Student Rights and Responsibilities
Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Each year more than 75% of Northern Arizona University (NAU) students request financial assistance to help defray the cost of education. Federal, state, institutional, and off-campus resources combine to form a partnership with your (and your family’s) own commitment to meet your educational goals. As a student financial aid recipient and partner in this process, you have a number of rights and responsibilities. Failure to comply with your responsibilities may result in the cancellation or reduction of your financial aid.
As a student consumer, you have the right to know:
- what financial aid is available to you, including need- and non-need-based federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs
- the deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial assistance programs available
- the type and amount of financial aid you will receive, how much of your financial need has been met, and how and when your financial aid will be disbursed
- what portion of your financial aid is grant or gift aid, and what portion must be repaid
- interest rates, total amount to be repaid, procedures for repayment, when repayment begins, and how long you have to repay your loan(s)
- details about the various programs in your financial aid package
- the criteria for continued financial aid eligibility, including guidelines for the determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by the Department of Education and the university
- the consequences should you not maintain financial aid eligibility, e.g., failing one or more SAP standard, withdrawing from a class or classes, etc.
- the federal withdrawal process and how much you may owe back to the Department of Education should you fail to complete a term for which you received financial aid
- how to request a reconsideration of aid for which you believe you are eligible, including re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility based on a change in financial circumstances
- how to contact financial aid personnel regarding information on student financial assistance
- the policies and procedures used to maintain confidentiality of financial aid records, as well as your protections under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- that if changes are made to your financial aid awards, you will be notified via NAU e-mail. NAU e-mail is the primary method of communication for all students and you may opt-out of this and request paper communications by contacting the Office of the Registrar
As a student consumer, it is your responsibility to:
- fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completely each year that you wish to be considered for financial aid
- provide accurate information on the FAFSA and to the NAU Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Falsification of information on application forms for federal student assistance is a criminal offense and you may be subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code, as well as a denial of financial aid.
- pay all institutional charges, when they are due, with your available financial aid and/or personal resources, or by enrolling in a payment plan
- use financial aid funds only for educational purposes
- know and comply with the terms and conditions governing the types of financial aid you receive
- read and understand all renewal criteria for any merit-based aid awarded
- respond quickly to all requests for additional documentation related to verification or corrections, completing all requirements accurately, in a timely manner, and by the appropriate deadlines
- read, understand, and keep copies of all forms that you are asked to sign and/or submit, and understand that you are legally responsible for all agreements you sign
- read all notifications and materials sent to you from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
- inform OSFA of any outside scholarships, assistantships, or additional resources you receive as soon as you become aware of them
- declare a degree objective and only enroll in courses that count toward that degree. Financial aid cannot pay for classes that are not included in your degree plan
- complete the registration process each semester by the add/drop deadline in order to ensure availability of all student aid funds you have been awarded
- promptly repay overpayments of the Federal Pell Grant based on changes in enrollment
- repay overpayments of the Federal Pell Grant if you receive it from two schools at the same time
- know and comply with the university’s refund procedures, should you withdraw from the university
- complete mandatory loan exit counseling upon ceasing to be enrolled at least half time or graduating if you have borrowed a Federal Direct Loan (subsidized, unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS) or Federal Perkins Loan
- repay all loans according to the terms agreed upon at the time the loan was accepted and the loan agreement/promissory note signed.
- submit appropriate documentation upon withdrawal from or completion of a Consortium Agreement or study abroad program
- perform the work agreed upon when you accept a Federal Work-Study award and secure employment
- keep your contact information updated (name, phone number, address) in LOUIE
- notify the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid if you currently are or if you become incarcerated in a federal, state, or local penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, or similar correctional institution.
- know and comply with all applicable policies and procedures of Northern Arizona University
Parent Financial Responsibility for Dependent Students
A basic assumption made when awarding federal financial aid is that parents of dependent students have the primary responsibility to pay for their dependent student’s education. It is the aim of the federal government and Northern Arizona University to help financially needy families by supplementing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Relevant federal regulations:
34 CFR 668.41(d) General disclosures
34 CFR 668.42 Financial assistance
34 CFR 668.43 Institutional information
34 CFR 668.45 Completion/graduation rates
34 CFR 668.41(a) and 668.47(b) Definitions