Each student will receive an award letter either by
mail or e-mail that gives a breakdown of their financial aid offer. You will be
notified if your financial aid awards have changed via e-mail and may be viewed
in LOUIE at any time. An award letter reprint may be requested
through our office.
The process of evaluating a student’s FAFSA
information and determining the types and amounts a student is eligible for,
based on financial need, academic level, career type, and enrollment status.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
A student’s total cost of attending NAU. It includes tuition and fees, room, board, books,
transportation, and personal expenses. Students cannot be funded above their
COA each year. If students incur certain additional costs during the academic
year, they may file a Cost of Attendance Appeal to increase the COA, which may allow for additional
Cost of Attendance Appeal
The Cost of Attendance (COA) is made up of direct and
indirect costs related to your education expenses which include tuition,
mandatory fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. If the
school-related expenses exceed an item(s) within the COA, a student may submit
a COA Appeal. The COA increased are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Allows students to temporarily postpone payments on
student loans. A student loan is considered to be deferment as long as they are
enrolled at least half-time. After graduating, the deferment grace period is
six months for the subsidized and unsubsidized loan and nine months for a
Perkins loan. If a student has a subsidized or Perkins loan, interest will not
accrue during the deferment. For unsubsidized loans, students the interest is
accruing on the loan during the deferment.
The process of financial aid (scholarships, grants,
loans, etc.) being released pays for your NAU tuition and other university
charges. Financial aid disbursements occur Monday through Saturday during each
semester, starting on the first official disbursement day.
Educational Aid Registration Permit (EARP)
Used for reduced tuition at NAU, ASU, UofA for eligible employees, employee’s spouse, and dependent children. Financial Aid processes EARP forms, Student and Departmental Account Services adjusts fees, and Human Resources can give information on eligibility, credit hour limits, fees, etc.
A student’s course load affects his/her financial
aid. Students can be funded as full time, three-fourths time, or half time. The number
of units for each load for financial aid purposes are as follows:
- Undergraduate is full time with 12+ units, three-fourths time with 9-11 units, and half time with 6-8 units.
- Graduate students are full time with 9+ units, three-fourths time with 7-8 units, and half time with 5-6 units.
- Undergraduate students at less than half time (1-5 units) may only receive the Pell Grant. See Too Few Hours.
An interactive online counseling session that must be
completed before students can receive a federal student loan. Provides tips for
being an educated borrower and managing educational expenses. This is
school-specific, so counseling completed at one school does not transfer to
An interactive online counseling session that should
be completed after a student graduated. Explains the rights and
responsibilities as a borrower.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
An amount, determined by a need analysis formula from the FAFSA, of how much the student and/or parents can be expected to contribute to the student’s educational expenses. This number is used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal, state, and institutional student aid.
Federal Work Study (FWS)
A campus-based, federally funded employment program for students with financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. Students earn a paycheck every two weeks by working on
or off campus in FWS positions. The money does not have to be used to pay
Financial Aid Administrator (FAA)
The Financial Aid staff. Anyone hired by an institution to administer federal student aid programs and to coordinate federal aid with state/institutional aid and outside financial resources.
Students who receive aid and earn all F’s in a term must go through a Return of Title IV calculation to determine if they owe any federal or state aid back. See Return of Title IV Funds.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The form that must be completed by students and/or
parents in order to receive federal student aid. The FAFSA calculates the
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and determines federal student aid
eligibility. This free form found at fafsa.gov. The FAFSA must be
completed each year and opens January 1.
Aid that does not have to be repaid or earned through work, if the student completes their classes. Generally, this comes in the form of grants or scholarships.
The time before a student must begin or resume repaying a federal student loan, after graduating or falling below half-time enrollment. Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans have a 6-month grace period. Federal Perkins loans have a 9-month grace period.
A form of gift aid. Each grant has different
requirements and funding levels. NAU offers the following grants:
Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG),
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH),
University Grant, and Financial Aid Trust Grant.
Borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, according to the terms of the signed master promissory note. Loans cannot be cancelled because a student did not like the education they received, did not get a job in their field of study, or because they have financial difficulty. Loans are legal obligations that must be repaid in the years after graduation.
