X

College & Career Training in Alaska

The start of yet another college/training school year is upon us. If you’re one of the many students who have completed your Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and are anxiously waiting for your federal financial aid funds to be transferred to your student account (to help pay your tuition, fees and books), here’s a little advice – Be patient. There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your financial aid is moving. First, know that it is your college or training school that distributes your financial aid. They all work a little different but are likely to follow these general guidelines:

When: Disbursements are usually made at the beginning of the fall semester and beginning of the spring semester (trimesters or quarters if you are not on a semester system).

For Grants, Scholarships, and Student Loans: In most cases, the college/training program applies your federal grants, loans, and scholarship money directly toward your tuition, fees, and room and board (if you live on campus.) If any money is left over, it will be disbursed to the student, usually by check or direct deposit if the student is set up for direct deposit. The same applies for money left over if the student is living off campus so that the student can apply it toward other college or living expenses.

If you’ve accepted a federal student loan, remember the following:

  • Make sure you’ve completed your entrance loan counseling and signed your master promissory note (MPN).  You can do that by clicking on the hyperlinks or going to: www.studentloans.gov. You will need your FSA ID to login.
  • If you are a first-year undergraduate and first-time borrower, you may be required to wait 30 days after the enrollment period. Check with your college.
  • If you decide you do not want to use your federal loan money, after it’s been disbursed, you can cancel your loan within 120 days and no fees or interest will be charged. Check with your financial aid office for more information.

Some state and private grants, scholarships, and loans may require certification from the college/training program that the student is enrolled and attending. So, it’s possible funds may not be awarded until after the drop/add deadline.

Parent Loans:

  • If a parent has taken a federal PLUS loan out on behalf of their student, the funds are usually disbursed directly into the student’s account to pay for all authorized charges.
  • If money is left over, it will be disbursed to the parent unless permission has been granted to give the leftover money to the student.
  • Unless a six month deferment is requested during the application process, and approved, payments for PLUS loans begin shortly after the first disbursement.

Work-Study

Unlike other financial aid, work-study funds are earned through hourly wages as part of employment, just like any other job. Work-study funds come to the student through an employer (almost always on-campus) who hires work-study students. Click here for more information on work-study.

If you have any questions about your disbursement or about your financial aid funds, contact your Financial Aid Office.

About the Author

Christina Campbell

Christina Campbell

ACPE: College & Career Specialist

Christina Campbell is a College & Career Specialist with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. She has a BS in Journalism and Communications from Eastern New Mexico University, and a Broadcast Meteorology Certification in Geosciences from Mississippi State University. Christina was on the original implementation team that brought College Goal Sunday to Alaska in 2005. 

Related

ACPE’s Alaska College & Career Advising Consortium (ACAC) Initiatives

ACPE’s Alaska College & Career Advising Consortium (ACAC) Initiatives

There are many reasons why Alaska’s high school graduates may not pursue postsecondary educati...

Read More >
One Big Reason to Make Loan Payments In School: Why pay when you don’t have to? To save money!

One Big Reason to Make Loan Payments In School: Why pay when you don’t have to? To save money!

If loans are part of your plan for college or career training, the first way to save is to do your r...

Read More >
Pre-Apprenticeships - a Bridge to Impressive Career Opportunities

Pre-Apprenticeships - a Bridge to Impressive Career Opportunities

Have you read about registered apprenticeship programs and thought it could be the right education/c...

Read More >
AKCIS Tools for Adults during COVID-19

AKCIS Tools for Adults during COVID-19

Wow! COVID-19 is probably giving you more time to reflect on your current employment status. Do yo...

Read More >
Scholarship Applications - How Things You've Learned Connect to Future Opportunities!

Scholarship Applications - How Things You've Learned Connect to Future Opportunities!

When I was a high school senior, I had no idea what to write on scholarship applications. I grew up ...

Read More >
Virtual Admission Counselors, Tours, and Orientations, what are they all about?

Virtual Admission Counselors, Tours, and Orientations, what are they all about?

For students who haven’t decided on where to pursue their education next, it may be a bit challengi...

Read More >