Special financial assistance programs

Special financial assistance programs for Arizona residents

Arizona State University is committed to doing all we can to help make a top quality education from ASU a reality for Arizona residents.

Part of the ASU Advantage Program

The College Attainment Grant, the Obama Scholars Program and the Arizona Promise Award - all part of the ASU Advantage Program, make tuition-free attendance possible.

President Barack Obama Scholars Program

President Barack Obama represents outstanding academic achievement, thoughtfulness, a long record of service to others, inspired leadership and a commitment to building strong communities across this country. Arizona State University is committed to providing opportunities for motivated, high-achieving Arizona students for whom lack of financial resources is a barrier to higher education.

To be eligible for the Barack Obama Scholars Program, you must be: 

  • An Arizona resident. This includes Native American high school seniors who are not residing in Arizona and who meet the Arizona residency criteria for tuition purposes at ASU.
  • A full-time, first-year student beginning in the fall. 
  • Admitted to ASU in the fall for a degree-seeking program.

In addition, eligible students must:

  • Meet all course competencies and at least one of the aptitude requirements for admission described in the first year admission requirements.
  • Enroll in ASU at the beginning of the fall semester immediately after graduation from an Arizona high school. If you do not enroll at ASU for the fall, you will forfeit eligibility for any future participation in this program.
  • Demonstrate a total annual family income of $42,400 or less on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
  • Be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant.

Other important information:

  • Full-time, on-campus students registered for iCourses and ASU Sync are eligible to receive the ASU Obama Scholarship.
  • ASU Online degree programs are not eligible. If you change your major to an ASU Online major, you will be removed from the Obama Scholars Program and adjustments will be made to your aid.
  • There is no additional application for this program. Students who submit their FAFSA and have a complete ASU admission application on file (application, transcripts and application fee) by the dates below will be automatically considered.

Jan. 15 

Students must submit their FAFSA and have a complete ASU admission application on file (application, transcripts and application fee).

June 1

 Students must confirm their ASU housing by June 1 for their housing assignment to be finalized by Aug. 1. If your housing assignment is not finalized by Aug. 1, your budget will be reduced to "with parent" housing and meal allowance, and your scholarship will be adjusted accordingly.

July 1

Students must submit all requested documents for financial aid verification. ASU will verify your FAFSA information. We recommend that you submit all documents required to complete the verification process by July 1 each year for continuation in the program. These documents must be complete and free of errors. Submit all requested documents early to resolve any errors or omissions before this date. If, after verification, you do not meet the program criteria, you will not be eligible for program participation for that and future semesters.

  There are no exceptions to these dates. The FAFSA must be free of errors and the admission application with all necessary materials must be complete to be eligible for consideration. Be sure to apply early in order to resolve any errors or issues before the deadline dates.

Meeting criteria and deadline dates does not guarantee placement in the program, as funding is limited and the program will close when available funds have been exhausted.

Estimated direct costs – Expected family contribution = Obama Scholars Program Funding

By combining gift aid (i.e., Pell Grants, SEOG, university grants, LEAP and scholarships) from federal, state, private and institutional sources with Federal Work-Study, ASU will cover students' estimated direct costs of attending ASU (minus the Expected Family Contribution as determined by the FAFSA) for up to eight full-time, consecutive fall and spring semesters (summer sessions are not covered). Estimated direct costs include actual tuition, undergraduate college fee (including the Barrett Honors fee), and student-initiated fees, as well as standardized allowances for housing, meals, and books and supplies.

Study abroad program fees or summer tuition and fees will not be covered as part of the program. You may choose to spend one semester in an ASU-sponsored study abroad program, only after completion of your first year in the Obama Scholars Program. This will count as one semester toward the eight-semester maximum. Your funding will continue to be based on ASU cost of attendance and will not cover any study abroad program fees.

ASU will award recipients a combination of the following sources of aid. These scholarships do not require repayment.

  • Pell Grants — This federal gift assistance program supports students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.
  • Institutional grants — ASU gift assistance is available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. These grants include university grants.
  • FSEOG and LEAP grants — Gift assistance available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Federal Work-Study — A student employment program that allows students to earn funds to assist in paying their education costs. Participants in the Obama Scholars Program are automatically awarded $3,000 in Federal Work-Study.
  • Scholarships — Gift assistance awarded by ASU and private donors that recognizes exceptional achievement.
  • Outside resources — Funding received from outside sources that assists students in paying for their education expenses.

