Frequently Asked Questions

It can be challenging to understand financial aid requirements and process. We’ve pulled together answers to some of the most common questions about financial aid. For additional information and support, our Financial Aid staff will be happy to assist you.

General Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Financial Aid mean?

    Financial Aid is a combination of grants (if you are eligible), subsidized loans (if you are eligible), and unsubsidized loans. It is not grants only. If you request maximum financial aid eligibility, this will include Direct Loans.

  • What is the difference between free money and money I have to pay back?

    Pell grant eligible students can receive “gift-aid,” or funding that you are granted to help pay for your education. You do not have to pay it back after you graduate, although there are limits on how much you can receive over a lifetime (see Pell LEU). Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are self-help aid, in the form of loans that you do need to pay back after you graduate. Subsidized loans are need-based, and unsubsidized are not. The government pays your interest on subsidized loans while you are in school; unsubsidized loans do have interest accruing. You can always choose the option to pay your interest while you are in school if you so choose.

  • Can grants cover my total tuition and fees at AIAM?

    No. Even if you qualify for maximum Pell grant funding, you must have alternate sources of funding to cover
    your program.

  • I am being asked to sign a payment plan for the amount that financial aid is not on track to cover over the course of my program. What happens if I agree to pay it, but then don’t pay this monthly?

    You won’t be meeting your financial requirements and may be dismissed from school. See the Controller, Ryan Phillips right away if you can’t meet your financial obligations.

  • I would like to have my costs covered, and receive additional funding to assist with other educational costs such as travel, books, and rent. Can I request the amount I want?

    There is a maximum amount of aid for which you are eligible. Even if you need more money, you can never receive more than the maximum award of your financial aid eligibility. You will be awarded for one academic year, and then receive disbursements per quarter. Once these disbursements are applied to your tuition and fee charges, if there is more financial aid than the cost of tuition and fees, you will receive that amount in a credit balance check you can use towards additional educational-related expenses. You can find information about this at

  • How do I know how much money I am eligible to receive on a credit balance check?

    You will receive an award letter for one academic year at a time. You can take the tuition and fees for each quarter from your statement and subtract out the amount of aid you are scheduled to receive. You can also take your anticipated tuition and fees by looking at your published curriculum. Multiply the number of credits you are on track to take by the cost per credit hour. Then add on any lab, tech, and graduation fees, as applicable. Subtract out your scheduled financial aid disbursement, per your award letter. If this number is negative, that is the amount you are scheduled to receive in a credit balance check.

    Example: You are supposed to take 12 credits Winter quarter, plus a lab and tech fee. 12 x $280 (cost per credit hour) plus a lab fee of $150 and a tech fee of $450=$3960. This is the cost of your tuition and fees. Your financial aid award indicates on January 15th you are scheduled to receive $1657 in pell, $1155 in subsidized loans, and $1979 in unsubsidized loans. This financial aid award totals: $4791. Your total cost: $3960 Minus (-) your Financial Aid Eligibility: $4791 =-831.* Since the number is negative, you are eligible to receive a check.

    *Make sure that your current balance is $0 however, or some of the funding will go towards your prior balance instead of to you.

  • When do I get my check?

    A credit balance check (called a refund check or an overage check), is what happens when you request and are eligible to receive more financial aid funding than the cost of tuition and fees. Please see the Disbursement Schedule on the website under Consumer Information. If you are processed and have provided all requested documentation at least 3 weeks prior to the quarter start, you will receive a credit balance check (if eligible) within the first 4 weeks of the quarter. If you have turned in paperwork recently, please expect a 4-6 week turn-around from that date before you will receive a check.

  • Where do I get my check?

    The Financial Aid Department (AIAM’s Business Office) will cut checks within 14 days of the date the disbursement is posted to your account. AIAM’s Front Desk staff or Office Manager will attempt to contact you the day the check is released so that you can pick it up at the front desk. If you are unable to pick it up within seven days, the check will be mailed to your address on file. It should arrive within 1-3 business days.

  • What can I do to get my money earlier next quarter?

    The easiest way to ensure your funds are processed as quickly as possible is to stay on top of your paperwork.

    Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible every year.

    Respond as soon as you get forms requiring input. If you get a request for more information or a signature, send in your response as soon as possible. If you think the FA Office already has what they need, but you are receiving requests for more information, send an email and make sure.

    Financial aid isn’t a race, but the sooner you fill out your paperwork and submit it, the better your chances of receiving money.

