Understanding the basics:
Understanding the details of the financial aid application process can be tricky, especially for first-time applicants. We’ve created a glossary of Financial Aid terms to help you navigate the process.
Lets start with the fundamentals:
Direct and indirect costs represent the total expense of going to college.
• Direct costs include tuition and fees, and are relatively standard for most students. Costs can vary based on housing and meal-plan options, and even your major, as some degree programs require additional lab fees.
• Indirect costs aren’t paid to the university, and vary depending on each student’s needs and habits. Travel, food, books, supplemental materials for your major, and personal expenses all are considered indirect costs of attending a university.
If you live on-campus, you’ll owe: tuition + fees + housing + meal plan
If you live off-campus, you’ll owe: tuition + fees
For more information about cost of attendance, visit our Tuition and Fees page.
Nicholls offers Financial Aid counseling for those who would like to discuss the process in person. While most of the process can be handled online, we understand the value of having a counselor answer questions face-to-face. Feel free to call our Office of Financial Aid at 985-448-4048 or our toll-free line at 1-877-NICHOLLS to request an appointment.
Paying for college is always a hot topic among students and their families. Applying for financial aid can seem like a stressful task, but it’s our goal to make it as easy as possible.
Here’s a quick list of what you can expect out of the process:
1) Start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after Jan. 1 of your senior year. It’s easiest to do so online at fafsa.ed.gov. You may want to do this with your parent(s) or guardian(s), because tax and income information will be required. Priority deadline at Nicholls is April 15 for students planning to start in the fall. Use Nicholls’ financial aid code — 002005, when completing the FAFSA to have your information automatically sent to campus.
2) After your application is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). You’ll want to check yours for accuracy, and if corrections are needed, submit them ASAP.
3) Begin looking for emails from the Nicholls Office of Financial Aid. We will contact you if we need further information. Sometimes FAFSA applications are selected for “Verification.” This will simply require you to submit additional documents to our office. You’ll want to do so quickly so as not to delay processing.
4) Our office will process your application for the maximum aid you are eligible for. You’ll receive an email notifying you that your file has been completed. At that time you will receive instructions on how to accept the amount of financial aid you need.
What type of aid does Nicholls accept?
• TOPS awards accepted by Nicholls are the Opportunity, Performance and Honors level awards. These scholarships are available to Louisiana high school graduates who complete the Core 4 Curriculum and achieve the needed ACT composite score.
• Loans can be obtained two ways. The most common way is by applying for federally funded loans through the Nicholls Office of Financial Aid. The other option is to apply with a private lender, like a bank. Federal loans can be either subsidized (the government pays loan interest until you graduate) or unsubsidized (the government does not pay loan interest).
• Grants are federally funded awards, based on need, that do not require repayment.
Applying for freshman scholarships is simple, because your application for admission doubles as your scholarship application. No additional paper work required. Nicholls reviews every application for scholarship eligibility.
All we need is:
1) a completed admissions application; and
2) your official ACT scores. (Nicholls ACT code is 1580). Be sure to send us all of your scores. We always use the highest composite score for admission and scholarship decisions.
All scholarships require a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 and an ACT composite of 24.
The scholarship consideration deadline is always January 5 of your senior year.
For more information on scholarships, criteria and award amounts, call our offices at 985.448.4411 or click here.