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Step Five

Before your Aid Arrives

  1. Review your Financial Aid Notification (FAN)

    Review your FAN closely for instructions about any follow up tasks that may need to be completed. You can view and act upon these tasks in your Student Center on my.maricopa.

    At this point, it is a good idea to review the financial needs required to support your education plan. Loans must be repaid with interest even if you do not finish school. Consider how much debt you are incurring, and whether or not this decision is right for you.

    Rio Salado College packages an initial financial aid award with the Direct Loan maximum base amount, however, you may be eligible for additional loan funds. To Request additional loan funds, you may submit a 'Request for Additional Loan Funds' form found in your award message.

    Be sure to accept the portion of your aid package that you want to receive. You may decide that you do not want to borrow the entire amount of the student loan made available to you. You have a right to cancel the portion of aid you do not want to receive.

  2. Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes

    A student applying for Federal Student Loans must complete both an Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note one time while attending Rio Salado College. 

    Entrance Counseling
    This quick and easy interactive counseling session can be completed online, and provides useful tips and tools to help you budget and understand your loan responsibilities. Please visit to complete Entrance Counseling. It takes about 30 minutes to complete.

    Master Promissory Note
    A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legally binding contract you sign, agreeing to repay the loan money you have borrowed. The MPN describes your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower. Please visit to complete the MPN. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete it online.

  3. Satisfactory Academic Progress

    In order to be eligible for Federal Student Aid, students must maintain academic progress in accordance with Rio Salado College's Satisfactory Academic Progress(SAP) Policy. Students who do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress are placed on financial aid suspension and required to file an appeal with the Financial Aid Office. Students may submit an Appeal to have their eligibility reviewed. For more information about submitting an Appeal, please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy and FAQ page.

  4. Receiving a Book Advance

    Book Advances allow you to use a portion of your anticipated aid to purchase textbooks and supplies from any business: however, certain required course materials are customized and only available from specific vendors.
    Each semester, the Book Advance is an advance of funds to eligible students.  To qualify, the student must have an anticipated financial aid award, and have sufficient aid to cover his or her outstanding student account balance.

    It is the student's responsibility to ensure that he or she meets all financial aid terms and conditions to qualify to receive the Book Advance.  If a student receives a Book Advance, and is subsequently determined to not have been eligible to receive it, then the student is responsible for returning those funds to Rio Salado College.

    Students who qualify to receive a Book Advance have the right to opt out of the process, in which case, funds designated as Book Advance monies will be included with the student's financial aid refund.
    In most cases, Book Advances will be issued as early as 7 business days before the start of the student's semester through the Maricopa Student Refund Program (MSRP). The Book Advance release date has been established by the Maricopa Community College District.

    In order to receive your Book Advance funds as soon as possible, it is essential for new students to monitor their student email account and Student Center at for instructions to enroll in the Maricopa Student Refund Program.  The debit card and direct deposit options are generally the fastest way for students to receive refunds in hand.  Typically, a student will receive a notification within 1 to 2 business days after receiving their anticipated financial aid award. 
    Before purchasing your required course materials, please review your Mini-Syllabus to see specific requirements for textbooks, access codes, laboratory kits and other course resources.

Tips for Success

  • Check your Student Center at regularly.  When your package of Federal Student Aid is processed, it may create the need for additional follow up tasks. 
  • Read your Financial Aid Notification(FAN) carefully.  This letter will indicate if there are any follow up activities you need to complete.     
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Determine your financial need beyond tuition and fees, and decide whether or not you really need to borrow the entire amount of the Student Loans available in your package of Federal Student Aid. 
A financial aid advisor at her desk
Steps for Financial Aid