  • What the Financial Aid Office estimated for me has changed. How can it change?

    The FA Office works hard to provide accurate estimates of the financial aid eligibility you will have. However, unless you are a Medical Massage Therapy student, you cannot be awarded for an entire program at one time. It is only possible to award you for three quarters at a time, and not for your total program. You must fill out a new FAFSA- your eligibility may change from year to year. So, a student who was grant eligible one year may not be grant eligible the next. If you fail classes, make changes due to Leave of Absence, or have a request granted to add or drop a class, all of this may change your FA. Attending a school within the same year, defaulting on a prior loan such as a Perkins, or changes in your FA history can also change your award and/or estimate.

  • I want to add books to my account. Does that mean I get extra financial aid to cover my books?

    Once you are receiving the maximum amount of FA eligibility allowable, that amount cannot increase. If you have more FA than the cost of tuition and fees, you can use those funds for book expenses, or you can sign an authorization asking AIAM to apply those funds to book costs you have added to your account. If you don’t have enough FA eligibility to cover tuition and fees, even if you add books to your AIAM school account, you will need to pay them off in addition to any other charges you owe AIAM.

  • Can I add books to my account to be covered by FA?

    You will need to sign an authorization allowing AIAM to use your FA for costs other than tuition and fees. If you have more financial aid eligibility than the cost of tuition and fees, then your financial aid funding will apply towards books. Please pay attention to the number of books you add to your account, and make sure you pay for what financial aid does not.

  • Can I receive financial aid if I need to retake a class due to failure?

    It depends. Please see AIAM’s SAP policy in the AIAM catalog. Students in all programs are permitted to retake a class and use FA. But, if you drop below half-time, or if you are on probation, you may be required to appeal or may lose your ability to receive loans. Please review the SAP policy and see Financial Aid after meeting with your program advisor.

  • What is Special Circumstances/Professional Judgment?

    The FAFSA is meant to be a “snapshot;” when that snapshot isn’t accurate, you may need to request the FA Office to help make it accurate. Think of a photo of you. Then imagine adding your family members, and your house, your bank account, and the family’s amount of students in college, etc. We want that picture to be accurate. So, if you have suddenly had an unexpected job loss, won the lottery last year, or cashed in an IRA that won’t occur again, then see the FA Office. You will be required to provide documentation, so bring documents you think are relevant. We recommend an hour-long appointment. When in doubt, if you feel you have a circumstance that isn’t reflected adequately by the FAFSA, please make an FA appointment to discuss further.

  • If I withdraw during the quarter or payment period, do I have to pay the money back?

    Possibly. You can see Treatment of Title IV Funds in your AIAM Catalog. You will be notified in writing within 30 to 45 days from the date you indicated you were going to withdraw, or the date you were terminated for non-attendance for 14 consecutive calendar days. A letter will be sent to you indicating how much FA was sent back, and how much you owe AIAM as a result. Note: Failure to repay your loans will prevent any future financial aid anywhere in the United States.

  • I am being told I am going to hit my Pell LEU and that I will not have grant eligibility throughout my program. What does this mean?

    See Pell LEU. This means you are almost out of your lifetime eligibility allowance of Pell- you very likely may end up owing AIAM tuition and fees later in your program and should be prepared. If you are eligible to receive a credit balance check, you may want to apply that money toward a later quarter when you may owe.

  • I am being told I am going to run out of loan eligibility during my program. What does this mean?

    You are only allowed to borrow $57,500 as an undergraduate. If you are getting close to that limit, you may not be able to borrow enough during your program at AIAM because you cannot borrow more than $57,500. There is no way to borrow more money, except to pay down the amount you already owe in loans. If you are told you will not have enough loans to cover later quarters, be prepared that you will not have FA to cover your total amount of tuition and fees, even if you have enough for your first few quarters.

Pell LEU

You are only allowed to receive a certain amount of grant funding. This is roughly 6 years or 600%. You will receive a notification on your SAR when you complete a FAFSA that you are getting close to your limit. Once this is gone, you may never again receive Pell, even if it’s another award year and you fill out another FAFSA. You are out of Pell funding and should prepare that you may owe money to AIAM once this LEU is met.

  • Why am I being told that I am about to run out of money, but am receiving financial aid now?

    You may not run out of funding until you reach your second or even third academic year. When this happens, you are eligible to be awarded “normal” amounts up until you reach those limits. In some cases, you may even be eligible to receive a credit balance check, and have more financial aid eligibility than the cost of tuition and fees for a few quarters, before you run out of funding eligibility. The Financial Aid Office warns you of a future event so that you are prepared in advance that you will be on track to owe AIAM money when your funding sources are fully or partially exhausted.

