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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about financial aid at Saint Louis University. 

General Questions

Is there a way for me to estimate the cost of attending SLU?

Yes, you can use our cost calculator. The exact cost of attending SLU can vary depending on your program or degree.

Why is my Student Aid Index (SAI) different than the amount I have to pay?

Your SAI is a measure of your family's financial strength and indicates how much of your and your family's financial resources could be available to help pay for your education. The SAI is calculated from the information you reported on your FAFSA. The amount you have to pay at any school may be different from your SAI because your SAI is a constant, while costs at each school may vary.

Saint Louis University uses resources from generous donors in addition to state and federal funds to provide you with your financial aid package. While our institutional funds provide a great deal of assistance to our students, our funds are also limited. We strive to distribute our awards to each family equitably and ethically based upon the information given.

I think my family makes too much money. Should I still apply for financial aid?

Regardless of household income or assets, you will qualify for student loans. We recommend that everyone complete a FAFSA before their first year of school so that we can award the best financial aid package possible. The FAFSA takes many factors into consideration including household size, number in college, asset portfolio and more. In fact, families with more than $200,000 in adjusted gross income have qualified for aid.

Can I have more than one federal work-study job?

No, you may only participate in one federal work-study job. However, you can work a second job on campus; these are known as "student worker" positions. Your work-study job hours are limited by federal law to a maximum of 15 hours per week. As a student worker, your hours are set by the department in which you work. You can search both types at career services.

When should I apply for summer financial aid?
The applications for summer aid are generally made available by the first part of April.
I'm a returning student. When will I get my award letter?
Award letters to returning students are emailed to your Saint Louis University email account and are generally sent in mid-April.
What will happen if/when I drop a class?
Your financial aid counselor can help guide you through this situation. Find more information on refunds and how dropping a class or withdrawing from SLU affects your student aid.
Where do I send my private scholarship check?

It is your responsibility to notify student financial services of all outside awards (scholarships, loans, etc). If you receive a scholarship check made out to your name instead of SLU, bring it to our office in DuBourg Hall, Room 119, so that it can be credited your student account. Make sure to include your Banner ID on the check. You can also mail your private scholarship checks to the address below:

Saint Louis University
Office of Student Financial Services
Attn: Scholarship Department
One Grand Boulevard
DuBourg Hall, Room 119
St. Louis, MO 63103


FAFSA Questions

What is SLU's FAFSA school code?

Saint Louis University's FAFSA school code is 002506.

Is there a deadline to file?

SLU has suspended all institutional aid application deadlines due to the limited availability of the FAFSA form and delay in schools receiving FAFSA information for students for the 2024-2025 aid year. 

Do I have to file a FAFSA?

You do not have to fill out a FAFSA, but we highly recommend doing so. Even families with high income levels can be awarded some type of aid after filing their FAFSA.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. To be considered for aid, the FAFSA must be completed each year.

What is meant by "prior, prior year" (PPY)?

When filing the FAFSA, beginning each year in October for the upcoming school year, you will use the tax return you already filed in April, i.e. for the 2024-25 academic year, you will use your 2022 tax return.

What are the advantages to using prior, prior year?
In the past, when filing the FAFSA, in order to file by deadlines established for time-sensitive programs, students had to use estimated numbers and then correct them when the tax return is filed in April. Since you will be using a tax year for which the filing deadline has already come and gone (even the extension deadline), the numbers will be actual and there will be no need to change.

Another advantage is the service the Internal Revenue Service provides called the Direct Data Exchange. When filing the FAFSA, students will be asked to use the Direct Data Exchange to provide the answers from the federal tax return. This will both automatically draw the appropriate tax information into the FAFSA populating the fields with the correct corresponding data and cut down on potential corrections, verifications and award adjustments.
May a student choose which year they use to file the FAFSA?
No. The FAFSA will request prior-prior year income information for all applicants.
Which FAFSA should I complete and which tax year information should I use?
If you play to apply for financial aid for ... Use information from ... Submit the FAFSA as early as ... Preferred time frame to file is ... SLU will begin to award aid on or after ...
2023-2024 academic year 2021 Oct. 1, 2022 Oct. 1, 2022-Feb. 1, 2023 Feb. 2023
2024-2025 academic year 2022 December 2023 Jan. 1, 2024-April 1, 2024

April 2024 (new students) 

June 2024 (returning students)

Where can I get more information and help with the FAFSA?
Visit and remember, as you fill out your FAFSA online, you can refer to help text for every question or (during certain times of day) chat online with a customer service representative.
Why was I chosen for verification?

