Steps To Apply

This guide serves to assist U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizen undergraduate and graduate students for U.S. federal financial aid. 

Students should apply for federal financial aid beginning October 1. The earlier a student applies, the earlier decisions can be made. 

Complete the FAFSA application online at the FAFSA website.

  • Select “foreign” from the "state" drop-down list
  • Enter the school name and AUC school code: The American University in Cairo - G05034

You must have a federal student aid user ID and password to complete your FAFSA online.

  • Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID (formally known as Federal Student Aid PIN), made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents. If you haven’t logged in to a Federal Student Aid site (such as or you will need to create an FSA ID before you can log on in the future. If you already have a PIN, you can link your information to your new FSA ID by entering your PIN while registering for your FSA ID. (This will save you time when registering for your FSA ID.) If you’ve forgotten your PIN, you can either enter the answer to your PIN “challenge question” during the FSA ID registration process to link your PIN, or you can just create your FSA ID from scratch. A PIN is not required to create an FSA ID.
  • If a student qualifies as a "Dependent," both the student and his or her parents must provide their information on the FAFSA. Each must have its own user ID and Password. The DOE defines a "Dependent" as:
    • A taxpayer's child
    • Under the age of 19 or a full-time student under the age of 24
    • A student who lives with a taxpayer for more than one-half of the year
    • A student who cannot have provided more than one half of his or her own support
  • An “Independent” is a student who is enrolled in the graduate portion of the program or a student who is 24 years old or married or the head of a household
  • Undergraduate students must complete an entrance interview
  • Graduate students must complete an entrance interview for graduate-professional students.

See Steps to Filling Out the FAFSA.
Be sure to keep documentation of all information you supply on the FAFSA
A Student Aid Report (SAR) will be emailed to you and to the AUC. Always retain the SAR for your records.

The MPN is the legal document, which is your Promise to Repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Federal Government. It explains the terms and conditions of your loans. Although you may have previously signed an MPN to receive Direct Loan Program loans, previous MPN’s cannot be used to borrow direct loans. Because AUC is a foreign institution you must complete the MPN with each award year.

Complete the Direct Loan MPNs online at 

  • You will need your Federal User ID and password to log in.
  • You need to complete an MPN for each loan you are requesting (Direct loans and PLUS loans).
  • A parent borrower must sign the MPN with their own User ID.
  • Retain a copy of your MPN(s) after you complete the form electronically.
  • You do not need to provide us with a copy as we will receive notification from the DOE.

Note: You also have the option to complete a paper Direct Loan MPN. To do so, call the department’s applicant services staff at 800-557-7394 and then return the completed paper MPN to the department at the address included in the instructions that are provided to you. They will notify us of your completion. (We do not recommend using the paper application as it will cause delays in the process.)

Students who need to borrow enough money to cover their entire estimated cost of attendance or at least more than the Stafford Direct loan program offers, should apply for the PLUS/GRAD PLUS loan which requires a credit check.

Request a Direct PLUS Loan

  • Access and click on Request a Direct PLUS Loan.
  • Select the loan suited to your grade level. Undergraduate students need only one parent to borrow PLUS on their behalf. All Graduate students should select GRAD PLUS which they borrow in their own name.

You will receive a response to the credit decision almost immediately.

  • If your credit is denied, you will have options: Asking for Reconsideration, Appealing, or Adding an endorser to the loan. You will receive an email from the DOE with instructions for these options. SAVE this email as it includes an endorser CODE.
  • If you need an endorser, click on Add an Endorser. The endorser must have their User ID.

The Federal Government requires you to complete the entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming.

If you are completing the entrance counseling to borrow a loan as an undergraduate student, then the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan as a graduate or professional student, the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans.

AUC is pleased to announce the new CORE Financial Aid system where you will be able to view your financial aid information for the academic year 2020 - 2021. All required documents and forms will be available through your student portal account.

Student Self Registration: New students who have not borrowed federal loans in the past at AUC must complete this process to self-register in our new CORE system. This is a one-time registration step while you seek federal aid at AUC.

Once you complete self-registration you will receive an automatic email with information on how to access the student portal. Within the body of the email, click the secure link to set your password. Remember the link is only valid for 72 hours.

You will receive a funding estimate (an award letter) once your registration is validated by the AUC financial aid office.

The financial aid office will determine your financial aid package (direct loans) for the academic year (half will be disbursed at the beginning of the fall semester and the remaining half will be disbursed at the beginning of the spring semester). Your loan amounts depend on several factors, including your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your dependency status, and your enrollment status at AUC. 

The AUC will not be able to process your federal loans unless you have your complete information on the student portal and matched with your FAFSA. You also must be accepted in a degree program and registered. Then your file will go through a verification process.  If additional information is needed in order to process your file, you will receive a tracking letter in your email requesting the specific documentation. Otherwise, once your file has been thoroughly reviewed, you will receive an award letter in your email. That award letter will have all the information you may need in it; the amount of aid, the type(s) of aid, and the anticipated disbursement dates. 

Signing the funding estimate (award letter): All students are required to sign the funding estimate in order to receive loans. You will receive an email notification to electronically sign your award letter within 10 calendar days.

You should inform the financial aid office if you want only part of the loan amount that you are eligible for. You do not have to accept the loan nor the full amount that is offered.

  • Loan processing takes at least 10 business days. The funds are released to the school approximately 10 days prior to the start of the semester (provided the student has completed all of the necessary steps). The school will credit the students' accounts within three days of receipt and will proceed with the remaining credit balance, if any, according to the student’s signed credit balance authorization form and the delivery method you provide to AUC.

Delivery Methods for the Students’ Refunds

These refunds are released to students using the following methods:

  • Wire to the student’s declared domestic or international bank account
  • Check mailed to the student’s preferred address
  • Processed through the student accounts office on campus in Cairo

If you decide that you need additional loans to cover your education expenses, you can apply for a Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan. The Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan is a private credit-based loan that is also available to AUC undergraduate and graduate students in need of supplemental funds. Parents and other creditworthy individuals now have the option when it comes to helping their students to pay for college to borrow Sallie Mae Parent Loan. We do not award or process these loans through AUC, so you will need to deal with Sallie Mae directly at