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Northwest College

Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Northwest College's Title IV School code?

003931

Who is eligible to receive federal financial aid?

To be eligible to receive federal financial aid you must

  • Have a high school diploma, high school equivalency certificate (GED, HiSET, TASC), or a home school certificate 
  • Be a matriculating student (be accepted for admission as a regular student in a degree program or select certificate program) offered by Northwest College. Contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if your intended program qualifies for financial aid.
  • Be enrolled at least half time (Pell Grants are available to eligible students enrolled less than half time.) You must be at least half time to take out Student Loans, or be eligible for FSEOG or Work Study.
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Register with Selective Service, if required (males only)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, or a permanent resident of the U.S. (eligible non-citizen)
  • Be a citizen of the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands; or be in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose
  • Have met the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Not receive aid from another institution for the same period of enrollment
  • Not be in default or owe a repayment on any Title IV federal financial aid
How is my financial aid eligibility determined?

For financial aid purposes, financial need is determined by the following formula:

How Eligibility is Calculated:
   Cost of Attendance (COA)
-  Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
   Financial Need

Cost of Attendance (COA) is based on government guidelines and average costs. A COA for Pell Grant includes allowance for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies. COA for Campus-Based funds (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, & Direct Loans) include the above plus transportation and personal expenses. COA can only include costs of attendance for the student. Additional living allowances for married students or additional family members are not included in student budgets.

Who Receives Need-Based Financial Aid?

Financial aid programs designated as "need based" are Pell and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study and subsidized loans. To calculate eligibility for need based aid: Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need. Any eligible student may apply for a Direct Student Loan; Subsidized is need-based and interest does not accrue while the student is enrolled at least 1/2 time; Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan is not need-based and interest does accrue during enrollment.

I received a significantly better financial aid award from another college. Will NWC match the other college's award?

Not necessarily. Federal Pell Grant remains the same amount at all schools, based on your annual FAFSA application and enrollment status (full-time, 3/4-time, 1/2-time status). Other grants, loans, Federal Work-Study, and scholarships can vary based upon the school's cost of attendance, your enrollment status, your area of study/major, the amount of funds the college has available to award and your academic progress. You should explore all types of financial aid available to maximize your aid package.  Additionally, review your enrollment selections to minimize costs (program cost, textbook purchases vs rentals, residence hall/meal plan selection, etc). 

I'm expecting to receive outside scholarships. How will these affect my financial aid and scholarship totals?

All scholarship awards (NWC and other) must be deducted from your Cost of Attendance (COA), a combination of direct billing (NWC tuition & fees, room & board, etc) and indirect expenses (transportation and personal expenses), based on your enrollment and residency status. Generally, student may not receive aid in excess of their COA. If you financial aid awards for he academic year exceed your Cost of Attendance, NWC scholarship funding may be reduced.

Outside scholarships may decrease the amount of student loan you qualify for. Also, If you are a Wyoming student with the Hathaway Scholarship, the amount of Hathaway may be decreased if your total aid package exceeds your COA.

How are my parents' and my own expected contribution determined?

Cost of Attendance (COA) is based on government guidelines and average costs. A COA for Pell Grant includes allowance for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies. COA for Campus-Based funds (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, & Direct Loans) include the above plus transportation and personal expenses. COA can only include costs of attendance for the student. Additional living allowances for married students or additional family members are not included in student budgets.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your college costs. It includes a student contribution for all students and a parent contribution for dependent students. The EFC is calculated from the information provided on your FAFSA and reflects the amount the government believes you and your family can afford. In some cases, the EFC may be zero. If you do not believe your EFC accurately reflects your family's ability to pay for your education, due to a change in family or financial circumstances, contact the FAO.

What can we do if my parents are unable to meet the parent contribution?

The parent contribution is an estimate of the amount the parent can provide to assist a student during the academic year. The contribution could be in the form of a monthly amount for spending money, paying the student's car insurance, etc. The parent may apply for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan) if loan funds are needed to assist a student in paying for items in the COA (see previous question). Or, parents may contact or visit the Business Office to explore payment plan options. Payment plans can be arranged with Tuition Management Systems by calling 1-800-356-8329 or going on line to afford.com/northwestcollege. Additionally, reveiw your enrollment selections to minimize costs(program costs, textbook purchases vs rentals, residence hall/meal plan selection, etc), but remember to discuss enrollment changes with the Financial Aid Office to determine if changes affect your aid.

Do you need my federal and state tax returns as part of my FAFSA?

Students whose applications are selected for verification will be required to submit certain documentation to the Northwest College Financial Aid Office. Taxable income and taxes paid are verified primarily when the student/parents use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA application. Another option is to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript.  Please see our Verification page on the Financial Aid portion of the college website for specific details.

How do I contact the IRS?

