Types of Aid

Scholarships

AOMA awards a number of scholarships each year to new students and to students who have completed at least one year of study. Scholarships include: the President’s award (one award of $500); the AOMA Scholarship (up to 2 awards of $500); the Golden Flower Chinese Herbs Scholarship (up to eight awards ranging from $500 - $1,000); and the DAOM Scholarship (one award of $1,000). The number and amount of scholarships awarded vary based on the funds available each year.

View Scholarships

Direct Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are the primary form of federal aid available to graduate students. Direct Unsubsidized Loans accrue interest during the grace period and during periods of deferment, and the borrower is responsible for paying this interest. Payments on Direct Unsubsidized Loans may be deferred while the borrower is enrolled in an eligible program at least half time (six credits); however, the interest on deferred Direct Unsubsidized Loans will be capitalized (added to the principal balance) once loans go into repayment status. Repayment of Direct Unsubsidized Loans begins at the end of the grace period. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are non-need-based loans and most borrowers qualify for them.

Direct Loan Eligibility

In addition to the institutional requirements, a student must satisfy all the following criteria in order to be eligible for federal student aid in the form of Direct Loans:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time* as a degree-seeking student in the master of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (MAcOM) program in or doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine program (DAOM);
  • Have completed the equivalent of at least 90 baccalaureate-level semester credit hours, if enrolling for the MAcOM program;
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the degree program as defined in the Financial Aid Manual, and by AOMA academic standards and policies;
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan at AOMA, or at any other institution;
  • Not have borrowed in excess of the aggregate loan limits set for the federal direct loan programs;
  • Not owe money on a federal student grant at any institution;
  • Certify that he/she will use federal student aid only for educational purposes;
  • If a male born after January 1, 1960, be registered for the Selective Service;
  • Have a valid social security number;
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (Note: priority date is by June 1st of each year);
  • Complete online and in-person financial aid entrance counseling at the prior to enrollment;
  • Attend loan recertification workshops each renewal period; and
  • Complete financial aid exit counseling online and in-person prior to graduating, withdrawing, or reducing enrollment to below half time* status.  

*For financial aid purposes, half-time is 6 credits and full-time is at least 12 credits.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan Eligibility

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are non need-based aid. Therefore, any borrower who satisfies the requirements outlined above qualifies for Direct Unsubsidized Loans.


Direct PLUS Loans

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Direct PLUS for graduate students loans are available to eligible students to help cover the cost of attendance not covered by Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Direct PLUS Loans accrue interest throughout the life of the loans, and the borrower is responsible for paying this interest. Payments on Direct PLUS Loans originated after July 1, 2008 may be deferred while the borrower is enrolled in an eligible program at least half-time (six credits); however, the interest on deferred Direct PLUS Loans will be capitalized. The federal government does not offer a grace period for Direct PLUS Loans, and repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed since there is no grace period. Direct PLUS Loans may be eligible for an in-school deferment that allows postponement of payments until graduation or after the borrower drops below half-time enrollment status. Direct PLUS loans are awarded based on a student’s BBAY and are paid in 3 equal disbursements, one for each term in the BBAY.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Eligibility

Direct Graduate PLUS Loans allow students to borrow funds in excess of the federal Direct Loan limits, up to their Cost of Attendance. As a result, eligibility for Direct Graduate PLUS Loans is restricted to students who do not show an adverse credit history. In addition to the requirements listed above, a borrower must pass a credit check in order to be eligible for Direct Graduate PLUS loans.  A borrower is considered to have an adverse credit history, for example, if:

  • He/she is 90 or more days delinquent on any debt; or

  • He/she has been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of Federal Student Aid debt (e.g. a Direct Loan or Federal Stafford Loan) within five years of the date of the credit check.

A student who is interested in applying for Direct Graduate PLUS Loans meets with the Financial Services Administrator for advising, and completes a credit check through the Department of Education either online or at our office. Should the borrower's Direct Graduate PLUS Loan application be rejected based on credit history, he/she may be eligible to reapply with an endorser (someone who agrees to repay the loan if the student does not repay it).

