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
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 October 1 as possible and before May 1. Do not submit your FAFSA before October 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.
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.
Deadlines — A processed FAFSA and all required paperwork needed for eligibility must be received and processed in advance to the last day of class. Aid eligibility is limited if it is not awarded and accepted prior to the last day of class. We will continue to process all paperwork necessary after the last day of class, even if awarding is no longer available.
|Office of Financial Aid
175 Sam Sibley Drive
Student Services Center, Suite 212
Natchitoches, LA 71497
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST
Federal Financial Aid Code: 002021
Financial Aid Administrators are available without appointments.
The process for applying for scholarships varies based on whether you are an entering freshman, a currently enrolled student, or a transfer student. Only complete applications will be considered.
Scholarships are financial awards given to students who intend to enroll in the University or are currently enrolled in the University. NSU offers the following Institutional Scholarships for Entering Freshman, Currently Enrolled Students and Transfer Students:
Academic: Awards based primarily on academic performance and the achievement as measured by grades and/or specified test scores.
NSU Alumni/NSU Foundation Scholarships: A variety of scholarships are available through the generous donations and endowments to our university from our alumni and friends. Apply online for Foundation/Leadership Scholarships.
Performance: Awards based primarily on service participation of the recipient and individual evaluation performed by the department. These awards are awarded through the Department of Creative and Performing Arts, Department of Military Science and Department of Language and Communications. Determinations of awards are done by respective departments.
Athletic: Awards based primarily on individual evaluation performed by the Athletic Department in compliance with current NCAA regulations.
Entering Freshman Students
In order to receive priority consideration please adhere to the following dates:
- October 31 – Early Bird
- December 1 – initial priority deadline
- March 1 – second priority deadline
Entering freshman must submit the following during their senior year in high school:
- Complete the Application for Admission
- Official high school transcript*
- Official test score on either the ACT (school code 1600) or SAT (school code 6492)
*Louisiana Students graduating 2003 and after: NSU will request an electronic copy of your transcript from the State of Louisiana’s Student Transcript System. There is no need for you to request a hard copy from your school district unless instructed by the NSU Office of Admissions.
Currently Enrolled Students
Currently enrolled undergraduate students will be selected, if funding is available, based on their academic achievement while at NSU. Student selected should receive an award letter in July.
Transfer students must submit the following by July 1 prior to their intended fall enrollment in order to receive priority consideration for academic scholarships if funding is available:
- Complete the Application for Admission
- Official college transcripts from all colleges attended
Academic Progress for Scholarships
Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress as stated on your award letter each semester in order to receive awards the following semester. Recipients of academic and leadership scholarships must maintain the required GPA and be enrolled as a full-time student at NSU for the semester. Students who have scholarships cancelled due to failure to meet specified criteria for continuing to receive the award may appeal to the scholarship appeal committee for an exception, by completing a scholarship appeal form. Students will receive notice of cancelled Scholarships via their official Student email address.
Scholarship appeal deadline dates:
- February 15 following a fall semester cancellation
- August 15 following a spring semester cancellation
Private Scholarships: Consider free only online scholarship search services, such as Fastweb.