Financial Aid
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Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

How do I apply for Financial Aid?
When do I apply?
Why do I have to apply every year?
Who may apply for aid?
How long does it take to be notified if I am awarded?
I'm a Freshman. Will my financial aid cover my tuition and dorm?
When will I get my refund? Will I get all my monies in one semester? Can I get my aid early?
What if I applied for aid but did not submit all my documents on time?
What happens to my financial aid if I drop a class or withdraw completely?
Can I transfer my aid to another school?
Can I get financial aid during the summer?
I don't live with my parents, nor do they claim me as a tax exemption. Why am I not considered independent?
If my parents are divorced, whose income should be reported?
What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?
Where do I get my loan deferment form filled out?
When does interest on PLUS loans begin to accrue? When does a PLUS Loan go into repayment?
Can I make payments, even if I'm in school, in a grace period, have a deferment or have a forbearance?
My question wasn't answered - what next?

How do I apply for financial aid?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal Application electronically using FAFSA on the WEB.

Submit all documents as requested by the Student Financial Aid Office (i.e. tax returns, verification forms, etc.).

If you have already been admitted, you can use your University account access to check myMemphis for the most up-to-date information on your financial aid application. Other students should follow up with the Student Financial Aid Office periodically to make sure no additional information is needed.

If you listed the University of Memphis on your FAFSA but have decided to attend another school, notify us in order to avoid delays in getting your aid processed elsewhere.

When do I apply for financial aid?

YOU MUST APPLY EVERY YEAR (not every semester). The financial aid year begins in the fall and ends in the summer. Typically you would apply after January 1 for the following fall semester. For priority deadlines, review WHEN TO APPLY.

Why do I have to apply every year?

Financial aid is not automatically renewed. Federal requirements and/or your family's financial situation may change. So you must reapply for aid each year.

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Who may apply for financial aid?

Any undergraduate, graduate or law student currently enrolled or who applies for admission to The University of Memphis may apply for financial aid. However, students must be accepted into a degree program with a declared major, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; be making satisfactory academic progress and be enrolled at least half-time (in most cases) to receive aid. The number of credit hours required for eligibility is as follows:

Half-time 3/4 time Full-time

Undergraduate 6 9 12

Graduate* 5 ---- 9

Law** 6 ---- 12

*Graduate assistants are required to be enrolled in 12 graduate credit hours to be considered full-time.

**For federal aid purposes, half-time is defined as a minimum of 6 law credit hours for the fall and spring semesters. For law students, half-time during the summer is defined as a minimum of 3 law credit hours.

How long does it take to be notified if I am awarded?

It really depends on the time of year. If you are submitting documents for fall in January, February or March, award information is usually posted on myMemphis beginning in April once all the system upgrades have been put in place. If you are applying for aid when classes are already in session, the award information is usually posted within a week of submitting all your required documents.

I'm a Freshman. Will my financial aid cover my tuition and dorm?

Excluding scholarships, the maximum amount of Direct Stafford Loan funds that a Freshman (dependent student) can receive is $5500 per year (3500 subsidized; 2000 unsubsidized). That amount may be above any Federal Pell Grant, state grant or other assistance the student may have received. If that amount is not enough to cover expenses, the student and family are responsible for the difference. The dependent student's parent may apply for a Parent PLUS Loan to offset added expenses. If the parent is denied the PLUS Loan, the parent may request that the student borrow additional unsubsidized Stafford to offset costs (up to the amount the student is eligible for depending on grade level and other aid received).

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When will I receive my financial aid refund? Will I get all my financial aid (monies) in one semester? Can I get my aid early?

All financial aid refunds are disbursed through the Bursar's Office. For a disbursement schedule of excess financial aid, log on to the eBursar website. Aid will not be released early.

Most financial aid is processed based on an academic year (i.e. fall and spring). Aid awards are therefore usually disbursed evenly between the fall and spring semesters. If you plan to graduate in the fall or request that aid be processed for one semester only, then our office will process your award for half of an academic year's eligibility.