Loan Limits for Graduate/Professional Degree Students

Graduate students cannot borrow federal funds in excess of the amounts outlined below. For questions, please contact the AOMA Financial Aid Office by email or by phone (512-492-3007). Students who are eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans may borrow up to the maximum total.

Time Period

Maximum Loan Amount

Academic Year (three terms at AOMA)

      
  $20,500 Direct Unsubsidized loans (if eligible)
 

Aggregate Loan Limit (Maximum total
debt from Direct Loans)

    $65,500 Direct Subsidized Loans*
+ $73,000 Direct Unsubsidized Loans
 $138,500 Maximum Total Direct Loan Debt

* After July 1, 2012, the federal government is no longer offering subsidized loans for graduate/professional degree students.

 

Loan Limits and Fees

Direct PLUS Loan Limits

The amount a student may borrow in Direct PLUS Loans is determined by taking the difference between the student’s COA and any other financial aid the student receives (e.g. Federal Work-Study, Scholarships and Direct Unsubsidized Loans).

Interest Rates, Origination Fees, and Rebates

For loans originated on or after December 1, 2013

Federal Direct Loan Program

Interest Rate

Origination Fee*

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

5.41%

1.072%

Direct PLUS Loan

6.41%

4.288%


For loans originated on or after July 1, 2014

Federal Direct Loan Program

Interest Rate

Origination Fee*

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

6.21%

1.072%

Direct PLUS Loan

7.21%

4.288%


For loans originated on or after July 1, 2014 and before July 1, 2015

Federal Direct Loan Program              

Interest Rate

Origination Fee*

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

6.21%  

1.073%

Direct PLUS Loan

7.21%

4.292%

For graduate student borrowers, the interest rate on federal Direct Unsubsidized loans is currently fixed at 6.21%.  The interest rate on Graduate Direct PLUS loans is currently fixed at 7.21%. The federal government may make periodic adjustments to Direct Loan interest rates. These adjustments are made each year on July 1.

*An origination fee is assessed on all federal Direct Loans. The fee is deducted from the total loan funds requested by the students before the funds are disbursed to the student.

Direct Loan Servicing Center

For further questions about Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Direct PLUS Loans for graduate students, please contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center online or by phone (1-800-848-0979).

Federal Work Study

The AOMA Financial Aid Office is committed to helping students acquire as much financial support as may be available.  The Federal Work Study Program is one such resource.  If a student is interested in the FWS program, he/she is awarded funds based on the Federal total funding made available to AOMA each award year and on that student’s individual financial need and eligibility. FWS awards amounts vary and are subject to change based on position needs, eligibility changes, and/or funds available. Awards are made for the financial aid year (e.g. July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014), and are updated annually at minimum. A FWS award does not constitute a guarantee of funds. Under the FWS program, students are paid only for hours worked.  These positions help to offset educational expenses.

View Federal Work Study Positions

Applying for a Federal Work Study Position

Eligible students may apply for any open FWS position at AOMA. Open positions are advertised on the Federal Work Study Jobs page. Application requirements vary by position, but typically a resume and short cover letter are requested from the applicant. Once hired, a student is required to attend a short FWS orientation with AOMA’s Compensation and Benefits Coordinator to learn about the rights and responsibilities associated with FWS employment and meet with the Director of Financial Aid to review the estimated award and acknowledge receipt of this information.

Federal Work Study Eligibility

To be eligible for federal aid in the form of Federal Work Study, a student must satisfy all the following criteria:

  • Meet all institutional requirements;
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (six credits) as a degree-seeking student in the master of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (MAcOM) program or doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine program (DAOM);
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the degree program as defined in the Financial Aid Manual, and by AOMA standards and policies;
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan at this, or any other, institution;
  • Not have borrowed in excess of the aggregate loan limits set for the federal direct loan programs;
  • Not owe money on a federal student grant at any institution;
  • certify that he/she will use federal student aid only for educational purposes;
  • If a male born after January 1, 1960, be registered for the Selective Service;
  • Have a valid Social Security number; and
  • Complete the current award year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying for a FWS position.

