Financial Aid Basics

Important Notice

Students who plan to enroll for the Fall 2022 semester need to ensure they are enrolled in the minimum credit hours to receive federal aid: UG must enroll in at least 6 credit hours; GR must enroll in at least 4 credit hours (including candidacy/dissertation students).

If you are unsure if you've used all of your federal subsidized and unsubsidized eligibility, please check your aggregate loan limit here:
For PLUS loans, please check, to ensure the current PLUS loan has not expired (expires 6 months after first application submission). 
For additional inquiries, please reach out to

See the Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money to help students and their families pay for college. Financial aid can come from the U.S. federal government, the state where the student lives, the school the student attends, or a nonprofit or private organization. Financial aid is assistance that covers educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Several types of financial aid include grants, institutional and external scholarships, work-study, and loans. 

All domestic students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive federal/ institutional aid while enrolled at Howard University.

General Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Be registered with the Selective Service, if male
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in degree applicable-applicable coursework to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree in an eligible program
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that
    • You are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
    • You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Show you are qualified to obtain a college education by
    • Having a high school diploma or recognized equivalent such as General Educational Development (GED) certificate
    • Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law