SFS Frequently Asked Questions
What can the Office of the Bursar help with?
- Billing & Payment Due Date
- Identifying Holds/Removal of Financial Holds
- Receipt of Outside Scholarship and Direct Pay Third-Party Checks
- Special Billing (Third-Party Contracts & Payment Plans)
What can the Office of Financial Aid help with?
- Financial Aid Eligibility and FAFSA
- Fellowships, Scholarships, Tuition Remission, Loans, and Grants
Financial Aid Questions
- Full-Time: 12+ credits
- Three-Quarters Time: 9-11 credits
- Half-Time: 6-8 credits
- Less than Half-Time: 1-5 credits
- Full-Time: 9+ credits
- Half-Time: 4-8 credits
- Full-Time: 12+ credits
- Full-Time: 11+ credits
- Full-Time: 9+ credits
Note: Audited courses cannot be included in meeting the minimum required credit hours toward eligibility.
Financial aid is money used to help students and their families pay for college. Financial aid can come from the federal government, the state where the student lives, the school the student attends, or a nonprofit or private organization. Financial aid is used to cover all educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Financial aid comes in the form of grants, institutional and external scholarships, work study and loans.
In order to apply for aid student’s and parents will need to navigate to studentloans.gov and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Each student and parent will need to create their own unique FSA ID in order to log in and out of the application.
No, you can fill out the FAFSA before being fully admitted to Howard University, but your aid eligibility cannot be determined until you are an admitted student.
Yes, you must complete a new FAFSA every academic year. All applicants are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by Howard’s priority deadline for that academic year.
After submitting your FAFSA the Department of Education uses that information to determine your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is then used to determine how much a family can contribute towards the student’s education. Howard will use the EFC to determine eligibility for need based funds as well as federal financial aid. Financial need is determined by your cost of attendance (total cost to attend Howard)-EFC=financial need.
Ex: Student has 650 EFC and the Cost of Attendance is $44,951; Financial Need=44,301
Yes. There are additional sources of aid such as low interest unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans that are not determined by need. Also, it is wise to have a backup plan in case your family experiences unexpected financial hardships.
Yes. To be considered independent for financial aid purposes, you must meet one of the following criteria based on federal regulations:
- Are now 24 years old, or will turn 24 by December 31st of the FAFSA filing year
- Are working on a master’s or doctorate program
- Are married
- Have children who receive more than half of their support from you
- Have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you
- Are an orphan or a ward/dependent of the court (until age 18)
- Be active duty or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
Moving from on campus to off campus housing has no affect on your financial aid.
The Howard University Freshman Scholarship (HUFS) Program is designed to assist accepted First-Time-in-College students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement throughout their secondary school career and have chosen to attend Howard University. Scholarships are automatically awarded on a first-come, first-served, basis to eligible candidate. A separate application is NOT required. Scholarships are awarded until all the funds have been exhausted and not all eligible applicants will receive a scholarship.
Note: Freshman students and First-Time-In-College students are not eligible for Donor Scholarships and should NOT complete a Donor Scholarship application.
Please visit the following sites for more outside/private scholarship opportunities:
The amount of loans a student can receive varies by their academic level and student status. See the below chart for annual and aggregate loan limits:
Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit
$5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit
$6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate Loan Limit
$7,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Graduate or Professional Students Annual Loan Limit
Not Applicable (all graduate and professional students are considered independent)
$20,500 (unsubsidized only)
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit
$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$57,500 for undergraduates—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
$138,500 for graduate or professional students—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.
A Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan is available to undergraduate students who display financial need. A Subsidized Loan does not accrue interest while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time (6 credits), for the first 6 months after a student leaves school whether for graduation or breaks in enrollment, and during a period of deferment.
A Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students and the student does not have to demonstrate financial need. Direct Unsubsidized loans begin to accrue interest immediately after the disbursement occurs.
Yes, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Allied Health have special funds. You must include parental information on your FAFSA regardless of your dependency status to be considered for these grants, scholarships, and loans.
No, your aid is based on your enrollment at the end of the drop/add period. Aid is not adjusted after that date.
Financial Aid Verification
The process of verification allows the Department of Education to check the accuracy of the information entered in the FAFSA by requiring schools to collect specific documentation related to that information. If selected for this process, financial aid cannot be awarded until the process is complete. Students will be notified via email if they are selected for verification and they will be told what documents they will need to submit, along with instructions on how to submit them.
To try and reduce the probabilities of being flagged for verification all students and parents are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA and to not amend that data so that all tax information is directly transferred. However, there is still a possibility a student will be flagged even if the DRT is used.
There are instances where the Department of Education places the verification flag on a student’s application after it has already been received by the school, and in many cases the school has already disbursed the students’ aid. If a student is flagged for verification after the aid has already been disbursed, that student will have 45 days to complete the process or all aid must be canceled which can result in a balance being owed to the university.