Visit www.irs.gov or call Toll-Free, 1-800-908-9946. For local offices, visit: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-Your-Local-IRS-Office-1.

Should I report my parent's income information on the FAFSA?

You must include parent information when you complete the FAFSA unless you are considered independent student by meeting any criteria in section 3 of the FAFSA application.

See next question for requirements on being considered an independent student.

What are the requirements for being considered an independent student?

If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, you are considered independent and do not need parent information when completing the FAFSA:

  • Will you be 24 years old by January 1st of the award year?
  • Are you working on a MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate or degree?
  • As of today (the day you complete the FAFSA) are you married?
  • Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015? (Child Support counts as support)
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2015?
  • Are (a) both of your parents deceased, or (b) are you (or were you until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for the purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  • Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

If you can't answer "yes"  to ANY of these questions in section 3 of the FAFSA application, then you are considered dependent and need to include parent information when completing the FAFSA. If there are extenuating circumstances that make it dangerous or impossible to get their information, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Will my financial aid package be the same every year?

No. Financial aid is subject to change each year based on a variety of factors;

  • FAFSA information and/or formula changes
  • Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number from FAFSA
  • Cost of attendance (COA) calculation
  • Other types & amounts of aid or scholarships you are awarded
  • Enrollment status changes
  • Satisfactory academic progress standing
What if my family's financial circumstances change in future years?

The FAFSA iis filed annually to accommodate annual changes in taxed and untaxed income, assets, family size and number in college/university. Most data elements are as of the date the FAFSA is filed, but income is taken from the previous calendar year. Should your family experience income changes between the calendar year used to file the FAFSA and the commencement of the FAFSA award year, contact the financial aid office at NWC to discuss a Special Consideration Appeal based on the specific changes.

My financial aid is contingent on receipt of additional documents or information. Does that mean my financial aid award could change?

If the information submitted on the FAFSA is determined to be incorrect from the information we have requested, you must make necessary corrections. Corrections may increase or decrease your financial aid.

If I change my enrollment selections, will it affect my financial aid?

Very likely. If you change your living arrangements (i.e., live with parents, move on-campus), change your enrollment status (i.e.,full-time to 1/2-time),fail yo begin attendance in a course or withdraw from or fail a class,  your aid may be recalculated. Additionally, changes to your enrollment status may adversely affect your financial aid eligibility for your next semester of enrollment and/or next academic year if you fail to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Check with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships before you make a change to determine if it will affect your aid.

When will I receive my financial aid award letter

Completing the financial aid process from beginning to end takes time. Each student's actual processing time will depend upon when you apply and how quickly you respond to requests from our office and the volume of students who have applied for aid. The process normally takes 12 to 16 weeks from completing the FAFSA to receiving an Award Letter.

How do I read my financial aid Award Letter?

If you are eligible for financial aid, we will mail you an award letter stating terms and conditions of aid programs for which you are eligible. The award letter will tell you the estimated cost of attendance for the period of enrollment, the estimated family contribution (EFC) and the types and amounts of aid you are awarded. Carefully read the award letter and all materials included. If you accept the award(s) offered (and you have the right to decline any award), sign one copy of the award letter as directed and return it to the FAO. Retain the other copy for your records. If your enrollment status changes or if you change your program or housing status in any way, notify our office immediately so we can determine if your eligibility is affected. If your eligibility changes within an academic year, you may receive a revised award letter advising you of the increase/decrease in funding.

What if I haven't received an award letter or my aid isn't enough to cover costs by the payment deadline?

Payment fees day is the first day of classes each semester.  If you have not been awarded at this point or your aid is not enough to cover your costs visit the Business Office to explore payment plan options. Payment plans can be arranged with Tuition Management Systems by calling 1-800-356-8329 or going on line to afford.com/northwestcollege. Additionally, review your enrollment selections to minimize costs (program costs, textbook purchases vs rentals, residence hall/meal plan selection, etc.), but remember to discuss enrollment changes with the Financial Aid Office to determine if changes affect your aid.

Can students find jobs on or near campus? / How can I find an on-campus job?

Off Campus

Many local businesses employ NWC students part-time.   Check with the Office of Work-Based Learning, read the Powell Tribune "Help Wanted" ads or check with local employers in-person.

On Campus

You can review a listing of Student Job positions and print employment applications, by accessing your 'My NWC' portal at the beginning of each semester.  You can also visit our Student Jobs web page (under Types of Aid) to download the application and get additional information.

Do my work study earnings go to my student account balance?

Both Federal and Institutional employment earnings are paid in monthly checks directly to the student employee, based on the hours worked during that pay period. You have discretion to use those funds as needed, including paying towards any outstanding account balances.

How much can I expect to make at a Federal Work-Study or NWC Student Employment job?

NWC pays all student employees at least the hourly federal minimum wage.  Students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week, in all positions combined. Federal work study awards listed on award letters are not guaranteed earnings, but rather the maximum limit the student may earn from those funds.

