Financial Aid Basics

How does financial aid work?

You don’t necessarily have to be in a low-income category to qualify for financial aid. Some students receive aid based on special achievements while others receive aid based on demonstrated need. Need is the difference between what it costs to attend college and what a student is expected to contribute.

Educational cost - Expected family contribution = Eligibility for need-based financial aid

Expected Family Contribution

The expected family contribution is a combined total of the parent and student contributions determined by the Federal Government. The family contribution will be calculated when you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor.

General Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive federal, state or NDSCS-sponsored aid, a student must be working towards a degree or certificate in an eligible program. Federal regulations do not allow federal aid to be disbursed for repeated classes. Most federal aid require at least half-time active enrollment.

  • Qualify for financial aid (except for certain loans)
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Register with the Selective Service, if required (use the FAFSA to register or online at www.sss.gov)
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purpose
Citizenship

To receive federal and/or state financial aid, a student must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen or non-resident, as determined by federal and state regulations.

Enrollment

In order to receive federal, state or NDSCS-sponsored aid, a student must be working towards a degree or certificate in an eligible program, with at least half-time active enrollment.

  • Full-time: 12 credits or more
  • Three-quarters time: 9-11 credits
  • Half-time: 6-8 credits
Satisfactory Progress

A student must maintain satisfactory progress with NDSCS to be eligible for financial aid.

 

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