For Obama scholars who started in fall 2019 or before

  • All first-year students are expected to live on campus. If you do not confirm on-campus housing through ASU’s housing portal, the maximum housing allowance you qualify for will be $1,300.
  • For all continuing students, if the housing status (on/off/with parent) you selected on the FAFSA has changed, your Obama Scholarship will be adjusted to reflect that change in cost for housing and meals. You can view the standard allowances at our cost of attendance site.
    • If you register and confirm on-campus housing, your Obama Scholarship will be budgeted with the standardized allowance for on-campus housing.
    • If your actual housing charge is lower than the standard allowance, the amount of your Obama Scholarship will be reduced to your actual housing charges.
    • If your actual housing charge is higher than the standard allowance, there will not be an increase to your Obama Scholarship for the difference.
    • All adjustments to Obama Scholarships based on changes to housing status will be made in July.

For Obama scholars who started in fall 2020 or after

  • For Obama students who started in fall 2020 or after, you are expected to live on campus. If you do not confirm on-campus housing through ASU's housing portal, the maximum housing allowance you qualify for will be $1,300.
  • If you register and confirm on-campus housing, your Obama Scholarship will be budgeted with the standardized allowance for on-campus housing.
  • If your actual housing charge is lower than the standard allowance, the amount of your Obama Scholarship will be reduced to your actual housing charges.
  • If your actual housing charge is higher than the standard allowance, there will not be an increase to your Obama Scholarship for the difference.
  • All adjustments to Obama Scholarships based on changes to housing status will be made in July.

First-year success coaching component

Studies show that students who receive coaching have a higher likelihood for success at the university and enjoy multiple benefits. As part of our commitment to your success, all Obama Scholars are assigned a First-Year Success coach. These highly successful upper-division ASU students will coach you so you can enjoy a smooth transition to ASU and have a successful first year. Your coach will meet with you once a month and serve as your personal contact, cheerleader and catalyst for success.

 

  • You are required to successfully complete a minimum of 24 ASU credit hours during each academic year (a minimum of 12 credits in both fall and spring semesters).
  • You must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.50 by the end of each academic year (by the end of spring semester) to continue in the program.
  • Your scholarship package is available for up to eight full-time, consecutive fall and spring semesters. ASU recommends you enroll in 15 credit hours each semester in order to complete your degree in four years.
  • You must remain Federal Pell Grant eligible.
  • If you are awarded scholarships or outside resources, you may have higher annual renewal criteria unique to those scholarships.
  • You must remain eligible for federal aid to participate in this program each year. Visit aid criteria for details.
  • You must maintain satisfactory academic progress; however, the GPA requirements of this program supersede the Satisfactory Academic Progress GPA.
  • ASU students are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct. Violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct resulting in a suspension, expulsion or administrative withdrawal will result in loss of your scholarship. This decision may not be appealed. A student in violation is otherwise eligible to file the FAFSA and receive need-based aid.

 

 What if I’m not meeting renewal criteria?

  • ASU has annual cumulative ASU GPA and credit hour standards for renewal. Students who meet the 2.50 cumulative ASU GPA and 24 ASU credit hour requirements each year are fully renewed. Students not meeting those requirements will receive one year of probation at the full scholarship amount. Failure to maintain the renewal criteria after the year of probation will result in a decrease of the scholarship amount to tuition, fees and books. Students can be reinstated to the full scholarship amount for the next academic year by achieving a 2.50 cumulative ASU GPA and completing 24 ASU credit hours at the end of any academic year. Every semester you receive Obama Scholars funding, or even a portion of funding, counts toward your eight total semesters of eligibility.
  • If you are not meeting the 2.50 cumulative ASU GPA and/or 24 ASU credit hour requirements after your one year of probation, you may enroll in ASU summer courses to remain eligible in the Obama Scholar program for the following academic year. Your Obama Scholarship will not be available for the summer semester. We will conduct a final review of your academic records at the end of the summer session.
  • If you experience challenges throughout the year, such as difficulty with classes, time management, work or family responsibilities, or other co-curricular commitments, consult your academic advisor and use ASU resources to ensure you receive the guidance and assistance necessary to remain on track and continue to meet criteria for renewal and graduation.

 

  • Once you’ve logged in to My ASU, your education costs will automatically populate your Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet. This helps you determine estimated expenses, as well as whether or not you will need to work or borrow your offered loans.
  • Federal Work-Study opportunities, along with federally-funded Direct Student Loans, are programs designed to help students invest in themselves and their education. You are encouraged to apply for on-campus employment if you have been offered Federal Work-Study. Use ASU's job search to view current job openings.
  • Low interest rate loans are also available to you as an additional self-help option. If you are eligible for student loans, they will be listed on your Financial Aid Notification and on My ASU. If you have any questions about financial aid, please contact Financial Aid and Scholarship Services at 480-965-3355.

