Frequently Asked Questions

How is the grant award funding determined?

All eligible applicants are evaluated for a needs based grant selection, which is based on the cost of attendance at student's chosen college and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) entered on Student Aid Report (SAR) from FAFSA.

When will I be notified if I have been selected to receive the grant?

All applicants will be notified of their selection status via email by mid June.

If I was not selected to recieve the grant, is there a way to appeal?

An appeal process is in place if you feel there are extenuating circumstances with associated costs that were not reported in the Student Aid Report (SAR); i.e. paying out-of-state tuition rates. Procedures for such an appeal are provided in the student's selection notice.

If I change schools, who do I notify and how?

School changes must be reported via email as soon as possible. Contact our Education Department by email at and provide FULL name of new school; new school's address for remittance of outside financial aid awards; new school's Federal School Code used for FAFSA; semesters/terms of student's full-time enrollment (ex Fall, Spring)

What costs are covered under this grant?

Tuition, books, fees, supplies and curriculum-required materials. Room and board are not covered as they are subject to taxation.

I only used a portion of my grant this year. Can I claim the unsued funds for next year?

You can not claim unused funds for subsequent academic years. All funding must be used during the year for which it was disbursed. Since a portion of your grant was used, it still counts as a full award.

Will other gift aid (scholarships, grants, GI Bill, etc) affect my eligibility for this grant?

Other gift aid is not considered during our selection process. However, if you are selected for our grant, your school is responsible for making sure you are not overawarded.

All my tuition and fees are covered by other aid. Can I still use this grant?

All funding must be processed through the school's accounting system. If a student's account is fully paid, the school may not release any funds directly to the student unless the student can document allowable expenses paid out-of-pocket, such as books and curriculum-required materials. These expenses may be reimbursed out of the grant funds. Any unused portion must be promptly returned.

How much am I eligible to receive?

To meet each student's particular level of financial need, grants range from $500 to $4,000 with the highest amounts going to the students with greatest demonstrated need.

Is the grant automatically renewed every year or do I have to re-apply?

Awards are not automatically renewed. Students must re-apply and re-compete each year.

I registered for the Arnold Grant last year, but my username (email) and password don't work. Do I have to register again?

All usernames (emails) and passwords have been re-set, so you have to re-register and answer all eligibility questions.

This is my first time applying for the Arnold Grant. Do I have to register as a user or can I just complete and submit an application?

All applicants must register in order to be screened for eligibility, validate email address and establish a student account.

I started my registration and the eligibility check indicated I was not eligible. How can I verify this?

Please review the Eligibility Requirements on our website.

I finished registering, but forgot my username. How can I get it?

Your username is your complete email address as entered in the registration.

I forgot my password. How can I get it?

Use the "Forgot Password" button at login screen to create a new password.

I keep getting an error when I try to create a password. What is the correct format?

Your password must have a minimum of 8 characters with at least 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 number and 1 special characters (e.g. !@#$%^&*) in any order.

I registered, but never received the confirmation email. How can I make sure I am registered?

There are a few reasons for this: 1) The email may have gone to your Junk/Spam folder. This seems to be more common when you're using Yahoo or Hotmail accounts. Check these folders for an email from; 2) If it's not in your Junk/Spam folder, go to the Education Grant homepage. Click link for already registered applicants, enter your email address and password and click "Log in". A message that you need to confirm your email will display and confirmation email will automatically be sent to your registered email. Allow a few minutes for receipt, again checking your Junk/Spam folder; or 3) If email still has not been received, you may have entered your email address incorrectly during registration. Contact our Education Department at (703) 972-2647 to verify and/or correct email address.

My sibling and I both registered, using the same email address, but I didn't get confirmation. How can I make sure I'm registered?

The email address is used as your username, so no two students can use the same email address (username). Since you did not receive confirmation, you need to go back into the Registration page, and re-register using a different email address.

After using the link in the confirmation email and logging in, I keep getting a message that my email/password cannot be found. What should I do?

You may be entering your email and/or password incorrectly. You must enter your complete email address as entered during the registration process, and if you did not record it or can't remember your password, you can use the "Forgot Password" option to re-set it.

I don't live with my sponsoring member or other parent. How should I answer the residency question?

