Frequently Asked Questions
30 To Complete
Completing 30 credits per year is the most effective path to graduating in a timely manner. Be sure to meet with your academic advisor and carefully plan your enrollment so that you will be able to graduate in four years.
GRADUATE ON TIME
It's simple math:
24 credits per year = 5 years for a typical bachelor's degree;
30 credits per year = 4 years for a typical bachelor's degree
The less time you are in school, the less debt you accrue. For in-state students, every year you delay graduation it costs an extra $30-45K, and even more for out-of-state students.
The sooner you finish your degree, the sooner you can start into your career. In Nevada, a person with a bachelor's degree earns $18,000 more per year than a person with only a high school diploma.
Institutional awards such as the Access Grant, State Access Grant, and most scholarships from the University require enrollment in at least 15 credits per semester at the University of Nevada, Reno. Please read over your most recent FA Offer letter in MyNevada to see if any of your awards are dependent on a minimum 15-credit enrollment.
Some circumstances are exempted from the 15 credit enrollment requirement. You do not need to submit a “30 to Complete Plan of Study” form to receive your institutional aid if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Students who will be graduating and have applied for graduation. The required minimum enrollment is at least 6 credits in the semester you are graduating.
- Students certified for reduced course loads for the affected semester by the Disability Resource Center. The required minimum enrollment is at least 6 credits
- Level III Nursing students (NOT pre-nursing students). The required minimum enrollment is at least 12 credits
- Athletes who are unable to take the minimum of 15 credits due to their required schedule demands. The required minimum enrollment is at least 12 credits
- GI Bill recipients. The required minimum enrollment is at least 12 credits
If you have been awarded institutional aid that requires enrollment in 15 credits per semester but circumstances only allow you to enroll in 12 credits per semester, you will be required to demonstrate how you plan to complete 30 credits per year. Find the 30 to Complete Plan of Study form and information about the appeal process at http://www.unr.edu/financial-aid/forms-publications-and-policies/forms/2016-2017-forms.
I am in my last semester and don’t need fifteen credits to graduate. Can I still get my financial aid if I only enroll in the classes I need?
Yes, as long as you are enrolled in at least 6 credits and have applied for graduation.
Yes, your Wintermester credits are counted toward your spring semester enrollment.
Financial Aid for Degree Applicable Courses
Federal Aid and the Millennium Scholarship. Federal Aid includes Pell Grant, Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Nursing Loans, SEOG, Teach Grant, and College Work Study.
Federal regulations mandate that funds only pay for classes that are required for a student's declared program(s) of study. In addition, Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) regulations require that the Millennium Scholarship can only be provided to students for courses that count towards their degree program.
I am not receiving federal aid or the Millennium Scholarship. Will my scholarships, institutional grants, institutional loans, or graduate assistantship be affected?
No, only federal aid and the Millennium Scholarship are affected.
Enroll in degree applicable credits. Declare your major/minor early. Make sure your Academic Requirements report is accounting for all your required credits.
Electives that are specified by a degree will be covered. General elective classes will be covered up to the number of elective credits required by the degree.
Those electives won't be counted as part of your enrollment for Federal aid eligibility.
Math and English remedial courses are covered. Federal financial aid will pay up to 30 credit hours of remedial courses (course numbers below 100). Students exceeding 30 credit hours are responsible for payment.
Students receiving Federal aid may repeat a course once after receiving a passing grade. The class must be required for the declared degree. If a student decides to repeat a course with a passing grade for a second time, the student is responsible for payment. Please be aware that repeating classes may affect your satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
Yes, make sure they are included in your Academic Requirements report in MyNEVADA.
Yes, required teacher certification classes will be funded.
Yes, graduate students must be enrolled in classes that apply toward their degree.
Graduate assistantships will not be affected.
Finalize your schedule no later than a week before the beginning of the semester.
I am a dual major/dual degree student. What program requirements will be used to verify my enrollment for disbursement?
Both majors/degree will be used to check your enrollment in eligible classes as long as both are reflected in your Academic Requirements report.
Yes, as long you change your major before the beginning of the semester.
Yes, make sure you have declared your minor before the beginning of the semester and that the required classes are indicated in your Academic Requirements report in MyNEVADA.
