FAQ

FAQ 2020-01-14T12:08:18+00:00

Award amounts vary and depend upon your financial need (as determined by the federal government), grade level, and dependency status.

Dependent Classification Independent
$5,500 Freshman (0-29 hours) $9,500
$6,500 Sophomore (31-59 hours) $10,500
$7,500 Junior/Senior (60+ hours) $12,500

Graduate/Professional $20,500

Aggregate Loan Limits:

$31,000 as a dependent undergraduate student.

$57,500 as an independent undergraduate student (only $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).

$138,500 as a graduate or professional student (only $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans). The graduate debt limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

These aggregate limits include both Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and any subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans received through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.

Effective as of July 1, 2013 students with a zero student loan balance will be limited to the amount of Subsidized Loans they can receive during their Undergraduate career. Eligibility will be limited to 150% of the length of their degree program. If degree is not received by the end of the 150% timeframe subsidized loans will be converted to unsubsidized loans.

There are certain grants and loans available during the summer. If you are interested in Aid for summer you must complete the Summer Aid Application (available in April) and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid for eligibility determination.

Yes, you must apply each year to renew your financial aid. After January 1, review your renewal FAFSA record on the web and revise the information to reflect your income for the preceding year (and other information only if it has changed) and send the application electronically. Be sure to specify NSU school code 002021 as a recipient of your information. When your FAFSA is processed, the Federal Processor will notify you by email. If you have a FSA ID, you will be able to view your SAR on the FAFSA Website. You will receive a paper SAR only if your email address is not provided on the FAFSA.

Regardless of the method you use, remember that the U.S. Department of Education must receive your FAFSA information no later than May 1 in order to be considered for priority need-based funding. Please make every effort to apply on time so that you are considered for all types of available aid. If you miss the priority application date (May 1) you may still apply, but some aid may not be available.

A Parent PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. You must be the student’s biological or adoptive parent or the student’s stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time.

Credit check & endorser alternative: When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan.
Loan limits, interest rate, and loan charges: There are no set limits for Direct PLUS Loans, but you may not borrow more than the cost of your child’s education minus any other financial aid received, such as a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. The school will determine the actual amount you may borrow. The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 6.84%. Interest is charged on Direct PLUS Loans during all periods, beginning on the date of your loan’s first disbursement. To find out more information on interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center. In addition to interest, you pay a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan that you receive. This fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. The fee is deducted before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.

Dependent students whose parents have applied for but were unable to get a PLUS Loan are eligible to receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds.

A subsidized student loan is awarded on the basis of the student’s financial need and other specific eligibility requirements. The federal government does not charge interest on these loans while borrowers are enrolled at least half-time, during a six-month grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment. An unsubsidized student loan is not based on the student’s financial need, but students must also meet specific eligibility requirements. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. Students are considered for subsidized loans first.

Billing transactions and associated student account issues are administered by the Cashiers Office, located on the 3rd floor of the Student Services Center. Phone: 318-357-6902 or Email: studentaccounting@nsula.edu

The Federal Government mandates that students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their degrees within a reasonable period of time. All students must meet the SAP standards to be eligible for federal funding, including grants, work-study, federal, and PLUS loans.

You might be eligible for more Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Once your grades have been posted, if your grade level has increased from a Freshman level to a Sophomore level (30 credit hours earned), or has changed from the Sophomore level to a Junior level (60 credit hours earned) you may be eligible for more Direct Student Stafford Loan. This depends on your Cost of Attendance and the amount of your initial financial aid award.

The increase could also affect your loan eligibility for the upcoming summer if you plan on attending and receiving federal loans.

Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year.

Read all instructions.

Use your legal name (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 were 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.

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).

A student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (allow 2 weeks for processing).
Remember the priority deadline for NSU is May 1!

Northwestern State University offers grants, loans, work-study and scholarships. All programs are designed to assist students with the resources necessary to further their education at NSU. The information located on the Types of Financial Aid page will provide more detailed information.

