Doctoral Program Financial Aid FAQs

What does it mean to maintain 'Satisfactory Academic Progress'?

To remain eligible for Federal Financial Aid, students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of the DAOM program. Satisfactory Academic progress is measured at the end of each trimester and in terms of completed assignments. “Satisfactory Progress” means that the candidate has submitted all assignments and class work on time. Students have 6 weeks to complete all late assignments and class work. Students who have failed to submit academic assignments within the allocated time frame are given an ‘Academic Warning.’ Students who have not submitted late assignments within an additional 6 weeks are ineligible for further disbursement of Student Aid.

What is financial aid?

Financial aid is monetary assistance to help a student cover the cost of a college education, who otherwise would be unable to pursue their education. It is intended to supplement the family contribution and includes gift aid, (scholarships and grants), low-interest loans and part-time employment. Graduate students do not qualify for Federal or State of California grants.  The major portion of the funding received by Yo San students is in the form of student loans. In addition, Yo San receives a small allocation of federal work-study funds advanced to students based on hours worked. When funding is available, the University awards merit scholarships.

What is Cost of Attendance?

The cost of education is the amount that is estimated a student will need to cover costs related to attendance for one financial aid academic year of study. The financial aid academic year is defined as (2) two consecutive trimesters of enrollment. A typical budget consists of Tuition and Fees, Room and Board, Personal and Miscellaneous, food and transportation expenses. The standard student budget is constructed using typical costs of student living in the Los Angeles area. These figures represent a modest but realistic estimated budget for Yo San Students.

Who is eligible to receive Federal financial aid?

Eligible applicants must be admitted to the DAOM Program, be enrolled at least half time, be making satisfactory progress toward completion of the program, and be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.  

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. The U. S. Department of Education will email reminders very January. The Financial Aid Coordinator at Yo San will also send periodic reminders.

Will my financial aid package be the same every year?

In general yes, Your eligibility will be reevaluated annually based on your current  FAFSA information, your academic progress towards the completion of your degree and the amount of student loans you have borrowed to date. You must update your financial aid records by filing renewal applications every year. Periodically, you will meet with the Financial Aid Coordinator to review your eligibility and to develop a financing plan. 

How will my financial aid be affected by transferring to a new school?

You cannot directly transfer federal student aid that was awarded to you by one school to another; however, your new school can award you financial aid based on the original FAFSA you submitted. Contact our Financial Aid Office and let us know that you are interested in attending. While you don't need to fill out a new FAFSA, you do need to  add our school code to your FAFSA record so that we will receive your FAFSA information. The best way to do this is to call (800) 433-3243. Our school code is 030982. After receiving your FAFSA information, we will provide you with information about your federal financial aid eligibility. You should also notify your current Financial Aid Office and explain that you are leaving and would like your aid cancelled.

How do I apply for financial aid?

• Begin by completing the Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line at .
 You will need our FAFSA school code, 030982.
• Complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note. Both can be done at 
• You do not have to be admitted prior to applying for financial aid. However, an award letter will not be forwarded to you until you are admitted.  

What is the school code that goes on the FAFSA?

Yo San's school code is 030982

What if my tax return will not be ready when I need to file the FAFSA?

It is best to use your final tax return to complete the FAFSA. This assures that the information is accurate. However, if this is not possible, the FAFSA does allow you to estimate your tax information. If you are later selected for verification, you will be required to submit your tax-return copies in order for you to receive assistance.  

Do I need a PIN to file my FAFSA electronically?

No, but it is recommended. With a PIN you can sign electronically which will cut down your processing time by almost a week. If you don't sign electronically with a PIN you must print a signature page and mail it to a federal processor. The processor will not transmit your data to a school until they receive your signature page.

How do I obtain a PIN if I never had one or forgot mine?

Go to and request one. If you have an email address they will email you the PIN, usually within 2-9 Business Days.

How long does it take the government to process my FAFSA?