Yes, as long as your minor is not declared subsequent to meeting all other degree requirements.
I am enrolled in 15 credits of which 6 credits are not required for my major, will my aid still disburse?
Yes, but it will be adjusted based on 9 credits (only degree applicable credits count).
Wait-listed classes do not count as part of your enrollment for aid disbursement.
Yes, all students receiving federal aid or the Millennium Scholarship are affected.
Yes, all students receiving federal aid or the Millennium Scholarship are affected.
Yes, all students receiving federal aid or the Millennium Scholarship are affected.
This only affects students receiving federal aid or the Millennium Scholarship. With the exception of private loans, non-degree and graduate special students are not eligible for federal aid.
No, international students are not eligible for federal aid.
All semesters are affected.
Yes, make sure this is indicated in your Academic Requirements report in MyNEVADA.
Your Federal aid will be reevaluated based on your new enrollment and this could require a return of funds.
For answers to questions specific to your enrollment, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org
150 percent Rule for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a federally-sponsored "need-based" loan. The federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half-time and have not reached your 150% maximum eligibility for new borrowers. This loan is only available to undergraduate students.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a federally-sponsored loan, which has no interest subsidy. The interest accrues from the date of disbursement. You may pay the interest while you are enrolled to help decrease the total costs of the loan.
Does this new rule only affect my Federal Direct Subsidized loan eligibility only at the University of Nevada, Reno?
No. This rule was implemented by the Department of Education and is therefore a federal regulation that applies to all Federal Direct Subsidized Loans from all institutions. Your subsidized eligibility is calculated by the Department of Education based on information that is provided by all institutions that you have attended.
I previously borrowed a Federal Direct Subsidized loan prior to July 1, 2013. Does this rule apply to me?
No. This rule is in effect for new (first-time) Federal Direct Subsidized student loan borrowers who borrow on or after July 1, 2013. Students who previously borrowed a Federal Direct Subsidized student loan prior to July 1, 2013 are not impacted by this policy if they have not paid off their loan debt prior to July 1, 2013.
It depends. What you would have previously been able to receive in the Federal Direct Subsidized student loan program, you may borrow in the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan program. This is assuming you have not reached your lifetime Federal student loan borrowing limits. More information about lifetime Federal student loan borrowing limits can be found at studentloans.gov.
No. Federal law provides no provisions to appeal this rule.
There are no changes to the six month grace period between graduation or drop in enrollment and the repayment start date. However, if a student has reached the 150% maximum in subsidized loan eligibility and has not finished their program, the student will lose the subsidy on their existing Federal Direct Subsidized loans and interest will begin to accrue. It is recommended that students make payments on the interest while in school to keep their loans from capitalizing.
I am a transfer student. How does my subsidized usage from my old program affect me in my new program at the University of Nevada, Reno?
If you switch programs, it will affect your 150% eligibility. Say you are in a two year program and at the end of the two years you graduate and transfer to a four year program. During your two year program you had a maximum eligibility period of three years, but you only used two years because you graduated. Being in a four year program now, your maximum eligibility period is six years. You now have four years left in your maximum eligibility period before losing the interest subsidies because you transferred to a longer program length (6-2 years = 4 years). On the other hand, if you were to transfer from a four year program to a two year program and used three years of your eligibility period, you will lose your subsidy on your loans because you have reached your maximum eligibility program for the new two year program.
In other words, if you switch from a longer program to a shorter program, your eligibility will most likely be impacted.
If I lose the subsidy on my current Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, will the entire 6 years of the loan gain the unsubsidized interest from the original date the loan was taken out or will interest begin to accrue at the 150% mark?
The interest will only start to accrue once you have reached the 150% limit.
The Department of Education will be notifying students once the responsibility for accruing interest on Direct Subsidized loans begins.
Financial Aid Basics
65% of undergraduate and graduate students receive some form of financial assistance.
We assume that most students intend to enroll full-time. Scholarships require full-time enrollment. Financial aid can be received as a half-time student (6-8 credits) and as three-quarter time (9-11 credits as an undergraduate). The enrollment status reported on the FAFSA is used to make the initial aid offer. Pell Grant and other programs are prorated or may be reduced. If your intended enrollment status has changed you will need to note that change in MyNEVADA.