  • I just need to drop off documents; do I have to make an appointment?

    Yes, however, for your convenience the appointment is scheduled for 15 minutes and usually takes less than 5 minutes to accomplish.

  • I dropped off my requested documentation, and I am still receiving emails that I am in tracking to provide what I submitted. Why?

    Did you turn in the documents recently, such as within 7-10 days? Then don’t worry. Once you turn in the documentation that you were requested to return, you basically go into a processing line and depending on how far in advance you are taking care of this, you can often get stuck in “traffic.” If the instructions in the email change, make sure to follow new instructions. Sometimes we are required to request additional information.

Questions for Prospective Students

  • I’m enrolled at two colleges. Can I receive financial aid from two different schools at the same time?

    No, you cannot receive aid from more than one school during the same award year. You may put many different school codes on your FAFSA, but you must decide at which school you would like to receive FA.

  • I was enrolled at another college during this award year. Will this affect receiving aid?

    It’s possible. You may have limited eligibility left to use this award year. It may be beneficial to wait to start classes. See the FA Office to determine what your award will look like to see if you are affected, and what it will mean for you, personally. In some cases, attending two schools in the same award year hurts your eligibility as if you were attending the two schools at the same time, so it is best to ask first!

  • I am a VA Student. Why do you need all of my prior transcripts?

    All prior Official College/University attendance with the graduation date should be on file with Admissions when you start your program at AIAM. You must provide ALL transcripts from ALL colleges or universities you have attended no matter how long ago to be certified for VA benefits. The VA is very serious that they will not pay twice for the same class, so you must make sure that your transcripts are on file and evaluated by AIAM for transfer credit, even if you feel certain nothing will transfer.

  • Do I have to be full-time (12+ units) to receive FA?

    No. It simply depends on the number of transfer credits and your program. If you have questions, see the FA Office. Payments are indeed based on the number of units you are enrolled in at the time we disburse funds. The program for which you must be enrolled in at least 6 units is Federal Direct Loans.

  • How do I tell AIAM to process my financial aid?

    You do this by filling out an application for FAFSA and scheduling an appointment with AIAM’s Financial Aid Office. Please note that we only process your aid for one academic year at a time, which is defined by FSA guidelines. For all programs offered by AIAM, this is 3 quarters. You will receive a notification to complete another request for FA for your next academic year. Failure to do so at least 3 weeks before the start of your next quarter/academic year WILL result in significant delays in processing and receiving aid. It may also cause your total amount of next quarter’s tuition to come due without FA applied. See “Repackage.”

  • Will I receive something letting me see what my costs and financial aid package are estimated to look like so that I can shop between schools?

    Yes, you will receive a Payment Summary from the FA Office showing your estimated total costs, and estimated financial aid. Please note that while we strive to make this as accurate as possible, future eligibility requires additional FAFSA data, which means we cannot anticipate your future eligibility with 100% accuracy. The Payment Summary also uses “real-time” data, which means if transfers come in after you receive this summary, or receive additional funding, it won’t be reflected. If you believe you will receive outside funding, such as a scholarship, or believe you will have transfer credits, note that we will not include this on your payment summary until FA receives official notification (i.e., approved transfer credit form, scholarship award notice, etc.).

  • Do I have to apply again for FA in the future?

    You’ll need to do a FAFSA every year and reapply with AIAM for FA every three quarters.

Medical Massage Therapy Students

  • Am I full-time?

    For FA reporting purposes, and VA purposes, you are 1/2 time students.

  • Do I get a full year of FA?

    The Medical Massage Therapy program is a credit hour program. Your financial aid will be based on a prorated calculation based on the program’s total credit hours.

  • Do I get billed each quarter?


  • What happens if I fail a course?

    Please contact FA at 614-825-6255 Ext 238 for further assistance.

Office of Inspector General Referral

It is important to provide accurate information regarding financial aid. If the Financial Aid Office has reason to believe that a student or parent has purportedly misrepresented facts relevant to the student’s financial aid application or has committed forgery or fraud, and/or has misrepresented their marital status or family size, the student will be contacted to meet with the Financial Aid Director to determine if misrepresentation was intentional. If it is determined that the student’s misrepresentation was intentional, forgery or fraud, the information will be forwarded to the office of Inspector General in writing by the Director of Financial Aid.

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