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General Questions

1.When is the Financial Aid Office open?

We are open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summer hours may vary.

2. Why is it when I try calling your office I can never get through?

Our office handles several hundred phone calls per day during peak times. We have 2 incoming phone lines that stay constantly busy and are answered in the order in which the calls are received. A good strategy if you are in the area is to stop by in person. You may also try other means, such as e-mail or fax. For real-time information about your current financial aid status, check Banner Self Service!

3. Why can’t you tell my spouse, parents, or outside agencies what kind of aid I have been awarded?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as the Buckley Amendment) limits access to educational records without written consent.

4. When do I apply for financial aid?

As soon as possible after January 1 of the school year you plan to attend. You must reapply every year.

5. What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?

To receive priority consideration for aid, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 4 weeks prior to the deadline dates indicated each semester.
–Fall Semester – April 15
–Spring Semester – October 31

6. If I miss the priority deadline, can I still get financial aid?

If you miss the priority deadline, you are still encouraged to apply for financial aid. If you are eligible and have paid your tuition, you will be reimbursed after the semester begins.

7. Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. You must reapply for financial aid each year by completing the FAFSA.

8. I’m not admitted to Nicholls yet. Do I have to wait until I am admitted before I apply for financial aid?

No. Students do not have to be admitted to Nicholls in order to file their FAFSA. You should file your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as possible.  However, you will not be awarded any assistance (TOPS, scholarships, Title IV aid, etc) until you have been admitted to the University.

9. I probably don’t qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

Yes, any student who is looking for assistance with the cost of higher education should apply for financial aid. Most people have the misconception that income is the only factor in determining financial need. Other variables are also considered, such as family size, number of family members in college, age of the older parent, savings, investments, and various allowances to income and assets. There are also a few sources of aid, such as the Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans, that are available regardless of need.

10. I only want a loan. Do I have to file a FAFSA?

Yes. The FAFSA is the foundation used to determine what type of loan you may be eligible for.

11. What is a DRN?

DRN stands for Data Release Number. It is the confidential four-digit number found in the upper right hand corner on the Student Aid Report (SAR). A financial aid applicant needs to provide the DRN when communicating with the Federal Student Aid Information Center regarding FAFSA and SAR processing.

12. What is a Federal PIN?

Your Federal Student Aid PIN is the personal identification number you use when you visit certain U.S. Department of Education Web sites.

For example, you can use your PIN to

  • sign your online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov;
  • complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov;
  • review what federal student aid you have received in the past by visiting the National Student Loan Data System at www.nslds.gov;
  • sign certain federal student loan contracts online;
  • find out whether your FAFSA has been processed at www.fafsa.gov; or
  • correct information you reported on your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.

If you do not have a PIN, have lost or forgotten your PIN, or if you think someone else knows your PIN, you can request a new one at www.pin.ed.gov.

If you are a dependent, one of your parents should have his/her own PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA and to make any corrections.

13. How do I apply for student financial aid at Nicholls?

The first step in applying for financial aid at Nicholls is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA Worksheet may be obtained in our office in Otto B. Candies Hall, or you can complete and submit your FAFSA on-line at www.fafsa.gov . Once your FAFSA is processed and we receive your SAR, we email a request for additional paperwork to your Nicholls’ email account.

14. When I originally completed the FAFSA, I did not list Nicholls State University as a school choice. How do I now list Nicholls?

Contact our office and provide your name, social security number, date of birth, and DRN. We will be able to add Nicholls to your application so that we can obtain your financial aid information.  You can also make a correction to your existing SAR by adding Nicholls’ school code of 002005.

15. Do I need to submit other documents to Nicholls?

You will have to complete an Authorization to Credit Form and any other forms/documents requested by us. Remember to include your name and student ID number on all documentation submitted, including parent documents.

16. Should I keep copies of the information I submitted for my file?

Yes! Keep copies of all forms completed.

17. I did not keep a copy of my tax return. How do I request a copy?

It doesn’t matter. Since copies of your 1040 EZ, 1040 A, and/or 1040 are no longer acceptable,we encourage you to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you (and/or your spouse) or your parent filed a Federal Income Tax Return, you can return to fafsa.gov to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool by following the correction process on the website. If you chose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool or you were determined ineligible to use this tool, you are required to submit your (and/or your spouse’s) or parent’s Federal Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and copies of all W-2 Form(s). There are several ways you can request a tax transcript:
(1) Phone 1-800-908-9946
(2) Online – www.irs.gov
(3) IRS Form 4506T-EZ – www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf

18. Do I need to submit tax returns?

No. Do not send copies of your tax return as they are no longer accepted for verification of taxable income.

19. What is verification? And why was I chosen?

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 will be required to submit documentation for the amounts listed (or not listed) on the financial aid application.

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 financial aid office may require additional information to clear up the discrepancies. If you refuse to submit the required documentation, your financial aid package will be canceled and no aid will be awarded.

20. What do I do if something changes after I file?

If something changes after you submit the FAFSA, you should contact our office to discuss what circumstances have changed. For some situations, such as a loss of income compared with the income you used to complete your FAFSA, we can re-evaluate your financial aid. You should meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss your individual situation and determine the correct course of action.

21. Is financial aid available for the Summer?

Yes. Summer ends our financial aid year, so you must first complete the FAFSA from the prior year.  Contact our office for more information.

22. When do I apply for Summer aid?

There is no specific application for summer financial assistance. Students registered for the summer session(s) who have met all outstanding requirements and have remaining eligibility will be processed for aid accordingly. Our office will notify eligible students in mid-April; however, your final eligibility will be determined after the spring semester.

23. I was told that I have to be full-time to receive financial aid. Is that right?

No! You do not have to be enrolled full-time to receive financial aid. For most programs you can receive funding for half-time (6-8 credits), three-quarter time (9-11 credits), or full time (12+ credits). You may be enrolled less than half-time and be eligible for the Pell Grant program. In order to receive a student loan you must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.  We will process your award based on full time enrollment; however, your aid will be adjusted based on the hours of enrollment at the time of disbursement.

24. Can I receive financial aid if I already have a bachelor’s degree?

Financial aid includes grants, loans and work-study. If you hold a bachelor’s degree, you are not eligible to receive grant funds, but are eligible to be considered for loans and work-study.

25. Am I allowed to receive financial aid from more than one institution at the same time?

No. If you are enrolled at more than one college or university at the same time, you may receive financial aid from one of the institutions, not both.  You must be pursuing a degree at the awarding institution.  Cross-enrolled students cannot be processed for aid at their host institution.

26. Will my financial aid transfer from one school to another?

No. Financial aid does not transfer from school to school. Students planning to transfer to another school should contact the Financial Aid Office at both schools to find out what is required.

27. I think that I am going to get a scholarship. Will that affect my aid?

Your financial aid from all sources cannot exceed the cost of attendance established by the University. If you receive a scholarship, whether it is from the college or from a private source, you should notify the Office of Financial Aid. We are required to review your aid package to make sure that you are not receiving more aid than your total cost of attendance. In many cases we are able to include your scholarship without adjusting any of your other aid. Sometimes we have to reduce or replace another form of aid. In that case, we always attempt to reduce or replace any loans that you might have been offered since loans must be repaid in the future. We encourage you to explore scholarship opportunities as an important and valuable means to help finance your college education.  You can report any expected scholarship amounts via your Banner Self Serve account.

28. Can audit courses be used to receive financial aid?

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

29. My parents want to help, but they can’t afford the amount of the family contribution. What can I do?

If remaining need exists, your parents can apply for a Federal Parent PLUS Loan to satisfy your family’s contribution.  Please contact our office for more information.

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