a late fee assessed to your account.

Federal Verification Procedures

Your application may be randomly selected for review as part of the Federal verification process. The University is required by the Federal Government to screen a sampling of applications to ensure that aid delivery is completed accurately, expediently, and with integrity. You may be required to provide additional documentation, such as Federal tax returns and W-2 forms. Use income records for the calendar year before the academic year for which you are applying for aid. For example, use 2009 Federal Tax returns and W-2 forms to complete the 2010-2011 FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, you will not be awarded financial aid until all of the requested documentation is received and reviewed. The Office of Financial Aid must receive your documents by the last date of eligible enrollment or the date that corresponds with your last term of enrollment, whichever comes first.

Notification of Award Changes

If any changes to your financial aid package occur because of the verification process, the Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment will send you a revised Financial Aid Award Package, which will detail the new award amounts. This revision supersedes all previous award packages for this award year.

ISIR Correction Procedures

If it is deemed necessary that corrections to your Student Aid Report (SAR) are
necessary, you will receive written notification from the Office of Financial Aid.

Corrections may be made as follows:

  • By making the corrections on Part II of the SAR and returning it directly to the FAFSA processor at the address provided at the end of the SAR document.
  • By visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov. (Note: Students cannot update their social security number or their date of birth electronically. Students must have a PIN, assigned by the Department of Education to make changes on this site).
  • By seeking the advice of a financial aid representative at Howard University, the correction will be transmitted electronically to the Department of Education through the Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) system. It is our recommendation that you speak with a financial aid representative at Howard University before you make any corrections to your original SAR document.


If a financial aid overpayment is made as a result of a student’s error or failure to report requested information, the student is responsible for repaying the amount of the overpayment. The amount of the overpayment may be satisfied by reducing the student’s federal award(s) in a subsequent enrollment period during the same award year as the overpayment was created. If the overpayment amount cannot be satisfied by deducting the amount from a future disbursement, the student is responsible for making direct restitution. As required by federal regulations, the Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment will report the overpayment to the Department of Education via the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) within 30 days from the date when the overpayment was created. Indication of an outstanding overpayment will be recorded on future output documents generated by the Department of Education, and may prevent the student from receiving certain types of financial aid funding.

Budgeting and Loan Debt Management

At this point in your life, you may have had little or no personal experience with loans, credit cards, living expenses, or budgeting. However, understanding and practicing effective money management now will help you manage your money more efficiently after you leave school. Budgeting is the process of planning the most effective use of your financial resources by defining your expected monthly expenses (such as rent, food, telephone bills and student loan payments) and the resources you expect to have available (income) to pay these expenses. Your goal is to balance your income and expenses. To get started, photocopy the worksheet on page 35 and fill in your monthly and yearly cost estimates in each of the categories under “Budgeted.” Make a photocopy for each month of the year. Then each month during the coming year track your actual costs. By comparing your actual expenses with the amounts you budgeted, you can create a realistic guide for managing your expenses.

If you borrow from the Direct Loan Program, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is your lender and will remain your lender until the loan is paid in full. ED provides information at its website and in their publications to help you manage and repay your loans. Copies are available on the direct loan website or by calling their toll free number.

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