Financial Aid

Graduate Financial Aid

The majority of our financial awards range from 25 percent to 50 percent of tuition and the average award amounts to about 30 percent. Do not hesitate to contact Graduate Admissions with your questions.

This page provides you key information on financial aid including:

 

Financial awards for graduate students

The primary source of financial awards for graduate students is tuition awards. These awards are both merit and need based and can cover up to 50 percent of your tuition. To be considered for a tuition awards, you must apply for a financial award. American citizens and permanent U.S. residents must also file the FAFSA. If you receive a tuition award, you need to keep a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to maintain the award in your time at the University.

 

How to apply for a financial award

At the same time as you apply for admission to your graduate program of choice, we ask you to fill out an online financial award application and submit a number of supporting documents to us. The financial award application and any supporting documents will in no way affect the admissions decision.

To apply for a financial award just follow these steps:

  • When you fill out AUP’s online admission application, select “yes” when asked if you are interested in receiving financial aid and scholarships.
  • Within 24 hours you’ll receive an email with instructions and a link to the financial award application portal.
  • Log in and complete using the same email and portal account that you used for your admissions application.
  • American citizens and U.S. permanent residents must also file the FAFSA.
  • When you have submitted your completed online application and all supporting documents, we will review your application and notify you of your award via email.

Contact the Admissions Office if you have any questions about the procedure or your award.

 

Once you have been awarded a financial award

To accept a financial award you must confirm your attendance and complete all the steps in the online confirmation process, as detailed in your acceptance email. Please pay attention to the dates on the financial award letter as the offer may only be valid for a limited time and may be different from other admission deadlines. The official award is final, but in certain cases you may request a re-evaluation of your file by submitting a written appeal.

The amount in your award letter is for a full-time course schedule. Should your credit load decrease or increase in future semesters, you will maintain the same percentage of the financial award. In other words, your award amount will be pro-rated.

If you’re an American student or U.S. permanent resident, please read the loan eligibility information outlined in your award letter carefully. Let us know right away if you plan on applying for loans and make sure to read our step-by-step guide for loans at AUP [pdf].

 

Financial awards for current graduate students

With the exception of U.S. federal direct loans—which are available to U.S. students and permanent residents at any point during the period in which they are enrolled at AUP—current graduate students can neither apply for a financial award for the first time nor request that their tuition awards be adjusted once their program begins. Those who have been awarded a tuition award will automatically maintain their award each subsequent semester as long as they keep a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.

 

Loans for U.S. citizens and permanent residents

Citizens and permanent residents of the United States can obtain U.S. federal and private loans to help finance part or all of their studies. Make sure to read our step-by-step guide for loans at AUP [pdf] for more details and instructions on how to apply. The loans available are:

Federal Direct Stafford (subsidized/unsubsidized) Loan

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan

What loans you can apply for

We are Title IV-approved (code G07881) by the United States Department of Education to participate in the federal Direct Loan Program and administer loans to American citizens and permanent residents. This loan program gives our students access to Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans. Our American students can also apply for the private Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan.

Most graduate students take out Stafford loans first and then use the Graduate PLUS loan or the Smart Option loan for the balance. Eligibility and more detail are provided in the official financial award letter and the step-by-step guide for loans at AUP [pdf].

How to apply for loans

With the exception of the private Smart Option loan, which you can apply for directly online through Sallie Mae, all students applying for U.S. federal loans must begin by filling out the FAFSA for each academic year.

Once you complete the FAFSA, a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) is sent to us electronically if you request it. AUP's Title IV code is G07881. It’s the student's responsibility to fill out the FAFSA properly and resolve any outstanding issues.

Filling out the FAFSA does not mean that you have applied for any loans. Completing the FAFSA is only the first of several steps required to apply for loans. You still need to apply for federal loans online.

How to receive your loan money

Once you have completed your FAFSA and the required steps to apply for loans, the Financial Aid Office initiates the request for your loan funds. This process takes about a week. Then, Student Accounting Services will credit your student account at The American University of Paris with the corresponding loan amount in Euros.

If any excess loans funds are on your student account, student accounting services will prepare a check in Euros that you can deposit into your local bank account in Paris and use for your living expenses. Most students receive living expense money from their loans at the beginning of the semester. Nevertheless, federal regulations prevent The American University of Paris from disbursing loan funds, and therefore turning over any living expense money, any time prior to 10 days before the beginning of the loan period, usually the first day of the semester.

Please address all questions about your student account, gaining access to the refund check, and local banking issues to Student Accounting Services.

Loan amounts and eligibility

U.S. Department of Education regulations determine total loan eligibility, the maximum you can borrow in any given loan period, based on the formula: tuition + fees + reasonable living expenses – financial awards received. Your FAFSA results will determine how this final amount is divided among your different loan types, but your overall loan eligibility is provided in the official financial award letter.

You cannot borrow more than your loan eligibility unless a detailed budget is presented and approved by the AUP Financial Aid Office.  Federal statute indicates explicitly what can and cannot be included in a budget. For example items such as past credit card debt, most start-up costs before arriving on campus, rent that is noticeably higher than that of most other students, and any expenses outside of a loan period cannot be included in the budget.

Dollar exchange rate

Once a loan has been certified and the funds are ready to be requested from the U.S. treasury, student accounting services will credit your account with the net amounts of the loan. The net US dollar amount is converted to euros using the official daily exchange rate for the day The American University of Paris received the funds.

