Online Students Financial Aid Checklist

Below is a checklist for online learning graduate students to use as a guide through the financial aid process and to help determine financial aid eligibility.  To be eligible for federal loans and some alternative loans you must be enrolled at least half-time each term.  You must also confirm your attendance in your BearWeb account no later than the established date determined each term by your program.  You must check your Baylor email regularly for important updates from Student Financial Services. 

1.)  Complete the FAFSA - starting October 1st 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, opens annually on October 1.  The FAFSA application is needed for each academic year you enroll.  The academic year begins in the fall and goes through summer of the following year.  Depending upon your online program, you may need to complete the FAFSA for multiple years.  Learn more at Completing the FAFSA.  

2.)  Search and apply for outside scholarships

This is an ongoing process.  Students should start early with their search and continue throughout their academic career for best potential matches and results.  Visit Baylor's Outside Scholarship webpage for tips on searching, winning, and reporting outside scholarships.  

3.)  Register for classes

The number of hours you have enrolled in will determine your cost of attendance.  To learn more about the cost of attendance for online programs visit Online Program Cost of Attendance.   If you decrease the number of hours than you indicated previously during course registration, your financial aid awards may be reduced based on your revised enrollment status.  Contact the Student Financial Aid office if you plan to decrease the number of hours previously indicated.  

4.)  Accept your awards

Once your financial aid package is ready to review you will be notified through your Baylor email address to review your aid package and to accept your awards via BearWeb.  Please note that some awards will require additional steps for first time borrowers.  

5.)  Secure your Direct Unsubsidized Loan  

New Student borrowers will need to complete the following steps to secure a direct unsubsidized loan after you have accepted your award through BearWeb:  

  1. Complete Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov.  You will need your FSA ID (username and password) to log in.  Make sure you complete and submit entrance counseling.  A page congratulating you on finishing the process will appear when you complete your counseling session.  
  2. Complete and electronically sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov.  You will need your FSA ID for this step as well.  

All borrowers will need to complete the Title IV Authorizations in BearWeb under the Student Account Menu.  

6.)  Send us your Required Documents 

If you are selected for verification, it is important that you complete and submit your required documentation as soon as possible after being notified.  Your financial aid will not be reflected on your bill unless you have completed all requirements with our office.  Check BearWeb for your financial aid status.

7.)  Apply for an Alternative or Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

If you plan to apply for an Alternative Loan, or a Direct Grad PLUS Loan, visit the Alternative Loan page or the Direct Grad Plus Loans page for more information.    

8.)  Set up Direct Deposit

If you have a credit balance on your student account, the refund can be deposited automatically to your designated bank account.  Add or update direct deposit information in BearWeb under the Student Account menu.  

9.)  Update your Personal Information

It's important that your contact information is current.  If your contact information has changed since course registration, you can update your information, such as address and phone number, through BearWeb.