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Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

Steps to Apply for Financial Aid.

In our office we get many questions about “what to do next”.  Hopefully the chart below will help serve as a quick reference for many of the common questions:

Step #1: To apply for all possible Federal Funds (Pell, SEOG, Work Study, and/or student loans) as well as HOPE and other State Funds, you MUST fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at

Step #2: OK, so you’ve completed your FAFSA form.  If you completed the form online and included our school code (001541) on the application, it will be processed, and then your information will be released to our office.  If you complete the FAFSA by hand, please submit it to the Department of Education for processing (Federal Student Aid Programs, PO BOX 4691, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864-0059).  NOTE: Processing time can take up to three weeks or longer depending on the time of year for online submission and six weeks or longer if submitted on the paper application and mailed.  All of your information will be available with current updates through BANNER (please check for ALL updates).

Step #3: Once we have received your FAFSA information; we will contact you via letter or email (through your ABAC email address) if we require further documentation (income tax transcripts, W-2 forms, etc.) from the previous tax year.  This additional information is also listed on BANNER (please check for ALL updates).

Step #4: After we have received all of the required information, a processor in our office will look over your file and verify all of your information.  Once this is complete (minimum time of 48-72 hours for the processing of documents) we can then make your financial aid award. NOTE: Awards are made beginning in April each year for the following academic year.

Step #5: Once you have been awarded, an award letter will be mailed out to you and emailed to you through your ABAC email account with information on amounts as well as other documentation explaining information on the type(s) of aid you are eligible for.  All of your information will be available with current updates through BANNER (please check for ALL updates).

Step #6: Alright, so now you have been awarded and received an award letter or have reviewed your award information online.  Now what?  If you have been awarded federal funds (HOPE, PELL, SEOG, Work Study, etc.) these are automatically applied to your account once you have registered for classes (some of these amounts may be adjusted based on the number of hours you are registered for).  You will need to speak with the Office of Student Financial Services for job assignment information.  If you do not wish to take out any loans, you are done.

Step#7: What if you want to take out loans? You can accept all loans online through BANNER.  Once this has been done, your loan will be created.  You will need to make sure you have also completed Student Loan Counseling (Entrance Counseling) and sign the Master Promissory Note.  This can be done on the website located at

Step #8: Once you have completed loan counseling and signed the Mastery Promissory Note (MPN), the loans will be generated on your account with the other eligible aid.

Step #9: You are now ready to receive financial aid.  Once awarded, you can use your excess aid to purchase books here on campus as well as other items (limited items).  Excess funds for financial aid awards are usually refunded no later than 30 days after classes begin each semester.