Does FAFSA Cover Summer Classes?  

February 15, 2024

Are you interested in taking summer college classes at LSU? There are a lot of advantages to doing so. One of your first steps should be to develop a plan for how you will pay. For example, you may be wondering, does FAFSA cover summer classes?  

Navigating financial aid for summer classes can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the answers to a few basic questions, you’ll be on your way to a rewarding summer educational experience. 

Can I Get Financial Aid for Summer Classes? 

Yes, you may be able to get federal financial aid for summer classes. The process starts with your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). LSU encourages you to complete the FAFSA by June 1 to cover aid awarded for the upcoming academic year, beginning with the summer term. You shouldn’t wait though. The earlier you fill it out, the better chances you have of receiving the maximum amount of aid.

Check out the Steps to Apply for Financial Aid from the LSU financial aid office, and reach out to them if you have questions about when and how to complete the forms necessary to receive aid.

Also, you may already have financial aid available for the summer. Starting in March, you will be able to see if you have any funds available.

Verify whether you have any summer aid by logging onto myLSU, then selecting Financial Services > Financial Aid > Financial Aid & Scholarships, and selecting the current Academic Year.

Both the National Student Loan Data System and the LSU financial aid office can be great resources to check the status of your federal aid as well. 

Can I Get Student Loans for Summer Classes? 

Once your FAFSA has been processed, you may apply to receive a federal student loan for the full academic year or for the summer only. Review the deadlines to return all required documents to receive a federal student loan for the full academic year or to receive student loans for summer classes only.

Just remember: To receive a federal student loan, you need to be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours if you are an undergraduate and three credit hours if you are a graduate student.

To learn more about federal student loans, visit the USDoE's Federal Student Aid website or schedule an appointment with an LSU Financial Aid counselor.

Private loans are available to students who are not eligible for federal financial aid or who need additional funds to meet educational expenses. However, private loans are expensive and should only be borrowed when all other federal financial aid resources have been exhausted.

These loans do not offer the same benefits as federal financial aid and are subject to higher interest rates because they are not guaranteed by the federal government. Since this type of loan is based on credit history, it may require a cosigner.

You may also consider paying out of pocket to avoid student loans for summer classes—or to potentially preserve any grant and scholarship funds for the fall and spring semesters.

What About Work Study?

The Federal College Work Study Program (CWSP) allows undergraduate students who show financial need to earn money to assist with their educational expenses.

All undergraduates who want to apply must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours in the summer to qualify.

Check out the LSU Work Study section to see how to apply, if you are eligible, and peruse through some on-campus job opportunities for the summer.

Can I Use My Louisiana TOPS Scholarship? 

Payment of a TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program Scholarship) Award specifically for summer classes is contingent upon appropriations by the Louisiana Legislature. 

Check out these additional requirements for using your TOPS scholarship in the summer. You also must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours (full-time) in the summer and meet one of those additional requirements.

Using TOPS to pay for a summer session will expend one full semester of your eight-semester TOPS eligibility, but it may be worth it. For example:

  • You may be able to take classes that are difficult to schedule during the rest of the year. 
  • You may want the advantage of smaller classes. 
  • You may be able to complete your graduation requirements during the summer and graduate early!

For these and other reasons, attending summer classes may be right choice for you. Does FAFSA cover summer classes? It certainly can. Just make sure you do your research and plan ahead for how you will fund your summer educational experience.

Check out more FAQs on financial aid, LSU scholarships, and payment plans available for the summer on the Strategize Your Summer website.