 

 

  • Remember, this program is designed to cover your direct costs, minus your EFC as determined from the FAFSA, with gift aid and FWS. In addition, if you made housing and meal plan selections that exceed our standard allowances, those costs are above the amount of gift aid and work-study funds provided for the program.
  • You may need to use your FWS or accept loans you were offered in order to pay your remaining costs. Remember that work-study funds are disbursed as you work (i.e., in a paycheck) and not before the semester begins like most other aid. This means you may need to accept loans you were offered to pay your ASU charges in a timely manner. You may consider changing your housing and/or meal plan selections in order to minimize how much you may need to work or borrow.

 


ASU College Attainment Grant Program

The ASU College Attainment Grant Program is our commitment to low-income families by making college affordable and accessible. The program will provide tuition and fees for up to four years to qualifying Arizona high school graduates.

New student eligibility:

  • Open to Arizona residents admitted to ASU in the fall who are degree-seeking, full-time first-year students (pursuing their first undergraduate degree). This includes Native American high school seniors who are not residing in Arizona and who meet the Arizona residency criteria for tuition purposes at ASU.
  • You must enroll at ASU at the beginning of the fall semester immediately after graduation from an Arizona high school. If you do not enroll at ASU for the fall, you will forfeit eligibility for any future participation in this program.
  • You must be eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant.
  • Full-time, on-campus students registered for iCourses and ASU Sync are eligible to receive the College Attainment Grant.
  • ASU Online degree programs are not eligible. If you change your major to an ASU Online major, you will be removed from the ASU College Attainment Grant Program and adjustments will be made to your scholarships.
  • There is no additional application for this program. Students who submit their FAFSA and have a complete ASU admission application on file (application, transcripts and application fee) by the dates below will be automatically considered.

July 1

 Students must submit their FAFSA and have a complete ASU admission application on file (application, transcripts and application fee).

August 1

 Students must submit all requested documents for financial aid verification.

 Note: There are no exceptions to these dates. The FAFSA must be free of errors and the admission application with all necessary materials must be complete to be eligible for consideration. Be sure to apply early in order to resolve any errors or issues before the deadline dates.

Resident tuition and fees – all gift aid = ASU College Attainment Grant Funding

The ASU College Attainment Grant Program will provide tuition and fees (including the Barrett Honors fee) to qualifying students for up to eight full-time, consecutive fall and spring semesters as long as students continue to meet eligibility criteria and maintain at least a 2.50 cumulative grade point average. The ASU College Attainment Grant Program covers tuition and fees during the fall and spring semesters only. Summer sessions are not covered.

Special class fees and study abroad program fees will not be covered as part of the program.

Resident tuition and fees will be covered by a combination of gift aid such as scholarships and grants from federal, state, private and institutional sources.

ASU will award recipients a combination of gift aid from the following sources of aid. These awards do not require repayment.

  • Pell Grants — This federal gift assistance program supports students who have demonstrated exceptional financial need.
  • Institutional grants — ASU gift assistance available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. These grants include university grants.
  • FSEOG and LEAP grants — Gift assistance available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Scholarships — Gift assistance awarded by ASU and private donors that recognizes exceptional achievement.
  • Outside resources — Funding received from outside sources that assists students in paying for their education expenses.

Students continuing in the ASU College Attainment Grant Program must meet the following criteria:

  • You are required to successfully complete a minimum of 24 ASU credit hours during each academic year (a minimum of 12 credits in both fall and spring semesters).
  • You must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.50 by the end of each spring semester to continue in the program.
  • You must remain eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant.
  • You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress; however, the GPA requirements of this program supersede the Satisfactory Academic Progress GPA.
  • If you are awarded scholarships or outside resources, you may have higher annual renewal criteria unique to those scholarships.
  • You must remain eligible for federal aid to participate in this program each year. View aid criteria for details.
  • ASU students are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct. Violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct resulting in a suspension, expulsion or administrative withdrawal will result in loss of your scholarship. This decision may not be appealed. A student in violation is otherwise eligible to file the FAFSA and receive need-based aid.

Important dates*

It is strongly recommended that you meet the following dates in order to continue in the College Attainment Grant Program:

Jan. 15

 File your FAFSA, and resolve any errors by March 1, each year for continuation in the program. The FAFSA must be free of errors, so apply early.

