Frequently Asked QuestionsQ1 My family makes too much money for me to be eligible for financial aid. What are my options?
Q2 When should I complete my FAFSA? Do taxes need to be filed first?
You should always
complete the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year you
attend college. There’s no income cut-off – regardless of your family’s
finances. By submitting the FAFSA, you are applying for federal and state
grants, Federal Work-Study, and student loans. Yes, your family’s finances and
other factors reported on the FAFSA determine for which types of financial aid
you qualify. Those types may be different next year if changes are made at the
federal level or to your family’s finances. If you discover you're not eligible
for a grant (free money), you don’t have to accept your student loan if you
find it unnecessary to borrow.
NOTE: Many scholarship applications require you
to complete the FAFSA. Complete the FAFSA now to save time when you're applying
Our priority date is
Feb. 1. We encourage you to submit your FAFSA by Feb. 1 for you to be
considered for grants with limited funding (e.g., University Grant). Feb. 1 is not the
deadline. Each year’s FAFSA is available 18 months: Jan. 1 – June 30 the
following year. Taxes do not need to be filed before you complete the FAFSA.
You may estimate your income by using last year’s tax return.Q3 What happens when taxes are filed? What if I need to make corrections to my FAFSA?
Q4 Who can apply for the Federal Parent PLUS loan?
Simply log in to your FAFSA
make necessary corrections. You may use the IRS Data
for accuracy and simplicity. If you are unable
to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, manually input figures from your tax
return. We’ll contact you via email only
if your corrections
have impacted your eligibility. If you don’t hear back from us within 3-4
weeks, your corrections had no impact on your eligibility. As always, monitor
your NAU email for communications from our office.
Q5 Is the Federal PLUS loan available to me as a graduate/doctoral student?
Completing the FAFSA is
a prerequisite for the Federal PLUS loan to ensure that you are
applying for and possibly receiving grants and other need-based student aid
before relying on loans. Total financial aid limits are determined by your
financial aid Cost of Attendance. Your financial aid (including
PLUS) cannot exceed your total Cost of Attendance.
If you are a dependent
undergraduate student, those who are eligible to apply are:
- your biological or adoptive parent(s).
- a stepparent only if he/she is married to your parent
whose income and assets were reported on your FAFSA.
- if your parents are divorced, both may apply but the
combined loan amounts cannot exceed your cost of attendance.
Those not eligible
- other family members, unless the relative as legally
- legal guardians.
- parent(s) of independent undergraduate students.
Q6 When will my financial aid be applied to my tuition and charges?
Yes. Complete the FAFSA
to determine if you are eligible for an unsubsidized loan. Remember, interest
rates for an unsubsidized loan are lower than the PLUS. Apply for the Federal PLUS loan
only if you need
additional funds to cover your educational expenses. NOTE: Total financial aid
limits are determined by your financial aid Cost of
. Your financial aid (including PLUS) cannot exceed your
total Cost of Attendance.
We begin disbursing
students’ financial aid approximately 10 days prior to the first day of each
16-week semester or summer session. This applies to all students, including
those with early-start classes. Disbursement means your financial aid is sent
to your student account and applied to your tuition and other charges. Log in
to LOUIE regularly to check for To Do List items or Holds. Several items can
cause disbursement to be held up – take care of requirements as soon as
possible. We disburse available funds Monday-Saturday evenings for the current
academic term. If you’ve been awarded aid for an upcoming academic term, funds
will not disburse until 10 days before the start of that term.Q7 What happens if I have financial aid left over after all my charges have been paid?
Q8 When will I be awarded financial aid?
If your financial aid is
greater than your account balance you will receive a refund
All excess financial aid will be sent via electronic funds transfer to your
Direct Deposit bank account listed in LOUIE. Allow 3-5 business days for funds
to transfer. If you do not sign up for Direct Deposit, the refund check will be
mailed to your refund address in LOUIE.
Q9 I’ve been offered Federal Work-Study. What are my next steps?
Students new to NAU are
awarded financial aid in February for the following academic year. Continuing
students are awarded beginning late May for the following academic year. We
award continuing or returning students after they are evaluated for and meet satisfactory academic
Q10 Why was I not awarded Federal Work-Study?
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
is a federally funded, need-based aid program where students earn funding via
part-time work either on campus or with an off-campus FWS employer. It is not a
“traditional” financial aid award that disburses to your student account; it’s
a paycheck. You are paid every other Friday for the hours you work.
accept your award – even if you’ve not been hired or you're not sure if you’re
going to take advantage of the program. You’ll lose your FWS award if you don’t
accept it by mid-September. Next, find a job. Create your profile on for Jobs for
Jacks, an online job board where you can search and apply for
student job opportunities and post your resume. Also consider contacting your
ideal NAU department(s) directly to discover possible open student staff
positions. Don’t give up! Jobs open all the time. NOTE: Once you find a job, be
sure to let your supervisor know you’ve been awarded Federal Work-Study. It
will be in their favor and yours.
