General Financial Aid FAQs


Q: How and when should I apply for Federal aid? 

To apply you should request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the US Department of Education: 

If you are a dependent student, your parent should also request a PIN.

After you receive your PIN number(s), complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year you will be attending. 

Be sure to list HSU’s school code, 001098

You should file the FAFSA immediately after you and your parent complete and file your tax return.  HSU's priority processing deadline is April 1st. 

Q: Do I have to use my parents’ income on my FAFSA? 

If you cannot answer yes to one of the following questions, you must use your parent information.

  • Will you be 24 years of age before January 1 of the beginning year of the FAFSA?
  • At the beginning of the academic year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program?
  • As of today, are you married?
  • Do you have children who receive more than half their support from you?
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you?
  • Are both of your parents deceased, or are/were you (until the age of 18) a ward/dependent of the court?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?


Q: What is verification? 

Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be selected for review by the U.S. Department of Education in a process called “Verification.”  This means HSU must compare the information from your FAFSA with financial documents that you must provide to our office. You will be required to submit a signed copy of your Federal tax forms, as well as the HSU Verification worksheet. If you are a dependent student, you will also be required to submit a copy of your parents’ federal tax forms. Effective with the 2012-2013 academic year, personal copies of tax returns cannot be accepted.  You must use either the IRS Data Retrieval option on your FAFSA or you must request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.  Click here for more information. You may also be asked to submit other documents, such as proof of the amount of untaxed income you or your parents received, or verification of the family’s assets. 

Q: How do I know if I am selected for verification? 

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will tell you if you are selected for verification.  When HSU receives your FAFSA results, we will contact you via email your HSU email address and the email address on your FAFSA.  If no email address is listed we will send a request to the address on your FAFSA.

Q: What happens if the information on my FAFSA doesn’t match my financial documents? 

If there are differences between your application information and your financial documents, HSU will make corrections to your FAFSA data.  All corrections will be reprocessed electronically.  Any corrections may cause changes to your award amount(s). 

Q: What happens if I don’t submit the documents required for verification? 

HSU is required to request and review this information under federal regulations 34 CFR, Part 668.  A student who is selected for verification cannot receive any financial aid funds until the verification process is complete. Please complete verification as soon as possible so that your financial aid funds will not be delayed.

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about verification? 

If you need help, you may visit our office in Womack Hall, Room 203 or contact us at 870-230-5148.

Q: I probably don’t qualify for aid.  Why should I apply? 

There are sources of federal aid other than the Pell Grant that are not need based, such as Stafford loans, parent loans and certain types of work study.  The FAFSA is still required for these.  HSU requires all recipients of Athletic scholarships to apply for federal aid in order to receive their scholarship.

Q:  I filed my FAFSA online more than 2 weeks ago, but I haven’t heard anything. What should I do? 

If you have not received a Student Aid Report (SAR), please call the Federal Processor at 1-800-433-3243 or go to and choose “check status of a submitted FAFSA.”

Q: How do I apply for a Federal Direct Stafford student loan at HSU? 

Henderson participates in the Federal Direct Stafford loan program which is funded directly by the federal government.  Students who are eligible will have loans automatically awarded after their FAFSA file is completed in our office.  Borrowers are required to complete a Direct MPN online at and Direct Loan Counseling at before they will receive their loan funds. Other schools may have a slightly different process, if you are not attending HSU, check with the school you plan to attend.

Upon verification of eligibility, you will be awarded Direct Loans at the maximum amount for which you are eligible. Upon initial award of your loan, you will receive an award notice at your student email account. You must accept, decline, or reduce your loan on your myHenderson account. 

Q: How do I apply for financial aid from the State of Arkansas? 
Q: How do I apply for HSU Scholarships?  

Q:  Can I use my financial aid to purchase my books? 

Be prepared to purchase your books yourself unless you have credit left from refundable aid (such as Pell Grant or state aid) after your bill has been paid.

If you have credit left, you may request Book Vouchers for the credited amount.  Log on to myHendersonaccount, select COURSES I TAKE, select Book Vouchers link, then “Y” for Yes on drop down for Book Vouchers.

If your student loans result in a credit balance you can use those funds to purchase your books, although to do so, you must pick your loan check up during or after regular registration and either deposit or cash it at your bank.