Cost of Attendance is an estimated budget of costs for attending NSU. This includes tuition, books, transportation, etc. Your total aid package (grants, scholarships, loans, etc.) cannot exceed this Cost of Attendance budget.

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, W-2s and Verification Worksheets. 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 State University is required by the Department of Education to verify this information before aid can be awarded to you.

EFC stands for “Estimated Family Contribution”. It is a number determined by the U. S. Department of Education that is subtracted from your Cost of Attendance to determine eligibility for Pell grants, other grants, and other need-based aid.

Visit us online: How to Apply
Call us: 1-800-823-3008 or 318-357-5961
Email us: nsufinaid@nsula.edu
Visit us in person: Natchitoches Campus (212 Student Services Centerl) or Shreveport Campus (102 Administrative Building)

Students should complete their FAFSA along with any other required paperwork prior to May 1 for Federal Aid.

Scholarship application priority consideration is December 1.

All Financial Aid recipients are subject to the policies concerning Satisfactory Academic Progress . Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as passing the required number of hours, obtaining the required grade point average, and not exceeding a maximum attempted hours. Dropping classes could affect your required number of hours earned as well as you total attempted hours.

A student may appeal to receive financial aid after failure to obtain standards required by Satisfactory Academic Progress by completing a Financial Aid Appeal Form. Deadlines are as follows:

Fall Appeals Spring Appeals Summer Appeals
Priority deadline: July 15 Priority deadline: January 2 Priority deadline: June 6
Final deadline: September 30 Final deadline: February 28 Final deadline: July 15

Additional information on the appeal process: CLICK HERE

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) essentially opens a line of credit for education expenses during your academic career. When you sign a MPN, you promise to repay your student loan(s). The MPN also includes important language about your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

As a dependent student, the amount of aid is determined by eligibility and need. You may be eligible for additional grants or apply for a Parent PLUS Direct Loan. If a parent is denied a Parent PLUS Direct Loan, additional loan proceeds may be certified for the student.

Federal and University of Louisiana System rules state that a student cannot receive aid in excess of their Cost of Attendance budget. Any time a student receives any federal, state, or institutional aid in excess of their Cost of Attendance, funds must be returned or adjusted to accommodate the overage.

After an official or unofficial withdrawal from the university, a refund and/or repayment evaluation must be performed on students’ accounts to determine eligibility for refund or repayment. Federal Regulations require that we determine the amount of time enrolled at the institution and apply appropriate refunding. You must earn more than 60% of your aid by attending more than 60% of your registered class time to keep all aid disbursed. NOTE: If a recipient of federal aid stops attending class without officially resigning from the university, a last date of attendance will be applied based on information received from the instructors and appropriate refunding applied.

No, TOPS Tech can only be used at technical schools.

You must maintain a certain semester GPA . This GPA is listed on your scholarship award letter, however you can contact our office to obtain this information as well. You must also enroll in 12 hours each regular semester.

You must be continually enrolled each fall and spring semester. You may complete an academic scholarship appeal form prior to sitting out. You will need to provide a statement and any documentation regarding why you plan to sit out a semester.

You need to submit a deferment request to the Direct Loan Service Provider along with documentation of your eligibility for the deferment. For more information and links to your Direct Loan Service Provider Click Here.

No. Audit course hours cannot be used to fulfill your hour requirement for financial aid.

Our office handles several hundred phone calls per day during peak times. We have two incoming phone lines that stay constantly busy. A good strategy if you are in the area is to stop by in person. You may also e-mail us.

After awards have been applied to student accounts any remaining balance owed to the student will be refunded shortly after the late registration period.

Your financial aid will be awarded upon completion of all financial aid paperwork. To ensure your aid is awarded by Fall semester, you must complete all paperwork by May 1st.

A student does have options to regain eligiblity. More detailed information can be found on the Satisfactory Academic Progress page.

If your financial aid is enough to cover the total charges, including the charges made to the book store, no additional payment would be required. If your aid is not enough to cover the additional charges and book charges already made, you will be responsible for the remaining balance. Balances could be subjected to installment plan and late fees.