Financial Aid – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines eligibility for all federal financial aid programs including grants and education related loans. The FAFSA process determines how much a family can afford to contribute toward the student’s college education based on household income and other factors.  The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance (COA) budget to determine unmet need. You can start applying as early as October 1st of each year for the next academic year.

What financial aid is available at Ave Maria University?

Federal Aid

  • Pell Grant – based on FAFSA application results
  • Subsidized Student Loans – no interest charged until graduation
  • Unsubsidized Student Loans – interest bearing from the day disbursed
  • Parent Plus Loans – interest bearing from the day disbursed
  • Federal Work Study
  • FSEOG – Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

State Aid:

  • Bright Futures – based on state criteria
  • Effective Access to Student Education EASE Grant
  • Florida Student Assistance Grant – based on FAFSA result
  • Other programs decided by the state


  • Donor funded and institutional aid. Automatically awarded to students who qualify or by invitation only.

How do I know what aid I am getting?

You will receive an initial award letter from the financial aid office via mail and or e-mail. This letter will detail your financial aid package and give you instructions on logging in to your Financial Aid portal as a first time user, including your username and password. Thereafter, if there are any changes to your package, you will be e-mailed.

What if my password for the Financial Aid portal has expired?

Go to:

  2. Password Reset Portal
  3. Reset Password

How do I know if I need to provide any additional documentation?

  1. Go to your Financial Aid portal
  2. Click on “Documents and Messages”

I don’t see my aid on my bill. Did I lose my aid?

Not necessarily. Log on to your financial aid portal and make sure that you accepted all your aid and completed all required documentation. We will only apply your aid to your bill when we have received all required documents.

How do I know how much I owe AMU?

You can check your balance in your self-service portal. Keep in mind that your bill will not be assessed until you enroll in your classes and or after a certain date determined by the bursar’s office. Contact them at 239-280-1673 for more information about your bill.

I am a US Veteran. How do I apply for benefits?

If you have not already done so, your first step is to apply for your VA education benefits at Within a few weeks, you will be given a certificate of eligibility (if approved). Bring this document to the financial aid office. We are your certifying officials of VA education benefits. You may also e-mail the document to

Can I get financial aid each year?

Yes! Your financial aid is renewable each year you attend Ave Maria University as long as you renew your FAFSA annually and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

My grade point average does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress; have I lost my financial aid for the academic year?

To learn more about the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy and see how to appeal the loss of your aid visit our web-site. You may also contact us at 239-280-1669.

What if my grade point average is not sufficient to meet the requirements for my Florida Bright Futures Scholarship?

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship program has strict guidelines for student eligibility and renewal. Click here to see their handbook.

What happens if not all my classes are completed?

  • Aid will be evaluated and possibly prorated based on the % of time spent in the classes
  • ALWAYS contact Financial Aid before withdrawing to learn all the consequences

Can I get financial aid for the summer term?

If you have not used your full year’s allocation for student loan funding prior to the summer term, you will be able to apply the excess amount to your summer tuition and fees. Please contact the Financial Aid Office (FAO) after you have registered for the summer term.  Minimum half-time enrollment (6 credits) applies for Stafford student loans.

Pell – you may get the PELL in the summer as long as you enroll in half time (6 credits).

Bright Futures – you may get Bright Futures in the summer as long as you enroll at least halftime (6 credits).

Do AMU scholarships and grants disburse for the summer term?

Institutional money, including but not limited to scholarships and grant money, is awarded only for the fall and spring semester.

What if I have received financial aid and I have to withdraw from school during the term?

If you must withdraw before the end of the semester, the Financial Aid Office will conduct a Title IV return calculation, whereby the amount of aid you have not “earned” during your enrollment must be returned to the program(s) from which it disbursed in accordance with AMU’s federally mandated return policy. This amount is jointly shared by AMU and the student, and is based on your official withdrawal date or the date on which you last attended class.  Failure to notify the Office of Academic Records of your change in enrollment may constitute an earlier withdrawal date than actually occurred if your attendance cannot be properly verified, resulting in a greater return of funds.  You will also need to consult the Academic Records’ Office Policy of Withdrawal in the AMU Catalogue concerning the amount of tuition and fees you are eligible to have refunded; in the event you withdraw after the fourth week of class, you may not receive any refund of tuition.  Be aware that Federal Student Aid may not cover all unpaid institutional charges upon withdrawal.  You should take into consideration your financial responsibility to the institution, federal programs, and your lender prior to making your final decision.

What if my financial circumstances change?

If your situation is unusual or financial circumstances have significantly changed from the previous tax year, you may submit a Professional Judgement form. If you have questions, contact our office and we will be happy to help you through the process.

What if I have more aid than I need? Will receive a refund of the excess?

Excess award policy

Eligibility for institutional aid may change based on funds received from other sources. The sum of all funding not including Loans, Florida Prepaid, and distributions from qualified 529 plans are considered when determining eligibility. The sum of all remaining funds allocated to a student’s account (including AMU Academic and Athletic Scholarships) must not exceed the cost of tuition, associated fees, room and board (when living in campus housing). The only allowable excess is the estimated book allowance, (provided in the cost of attendance) for books purchased only through the Follett online bookstore.  

Furthermore, no institutional aid (including AMU Academic and Athletic Scholarships) can be refunded. The financial aid office will adjust the institutional aid awarded to affected students and e-mail notifications.

What is the process for using aid to pay for my books and/or supplies?

If you have an excess of funds for tuition and University fees, an amount of up to $600 per semester will be offered in advance of the start of classes, but no more than that to help pay for books or supplies in the Follet online book store only. You will be notified by the bursar’s office via e-mail and instructions will be provided. Please note: your eligibility to use these funds will be limited to a minimal period, such as the first week of classes. If you chose to not purchase your books with these funds, the aid will be reduced if the excess is a result of any institutional aid offered to you. If your excess is a result of loans, you will receive a refund. Please refer to AMU’s excess award policy below.

I have a Florida Pre Paid Tuition Fund. Can I use it to pay my tuition at AMU?

Yes. Please provide a copy of your Florida Prepaid College Tuition card to the student billing and follow the instructions on the web at to apply your benefits.

How can I estimate my out-of-pocket cost to attend AMU?

Prospective students can estimate the cost of attending AMU, minus institutional, federal, and state assistance. Visit our tuition cost page. If you already have a financial aid package subtract your bottom line number from the costs. This is your estimated out of pocket expense. Please contact us if you need any clarification.

What Other Options are Available to Pay for My Educational Costs?

Where can I get advice on loans and money management?

To learn how to manage your money and handle your college debt, visit GRADREADY.