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Financial Aid FAQs

Applying for Financial Aid

I completed the FAFSA using estimated tax information. Do I need to do anything else?
I am an ABSN student. I am 23 and I support myself. How can I become independent for financial aid purposes?
My tax return does not reflect my current income. How should I report this?
I have other extenuating circumstances that I wasn’t able to indicate on the FAFSA or the DUSON Financial Aid application. How can I report this?

Financial Aid Awards

My aid award only includes part of my program. What about aid during my final semesters?
How do I accept my financial aid?
I am receiving an outside scholarship. Do I need to report this?
My award says “Additional Loan Eligibility.” What does this mean?

Disbursements and Student Bursar Account

When will my financial aid disburse?
When will I receive my refund check?
How do I access my 1098-t for tax reporting?
I’m having difficulty understanding how to use my ACES account.

Student Loans

How many credit hours do I need to take to receive federal loans?
How do I receive the federal loans offered to me?
How do I apply for a direct Graduate or Parent Plus loan?
What if I’m not approved for the direct Graduate or Parent PLUS loan?
When will my student loan disburse?
How do I apply for a private loan?

Applying for Financial Aid

I completed the FAFSA using estimated tax information. Do I need to do anything else?
Yes, once you have filed your federal tax return you must update the FAFSA income information. We recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval feature on the FAFSA to import the updated tax information which is available two weeks after filing taxes electronically. In most cases, the financial aid award will remain the same. However, you will be notified of any changes to your financial aid award.

I am an ABSN student. I am 23 and I support myself. How can I become independent for financial aid purposes?
Federal guidelines determine whether you are considered independent or dependent for financial aid purposes. This is determined by a series of FAFSA dependency questions. Please note that not being claimed on your parents’ taxes and working to support yourself are NOT factors in determining your dependency status.

My tax return does not reflect my current income. How should I report this?
If you have had an involuntary change in your or your spouse’s/parents’ financial circumstances, such as loss of employment, please send the appropriate documentation to us at son_finaid@dm.duke.edu and we can review to determine if we are able to make a professional judgment. Please note that leaving your job to participate in a nursing program is not an extenuating circumstance that we can consider.

I have other extenuating circumstances that I wasn’t able to indicate on the FAFSA or the DUSON Financial Aid application. How can I report this?
If you have high non-discretionary expenses, such as medical or daycare, please provide us with dollar-specific documentation of these expenses. Note that routine medical expenses are already factored in to the Cost of Attendance budget, so we are only able to consider expenses in excess of that allowance. We are NOT able to make adjustments for consumer or routine household expenses, such as credit card debt, car payments, rent/mortgage payments, etc.

Financial Aid Awards

My aid award only includes part of my program. What about aid during my final semesters?
Financial aid eligibility is reviewed each academic year. Therefore, you will need to complete a renewal FAFSA in order to receive financial aid for your final semesters. The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year is available after January 1st.

How do I accept my financial aid?
Once you have accepted the offer of admission and paid your deposit, you will receive a NetID and password from Duke’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). This will allow you to log in to your ACES account. Within ACES, you can review and accept your financial aid. View financial aid acceptance instructions.

I am receiving an outside scholarship. Do I need to report this?
Yes, any outside scholarships must be reported to DUSON’s Office of Financial Aid. You may report the scholarships by sending an email to us at son_finaid@dm.duke.edu or through ACES, under the Financial Aid tab, click "report external aid." View outside scholarship reporting instructions.

My award says “Additional Loan Eligibility.” What does this mean?
We have indicated the maximum amount you may borrow from a private loan for the academic year. This is calculated by taking your total cost of attendance and subtracting any scholarships, grants, or loans awarded to you. You will need to select a private lender and be approved based on a credit check if you have no other resources. Please make an appointment with your Financial Aid Counselor via son_finaid@dm.duke.edu to discuss your specific needs in greater detail.

Disbursements and Student Bursar Account

When will my financial aid disburse?
Student loans and DUSON need-based scholarships will disburse no earlier than 10 days prior to the first day of classes. All other awards, including RNTAP, military and veteran’s benefits, and North Carolina FELS, will disburse approximately two weeks after drop/add ends. View disbursement date instructions.

When will I receive my refund check?
The Bursar’s Office begins reviewing account balances prior to the start of classes and begins processing refund checks by the first day of classes. For the quickest delivery of your refund, consider Direct Deposit through the Bursar’s Office. Your funding will be deposited directly into your bank account instead of a paper check being mailed through Campus Mail. You can view your account information through ACES to see if you have a credit balance and when a refund was issued.

How do I access my 1098-t for tax reporting?
Please go to the Bursar website website to view this information.

I’m having difficulty understanding how to use my ACES account.
Please refer to the ACES Tutorials which are YouTube videos provided by the SISS Office.

Student Loans

How many credit hours do I need to take to receive federal loans?
To receive federal student loans (Stafford, Grad PLUS, Nurse Faculty Loan), a graduate student must be enrolled at least 4.5 credit hours each semester during the fall/spring semesters and 3.0 credit hours during the summer semester. A 2nd Bachelor’s degree or post-Bachelor’s certificate student must be enrolled at least 6 credit hours each semester to receive federal student loans. Federal policy does not allow disbursement of a loan during a semester in which a student is enrolled for fewer than the required credit hours.

How do I receive the federal loans offered to me?
Accept the loans through your ACES account. After acceptance, you will be required to complete the Entrance Loan counseling and Master Promissory Note for the Federal Direct loans. Perkins loan recipients will receive an email from ECSI two business days after accepting this loan with instructions on how to complete the Promissory Note and Entrance Exam online. Once these requirements have been completed for the federal loans, the funds will disburse to your Bursar account 10 days prior to the start of each term.

How do I apply for a direct Graduate or Parent Plus loan?
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Parents must complete the online Plus loan application. Graduate students apply for the loan by accepting it in their ACES account. A credit check is initiated when the student accepts the loan through ACES or when a parent submits an application. Credit checks and loan approval are only valid for 180 days. Please do not apply for the Plus loan more than 150 days before the start of the academic term. If you do so, you may have to repeat the process closer to the start of the academic term.

What if I’m not approved for the direct Graduate or Parent PLUS loan?
For more specific details regarding the Plus loan and the application process, visit the Department of Education’s website.

When will my student loan disburse?
Student loans disburse 10 days prior to the start of classes each semester. For loans processed during the academic year, please allow at least 10 business days for disbursement provided all required steps have been completed.

How do I apply for a private loan?
To apply for a private loan, you must first select a private lender. Please review Duke's Lender List to help with the selection of a private lender. We recommend you first make an appointment with your Financial Aid Counselor via son_finaid@dm.duke.edu to discuss your specific needs in greater detail.