The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships can verify each of the following for parents and students:
- Adjusted Gross Income (parent and student)
- Taxes Paid
- Income Earned from Work
- Certain Untaxed Income
- Household Size and Number in College
- Child Support Paid
- Any other inconsistent or conflicting information
The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships can request documentation to verify what is in the FAFSA. The specific documentation will vary based on a family or student’s individual case.
- The two years prior tax return transcript for both the parent and student, if the student is dependent. So, for the 2019-2020 academic year the FAFSA uses the 2017 tax return data.
- A Verification Worksheet to confirm household size and number in college
- W-2’s for the parent and student if the student is dependent
- Non-tax filer statement if taxes were not filed
- Statement of child support paid
- Verification of Net Worth
*Please note once verification begins, we may need to ask for additional documentation based on the tax transcript.
You can get your free transcripts immediately online. You can also get them by phone, by mail, or by fax within 5-10 business days from the time the request was received.
- To view and print your transcripts online, please visit https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
- To order by phone, call 800-906-9946 and follow the prompts
- To request an individual tax return transcript by mail or fax, complete Form 4506T-EZ by using the link https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript and selecting “Get Transcript by Mail”
If a student does not submit the required documents by the deadline in place for that semester, that student is not eligible for any federal aid or any aid that requires a FAFSA on file to receive it.
Only for those students who have enough awarded and accepted financial aid to cover their semester balances-or- those who have submitted documentation for an approved third party billing contract before the payment deadline will the hold be released. Please note, if a third-party contract or pending aid will not cover your entire balance, you must also pay the anticipated difference by the payment deadline. For all other students who receive a financial hold on their account, the balance must be under $200.00, no exceptions.
Checks should always contain the student’s full name and Howard University student identification number. The mailing address is:
2400 6th Street NW, Room 115
Washington, D.C. 20059
Follow these steps:
- Log into Bison Web
- Click on Student Services
- Click on Student Accounts
- Click the option to View and Pay Your Bill
- Log into epay.howard.edu
- From the main ePay page, click Payment Plans
Please note: Payment plans are available through Howard University ONLY for the current academic year and within the open enrollment period, no exceptions.
- Initial requests for third-party arrangements should be directed to our email, email@example.com. Include your name, student ID number, and the nature of your inquiry. You will be contacted with further instructions. Please consider the payment deadline, and submit your request at least a week before the payment due date to allow for processing.
- Returning students must submit third-party documentation for each semester they intend to receive assistance from a third-party. Letters of credit and financial guarantees, etc., must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the close of business the day of the payment deadline, no exceptions. Remember, financial responsibility remains with the student regardless of any anticipated assistance.
Howard University offers tuition rebates to qualified graduates for up to half of their tuition costs that were paid out of pocket for the Spring 2020 semester. The Tuition Rebate Program provides a great incentive for students to complete degree requirements and graduate on time.
Included below is the awarding criteria for the University’s 2020 Tuition Rebate Program.
- Must be graduating on time, i.e., within four years (201608 or later)
- Must not be receiving full tuition remission, a Howard University freshman scholarship or athletic scholarship; a student may qualify if his/her scholarship does not cover the full cost of tuition
- Must have made direct payments (credit card, cash, checks, etc.) towards his/her Spring 2020 term; the rebate is only eligible for tuition charges
- Must be an undergraduate student, who matriculated into Howard University as a first-year student; unfortunately, transfer, graduate and professional students are not eligible
If a student used any federal aid for the Spring 2020 semester, that amount is deducted from the tuition amount before direct payments are considered (i.e., students using a Parent Plus loan are ineligible if the loan covers the full tuition amount).
An evaluation will be performed during the first week of June for 2020 graduates (201608 cohort). Once the Office of the Bursar has determined those eligible students, their information will be forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid for coding before the Bursar’s office processes the rebate.
1. What is the Financial Agreement?
The Student Financial Responsibility Agreement (herein referred to simply as agreement) informs students of the financial responsibilities associated with enrolling for classes at Howard University and explains the potential consequences if a student fails to meet those obligations. It is part of the “Check-in” process.
2. Why do I have to acknowledge and sign the Agreement?
Our goal is to help our students understand the cost of their education and the financial policies associated with their enrollment at Howard University. This agreement, in conjunction with our website, letters and other documentation, helps define the University’s expectations for payment, and allows us to clearly inform students of our policies related to billing, late payment penalties, contact methods, etc.
3. How often do I need to sign and complete the agreement?
Students will be asked to complete the Agreement each semester throughout their academic career at Howard University. (i.e. Undergraduate, Graduate, Professional, etc.)
4. Howard quickly can I register after completing the Agreement?
Assumingly all other requirements have been satisfied and no HOLDS are on your account, then the completion of the agreement (Check-in process) will lift the related hold immediately and you will be able to proceed with enrollment.
5. What happens if I refuse to sign?
The agreement serves as notification of potential consequences of non-payment, and to provide vital account information. If a student chooses not to complete the Agreement, they will not be permitted to register for classes until the issue is resolved.