Verification is an audit process required by the Department of Education. The Department of Education selects FAFSAs to audit for a variety of reasons, some of which include incomplete or inconsistent answers.

I have special circumstances not reflected on the FAFSA. How do I tell SLU about this?
Saint Louis University understands that circumstances sometimes change after you file your FAFSA. To share this, you can complete the Special Circumstances explanation process. One of our financial aid counselors will follow up with you regarding your special circumstances.


FAFSA Simplification

What is FAFSA Simplification?

The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.

What is changing with the FAFSA?
  • The application will be shorter and more user-friendly
  • Students can list up to 20 colleges
  • FAFSA is available in more languages
  • Applicants will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange
  • All contributors must provide financial information
  • Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • The Federal Pell Grant expands to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
  • The guidance on which parent income to report for students whose parents are separated or divorced has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support to the student, rather than the parent who lives at the student’s primary residence.
  • Family farms and small businesses must be reported as assets
  • Unlike the EFC calculation, the SAI will not include the number of family members in college. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college.
  • To speed up processing time, parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID and submit their FAFSA application online. They will no longer have to print, sign and mail the form.
What is Direct Data Exchange and why should I use it?
The IRS Direct Data Exchange allows automatic population of a student’s FAFSA with tax return data and decreases the need for additional documentation. It can be used by millions more students and families under prior-prior year, since tax data from two-years prior would be readily available upon application. It cuts down on the need to make corrections to the completed FAFSA which, in turn, reduces the need to adjust already awarded aid. It is now required for consent to be granted in order to be eligible for need-based aid. 
What isn’t changing?
  • Your SLU aid offered is guaranteed for 10 semesters, as long as you maintain a 2.0 GPA.
  • The FAFSA is still required for consideration of federal and state financial aid every year.
  • Federal Student Loan limits will not change
  • Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA will remain the same.
  • The FAFSA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you’ll report 2022 income and assets on your 2024-2025 application.
When should I submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA?
Due to the changes to the form in 2024-2025, the FAFSA opened in late December 2023. SLU has suspended all institutional aid application deadlines due to the limited availability of the FAFSA form and delay in schools receiving FAFSA information for students for the 2024-2025 aid year. Please reach out to us if you are experiencing issues in filing or submitting the FAFSA for 2024-2025. 
When will SLU receive my FAFSA?

Historically, the FAFSA has been available beginning October 1 each year. However, because of significant changes to the application and the rebuild of the FAFSA processing system, the U.S. Department of Education has indicated that students will be able to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA by December 31 and schools will begin receiving FAFSA data by January 31. This means we won't be able to notify students that we've received their FAFSA until February. 

Update: The Department of Education announced on January 30, 2024, that there will be a delay in processing FAFSA information. They have indicated that colleges and universities will begin receiving student FAFSA information "in the first half of March." We will continue to post updates here, as we have them. 

Update: The Deparment of Education has processed the backlog of submitted FAFSAs and sent information to institutions. There have been a number of processing issues identified that need reprocessing in order to correctly determine aid eligibility for students. We will begin sending out Financial Aid Offers to new students prior to May 1 and anticipate sending offers to returning students in June. 

My parents are separated or divorced. Who should file the 2024-2025 FAFSA?

FAFSA guidelines say you should answer the parent section using information about the parent that provided more financial support for you over the last 12 months. 

If one parent did not contribute more than the other, you should give answers about the parent who earns the greater income. 

The parent that provided more financial support during the last 12 months is identified as the custodial parent, and you will use their information on the FAFSA. If the custodial parent is remarried as of the date you are filing your FAFSA, answer the questions using information about your parent and your stepparent.