Federal regulations dictate when your monies can be disbursed. You may check the eBursar website for more detailed information regarding the disbursement of financial aid refunds. 

What if I applied for financial aid but did not submit all my documents on time?

If you do not have all your financial aid documents in before the fee payment deadline you may apply for the installment plan (see Fee Payment section under the Bursar's website for specific requirements). Please note that even if you applied for financial aid, there is no guarantee that you will be eligible to receive aid once all your documents are in. NOTE: The installment plan is NOT available in the summer. AVOID LATE FEES! Students dependent on Financial Aid to pay their fees must adhere to the missing requirement submission deadlines: August 1st - Fall, December 1st - Spring, May 1st - Summer.

What happens if I drop a class or withdraw completely?

If you completely withdraw or drop below half-time prior to receiving your aid, or prior to the beginning of classes, you are not eligible for your scheduled aid for that semester. If you drop a class or completely withdraw after receiving your disbursement, any balance of aid for that semester will be canceled. If you have a student loan, any refund due to complete withdrawal or drop in hours will be returned to the appropriate account and credited to your student loan. NOTE: Totally withdrawing prior to attending 60% of the academic term results in a calculation of "unearned financial aid" that MUST be repaid. 100% of financial aid is not earned until the student has attended at least 60% of the academic term.

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Can I transfer my financial aid to another school?

If you transfer from one institution to another within an academic year, you should be able to receive aid at your new institution. Due to availability and other factors such as cost, you may not be able to receive the same amount(s) and type(s) of aid. Even though you do NOT need to fill out the FAFSA again, you do need to contact their Central Processing Center (i.e. 1-800-433-3243) to have the results sent to your new institution. You may need to supply other documents to the new institution, so be sure to contact their Financial Aid Office.

Can I get financial aid during the Summer?

It depends on what aid you already received during the academic year. If you transfer from another institution and received aid there during the academic year (i.e. fall and/or spring), we would need to consider what aid you already received there. If you are unsure what your summer aid eligibility may be, you can submit a Summer Update Form, which is available on the Financial Aid Forms page in March each year.

I don't live with my parents, nor do they claim me as a tax exemption. Why am I not considered independent?

The federal guidelines determine dependency status. When you complete the FAFSA, you will be asked specific questions which determine your dependency status.

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If my parents are divorced, whose income should be reported?

Household and income information of the parent (and stepparent if any) whom you resided with more than half of the time during the last 12 months should be reported on the FAFSA.

What is the difference between Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans?

The federal government does not charge interest on a Subsidized Loan while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time, during a six-month grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment. However, interest is charged throughout the life of an Unsubsidized Loan, and it starts to accrue on the date of disbursement.

Where do I get my loan deferment form filled out?

All loan deferment forms should be taken directly to the Registrar's Office in 003 Wilder Tower. This office is responsible for enrollment certification.

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When does interest on PLUS Loans begin to accrue? When does a PLUS Loan go into repayment?

Because a PLUS Loan is a type of Unsubsidized Loan, interest on a PLUS Loan starts to accrue the day the loan is disbursed. Even though the account may not be in repayment, interest is still accruing.

PLUS Loans enter repayment on the date of the last disbursement on the loan, and the first payment is due within the next 60 days. PLUS Loans do not have a grace period.

Can I make payments, even if I’m in school, in grace, have a deferment or have a forbearance?

Payments can be made at ANYTIME. If you are in school, or your loan is in a grace period, deferment, or forbearance, you will not receive monthly bills, but checks or money orders can be made payable to the U.S. Department of Education. Please include the borrower’s Social Security Number on the check or money order and mail it to:

U.S. Department of Education
Direct Loan Payment Center
P.O. Box 746000
Atlanta, GA 30374-6000

Go to AskTOM for a wide range of questions and answers relating to financial aid.

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Last Updated: 1/23/12