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
A legal document that requires a student/parent borrowing a federal student loan to repay the funds after a certain amount of time. It may be used for several loans and at different institutions.
Incoming freshmen are automatically considered for tuition scholarships upon their admission to the university.
The U.S. Department of Education’s central database for Title IV grants and loans. Information comes from schools, guaranty agencies, Direct Loans, and the Department of Education. All Title IV aid awarded is listed on students’ accounts and both students and schools can access this information.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to assist in paying for educational costs after other financial aid has been awarded. The funds are borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Parents first file the PLUS Application. If their credit check is approved, they must complete a Master Promissory Note. If denied, the student is then eligible for additional unsubsidized loan money.
Students in need of additional funding beyond the federal loans may choose to seek out a private or alternative loan. This is a loan from another lender, such as the student’s bank. Students apply through the lender and the lender submits the necessary paperwork to NAU, which then applies the funds to the student’s account. NAU cannot recommend one lender over another.
Refunds are sent to a student if the total charges
owed to the university are less than their financial aid disbursement.
Processing time for the refund money to either be direct deposited
(approximately 3-5 days) or to receive a paper check by mail (approximately
A set period of time when student is required to make payments on the federal student loan(s).
Return of Title IV Funds
When a student withdraws from school without completing the period of enrollment, the school must determine the amount of Title IV funds earned by the student. Unearned federal student aid must be returned. A calculation is done for each student that withdraws or receives all F’s in the term (F-List). The next semester’s aid will not disburse until all owed money is returned to the school.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
If you are receiving federal financial aid or
institutional gift aid, you are required to make progress toward your degree or
certificate according to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards set
by Northern Arizona University. Your SAP standing is determined by:
GPA (2.0 undergraduate, 3.0 graduate)
- pace of progress (successfully complete
67% of attempted credit hours)
- maximum timeframe (complete degree within 150% of
the published required units)
- certificate program- 22 units
degree- 150 units
- master’s degree- 45 units
Financial aid that must be repaid (loans) or is earned through employment (Federal Work Study).
Student Aid Report (SAR)
A document sent to students upon completion of the FAFSA. The SAR summarizes the information submitted on FAFSA. If students provide an e-mail address on the FAFSA they will receive an e-mail instructing them how to access the SAR online. Students who file the FAFSA online but do not provide an e-mail address, or who file a paper FAFSA, will receive a paper SAR in the mail.
Student employment governed only by university policy
and standard wage and labor laws. It operates in an identical manner to FWS,
except students do not have to demonstrate financial need to be hired.
Opportunities for student wage employment can be found on Jobs for Jacks or contacting on-campus departments directly.
A subsidized loan is in the student's name, is based
on financial need, and available to undergraduate students only. Interest does
not accrue while in deferment status. The Department of Education pays the
interest on this type of loan while you continue at least half-time enrollment.
Title IV Federal Student Aid
Financial aid programs, administered by the Department
of Education, authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as
amended (HEA). These programs include: Federal Pell Grant, Teacher Education
Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH Grant), Federal Supplemental
Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), Federal
Perkins Loan Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP).
Tribal Financial Need Analysis (FNA)
A form completed by the student, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, and the student's tribe to determine funding. The school provides information on the students' cost of attendance and the federal/state aid they will receive, to determine how much the tribe is able to contribute towards the educational costs.
An unsubsidized loan is also in the student's name.
The interest on this type of loan begins after disbursement and during
deferment. The student is not required to make payments on either the principal
or interest while attending school at least half-time. However, there is no
early-payment penalty should the student choose to do so.
The process where the university is required to check the accuracy
of information reported by the student and/or parent on the FAFSA. Students are
notified that they have been selected for verification. They must complete the
items requested in their To Do List in LOUIE, which will consist of the Dependent or Independent Student Verification form and submission of tax returns and/or W-2 forms if applicable.
To receive financial aid for winter session, students must have enough spring financial aid to cover both the winter session and all of the spring semester. Students submit a Winter Session Intent form to Financial Aid which will be evaluated and approved or denied.