Additional Requirements

  • Because Federal Work Study is need-based, a student must demonstrate financial need on his/her FAFSA to receive a Federal Work Study award. Financial need is determined by calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and is recalculated annually through the FAFSA application process.
  • Federal Work Study aid funds are paid in exchange for hours worked in an eligible position. Students have the potential to earn up to the total amount of their Work Study award.
VA & Military Benefits

Active-Duty Military

AOMA is proud to have been designated a Military Friendly School by Victory Media. Our Financial Aid Department remains committed to student success and is available to answer questions and provide support to veteran and military students.

Military Tuition Assistance

The United States Military offers a number of programs to support the educational goals of active-duty service members. Eligibility requirements and support levels vary depending on branch of service. For additional information, service members should contact their branch Education Counselor and may visit the Tuition Assistance web site by clicking here. You may also read more about active-duty education benefits here.

Veteran’s Benefits

AOMA is approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for the training of veterans and other eligible persons. In order to receive Veteran’s Benefits, the veteran must first establish his/her eligibility with the VA directly. Once eligibility has been established, AOMA certifies the veteran’s enrollment. Additional information is provided below. Veterans may also visit the VA website.

Travis County Veterans Services

Veterans who need assistance navigating the benefit programs may wish to contact the Travis County Veterans Service Office. The office is located in downtown Austin, and staff members are available to assist veterans with general support and assistance in obtaining all benefits to which they are entitled through the VA. The office may be reached by phone (512-854-9340) or through the website.

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Post 911 GI Bill®

Eligibility

Individuals eligible for benefits under the Post 911 GI Bill® include those who serve on active duty for at least 90 aggregate days beginning on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days of continuous service. (Discharged individuals must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible, or have a discharge or release for a medical condition Existing Prior to Service (EPTS), Hardship (HDSP), or Condition Interfering with Duty (CIWD).) Educational benefits will only be paid to eligible individuals enrolled in approved education programs at a college or university. For more information regarding eligibility, please visit the VA's GI Bill® website.

Benefits

For complete information regarding benefits, please visit the VA's GI Bill® website.

Tuition and fees: Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, tuition and fees are paid directly to the school and are not to exceed the maximum in-state undergraduate tuition & fees at a public institution of higher learning. Effective August 1, 2011 all in-state tuition and fee charges are reimbursed for attendance at a public institution of higher learning.  For private and foreign institutions of higher learning, the tuition and fee reimbursement is capped at $20,235.02 per year.

Books and Supplies: An annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.

Monthly housing allowance: Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, the monthly housing allowance paid to the student is equal to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents, depending on the school's zip code. A chart of BAH rates by ZIP code can be found on the GI Bill® website.


For more information, visit the VA GI Bill® Website or call toll-free 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

 

VA Rehabilitative and Employment Program

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) VetSuccess Program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31. It is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 Program.

The Chapter 31 Program assists veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs.  They may also assist eligible VA students with the cost to attend AOMA.  For additional information, please visit the Chapter 31 website.

Other Aid

Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)

AOMA is committed to providing educational resources and support to qualified individuals who are rethinking their career goals.  In line with this objective, AOMA is an approved provider of training for clients of the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). Texas DARS may assist qualified Texas citizens needing rehabilitation training with the cost of education, supplies, and equipment in order to complete AOMA’s graduate program.

Students who believe they are eligible for DARS support may contact DARS directly to establish eligibility. Once eligibility has been verified, AOMA completes a DARS purchase order for the student's educational expenses and is paid directly by DARS. DARS clients work with their DARS counselor to investigate eligibility for other DARS services.

For additional information visit the DARS website.

Americorps Education Award

Americorps members who are eligible to receive an education award may apply that award to AOMA tuition.

More information about Americorps education awards can be found on the Americorps Website.

Payments may be processed via the MyAmericorps.gov portal by selecting AOMA as the receiving institution.