I have already completed my first bachelor’s degree and I am taking classes toward my next bachelor’s degree. What aid is available to me?
Undergraduates who have already received a bachelor’s degree are eligible for loans while pursuing additional majors or bachelor’s degree(s). This includes students in double major, minor or dual degree programs who have already met the requirements for one of their majors or degrees and are continuing their education toward the additional major, minor or degree. See The Guide for additional information.
The “graduate special” is not a degree program. State and federal financial aid require that the student be enrolled in a program leading to a degree. Non-degree undergraduates are likewise not eligible for state and federal aid. A private/alternative loan is the only option.
Part or all of a grant, scholarship, or fellowship may be taxable even if you do not receive a W-2 form. If you are a degree-seeking student, the amounts you use for expenses other than fees, tuition, and special course fees are taxable (such as room and board and transportation). To determine this taxable amount, add up all the grant, scholarship, and fellowship awards received in the calendar year, and then subtract all fees, tuition, special course fees, books and supplies expenses. If the remaining amount is a positive number, it must be reported as income. This amount must also be reported on your FAFSA.
Yes. Any money received as a result of work, whether Work-Study, part-time employment, or graduate assistantships, is taxable income. You file a W-4 withholding form at the time you are hired; you receive a W-2 statement of earnings and taxes withheld each calendar year. Questions about withholding should be directed to the University's Payroll Office.
The IRS publication 970 can answer your questions. You can find it at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf.
No. Financial aid cannot be received from two different institutions at the same time because you are a “regular” student, that is, expecting to receive a degree only from one school. Aid is administered only by that one school.
Disbursements are monitored by the U.S. Department of Education Disbursement System. An “alert” is sent to the colleges to request repayment from the student when repayment by more than one school occurs.
Can I be a degree-seeking student at this University and have coursework at a community college be included in my enrollment for financial aid by UNR?
There are two exceptional situations in which a student may request the financial aid office at the University to recognize coursework at a community college. The circumstances are different, so be sure to read carefully and submit the correct paperwork and in the appropriate timeframes.
One is co-enrollment agreement. In this situation, the student is pursuing a major in which there are courses that are required, but are never taught at the University and must be completed at a community college. These programs are Interior Design, Early Childhood Education, Construction Sciences, and some Curriculum and Instruction Majors. It is an academic necessity to take the coursework at the community college, and the office recognizes that in the aid package. The co-enrollment forms are found in the Financial Aid Library. Note the deadline for submission is the last day of the month in which classes begin each semester, that is September 30 for the fall semester and February 28 for the spring semester.
The second exception is for intra-system enrollment. In this situation, the academic advisor has recommended and approved the student to take coursework at a community college as a part of their degree program or the student has a valid and compelling academic reason beyond convenience for enrolling at a community college in combination with coursework at the University. The office reserves the right to refuse a request that is based solely on cost, registering late, or convenience. The student plans in advance by submitting the request prior to the disbursement of financial aid classes begin. If approved, the student’s budget and aid may be modified or reduced. Pell Grant is the only program considered for intra-system enrollment exception, so the student must be Pell Grant eligible.
- General Response: Financial aid and scholarship disbursements begin 10 days prior to the start of the semester. For Fall 2013 the first disbursement Student Accounts is 8/19/2013. Refunds will begin on 8/20/2013. Starting on 8/26, disbursements will be done twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays).
- Check MyNEVADA. In order for aid to disburse:
- No FA related items can appear on the To Do List
- Student's actual enrollment must match Financial Aid Enrollment Information Form.
- Aid must show as accepted ("View Financial Aid").
- Students can track aid disbursements on the Account Activity page.
- Account Summary on Student Services Center to see balance (Due Now and Total Due)
- View Financial Aid to see if Accepted aid amount will cover fees.
- Account Activity to see if aid has already disbursed.
- Students can sign up in MyNEVADA. There is a $50 fee added to the first bill for the plan.
- Plan is 3 payments (33% each of the total amount owed). Payment dates are Aug 23, Sept 23, Oct 23
- Questions about payment plan should be forwarded to the Cashiers Office.
- All refund checks are sent out by the Cashiers Office. They are mailed to the address in MyNEVADA or deposited into the student's checking account. We recommend signing up for direct deposit in MyNEVADA to expedite receipt of any refunds. Students do need a valid checking account for direct deposit. Checks cannot be picked up.