Q:  When will my loan check be available? 

If your FAFSA information has been completed and you have completed the MPN and Entrance Counseling, you may be able to pick your check up during or after regular registration.  You should check your financial aid awards on myHenderson.  If your loan funds have been received there will be an amount in the disbursed column next to the awarded amount.

We strongly recommend that you sign up for direct deposit at the HSU Business office.  You can avoid waiting in long lines and making that necessary trip to your bank.

Q:  What if my financial aid isn’t here by the payment deadline? 

If your financial aid is awarded by the due date you are okay.  Henderson State University does not cancel class schedules for non-payment.  If the aid is not awarded by the payment deadline, failure to pay will result in a $50.00 late payment fee assessed to your student account.

Q: What happens after I apply for financial aid? 

  • The federal processor will send you the results on your FAFSA application.
  • HSU will send you information about the amount of aid you are eligible to receive to your student email account. 
  • Review your awards on myHendersonand determine if they are appropriate for your needs.
  • If you wish to receive work study you will need to contact our office.  There are forms and possibly other requirements for these funds. 
  • Direct Loan awards must be accepted, declined, or reduced by you. Log on to your MyHenderson account, select COURSES I TAKE, select Aid On-Line. Select year then press Go! Select ACCEPT to accept the full award. To reduce, use the arrow keys under the amount to reduce the award then select Accept. To decline select decline. Scroll to the bottom and select GO to submit.   Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while you attend school at least half-time; unsubsidized loans do accrue interest while you attend school.



 Q:  If I have to  withdraw from school what happens to my financial aid? 

Federal regulations dictate that a student who withdraws from the HSU after receiving federal financial aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, Direct Stafford Loan, or Direct Parent PLUS loan) may owe a repayment of those funds to HSU.  The amount of repayment will be calculated based on the number of days the student attended before withdrawing.  

In general, the entire amount of aid a student is eligible to receive for a semester is paid to the student at the beginning of the term.  The student is expected to budget those funds over the course of the semester to pay for educational expenses (tuition and fees, books and supplies and other living expenses).  If a student withdraws from the semester before completing the entire term, a calculation is required to determine if the student has “earned” all of the financial aid that he or she has received.


  1. First, a percentage is calculated based on the number of days the student attended divided by the number of days in the term.  This percentage is the amount of the term the student has completed.
  2. If the student has completed 60% of the term or less, another calculation is required.
  3. The next calculation determines how much financial aid the student has “earned” – the percentage calculated in Step 1 multiplied by the amount of aid received.
  4. The amount of “earned” aid is subtracted from the amount of aid paid to the student. 
  5. If the student has been paid more aid than he/she “earned”, the student will owe a repayment to HSU.

These calculations are done in the business office.  Please contact them if you have questions or need additional information.

Withdrawing from school may also affect your eligibility to receive federal fund in the future.  Please see our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

If you have received Federal Stafford loans while attending, you must complete a Loan Exit Counseling immediately before or after withdrawing at

Q:  I’ve applied for several private or state scholarships but haven’t heard anything, can you find out what their status is? 

You will probably receive notification from them before we do.  If you think you should have already received notification, contact them for the status of your application.

Q:  When will I know what I owe the school? 

Immediately after you register for classes you can get a print out of your charges on myHenderson.  You can also view your financial aid awards to determine how much, if any, you may owe after your awards are credited to your account.

Q:  I received notification that I did not meet HSU's Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.  Can I still receive my student loans? 

No.  Stafford loans are a form of federal aid.  Not meeting satisfactory academic progress makes you ineligible for all federal aid programs.

Q:  My parent applied for a Direct Parent PLUS loan but was denied.  How much more money can I borrow on my loan? 

Students who have completed 0-59 hours can borrow an additional $4000 per year.  Students who have completed 60+ hours can borrow an additional $5000 per year.  Actual amounts students are eligible for will be based on cost of attendance less all other aid received.

You must request the additional funds through our office; they are not automatically awarded because of a PLUS denial.

Q:  I am an aviation major.  Can I borrow more Direct Stafford funds than other majors? 

No.  All student loan limits are the same regardless of major.  Most aviation majors borrow their maximum Direct Stafford and fill the gap with private student loans.





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Mia DobsonBachelor of Science - Family and Consumer Science (Fashion Merchandising), 2010
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