Apply for Aid - Step 5 for first-year students

(Step 4 for Continuing Students)

"Apply for Aid" steps are detailed in a sequence of pages including this one.
To view the full sequence of steps, return to the Financial Aid Home Page and Select the link appropriate to you under the heading "Apply for Aid." The checklist you will see corresponds to this sequence of pages.
  • Log into Cardinal Students
  • Click on the Financial Aid Tile
  • Cardinal Student may default to a year other than 2021-2022, in which case look fo the “Change” button above the task bar on the left side (above “Awards”). Clicking on “Change” will give you a list of Award Years, from which you will choose 2021-2022 (Aid Year 2022).
  • You will see your current “Award Summary” page
  • Select from the options on the left-hand side, “Accept/Decline”
  • On the “Accept/Decline” screen please read the information for each award, especially for loans (by clicking on the“!” icon to the left of the Award), and at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions about any of this information, please contact me and I will be happy to review it with you.
  • Select the Pencil (“edit”) icon in the upper-left of your screen. This will activate your “Award Decision” options (Accept, Decline, Reset)
  • To reduce loan awards, check the “Reduce” box, and then reduce the amount in the “Accepted” column
  • Make your award decisions for each Award
  • Complete the process by clicking on “Submit”
If you wish to make a change after submitting your award decisions, please contact us at fin- or at 202-319-5143.


Accepting a scholarship amount does not preclude the possibility of the scholarship amount increasing. It simply means that you desire to receive the scholarship that is offered to you. The amount you accept will be divided equally between fall and spring semesters.

Loans When determining the appropriate amount, there are several important points to remember:

  1. The amount of loan you accept can be changed at a later date, if desired.
  2. Subsequent changes to loan amounts must be made by a staff member of the Financial Aid Office. Request forms are available on this website under Forms.
  3. The amount of loan you accept will be divided equally between fall and spring semesters.
  4. Loan amounts for summer school are available, but are not "offered" until mid-spring semester.
  5. For Direct Unsubsidized Loans, there is a fee of approximately 1% that is withheld by the Department of Education from each loan disbursement.
  6. For PLUS Loans, there is a fee of approximately 4% that is withheld by the Department of Education from each loan disbursement
  7. A minimum enrollment of six credit hours for a regular semester and three credit hours for a summer term is required for eligibility. Registration must be active for most loan processes to function.

Important: There are three more steps to be completed for processing student loans:

  1. Entrance Counseling
  2. Promissory Notes
  3. Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

It does not matter in what order you complete the four steps noted above. 

Not sure about how much aid to accept?

Available on our website is a Planning Worksheet that will help you determine an appropriate amount of loan for you. You may find this worksheet on our Forms page.