- For Fall 2013 the first refunds will go out beginning August 20, 2013.
Normal processing is approximately 6-8 weeks from the time the student submits a FAFSA to when any aid should be ready to disburse. Files that require additional documentation (correcting signature and other rejects, social security cards, selective service registration, file verification, etc) will take longer than the normal processing timeline to complete.
- Did we receive the FAFSA?
- Are there any FA-related items on the To Do List?
- Check to see if you are admitted to a degree program
- Check to see that the FAFSA was received (Communication Center - "FAFSA Received 2013-2014")
- Check to see when requested FA To Do List items were received
- Check to see that you are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- Allow 10 business days from the time these items are updated/completed before the student should see an award letter
Work Study: How can I get it? How do I use it? I have a job; will that give me priority on the waiting list?
- Students must have a current FAFSA in order to be considered for Work-Study (with exception for students who hold DACA status). Students must call the Financial Aid Office and request to be placed on the Work-Study waiting list.
- Work-Study may only be applied to any on-campus job. Work-Study pays 75% of student's wages based on the allotment awarded, leaving the remaining 25% to be paid by the employed department.
- Students who are already employed receive preference on the waiting list. Preference is then given to incoming freshman and transfer students as well as students who hold DACA status. Students may indicate they already have a job on-campus when requesting to be placed on the waiting list. Students may also call to update their name on the waiting list if they obtain a position on-campus after their waiting list request has been made.
- Once students are notified with their Work-Study Placement Letter, they have 6 weeks to obtain a job on-campus if they have not already done so. Students may be granted one two week extension by contacting the Work-Study Coordinator in the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.
- If a student has been awarded Work-Study and already has a job; the student must notify their employer by presenting their employer with their Work-Study Placement Letter.
No. Due to the limited amount of funds and the high demand for Work-Study, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will continue to award Work-Study based off of a waiting list each year. Students must request to be placed on the waiting list every year. The waiting list will be made available early June of every year.
Students must meet specific criteria outlined on the SFAS website. Inquiries can be sent to Kristen Board.
I have a needs analysis form from my landlord/Welfare office/Housing Authority Office (a) where do I send it and when will it be processed? (b) Has it been sent yet?
- Needs analysis forms can be faxed to (775) 784-1025, mailed to our office, or dropped off at the front desk. Students should allow at least 5-10 business days for forms to be sent.
- Forms must be signed authorizing release of student's information or have a 3rd party release form.
- If the form has a deadline please advise students to include that on the form.
- Check Person Comments to see details on when the form was received and if it has been sent.
- Generally, a parent's refusal to provide their information is not grounds for independent status approval. Students should refer to the Dependency Status questions on the FAFSA and if they cannot answer 'YES' to at least one question they are considered dependent and must provide parent data.
- If the student has extenuating circumstances that make it impossible and/or unsafe for them to get their parents' information for the FAFSA, they can review the Appeal for Independent Status form which lists all of the documentation requirements.
- Appeals are reviewed weekly by a committee and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
- For the student- e-mail is the most efficient means. E-mail office directly. The e-mail will be forwarded to your advisor.
- For a parent- specific information is not permitted over the phone unless a Student Authorization to Release Information form has been completed and filed with our office via MyNEVADA. E-mail and the Contact Us web page are also effective and efficient options for parents.
If staff is unable to take your telephone call immediately, messages are returned within 24-48 hours. However, at the beginning of a semester, the time may be longer. For more service standards, please view our Benchmarks for Standards of Service. Faxes are normally logged in within 3 to 5 business days.
Scholarship funding is crucial to the success of students at Nevada and nothing is more appreciated by our scholarship donors than a kind letter of thanks! For your convenience we have two options for turning in your letter:
- You may bring the letter or card in an unsealed envelope directly to the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation in the Mackay Science Hall, Room 127.