As a "dependent" student, you must report parent(s) contact and financial information. If your parents are married to each other, answer "Yes" to residency question and provide sponsoring member's information. If your parents are divorced, you must answer the question based on which parent you lived with most during the past 12-month period. If that was the sponsoring member, answer "Yes". If it was your other parent, then answer "No" and provide other parent information. If you lived an equal amount of time with each divorced parent, answer question based on who provided more financial support during the past 12-month period or most recent 12-month period when you actually received support from a parent.

I do not live with the sponsoring member. Where do I enter other parent information?

In the Student Information section, you will be asked whether or not you normally live with your sponsoring member during periods other than when living in school housing. Typically, it is the student whose parents are divorced that may or may not live with their sponsoring member. Students that answer "No" to living with sponsor will be required to provide other parent information, along with sponsor information, in the Sponsor Information section.

My parents aren't divorced, but the family lives in one household and sponsoring member in another due to duty assignment. How should I answer to Residing Status question?

If parents are not divorced, you should answer "Yes" that you normally reside with your sponsor and provide sponsor's current mailing address in the Sponsor Information section, even though it differs from your address. This will then be consistent with response of parents married on your Student Aid Report (SAR) from the FAFSA. Please be sure to enter explanation of separate households in the comment block of the Submit Application (final) screen, to avoid being asked to explain different addresses.

What dates should I select if I will only be enrolled full-time for Fall semester?

Dates should coincide with your school's regular term dates, but cannot begin earlier than August. Since you must be enrolled for at least 4 consecutive months to be eligible under this program, term ending date should be no earlier than December. Therefore, your term begin date should be either August or September, and your term end date should be December or January. It is helpful to annotate that you will only be enrolled full-time for Fall semester in the comment block of the Submit Application section.

I'm not starting/returning to college until Spring semester. What dates should I enter for my academic year?

Dates should coincide with your school's regular term dates. For most schools, Spring term begins January, and since you must be enrolled for at least 4 consecutive months to be eligible under this program, term ending dates should be no earlier than May. An example of a "Spring Only" application would be January 2020 to May 2020. It is helpful to annotate that you will be a "Spring Only" applicant in the comment block of the Submit Application section.

My school year runs year round, or from January to December. What dates should I select for my enrollment?

Our program is based on the standard academic year beginning no earlier than August and ending no later than May. You should select the dates of the semesters you will be enrolled full-time within that period, even if that may be a final semester of one academic year (August - December) and the first semester of the next academic year (January - May). Your dates should be similar to August to May standard. Summer months are not covered.

I received the grant as a sophomore, but have since changed schools and will only be considered a freshman at my new school. Am I eligible to apply as a freshman?

Expectation is that grant recipients will earn enough credits as full-time undergraduates to progress in grade level each year. Since you already received the grant as a sophomore, you would be expected to reach junior status on your next application. Therefore, you would be asked to provide unofficial transcripts and a statement explaining why your application does not show grade level progression for review; e.g. loss of credits due to school change and/or change in major.

I'm applying for my second year of college, but I will not have earned enough credits to be considered a sophomore. What grade level should I select?

If you will not have enough credits to be sophomore, select freshman as your grade level. If you already received our grant as a freshman, expectation is that you will have earned enough credits as a full-time undergraduates to be promoted in grade level. Therefore, you will be asked to submit unofficial transcripts and a statement explaining why you will not be a sophomore for review; e.g. loss of credits due to school change and/or change in major. An alternate option, if you expect to earn enough credits during Fall semester to be classified as a sophomore by Spring semester, is to adjust the academic term dates selected to reflect only the Spring semester, and select sophomore as grade level.

Do I qualify as a 5th-year undergraduate?

Only those students who will be in their 5th year of a 5-year degree program are eligible to apply as 5th year undergraduates. Verification of 5-year degree programs; i.e. programs that require all students to complete a 5th year of study; is required at time of application. Students taking extra semesters to complete 4-year degree programs or double majors do not qualify as 5th-year undergraduates.

I'm finishing my degree at a 2-yr school. Am I a senior or a sophomore?

Students enrolled in 2-year schools cannot be considered higher than sophomore status. Junior or senior status is not acceptable, even if a student attends longer than 2 years in order to complete their degree. Therefore, you should select sophomore status for your final semesters.