July 1

 ASU will verify your FAFSA information. We recommend that you submit all documents required to complete the verification process by July 1 each year for continuation in the program. These documents must be complete and free of errors. Submit all requested documents early to resolve any errors or omissions before this date. If, after verification, you do not meet the program criteria, you will not be eligible for program participation for that and future semesters.

Options for students not meeting renewal criteria:

  • If you do not meet the renewal criteria, you may file an appeal for reinstatement in the program provided you experienced significant, extenuating circumstances beyond your control (such as an extended, serious medical emergency). Completed appeals must be submitted no later than close of business June 1.
  • If you experience other challenges throughout the year, such as difficulty with classes, time management, work or family responsibilities, or other co-curricular commitments, be aware these are not considered extenuating circumstances. In these cases, consult your academic advisor and use ASU resources to ensure you receive the guidance and assistance necessary to remain on track and continue to meet criteria for renewal and graduation.
  • Log in to My ASU to access your personalized Student Budget Worksheet. Your estimated costs and financial aid will automatically populate, allowing you to determine estimated expenses, as well as whether or not you will need to work or borrow your offered loans.
  • Federal Work-Study opportunities, along with federally funded Direct Student Loans, are programs designed to help students invest in themselves and their education. You are encouraged to apply for on-campus employment if you have been offered Federal Work-Study. Working on campus not only allows you to earn money for college, it also creates valuable on-campus support networks while you develop marketable skills for your resume.

Low interest rate loans are also available to you as an additional self-help option. If you are eligible for student loans, they will be listed on your award letter and on My ASU. You are encouraged to discuss your alternatives for financing your education with a counselor in Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. If you have any questions about financial aid, please contact Financial Aid and Scholarship Services at 480-965-3355.


Arizona Promise Program

The Arizona Promise Program is a state grant program for Arizona residents that helps fill in the remaining tuition and fee costs not covered by your other gift aid (Pell Grant, merit scholarships, etc.). This can be awarded up to four years (eight consecutive semesters).

  • Be an Arizona resident.
  • Be admitted to Arizona State University as a degree-seeking first-year student for the upcoming fall term by April 1.
  • File a FAFSA and have a complete and verified financial aid file by April 1.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (as calculated by the FAFSA) of zero.
  • Be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.
  • Meet university admission criteria.
  • Enroll full time (12 or more credits) in one of Arizona State University's in-person campus degree programs. ASU Online students are not eligible for this funding.

You will first be awarded from all other gift aid sources (scholarships, grants, etc.). Then, if you are eligible to receive Arizona Promise Program funding, any remaining tuition and fees left unpaid by gift aid will be covered by the program.

The Arizona Promise Program will provide tuition and fees (including college fees, mandatory student fees and the Barrett Honors fee) to qualifying students for up to eight full-time consecutive fall and spring semesters, as long as students continue to meet renewal criteria.

The Arizona Promise Program covers tuition and fees during the fall and spring semesters only; summer sessions are not covered. Special class fees, study abroad program fees and the enrollment deposit will not be covered as part of the program

How much funding does the Arizona Promise Program provide?

Funding amounts vary depending on how much gift aid you already have to cover tuition and fees.

When will Arizona Promise Program funding be available?

This funding was first offered to students in the 2021–2022 academic year; it will then be offered each fall semester.

Can I use this program until I graduate?

Arizona Promise Program funding can be awarded for up to a total of four academic years, or eight consecutive fall and spring semesters, as long as you meet all renewal requirements each academic year.

Any semesters you are not eligible to receive Arizona Promise Program funding (i.e., are not eligible based on your FAFSA for the Federal Pell Grant, miss the FAFSA filing deadline, etc.) will count toward the total semesters of eligibility. We encourage you to meet with your academic advisor to ensure you graduate within the four academic years of the award eligibility.

What are the renewal requirements so I can receive Arizona Promise Program funding in future years?

  • Submit the FAFSA each year no later than April 1.
  • Remain an Arizona resident for tuition purposes.
  • Maintain $0 EFC.
  • Remain enrolled full time (12+ units each fall and spring semester) at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe, or West campus or the ASU in Lake Havasu location.
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

Are current students eligible for the Arizona Promise Program?

No, the Arizona Promise Program began with fall 2021 first-year students. Fall 2021 first-year admits who are eligible were automatically awarded the Arizona Promise Program grant.

Current students who started before fall 2021 can visit the ASU Scholarship Portal for additional scholarship opportunities.