If you file electronically you should receive a student aid report in the mail within about 2 weeks. If you mail a paper FAFSA to the government processor you might wait 8 weeks for your student aid report to arrive. Electronic filing is recommended. You are always welcome to call the financial aid office to see if your processed FAFSA has been received electronically by Yo San.

What else do I need to provide to the financial aid office?

Occasionally, the Financial Aid Office receives notification from the Department of Education of additional documentation requirements. This does not happen often but when it does, the Financial Aid Office will notify you about what is required. An example might be verification of a name change or permanent resident status.

What is an award letter?

Your award letter confirms the financial aid that you are being offered. It includes the types and amounts of financial aid that you are eligible to receive. When reviewing your award letter, keep in mind that your loan period covers an eight month period. You will borrow loans every 8 months and your student loans will run in two trimester cycles.

What is Loan Entrance Counseling? Is it required?

Entrance Interviews are required for students who apply for federal student loans. The Counseling must be completed before loan proceeds are disbursed. Entrance Counseling provides information on the types of student loans, terms and conditions, deferment and repayment options. Go to . It takes about 30 minutes to complete. The results will be electronically sent to Yo San.

How and when do I receive the funds?

Federal Loan funds are sent to the school at the beginning of each trimester.  These funds are then credited to the student's account via the school's business office. If there are funds left over after paying for the student's tuition, the student receives a refund check for the difference. These checks are available for pick up beginning on Tuesday of week three of the trimester.  

How much can I receive through the federal student loan programs?

University policy permits borrowing a maximum of $18,500 Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan per loan period (a loan period consists of two trimesters or 8 months). The Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not based on need and students are responsible for the interest on the loan while attending school - either by paying the interest while in school, or by allowing the interest to accrue and be added to the total loan amount. The interest rate on Federal Stafford Student Loan for graduate students is set every July 1st and is currently fixed at 5.41%. There is also a Guarantee Fee of 1.051% withheld from the amount borrowed.

Above and beyond the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan, graduate students may borrow through the Graduate PLUS Loan program. The Graduate PLUS Loan can be used to cover up to 100 percent of your total cost of education minus other financial aid you've been awarded. The total amount can pay for tuition, books, food, housing, transportation, and more. Eligibility includes a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history. Student borrowers are not required to begin making payments until after they drop below half time status. The interest rate on Federal Grad Plus Loan is set every July 1st and is currently fixed at 6.41%. There is also a Guarantee Fee of 4.288% withheld from the amount borrowed.

What can I used my student loans for?

Federal Financial aid funds are provided to cover direct educational costs (Tuition, Fees, Books/Supplies, expenses) and a modest and reasonable allowance for living expense (Rent, Food, Utilities, Personal/Misc. expenses).

Is there a limit to the total Aggregate amount of Direct Stafford Loans that I can take out over the course of my Graduate studies?

Yes, the total amount of Stafford Loans that a Graduate or Professional Student can take out is $138,500. No more than $65,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. This limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

What are the interest rates on the Stafford Loans?

The interest rate on Federal Stafford Student Loan for graduate students is set every July 1st and is currently fixed at 5.41%. There is also a Guarantee Fee of 1.051% withheld from the amount borrowed by the Direct Loan Program.

What is the interest rate on the Grad PLUS loan?

The interest rate on Federal Grad Plus Loan is set every July 1st and is currently fixed at 6.41%. There is also a Guarantee Fee of 4.288% withheld from the amount borrowed by the Direct Loan Program.

Where can I find information on my past loans?

To find the most up-to-date information about your loans, please log on to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. It receives data from schools, agencies that guarantee loans, the Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other U.S. Department of Education programs. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell grants that are tracked through their entire cycle, from aid approval through closure. You will need your PIN to access this database. You can obtain a PIN at

Other than the Direct Federal Stafford Loan, how else can I fund my education?

The Direct Federal Grad Plus Loan program is intended to supplement the Direct Federal Stafford Loan. After borrowing the maximum amount of Stafford Loans for a loan period, students may borrow Grad Plus Loans, up to the full cost of attendance. Grad Plus loans do not count towards the $138,500 aggregate loan limit. However, these loans do have a slightly higher interest rate than the Stafford Loans and require a credit check.  