If full-time enrollment is required, why is half-time an option on the application.

Not all students review eligibility requirements before completing the application. Asking students to indicate full-time status twice during the application process forces all students to not only acknowledge the required status, but certify that this is true and accurate. It will also stop students not meeting this requirement from continuing with the application.

What is unweighted GPA?

Unweighted GPA is the average of all class grades based on a 4.0 Scale. There are no extra points added to grades from accelerated or Advanced Placement classes typically taken in high school.

My GPA is just below 2.0, but can be rounded up to 2.0. Do I qualify?

Your cumulative unweighted GPA must meet the minimum 2.0 requirement without rounding up. Even though this is a need-based grant, a 2.0 GPA allows for a minimum satisfactory academic standard. Any GPA above 2.0 does not impact selection for this grant other than meeting initial eligibility criterion.

I attended a foreign school that does not use a 4.0 grading system. What documentation is required to verify my GPA?

Submit a transcript with explanation of grading system, a conversion to US grading system (most foreign school have this data), and a statement from school official of student making satisfactory progress under their school's standards.

I have a GED, what should I enter for my GPA?

Enter 2.0 and if desired, enter GED and pass/fail status in the comments block of the Submit Application Section.

What is weighted GPA and what do I enter if I don't have a weighted GPA or don't know what it is?

Weighted GPA includes extra points assigned to accelerated or Advanced Placement class grades, typically taken in high school, and only applies to incoming college freshmen. If you are an incoming college freshman and either did not take weighted classes in high school or don't know your weighted GPA, enter unweighted GPA in the GPA field. All other college grade levels (sophomore to senior), the weighted GPA is not required, therefore leave this field blank.

I can't find my college in your school listing. How can I add it?

We use the US Department of Education's table of all schools approved for participation in Federal (Title IV) programs, the same table that is used for the FAFSA. If your school accepts Federal funding (i.e. Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, etc.), it should be in the list. School names may be in an abbreviated format and you may have to widen your search, such as entering only a portion of the school name (minimum of 4 characters) and its state. For example, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is listed as Univ of Colorado at Colo Springs. Entering only "univ" or "Colorado" as the school name and "CO" as the state will find all schools matching that search. You may also search by state only. If you are still unable to find your school, it is possible that it is not approved for participation. Contact your school official or search your school's website to verify participation, and then contact our Education Department at (703) 972-2647 if further assistance is needed.

I do not have contact with the sponsoring member, so I don't know their contact information. What should I enter?

Since you do not have contact with your sponsoring member, check the "Address Not Known" block in the Address tab and the "Contact Not Known" block in the Contact Information tab of the Sponsor Information section to skip contact information.

Sponsoring member's Duty Station is not on the drop down list. What should I enter?

If sponsoring member's current Duty Station is not one of the major Air Force Installations listed, such as Geographically Separated Units, Army Post, etc., select the member's Military Personnel Flight (MPF) as shown on active duty orders. Otherwise, select "Other Duty Station" and type in name of Duty Station.

Both of my parents are Air Force. Who do I list as my sponsor?

Regardless of status (active or retired Air Force), you should enter information for parent listed on student's military ID as sponsor.

What should I enter if my sponsor is an Officer and doesn't have an ETS?

Officer rank has option to enter an ETS or check the "Indef" box.

Can the sponsoring member's or other parent's email address be the same as the student's?

Yes, parent and student's email addresses may be the same, but since the student's email becomes the registered username, no two students can have the same email address.

Why am I required to provide other parent information in the Sponsor Information screen if I live with my sponsor?

Other parent information is only required when a student indicates that they do NOT live with sponsoring member by answering "No" to the Residing Status question in the Student Information section. You may go back to that section and change answer to "Yes". This will eliminate other parent fields from the Sponsor Information section.

I am told not to make copies of my ID cards. What if I don't provide them?

The Society has verified with Air Force Legal that for purposes of administering military related benefits it is permissible to photocopy ID cards (see AFI 36-3026(I), Chapter 1, Table Therefore, ID cards are required to assist in validation of eligibility and should be submitted with the application. Applications received without this documentation may be returned as an incomplete application.