Q11 Can I still get a job on campus if I was not awarded and/or I'm not eligible for Federal Work-Study?
Federal Work-Study is a
need-based financial aid program with limited funds each year. Criteria are
based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial aid you’ve
already been awarded. We encourage you to contact us if you’ve submitted your
FAFSA and your EFC is not larger than your total Cost of
If you're eligible for FWS, you'll be placed on a
waiting list. The waiting list is monitored throughout the academic year and
additional students are awarded if funding becomes available.
Q12 What steps do I take to accept my student loans?
positions are known as Student Wage positions. Both types of student employment
opportunities are listed on Jobs for Jacks
. Several hundred jobs are
available on campus from a large variety of departments. Off-campus employers
post jobs on Jobs for Jacks as well.
Q13 How do you determine my student loan amount?
- Log in to LOUIE to
accept and/or adjust your loan amounts.
- If you are a new
borrower at NAU, go to StudentLoans.gov to complete Entrance
Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note. You can complete these two steps
even if these items are not listed on your LOUIE To Do List. Your loan(s) will
not disburse until these steps are completed.
- New and continuing
borrowers should monitor LOUIE and their NAU email for required items that
might prevent financial aid disbursement.
- Half-time enrollment is
required in order for your loan(s) to disburse.
Q14 My family’s income has changed considerably since I submitted my FAFSA. Is there a way it can be reviewed to see if I qualify for more aid now?
Your academic level
(total credit hours earned) determines federal subsidized and/or unsubsidized
- Freshman: 0-29 hours earned
- Sophomore: 30-59
- Junior: 60-89
- Senior: 90-120+
Go to student loan information for specific
Q15 I have additional educational expenses this year. Can these expenses increase my financial aid?
Your parent(s) can
complete a Parent Contribution Appeal if you are a dependent student. Students
considered independent need to complete a Student Contribution Appeal. When all
information and documentation are provided, we will review and make a
decision based upon your situation. Specific hardship scenarios are limited for
review. Carefully read the Contribution
paying close attention to acceptable scenarios and
requirements prior to submitting. We are required by federal law to make
changes to your FAFSA information, even if your appeal has a negative impact on
your financial aid eligibility. Submit your Contribution Appeal by April 15 for
review and decision to be made by the end of May. All appeals submitted after
April 15 will be reviewed beginning September 1.
Q16 Is financial aid available for summer classes?
If your additional
expenses fall into a category listed on the Cost of Attendance
, you can request a review of your expenses. If your appeal is
approved, your total cost of attendance will increase by the amount of the
expenses incurred. Approval of your Cost of Attendance appeal is not a
guarantee an increase in your financial aid.
You might already be
awarded the maximum amount of aid we can offer. Carefully read the Cost of
Attendance Appeal form for acceptable scenarios.
Yes. Eligibility is
based on your financial aid “left over” from fall and spring semesters. You are
not eligible for summer financial aid if you have already been awarded the
maximum amount of federal financial aid (i.e., Pell Grant and
subsidized/unsubsidized loans) for the aid year, which includes fall, spring,
and summer. No application is required to request summer aid. Enroll in summer
classes as soon as possible. We begin reviewing student eligibility in
mid-April.Q17 Can I receive financial aid to take a winter class?
Submit a Winter Intent
Form for winter financial aid consideration. Eligibility is based on how much
aid you have for the spring semester. If you will receive enough to cover both
winter and spring tuition, you might be eligible to have your
spring financial aid pay your winter tuition. How it works: If approved, your
winter tuition and fees will be paid when your spring aid is disbursed in
January. You will not be dropped from your winter class; however, make sure you
have budgeted for your class text and supplies since you will not receive a
financial aid disbursement in December.Q18 Am I dependent or independent?
Based on FAFSA
information, you will be considered either “independent” or “dependent.” Be
aware that "dependent" has a different definition for financial aid
purposes than it does for tax purposes. The official determination is made when
your FAFSA is processed, but by answering a few questions, you can get a good
idea of which category you fit into:
- Will you be 24 or older by Dec. 31 of the school year
for which you are applying for financial aid?
- Will you be working toward a master’s or doctoral
degree (such as M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D., Ed.D.)?
- Are you married or separated but not divorced?
- Do you have children who receive more than half of
their support from you?
- Do you have dependents (other than children or a
spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both of your
parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent
of the court?
- Are you an emancipated minor or are you in a legal
guardianship as determined by a court?
- Are you an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or
self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If none of the criteria
listed above apply to you, you may be considered a dependent student. If you
answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be an independent student.
Courtesy of Federal Student Aid