Internships and study abroad and federal loans

You cannot do an internship or study abroad in the U.S. and receive federal loans. Since November 2010, federal regulations stipulate that all degree-seeking students at foreign institutions cannot be physically present in the United States of America and receive U.S. federal loans. You can still qualify for a private Smart Option loan.

Credit problems with the Graduate PLUS or Smart Option loan

If you apply for one of these loans and your credit check fails, you will either need to correct the problem with your credit report or apply with an endorser. We encourage you to ensure that any problems get resolved well before payment deadlines.

Loan certification refusal

Although the Financial Aid Office strives to ensure that our students understand the complexities of the student loan process, we will never refuse to certify a loan for an eligible student. However, the Financial Aid Office reserves the right to refuse to process federal loans for a) students taking summer session courses before they begin their full-time studies in the fall semester; b) students who are not registered full-time during their first semester.

Contact for loan questions

Both the Financial Aid Office and Student Accounting Services process loans for students, but each office has a specific role and is better able to answer questions in certain areas.

Contact the Financial Aid Office with questions about:

  • how to apply for loans
  • your loan eligibility
  • FAFSA
  • emails from the U.S. Department of Education or past loan servicers
  • adjusting the amount of your loan
  • repayment, interest rates, or loan terms
  • how a certain academic choice or path will affect loan eligibility

Contact Student Accounting Services with questions about:

  • your student ledger
  • charges on your student ledger
  • refund checks, or refund check calculations
  • invoices or billing statements
  • payments

 

General financial aid questions

This is a list of some of the most frequently asked financial aid questions. Please do not hesitate to contact Graduate Admissions if your question is not answered.

Can I write my thesis, conduct research, or do an internship while I am physically present in the U.S. and receive federal loans before, during or after that time?

No. Since November 2010, federal regulations (34 CFR 600.52.ii.c) stipulate that all degree-seeking students at foreign institutions cannot study in the United States at any point in pursuit of their degree. This includes internships and theses. You can still qualify for a private Smart Option loan, but federal loans are not available in the aforementioned situations. You can only complete an internship in the United States if it is not in pursuit of your degree.

Can I receive a financial award every year?

As a graduate student, you need a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to maintain your award and you do not need to reapply each year. However, U.S. students and permanent residents must apply for federal loans each academic year, which means completing, at minimum, a new FAFSA and new Master Promissory Note(s) (MPN) for each loan.

What happens if I lose my tuition grant or academic scholarship?

You may appeal, in writing, to the Financial Aid Office to reinstate a financial award once you meet the qualifications for the award again. For example, a student losing an award due to a 2.8 cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester must achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the spring semester before an appeal for reinstatement can be made. Awards are reinstated the semester following the appeal. An appeal cannot be made retroactively and must be made prior to the start of the semester during which the requested award is to be reinstated.

How do I receive my awards?

All types of financial awards, including community service grants, will be applied directly to your AUP student account. Your award is tied to registration and course load and will be adjusted according to any course overload or part-time enrollment.

If you are an American student receiving loans, we will submit loan amounts for you to the student accounting services office, which will credit your student account. If a positive balance remains following the deduction of tuition and fees from your loan amount, a refund check will be issued to you by student accounting services.

Are there any scholarships that are based solely on academic merit?

No. There are no merit-only financial awards available to graduate students. Nonetheless, since the majority of graduate students demonstrate high financial need when applying for a financial award, greater weight is placed on academic merit than on financial need when considering financial award applications.

What is the FAFSA?

FAFSA is an acronym that stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is required of all American students applying for financial awards and loans. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) formula on the FAFSA helps our Financial Aid Office determine financial need. Our overall financial award evaluation policy for all students is loosely based on the FAFSA to determine need, as well as the family's expected contribution (EFC) to the overall annual education cost.

Can I defer my loans if I get my thesis extended?

No. Extending your thesis is sometimes possible, but it means that you are no longer registered at least half-time (6 credits), which is the minimum number of credits required to qualify for loans and a deferment. You can no longer receive get living expense money and you no longer qualify for an in-school deferment as soon as you drop below half-time status. Dropping below half-time usually begins on the last day of the semester in which your thesis is initially registered.

What happens if I drop to less-than-full-time registration?

You may still qualify for loans provided that you’re still registered for at least 6 credits. However, your tuition grant will be pro-rated proportionately and consequently your loan eligibility will decrease. Therefore, it’s important to inform the Financial Aid Office prior to the beginning of the semester if you expect to drop below full-time registration. If you drop down to less than half-time registration (0 to 5 credits), you may not apply for additional loans and your previous loans will no longer qualify for an in-school deferment.

Can I get my January rent money before I leave in December? Can I get my September rent money in mid-August?

No. This is, unfortunately, a very common question, but federal regulations state explicitly that we cannot disburse living expense money any time prior to 10 days before the official loan period begins, which is the first day of class. If your loans are guaranteed and set up completely, we are happy to intervene and speak with your landlord or provide documentation advocating for a payment extension until you receive your funds.

Can I get living expenses for the summer if I plan to stay in Paris?

Yes, but only if you are going to be registered for at least 6 credits during the summer session. If you’re not registered in the summer, you cannot include any summer expenses on the budgets of the preceding spring or following fall semesters.