Yo San also participates in the Federal Work Study (FWS) program. The FWS program provides funds that are earned through part-time employment to assist students in financing the costs of post secondary education.  Most Work-study positions are in our library.  Please contact the librarian to inquire about available positions.

How do I qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program?

If you file the FAFSA and demonstrate financial need, you may be eligible  for Federal Work-Study-that is, the opportunity to help pay for your education by working part time during the school year. Unlike other financial aid, money earned from Federal Work-Study employment is paid directly to the student. Payroll checks are issued once a month and reflect the number of hours worked (if any) and the student's hourly rate of pay.

Are Federal work-study earnings taxable?

The money you earn from Federal Work-Study is generally subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided you are enrolled full time and work less than half-time). Federal Work-Study earnings during the calendar year should be included in the totals for AGI and Worksheet C on the FAFSA. Work-study earnings should only be included in Worksheet C when they represent financial aid to the student, since the answer to this question is used as an exclusion from taxed income. Students should also be careful to report amounts based on the calendar year, not the school year.

Are there any scholarships available?

Periodically, the University will announce the availability of merit scholarships awarded to students enrolled in their second year or beyond of their program.  Availability of these scholarships is dependent on funding by University donors. 

I received a scholarship. Should I report it to the Financial Aid Office?

Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from federal sources, you must report the scholarship to the financial aid office. Please note that in some cases, the Financial Aid Office may adjust your financial aid package to compensate. If this happens, you will have less loan debt when you graduate.

Does Yo San Offer Payment Plans?

Yes. YSU offers students short-term loans in the form of an installment payment plan. Under this plan, students pay tuition expenses in three (3) equal monthly installments, with the first payment being made at the time of registration. There is no interest or service charge to participate in the installment payment plan except for a late fee in the event payments are not made on time. All students registered in the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program, with a minimum financial obligation of $1500 are eligible for the installment payment plan and may make arrangements at the time of registration.

Do I have any responsibilities as a student loan borrower?

Yes. You must always keep your lender (the U.S. Department of Education) informed of your current address and telephone number. If your name changes, notify your lender immediately and they will inform you of the documentation that it will be necessary for you to submit. Always keep copies of your award letters, promissory notes, and documents from your lender, and always keep track of how much you have borrowed in student loans.

What happens if I default on my Federal Student Loans?

First of all, it's pretty difficult to default on your student loans. You'd have to go without payment for 270 days. If you're considering not paying back your loans, know that there are serious consequences for allowing your loans to default. Generally speaking, your federal student loans are not discharged if you file for bankruptcy. The key way to avoid default is to stay in touch with your lender, let them know what your situation is, and ask for assistance when your first fall behind on your payments. There are numerous ways to keep from defaulting by taking advantage of your deferment, forbearance and repayment options.
Defaulting has serious consequences that include:
  • Damage to your credit rating (your loans will likely end up with a collection agency)
  • Additional costs including late fees and higher interest rates
  • All of your loan may come due immediately
  • Wage garnishment, Professional licenses withheld
  • Tax Refunds seized
  • Loss of eligibility for future federal financial aid
  • Loss of deferment rights

What happens if I don't pass my classes?

If you do not meet the satisfactory academic progress guidelines, your aid disbursement(s) may be suspended, or even canceled.

If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?

Not immediately. The Direct Stafford loan has a grace period of 6 months before repayment begins. When you take a leave of absence you will not have to repay your loan until the grace period is used up. If you use up the grace period, however, when you graduate you will have to begin repaying your loan immediately.  If your grace period has run out in the middle of your leave of absence, you will have to start making payments on your student loans.

What if I withdraw?

Always consult financial aid before making a decision to withdraw. The government has strict guidelines to be followed in the case of withdrawal from classes. It is possible you could end up owing the government a refund of funds already paid out to you, owing the school for returned funds, and if overpayment occurs, with loss of future financial aid eligibility.

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