What kind of gift aid will get applied to my charges before Arizona Promise Program funding is applied?

  • Pell Grants — A federal gift assistance program that supports students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.
  • Institutional grants — ASU gift assistance available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. These grants include university grants.
  • FSEOG and LEAP grants — Gift assistance available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Scholarships — Gift assistance awarded by ASU and private donors that recognizes exceptional achievement.
  • Outside resources — Funding received from outside sources that assists students in paying for their education expenses.

What if my eligibility has changed since I originally became eligible for the Arizona Promise Program?

There is no appeal process for the Arizona Promise Program; however, some circumstances could result in a change to your eligibility. In this case, you will be automatically reviewed for eligibility by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Services team. The following factors could affect your eligibility:

  • Federal aid verification resulting in a change to your financial aid eligibility.
  • A change in your residency status.
  • The outcome of a student or parent income review documenting how your circumstances have changed.shou

How is the Arizona Promise Grant different from the College Attainment Grant Program?

The College Attainment Grant Program is specifically for students who meet all eligibility criteria listed above but have a Pell-eligible Expected Family Contribution higher than 0. The Arizona Promise Program is reserved only for those with an EFC of 0.

If I don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the Arizona Promise Program in my first year, can I receive it in future years?

A student must either be eligible for the Arizona Promise Program or the College Attainment Grant Program in their first year enrolled at Arizona State University. A student cannot gain eligibility for the first time in subsequent years.

What if my Expected Family Contribution changes after verification or a Parent Income Review?

A student may gain eligibility for the Arizona Promise Program or College Attainment Grant Program if the completed review results in a change to their EFC during their first year at ASU. In subsequent years, a student may switch between the Arizona Promise Program and College Attainment Grant either if their EFC changes based on that year’s FAFSA or if completed verification or Parent Income Review for that year results in a change to their EFC.

I was eligible for Arizona Promise Program funding in my first year. If I am not eligible in my sophomore year but regain eligibility based on my FAFSA EFC for my junior year, will my Arizona Promise Program funding be reinstated for my junior year?

Yes, Arizona Promise Program funding will be reinstated for the year you regain eligibility. In this example, your sophomore year, the year you were not eligible, will also be counted in your total semesters of eligibility if the grant is reinstated.

Can I combine the Arizona Promise Program, College Attainment Grant Program and Obama Scholars Program if I am eligible for all three?

Students who are eligible for the Arizona Promise Program and the College Attainment Grant Program will receive only one of these awards.

Students who are eligible for the Arizona Promise Program and the Obama Scholars Program may see the Arizona Promise Program funding as part of their Obama Scholars financial commitment.

I know the Arizona Promise Program covers tuition, but what other charges and fees does it cover?

Arizona Promise Program funding is combined with your Federal Pell Grant and all other gift aid (including merit tuition scholarships) to cover the following charges:

  • Tuition and fees (including college fees, mandatory student fees and the Barrett Honors fee).
  • Note: Special class fees, study abroad program fees and the enrollment deposit will not be covered as part of the program.

If my residency is verified as an Arizona resident for tuition purposes after the April 1 FAFSA deadline for Arizona Promise Program consideration, will I be eligible to receive this grant?

Yes, a student who is classified as an Arizona resident for tuition purposes any time during their first year at ASU (and meets all other eligibility criteria for the Arizona Promise Program) will be automatically reviewed for Arizona Promise Program funding.

If I change from one campus to another campus (including distance-learning or ASU Online), can I keep my Arizona Promise Program funding?

The Arizona Promise Program funding is for use only at the Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe, and West campuses and the ASU at Lake Havasu location.

I am planning on taking a break from the university. Do I need to submit a deferment request for the Arizona Promise Program?

No, you do not need to submit a deferment request for the Arizona Promise Program. When you return to the university, you will automatically be reviewed for continued Arizona Promise Program funding. However, please note that any terms you are away from the university will count toward the total semesters of eligibility.

Note: If you have a merit scholarship, you must apply for scholarship deferment for any terms you are away from the university.

If I am not enrolled full time until later in the semester, can I receive the Arizona Promise grant at that time?

No, you will need to be enrolled full time (at least 12 credits) by the first day of the semester.

Can Arizona Promise Program funding be used during the summer semester?

No, Arizona Promise Program funding will only be available for the fall and spring semesters. View details about summer funding on our summer financial aid webpage.

What if I make changes to the number of credits I am enrolled in?

Your Arizona Promise Program grant will be applied to your charges only if you are enrolled in at least 12 credits (full time) each fall and spring semester.