- You may also mail your card/letter to the address below. Please be sure to enclose the item you are sending unsealed in a separate envelope: Liz Wesseling, UNR, Donor Relations,Mail Stop 0162,Reno, NV 89557
Scholarships are automatically awarded to new freshmen admitted to the university by February 1 of the year preceding their fall enrollment. Awards will be based on official high school transcripts received at the original admission date and test scores received in the Office of Admissions and Records prior to February 1st. The academic index is calculated using the unweighted high school grade point average and the college entrance test score (ACT or SAT I). The priority admissions deadline for scholarship awards is February 1st. After that date "new admit" scholarships are awarded only if funds are available. This includes spring admits. The minimum cutoffs may be subject to change pending availability of funding. Some colleges also use the admission information to select freshmen for their awards.
General scholarships are only awarded to new freshman and second year students who have completed the Graduate and Undergraduate scholarship application by February 1st. If you attain a cumulative UNR GPA in excess of 3.75 your first year you will receive a $2,500 award during your second year of enrollment at UNR if you are a full time undergraduate student ($1,500 for 3.3-3.749). The second year scholarships will post by August 15th.
At the third year level and beyond awards are made primarily by the department associated with the student major. Unfortunately many great students do not receive scholarship nominations in their third year of attendance as there are simply not adequate funds available to award all of our meritorious students. Please do make sure you continue to complete the general scholarship application through MyNEVADA each winter between November and Feb. 1 as well as the supplemental scholarship applications for any department where you have a declared major or minor. In addition, about 1/3 of our scholarship funds require that both merit and financial need are demonstrated so by submitting your FAFSA annually by the March 1 deadline you may increase the number of scholarships for which you are eligible.
- For an entering freshman- the University must wait until the Millennium Office sends the file of eligible new students which typically occurs in late July or early August. Until that occurs, our office does not know the Millennium Scholarship recipients.
- For a continuing student- our office posts the scholarship starting the second week in August after receiving a data file from the Millennium office confirming eligibility as long as the student is registered for a minimum of 12 eligible credits for the fall semester.
Can I use the Millennium Scholarship if I am in the Nevada Pre-Paid Tuition program? How does it work?
A list of participants in Pre-Paid Tuition is sent from the State Treasurer's Office to the Cashier's Office. The Cashier posts the amount to the student's account to pay the registration and bills the Treasurer's Office for the funds. The Millennium Scholarship can then pay other fees that remain on the student's account. Once all outstanding charges are paid, remaining scholarship and financial aid dollars are paid by check or direct deposit to the student's personal checking account. For more information, see Nevada State Treasurer's College Programs.
- Scholarship checks should be made out to the Board of Regents with the student's name and ID number in the Memo line.
- Send checks to the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office / Mailstop 0076 / Reno, NV 89557-0076.
- External organizations need to be aware of the information for external organizations
I have a needs analysis form from my scholarship donor and/or tribe, (a) where do I send it and when will it be processed? (b) Has it been sent yet?
- Needs analysis forms can be faxed to (775) 784-1025, mailed to our office, or dropped off at the front desk. Students should allow at least 5-10 business days for forms to be sent.
- Forms must be signed authorizing release of student's information or have a 3rd party release form (available at the SFAS Office) attached.
- If the form has a deadline, please include that on the form.
My scholarship organization requires enrollment verification be submitted before they will submit my award to UNR. How do I accomplish that?
Some external organizations provide a specific form a student must return and others just need the registrar to provide the student an enrollment certification letter. This cannot be done until a student has paid a good portion of their term registration fees. Students requiring enrollment verification for their scholarship donor should go to the Admissions & Records desks on the second floor of Fitzgerald Student Services. Please provide your external organization scholarship provider with a copy of our information for external organizations. Please see separate FAQ regarding tribal funds.
- Students should click on Accept/Decline Awards on the View Financial Aid screen. This will allow them to check the loans they wish to accept and also indicate the amount they want (up to the amount that has been offered).
- To complete the MPN and New Borrower Entrance Exam students will go to studentloans.gov and log in with their name and FAFSA PIN. Please make sure students are doing the Stafford Loan Master Promissory note and New Borrower Entrance Exam - there are other options for them to complete but these are the ones needed for their Stafford loans. They only need to submit the MPN once and pass the entrance exam once for both the subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
- Students not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards will not be permitted to accept any loans and an error message will appear in MyNEVADA when they try to accept them.