I am unable to locate a copy of sponsoring member's orders. What should I do?

Active Duty members can obtain copies of orders/proof of service statement from their supervisor, officer in charge of records, base MPF; Virtual MPF at All other categories can obtain Statements of Service also at the Virtual MPF at or the National Archives Military Service Records at

What documentation is required for a 5th year undergraduate?

Only student's enrolled in a 5-year degree program may apply as 5th year undergraduates. A statement from a school official verifying that your declared major is in fact a 5-year program for all students in that major should be submitted with your application. A printout from your school's website or catalog that again specifically states your major is a 5-year program is also acceptable.

I am having trouble uploading documents. What should I do?

Uploading and attaching documentation is a two-step process and is the preferred method of submitting required documents in order to speed up the review and approval process. Therefore, every effort should be made to attach and submit all documents with the application. In order to do so, we recommend the following: Step 1) Scan and create a separate file for each document, using 300 dpi (dots per inch); black and white, or 8-bit color; and medium quality settings. File size cannot exceed 2.0 MB. Step 2) Use the "Browse" button in the Attachments tab to locate your saved document files then attach each file one at a time by clicking the Add Attachment button. A list of successful attachments will be displayed.

What documentation is needed to verify GPA (Grade Point Average)?

Provide transcripts that include all completed course work through the student’s Fall semester and reflect the most recent cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale. If the student has any previous college credits, submit transcripts from all colleges or vocational-technical schools attended. If no previous college or vo-tech school credits, submit high school transcripts. Unofficial or online transcripts are acceptable if they include the student’s name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course, terms of enrollment and cumulative GPA based on a 4.0 scale. Transcripts must be in a non-editable format (such as pdf).

What documentation is needed to verify GPA if I was home schooled?

Submit your high school transcript and any of the following: 1) GED; 2) State Certificate of Competency for High School Education; 3) scores and dates of ACT and/or SAT tests.

I followed the recommended settings and instructions for attaching documents, but still can't get all of my documents to attach. What should I do?

If you are able to attach any of the required documents, submit those with your application. Any other documents may then be submitted by one of the following: 1) the preferred option is to attach the saved documents to an email from the student's verified email (username) account to with the student's full name and "Required Documents Attached" in the subject line; 2) fax required documents to (866) 896-5637; or 3) as a last resort, mail required documents to AFAS Education Department P.O. Box 2208 Arlington VA 22202.

I attached my documents, but can't view them. Should I fax them instead?

Depending on your computer software, you may or may not be able to view attached files. However, as long as your document files display in the Attachment table, they have successfully been attached. It is not necessary to fax your documents.

How can I be sure my application was successfully submitted?

After submission, an onscreen confirmation of successful submission is displayed. It indicates that an email from has been sent to both the student's and sponsor's/other parent's primary email addresses. If you do not receive an email, please check your spam and junk folders to be sure email was not misdirected. If still not received, call our Education Assistance Department at (703) 972-2647 to confirm receipt of submission.

When will I know if my application was accepted?

Depending on date of submission, applications are usually reviewed within 5 days of receipt. As we get closer to the application deadline, and more applications are being submitted, it may take 2 weeks or more for applications to be reviewed. In any case, you will be notified by email of your application status. If you do not receive an email within 2 weeks of submission, please contact us by email at, or call (703) 972-2647.

Will I receive confirmation that my financial information has been received?

Once your submission of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Aid Report (SAR) is successful, you will receive an on-screen confirmation message. AFAS will contact you by email when: 1) any discrepancies or missing data on the SAR needs to be resolved; 2) your SAR has been received, but GPA verification has not (weekly reminder); 3) your SAR has not been received, but GPA verificiation has been received; 4) neither the SAR, nor the GPA verification have been received; and 5) both the SAR and GPA Verification have been received.

Will I receive confirmation that my transcript has been received?

Receipt of your transcript will be confirmed by email, as well as receipt of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Aid Report (SAR).

How do I make corrections to my financial information if I already submitted the form?

Corrections will only be made if a revised Student Aid Report (SAR) is submitted by email to or faxed to (866) 896-5637.

Who do I call?

Contact AFAS Education Department by email at, or call (703) 972-2647.