Do I need an FSA ID?

All contributors will need an FSA ID, including parents without a Social Security Number.

Contributors include: 

  • The student 
  • Student's parent(s) and/or step-parent(s), if dependent 
  • Student spouse, if married

Parents of dependent students that filed taxes married filing jointly in 2022 will only need one parent FSA ID. Parents that filed taxes married filing separately will each need an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA. Parents without a Social Security Number will be able to establish an FSA ID in order to electronically file the FAFSA. 

If you already have an FSA ID, you do not need to create a new one. You can recover your FSA ID and password here

I'm having trouble completing the form. What do I do? 

Due to significant changes to the form this year, some users are encountering technical issues when trying to establish an FSA ID or complete the form. You can refer to the FAFSA Issue Alerts webpage to see if other users are encountering the same error and learn if there is a work-around while Federal Student Aid fixes the issue. 

You can also reach out to Federal Student Aid customer service to receive recommendations on how to proceed. 

I've heard that the calculation is wrong. What does that mean? 

It was announced that Federal Student Aid failed to update some components in order to calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI) accurately. Once the FAFSA is submitted, it will show an estimated Student Aid Index on your submission page. This number could change as they update key components in the calculation for 2024-2025, or these changes could be implemented in the 2025-2026 aid year instead. We will work to ensure that your Financial Aid Offer from SLU is as accurate as possible knowing the information from Federal Student Aid may not be accurate at this time. We will communicate any updates from Federal Student Aid here once we have them. 

Update: The Department of Education has announced that they will make the necessary updates to the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation in the 2024-2025 aid year. Due to these changes, there will be a delay in processing of student FAFSA information and when that information will be sent to schools. The Department of Education has indicated that they will begin sending FAFSA information to schools in "the first half of March." 

Where can I find more information about FAFSA Simplification?
Additional FAFSA Simplification and Financial Aid resources can be found here.


Loan Questions

What types of educational loans can I or my family apply for?

The most common student loans are Federal Direct Loans. There also are federal Parent PLUS loans, federal Graduate PLUS loans and private loans.

How do I sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete entrance counseling?

Federal Direct loan Master Promissory Notes and entrance counseling can be completed at SLU will be notified once you have completed your Direct Loans MPN.

Private loans will require the completion of a credit-qualifying application and promissory note. Steps may vary by lender.

What are the interest rates for student loans?

Interest rates vary with the type of loan. Specific rates for the 2023-24 school year are displayed below.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (Undergraduate) - 5.50%
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Undergraduate) - 5.50%
  • Parent PLUS Loan (Undergraduate) - 8.05%
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Graduate) - 7.05%
  • Graduate PLUS Loan - 8.05%

Private loans have fixed and variable rates based either on the prime interest rate or the three-month LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offer Rate) and the credit scores of the applicants.

What are the total amount limits for Federal Direct loans?
  • Dependent, Undergraduate: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized Federal Direct loans)
  • Independent, Undergraduate: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized Federal Direct loans)
  • Graduate: $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of which can be subsidized Federal Direct loans)
What is the total amount of my college loans?

You can review all the federal student loans you have taken out while an undergraduate and/or graduate student online. You will need your FSA ID to access this information. To obtain information regarding non-federal loans such as a private loan, contact your loan provider.

When do educational loans go into repayment?
  • Federal student loans go into repayment six months after you drop below half-time (usually six credit hours for undergraduate and may vary for graduate programs) or graduation.
  • Private student loans vary by lender.
  • Federal parent loans generally begin repayment 60 days after the final loan disbursement; however, parents may request a deferment (delay in payment) for up to four years. There is no grace period. Interest begins to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made.
What is the difference between federal and private loans?

Private loans are an option for financing your college education that are separate from the standard forms of lending from federal and state governments, such as the Federal Direct loans and PLUS loans.

While federal student loans are not credit-qualifying loans but limit borrowing to specific amounts, private loans are credit-qualifying loans requiring a credit-worthy co-signer. Private loans allow you to borrow up to cost of attendance minus your other financial aid.