Students are offered the maximum amounts they qualify for in the Stafford loan (and in the PLUS loan if it is offered). Students can choose to borrow the maximum for the year, or borrow a portion now and the rest later on in the academic year. Please remember that the amount you request will be split between the fall and spring semester; unless they are graduating in the fall.
Federal Parent PLUS Loan: Before applying for the Federal PLUS loan, please be sure to have a completed FAFSA on file at the University of Nevada, Reno. Your dependent student must also be enrolled at least half time and maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Apply: The University of Nevada Reno uses the online Parent PLUS Loan Application at studentloans.gov. Parents may begin applying for 2014/2015 academic year on May 1, 2014.The PLUS loan is approved based on a credit check. The credit check for an approved PLUS loan is good for 90 days.
If approved, the parent may borrow the Federal PLUS loan up to the remaining budget minus any other aid (scholarships, grants, loans, waivers, etc) received by the student.
If denied, parents will be given the option to get an endorser (co-signer) for the loan, appeal the credit decision with the lender, or mark additional unsubsidized and the student will be awarded an increase in their unsubsidized Stafford loan.
Required: All first-time parent borrowers must complete the online PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) before PLUS loan funds can disburse. The PLUS Loan MPN can be completed at studentloans.gov.
Returning parent borrowers, who had an endorser, have to complete a new PLUS promissory note and endorser promissory note each year at studentloans.gov.
- If the PLUS loan is denied and the student would like to request an increase to their unsubsidized Stafford loan, they will need to submit a copy of the denial letter along with a Federal Direct loan activation form - which can be printed.
- Unsubsidized loan increase amounts: Freshman/Sophomore = $4000/yr -- Junior/Senior = $5000/yr
- As with all financial aid, funds are disbursed into the student's account and applied towards any fees owed to the university first. Any remaining money is refunded to the student.
- Stafford loans are normally disbursed within 5-10 business days after the student has completed their loan requirements (accepted in MyNEVADA, MPN and EC completed). PLUS loans are normally disbursed within 10-15 days of the loan requirements being completed - if the loan is approved.
- Complete the Federal Direct loan activation form.
- On number 4 on the form you would check the box labeled "Stafford loan increase/Previously Declined" and then indicate on number 5 how much you want to request.
- Check Fin Aid Tab/View Fin Aid Status to see if there is an item labeled "Bank Alternative Loan Program".
- Check the To Do List to see if the "Private Loan Entrance Counseling" is still listed. The loan will not be processed until this item is completed.
I saw that your office offers Perkins/Blundell/Garvey Rhodes/Nursing Loan how do I apply for one of those?
Students can request to be added to the waiting list and when/if funds become available their financial aid award letters will be updated and they will receive a revised email notification. They will also receive paperwork in the mail that has to be submitted before the funds can disburse.
I accepted a Perkins/Blundell/Garvey Rhodes/Nursing Loan in MyNEVADA, how do I get the money? Is there paperwork I need to do?
- Students receiving one of these institutional loans will be notified by the Loans Department in the Cashiers Office about their paperwork via email. The forms must be mailed because original copies are required. Normally the paperwork is mailed out within a week after the student accepts the loan - the Loans Department will also email the student to see if they would rather come to the office in person to complete the paperwork and expedite processing. Students who have questions about their paperwork should be forward to the Kevin Page in the Loans Dept.
- Loan paperwork is listed on the To Do List, and once cleared the loan must undergo a mandatory 3-day waiting period before the funds can disburse.
If you're have having trouble repaying your Stafford Loan(s) for any reason, do not give up and let the loan(s) go into default. There are options of which you may be unaware. You may be eligible for a deferment, forbearance, or a different repayment plan that might lower your payments and permit you to get back on track. Contact your lender first and/or our office for information and alternatives. You can also find information on the EdFund website. EdFund is the Stafford Loan guarantee agency that works with our University to make and service the loans. Find them at www.edfund.org - students and parents and look for the “Managing Your Loan” section for some helpful information and references.
The consequences of default are serious. You will lose your eligibility for future financial aid, a portion of your paycheck or tax return can be garnished to repay the loan, you may incur collection costs and attorney fees and you may not qualify for certain federal or state jobs. Your credit rating will be damaged, taking it more difficult and more expensive to get a loan later to finance a car or a home. Whatever you have to do to keep out of default, do it! Keep in contact with your lender!
