Our mission is to find the best possible aid package for a diverse student body to enable each of our students the financial ability to achieve their educational goal. Our office offers a wide variety of programs that are available from federal, state and institutional funds under the general headings of loans, grants, third party funds and work opportunities. The Office of Financial Aid will keep students informed of all current federal regulations and changes in those regulations. We are dedicated in providing all students and their families with counseling and the services necessary to gain access to educational funds by promoting financial aid awareness, ensuring compliance with federal, state and institutional regulations and guidelines, while committing to honesty, fairness, equality and integrity in all aid awarded to all students of our university. We will be a leader among our campus community for high quality and innovative student services, which includes a more effective use of technology for both our processing and communication with students.
To establish and maintain eligibility for federal student aid and some other student aid programs you must:
- Be a regularly admitted student enrolled in a degree program
- Have a high school diploma, GED or completed a State approved homeschool Program
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (Federal Student Aid)
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant
- Not be in default on an educational loan
- Agree to use federal student aid funds solely for educational purposes
- Not have borrowed in excess of annual or aggregate limits on a Title IV student loan
- Apply each and every year by the May 1st priority deadline!
- Coursework completed prior to classes beginning cannot count towards Federal Aid Eligibility.
- Who Gets Aid
How To Apply For Financial Aid
Step 1: Apply
- Apply for Admission
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year. Will be available beginning October 1st.
- NSU school code is 002021
- Complete the Title IV Authorization Form (need to do this yearly during career at NSU)
- Priority deadline for NSU is May 1
- Review helpful hints below for applying
- Applying for Aid
Important: You must complete a FAFSA for each academic year you would like to receive aid. To increase your chances of being considered for programs with limited funds, complete and submit the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible and before May 1. Do not submit your FAFSA before January 1 or it will be rejected.
Helpful hints for completing the FAFSA:
- Read all instructions
- Use your legal name (as is appears on your Social Security Card)- not nicknames – and your correct social security number
- If your parents are divorced, you must use the information for the parent you lived with most in the last 12 months. If that parent is remarried, you must also include the stepparent’s income. Be sure to provide the information requested about your parents.
- Make sure you include #002021 on your list of school codes. Also, if you are required to provide parental information, a parent is also required to sign the FAFSA.
- If you complete the FAFSA electronically, don’t forget to sign using your FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) and Password
- Allow 2 weeks for your FAFSA to be processed. If after 2 weeks you have not received a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Federal Processor, call them at 1-800-433-3243 (1-800-4FEDAID)
Step 2: Complete
Now that you have completed the FAFSA, the next step is to insure that your financial aid application file is complete. In some cases you may have to provide additional information on the FAFSA or submit documentation to our office.
- The FAFSA that you submitted is processed by the Central Processing System (CPS) and generates an emailed Student Aid Report (SAR)
- Review your SAR for accuracy
- Pay particular attention to the information summary in part one and the income figures in part two
- If corrections are required, revisit fafsa.gov and select “make correction”
If you do not receive an email directing you to a website where you may view your SAR within two weeks, contact the CPS at 1-800-433-3243 to check on the status of your application. Respond to any requests from Northwestern State University quickly! Based on your FAFSA, you may have been selected for verification and we may need additional information to validate your financial aid application. If additional information is requested, you will receive an email from our office indicating the item(s) needed to complete your file.
Step 3: Review
Once your financial aid application file is complete, your aid will be awarded. You will receive an award notification by email to your NSU official email address. Your MyNSU account will contain information regarding each individual award.
- Review your awards carefully
- If your award includes loans and you are a first time borrower, you will need to complete and submit the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling
- Loans and Federal Work Study will request you to Accept or Decline the award
Step 4: Disbursement
Your funds will be available for disbursement, provided that you qualify and complete all requirements.
Some common things that prevent your aid from being disbursed:
- You’ve not completed Direct loan entrance counseling.
- You’ve not signed and submitted a master promissory note for your Direct loan and/or PLUS loan.
- You’ve not registered for the minimum required hours (you must be enrolled at least half-time).
Verification is a review process in which the Office of Financial Aid determines the accuracy of the information provided on the student’s financial aid application. During the verification process the student and parent, if Dependent, will be required to submit documentation for the amounts listed (or not listed) on the financial aid application. Such documentation may include copies of parent and student tax return transcripts, copies of W-2s and Verification worksheets, among other items.
Acceptable IRS Documentation — To satisfy our request for IRS documentation, please read all of the options below, then select one:
If more information is requested, you will receive a missing information email from our office. Notices will be sent every 21 days until the needed documentation has been received and processed by our office. Request for additional information will be posted within your MyNSU Account.
Financial aid applications are randomly selected by the Federal processor for verification. If there is an asterisk next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure on your Student Aid Report (SAR), your SAR has been selected for verification. Schools may also select additional students for verification. If any discrepancies are uncovered during verification, the Office of Financial Aid may require additional information to clear up the discrepancies. Northwestern is required by the Department of Education to verify this information before aid can be awarded.
Scholars’ Day 2018 (Saturday, March 10, 2018)
Scholars’ Day is a great opportunity to learn more about the state’s designated honors college, the Scholars’ College. You will meet other students who share your interest in a honors education. You will be able to attend classes, explore our majors, meet our faculty, attend a parent and student panel, tour the campus, and get all of your questions answered about the Scholars’ College.
Graduate & Transfer Advising Day (Saturday, April 21, 2018)
9:00am – 1:00pm (Registration at 8:00am)
The Graduate & Transfer Advising Day is for students interested in attending Graduate School or those wanting to transfer to Northwestern State University. On this day, you can submit admission requirements and meet with your advisor and register for Summer/Fall 2018 classes (if admitted). Representatives from Financial Aid and Housing will be available as well. Campus tours will be provided for those who want to explore our beautiful and scenic campus.
NSU’s Spirit Groups are traditionally one of the best around. We play a vital part in keeping the energy at its highest at campus events, as well as functions held in the Natchitoches community. We have a great time and offer everyone that “personalized” Northwestern Spirit!