Do I have to pay taxes on the money I earn through Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study and Student Employment are just like any other job. You may have to pay taxes on your earnings. You should estimate how much you will earn during the academic year and the summer and then complete the W-4 form so that you have the appropriate federal income taxes withheld if needed.

How do I apply for a student loan?

NWC does not automatically package federal student loans, so you may not see one on your award letter. If you indicate that you are interested in borrowing a student loan on the Financial Aid Office's Student Information Form, directions on how to apply are right there on the form (bottom of page 1).  If you decide you need a loan after paper work has been turned in or after your initial award letter has been sent you can complete the following steps:

You can apply for your student loan online at www.northwestcollege.edu/stafford 

Step 1: Complete the Master Pormissory Note

Step 2: Complete loan Entrance Counseling 

Step 3: Complete and return a Loan Request Form to the Financial Aid Office

*Note: If all three steps are not completed a Federal Student Loan can't be processed.

When will the loans I've accepted on my award letter be credited to my account?

Loan funds are credited directly to your student account. If you are a first-time borrower, the funds will be available to you 30 days after the first day of class. If you've borrowed previously at NWC and your file is complete and awarded (and your Master Promissory Note remains active), the funds will be available on the walk-in registration day. Additionally, if a loan is requested for only one semester of enrollment, funds will be disbursed in equal portions, one at the commencement of the semester and the 2nd disbursement at the midpoint of the semester. See Financial Aid Policies and Student Consumer Information or the reverse side of your award letter for more information.

If I or my parent borrow student/parent loans, what are my responsibilities?

For those that pursue student and/or parent loans, we remind you that there are repayment responsibilities regarding student loan debt.  Please be cognizant of your loan balances, recognize the requirements and responsibilities surrounding loan debt,and make quality decisions regarding your debt burden. Routinely check with your lenders to ensure you remain in good standing. Remember, you can always access your federal loan information through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS): nslds.ed.gov . For repayment plan options, contact you Loan Servicer (available at NSLDS) or visit studentaid.ed.gov for more information

If I am not eligible for financial aid (institutional or federal) due to failing to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), is there a financial aid appeal process?

On a case-by-case basis, the Financial Aid Office may allow exceptions to the standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) through the Appeal Process. Students must file an appeal petition explaining extenuating circumstances, with written documentation supporting the appeal. Eligibility may be reinstated with limitations if your are granted an approved appeal, based on valid and confirmed extenuating circumstances that were beyond your control (such as injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances). Extenuating circumstances that were caused by you or that you could have avoided or prevented or that did not occur within the semester where eligibility was lost, are not considered valid and are not eligible for appeal consideration. Appeals will be automatically denied if the appeal is based solely on invalid extenuating circumstances as defined above. Appeal approvals are not guaranteed and you will be notified in writing of the appeal decisions. Incomplete petitions may be returned without review. You only need to file one appeal form to have both federal aid and institutional aid reinstatement considered, although approvals to reinstate federal aid are separate form decisions to reinstate institutional aid eligibility. You may also rehabilitate the federal eligibility through defined and demonstrated academic performance at your own expenses (excludes Maximum Time Frame). Students may request a waiver of the maximum time frame requirement by filing a Maximum Time Frame Appeal/Second Undergraduate Degree Petition. Appeal petitions are available in the Financial Aid Office (Orendorff Building, Room 104) or online in the Forms portion of the Financial Aid section of NWC's website. Petitions will be reviewed and written responses will be mailed to the student


If I am not eligible for financial aid (institutional or federal) due to reasons other than failing to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), is there a financial aid appeal process?

If you are determined to be ineligible for financial aid for reasons other than failing to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your ineligibility status. Occasionally an ineligibility determination may be due to an error in data recorded by the student on the FAFSA or the student having intended to change the program of study/major but failed to officially change programs within the Registrar's Office or similar circumstance. Please visit with the Financial Aid Office so we can determine if a FAFSA correction or a course of action is available to you to reinstate eligibility. Some paths to eligibility reinstatement may require a substantial length of time before eligibility is regained and not all ineligibility statuses will have solutions to reinstate eligibility.

Still have an unanswered question?

If your question wasn't listed here, review the Financial Aid Office's Financial Aid Policies & Student Consumer Information located at www.northwestcollege.edu/fapolicy for comprehensive NWC financial aid information or contact the Financial Aid Office at:

Office: 104 Orendorff Bldg

Address: 231 W Sixth St Bldg 1

             Powell, WY  82435

E-mail: financialaid@northwestcollege.edu 

Phone: 307.754.6158 or 1.800.560.4692, ext. 6158 (Toll Free)

       

Contact

Sam Harper
Financial Aid Assistant - VA

Office: ORB104
Phone: 307-754-6158

Northwest College
Northwest College

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