Applying for Aid
Most applicants under the age of 24 are considered by the federal government as “dependent” students; therefore parent(s) income is required. Parents are expected to assist with college costs for their children to the extent that they are able. Financial aid can only be offered to fill any “gap” between what it costs to attend and what the FAFSA information indicates the family can provide. In “unique circumstances”, a student under 24 may file an appeal for “independent” status. The appeal criteria and documentation requirements are available in the Financial Aid Library.
The FAFSA is required for all need-based financial aid, including loans. It evaluates the family’s ability to contribute toward college costs. The information is used to determine eligibility for Grants, Loans, and Work-Study. It is a federal requirement that the family’s eligibility for a Pell Grant, a subsidized Stafford Loan and other federal aid programs be considered. Often parents may think they are not eligible for some programs when in fact they may be. Filing the FAFSA ensures that the family is considered fully for all programs.
The office receives FAFSA information about once every 10-14 days from the Federal Processor; and document processing generally takes 1-3 days to login to our system. You can check both on MyNEVADA under Fin. Aid Requirements to view a live update of all the documents we’ve received and whether or not they were complete.
Unfortunately, due to the large volume of documents we receive, we are unable to check the fax machine to see if your fax arrived. If you are concerned about your faxed documents, please send a copy of the document in the mail.
Verification is a process whereby the information reported on the FAFSA is confirmed with tax returns and other documents. Since the FAFSA may be filed prior to tax filing, it is crucial that our office ensure that the information is accurate and that the funds are awarded only to eligible students.
The office participates in a Quality Assurance Program offered by the U.S. Department of Education. This program permits our office, using their software, to analyze our applicant pool each year and to identify those items and questions on the FAFSA that are most often answered incorrectly, such as “taxes paid vs. taxes withheld”. A random sample of applicants is selected to verify those items.
If you are selected, you are required to submit the documents required. Those are reviewed and when discrepancies are found, corrections are sent to the federal processor to recalculate the eligibility. It may result in a decrease in total aid, loss of the Pell Grant and other grant aid, or an increase in total aid and loans.
- Best case scenario- the FAFSA is filed by early February and no corrections are needed, no missing documents are required once the data is received by our office, the student meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress- SAP requirements. The student should be notified in April. The process is clean and the application sails right through the process. The student is considered for all available funds.
- Worst case scenario- the FAFSA is filed in April or later, it is rejected or corrections are required by the federal processor (may take 4 to 6 weeks). The information is finally received by our office that reviews it and determines that there is inconsistent or incomplete information. We select it for verification and request a copy of the tax return and the verification worksheet (often takes the student 4-6 weeks to submit the documents). Staff compares the FAFSA with the tax return and determines that the income information is not accurate. Corrections are sent back to the federal processor to recalculate the student’s eligibility (2-3 weeks). Once the accurate information is returned to the office, an offer of aid can be made, after the student’s satisfactory academic progress is checked. If the student did not meet the SAP requirements, the application is denied. By this time, if the student has meet the SAP requirements, most grants (except Pell Grant) and work-study have been awarded to other students. The offer may consist only of Stafford Loans and Pell Grant, if the student remains eligible as a result of the corrections. Moral of this story- file early, file completely, file accurately and pay attention to your academic performance!
Students may request an increase in their aid for the purchase of a computer only once during their educational career at the University. Documentation may be a receipt or written estimate from a retail store, or an estimate from the vendor’s website. The source of funding is either a Stafford Loan if eligibility remains or other loan fund. First year medical students are required to purchase a laptop computer, so an average cost is automatically included in the student budget as a one-time expense.
Yes. Need-based aid and some scholarships are renewable. The scholarship award criteria on our website will indicate whether or not the General University Scholarship Application is required. Search by name to find out!
Financial aid consideration requires a new FAFSA each year. Grants, loans, and work-study are not automatically renewed! You will receive aid application renewal information and instructions each January. Generally, if your family circumstances do not change, your application is filed early, and the programs and funds available to the University do not change, you are likely to receive similar financial aid awards.
If I decline all or part of my aid package and my circumstances changes and I need the funds, can I request that my aid be reinstated?
