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Eligibility

To qualify for federal student aid (grants, loans, and work-study funds), you have to meet certain requirements.

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen

  • Be registered for Selective Service if you’re a male between ages 18-25

  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate

  • Be admitted in an eligible degree program. (Certificate programs are not eligible programs.)

  • Be enrolled at least half time for most aid programs. See Enrollment Status Policy below

  • Not be in default on any federal educational loans or owe a refund on a federal grant

  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

  • Not have been convicted of a drug offense while receiving financial aid

Enrollment Status Policy

Your financial aid offer is based on the number of financial aid eligible credits you are enrolled in. Most types of aid, including state grants and student loans, require at least half-time status.

  • Full-time status = 12 or more credits

  • Three-quarters time status = 9 - 11 credits

  • Half-time status = 6 - 8 credits

  • Less than Half-time status = 1 - 5 credits

If you are not enrolled in classes at the time your file is reviewed, your financial aid offer will be based on a full-time enrollment status. Your financial aid offer will be revised to your enrollment status at the time of disbursement.

Decrease in Enrollment

If you drop, withdraw, never attend, or stop attending a class, it can affect your financial aid in one or more ways:

  • If financial aid has already been disbursed, repayment of some or all of the financial aid received may be required.
  • If financial aid has not been disbursed and your enrollment status decreases to Less Than Half Time status, your funding may not disburse or may be delayed.
  • Any final grades of W (withdrawal) will reduce your completion percentage under Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

If you completely withdraw, drop, or stop attending your currently scheduled classes, you may need to return or recalculate your aid. More About Aid »

Consortium Agreements

Students who are accepted in a financial aid eligible program at NWTC and are considering taking one or more courses at another school that apply towards their degree at NWTC may request a Consortium Agreement between the schools. Since students are unable to receive financial aid from two schools during the same semester, a Consortium Agreement allows the school at which the student is seeking their degree (the "home school") to combine credits from another school (the "visiting school") and pay financial aid based on the total. A Consortium Agreement is only good for one semester; a new Consortium agreement must be completed for each semester a student is enrolled at a “visiting school.”

Not all students who take courses at another school will need to request a Consortium Agreement. For some students, the combination of credits will not increase the amount of their financial aid offer.

To initiate a Consortium Agreement, a student must:

  1. Be seeking a degree in a financial aid eligible program at NWTC, and the course(s) taken at the other school must apply towards the student's degree program at NWTC.

  2. Register at the visiting school and pay for classes with their own resources.

  3. Contact the NWTC Financial Aid Office for a Consortium Agreement Form

  4. Complete and sign the student section of the Consortium Agreement  Form and attach a copy of their "visiting school" schedule.

  5. Verify with their Academic Advisor that course(s) being taken at the visiting school are required for completion of their NWTC degree program.

  6. Send the signed Consortium Agreement Form, with copy of class schedule attached, to the visiting school financial aid office to be completed and returned to the NWTC Financial Aid office prior to the Pell Recalculation Date (also known as census date).

Upon receipt of the above items, a Consortium Agreement will be created between NWTC and the school listed on the Consortium Agreement.

Credits will not be added to the student's enrollment status until the Consortium Agreement is signed by the participating school.

Pertinent information will be exchanged between schools to determine the student's eligibility, calculate financial aid offers, disburse funds, monitor satisfactory progress, and distribute any refund/repayment.  NWTC will not pay the visiting school for any charges owed.

The student must inform the NWTC Financial Aid Office if they drop or withdraw from any course(s) covered by this Consortium Agreement.

At the end of the semester the student is responsible for providing the NWTC Financial Aid Office with either an official or unofficial transcript from the "visiting school".

Special Circumstances

The federal government makes every effort to capture the family's financial situation using the FAFSA; however, some families may be experiencing a hardship or unusual circumstance which is not reflected on the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office will review these circumstances on a case by case basis to determine if it changes the student's eligibility for aid.

If your household has experienced a substantial (greater than $5000) reduction in income from the amounts reported on your FAFSA application, you may be eligible for a special circumstance consideration.

Types of Special Circumstances

  • Loss of employment
  • Change in employment
  • Change in or loss of unemployment benefits
  • IRA conversion from regular IRA to Roth IRA
  • Separation/divorce
  • Death

Circumstances which do not warrant a review include unusual credit card debt, high living expenses, or refusal to pay for college.

To report a special circumstance, call the Financial Aid Office to speak with your financial aid advisor or schedule an appointment. You will learn what documentation is required based on the individual circumstance.

Dependency Status

Your financial aid eligibility and the amount of aid you receive to attend NWTC are affected by your dependency status. Your dependency status for financial aid purposes is determined by federal regulations based on what you enter on your FAFSA application.

  • You are considered an independent student if you meet any of the criteria for Independent Status based on the federal guidelines.
  • If none of the criteria applies to you, you are a dependent student for financial aid purposes.
  • Here are some examples of conditions that do not make you an independent student for financial aid purposes:
    • You do not live with your parents.
    • Parents do not/cannot contribute to your education.
    • Parents do not claim you as a dependent for tax purposes.
    • Parents do not provide any financial support to you.

If you do not meet any of the criteria for independent status, then you are considered a dependent student for financial aid purposes. This means that your parents must provide their information on your FAFSA. By providing their information, it does not mean that they are obligated or responsible for your educational expenses. It does mean that their information will be used to determine your financial aid eligibility.

Unable to Provide Parents' Information

In extreme circumstances (e.g. abuse, abandonment, etc.), you may be able to submit your FAFSA without your parent's information. NWTC is able to make dependency overrides on a case-by-case basis for students with these documented circumstances. In order for the Financial Aid Office to make this determination, you must:

  • Submit your FAFSA indicating that you are unable to provide information about your parents and that you have a special circumstance.
  • Submit a signed letter of explanation to the Financial Aid Office that describes the circumstances that led to you leave out your parent's household and your means of support since you left their household.
  • Submit third party documentation on letterhead to the Financial Aid Office detailing their first-hand knowledge of the family circumstances. Third parties could include, but are not limited to, guidance counselors, clergy members, mental health professionals, officers of the court, or law enforcement personnel. The letters must include the name of the individual, their job title and contact information.

* Note that depending on the answers you provide on your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will provide you with the information that you must submit based on your specific situation. Once we receive your FAFSA, this information will be added to your my.NWTC To Do List.

The Financial Aid Office's decision about your dependency status will be communicated to you after review of the documentation submitted. This decision is final and cannot be appealed to NWTC or the Department of Education.

Parents Refuse to Provide Information

If your parents no longer provide any support for you and refuse to provide information for the FAFSA, you can only be considered for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. In this situation, you must:

  1. Submit your FAFSA indicating that you are unable to provide information about your parents and that you do not have a special circumstance, but you still can't provide parent information.
  2. The FAFSA will be considered incomplete and you must contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your status and submit a Documentation of Parental Non-Support form.

* Note that depending on the answers you provide on your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will provide you with the information that you must submit based on your specific situation. Once we receive your FAFSA, this information will be added to your my.NWTC To Do List.

Next Step: Your Financial Aid Offer
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