The Catholic University of America

- Frequently Asked Questions -

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is your application for Federal Student Loans. Go to to complete the FAFSA online and begin the financial aid process.

What is CUA Law School's federal school code?


What is an EFC?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the academic year.

The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.

Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.

What is a PIN?

A PIN is a 4-digit number  used in combination with your Social Security Number, name, and date of birth to identify you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on Federal Student Aid Web sites, such as FAFSA on the Web.Your PIN is used to electronically sign the FAFSA. Go to to apply for or retrieve a PIN.

What options are available to finance my education?

You can finance your legal education using any or all of the following: University Scholarships, Federal Student loans, private/commercial loans, and/or outside scholarships.

Should I apply for financial assistance?

If you are considering financing all or part of your legal education and/or living expenses, you should at least complete a FAFSA. Submitting a Free Application for Federal Aid will help our office assist you in securing loans from the Federal Direct Stafford loan program, which can help with the costs associated with a legal education.

This is my first time borrowing a Federal Direct Stafford loan. What documents do I need to fill out?

You must submit a Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA), complete online Entrance Counseling, and a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

What is Entrance Counseling?

Entrance Counseling is a tool that is used to ensure that all new federal Direct Stafford borrowers understand their rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Completion of the entrance interview is a federal requirement.

How do I report the financial aid I received last year as part of my income?

Monies you received from loans, grants, and scholarships should not be listed as income on your FAFSA, unless the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxed you on them. If you reported any financial aid money to the IRS, then you must include that total amount as part of your adjusted gross income (AGI) and in the appropriate section in Worksheet C on the FAFSA.

Do I have to pay interest on my student loans?

The federal government will pay the interest on any Subsidized Stafford loans that may be awarded to you while you are in school (at least half-time), in grace period, or during an authorized period of deferment. You are responsible for paying all of the interest that accrues on any Unsubsidized Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans, regardless of enrollment/repayment status. You are also responsible for the interest accrued on private loans.

How can I stay informed about Financial Aid: deadlines, policies, outside funding opportunities, etc.

Please read the financial aid section of Head Notes. This is a weekly CUA - Columbus School of Law publication published every Friday during the academic year (August - May). Check the financial aid bulletin board periodically, located outside of our office in Room 314. We update the Outside Scholarships page regularly and frequently email important information and upcoming deadlines to Cardinal Student email accounts.

What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from CUA?

Students are responsible for following the university's withdrawal procedures. The 1998 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act requires the financial aid office to calculate a return of Title IV funds on all federal financial aid students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before the 60-percent attendance point in the term. Note: The Financial Aid's return calculations are independent from the University's Tuition Refund Policy. For more information, please review our Withdrawal Policy & Procedures.

What happens to my financial aid if I don't maintain a satisfactory cumulative GPA? Eligibility for federal student aid requires a student to maintain satisfactory progress in his or her course of study according to the school's published standards of satisfactory progress. The academic rules at the Columbus School of Law define satisfactory progress as "good standing" to be a minimum of a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 or better as determined at the end of each academic year and a minimum 1.82 GPA in any single semester. For more information, please review our SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) Policy.


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