If you request reinstatement within the academic year, you are still enrolled, and your eligibility has not changed, we can typically reinstate Stafford Loans and Pell Grants. Using the remaining eligibility to attend summer session(s) is an appropriate use. Reinstatement of aid from other programs during the academic year would be dependent upon availability of funds and the reason for your request.
Not all students chose to borrow the Stafford loan, so the amount put on the aid offer as an “estimate” of the maximum amount you are eligible to borrow. For the office to continue the loan process, we need you to tell us that you do want to borrow and how much; and for a first-time borrower, please go to MyNEVADA.
The University has three institutional loans offered to students from revolving funds created by former students repaying their loans. These are the Perkins, Garvey-Rhodes, and Blundell Loan Programs. Promissory notes are required prior to the disbursement of funds and are mailed in July from the Loan Department in the Cashier’s Office. The note must be promptly signed and returned directly to their office.
The bill is sent from Student Accounts not from the Financial Aid Office, and is mailed in late July. It shows what you owe the University. Our office cannot begin the disbursement of any aid more than 10 days prior to the first day of class each the semester. Financial aid and scholarships on the Aid Offer are applied directly to the charges listed on the account, usually within the first month of the semester. You are responsible for paying any amount not covered by these awards. For more information and fee payment deadlines, see the class schedule or the Controller’s website.
To determine what is owed or if you have funds coming to you, subtract the total amount of financial aid and scholarships listed on the offer (minus the Work-Study allocation) or on MyNEVADA.
Work-study awards are earned by working for an eligible employer and collecting a paycheck every two weeks for the hours worked up to the amount of the award. To locate a Work-Study job, go to the Job Board on the Human Resources: Student Employment website.
Checks may not be picked up in person. Depending upon what option you have selected, you will either receive a direct deposit to your personal bank account (if you have completed the Direct Deposit with the Cashier’s Office through MyNEVADA) or you will receive a check at the address listed on MyNEVADA. Be sure your address is accurate!
- Check the To Do List to see if all items (verification worksheet, taxes, W2s, etc) have been removed. If not, then you need to submit those before the file can be processed. Tax extensions do not exempt the student from having to submit to submit copies of the tax return and the file will remain incomplete until all requested documents are received.
- Verification can take up to 3 weeks to complete due to the high volume of files sent in during the latter part of the summer.
Documents can be faxed, mailed, or brought in to the Fin Aid Office. This information (including the fax number and address) is located on the verification forms and the instructions that are attached to the form online.
Students should allow at least five business days for documents to be logged in and updated on their To Do List.
Check the To Do List to see what is listed - some items are self-explanatory and by clicking on the Details link you can clearly see what needs to be done (i.e. Student tax return missing signature - student needs to sign tax return and send it in or come to the office and sign it).
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- View the FA Satisfactory Academic Progress notification in student's Communication Center to see what was sent and what their issue is. The letter outlines the minimum/maximum requirements for all of the SAP Standards and whether or not you are meeting those standards.
- As a note, summer grades will be evaluated after grades have posted from 2nd term. So if this will correct your SAP issue, please just allow time for processing.
- Students who are not meeting SAP are not eligible for any federal or state aid, including: Stafford and PLUS loans, Pell and State Grants, Institutional Loans, and Federal Work Study.
- Scholarships can be affected based on the requirements set by the donor. For outside scholarships, students should contact their donor to find out if they will continue to be funded.
- For GPA and Pace Appeals:
- Submit the GPA and Pace Appeal form, located in the General Forms section of the Financial Aid & Scholarships forms page, along with your personal statement and supporting documentation.
- Appeals are reviewed weekly by a committee and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. The appeal form outlines examples of conditions that are/are not approvable. To qualify for approval, the student's failure to meet SAP must generally be based on an extenuating circumstance. Lack of knowledge of SAP standards is not an approvable excuse.
- For Maximum Time Frame Appeals:
- Submit the Maximum Time Frame Appeal form, located in the General Forms section of the Financial Aid & Scholarships forms page, along with a Plan of Study that is typed and signed by the academic advisor on his or her department letterhead.
- Appeals are reviewed weekly by a committee and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Check the Fin Aid Tab in Student Services Center page to see if the SAP Status reads as 'Probation' or 'Meets SAP'.