What Is Financial Aid?

Students talking

4 types of financial aid:

Who is eligible for aid?

In order to be eligible to receive financial aid, you must:

  1. Demonstrate financial “need” (except for some loan programs).
  2. Be accepted to the University as a degree or certificate student in an eligible program. You may apply for aid before you are accepted; however, aid will not be offered until you have been admitted to the University.
  3. Have a high school diploma.
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (International Students).
  5. Have a valid Social Security Number.
  6. Be registered with Selective Service, if required.
  7. Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  8. Use student aid only for educational purposes.
  9. Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on any federal educational loan.

Financial aid is any source of funds available to assist students in paying for the costs of a college education. If you think you will need assistance beyond your own financial resources, you are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Whatever your family situation, you can be sure that you will be treated fairly and equitably with respect to students in similar financial circumstances as your own.

Most financial aid is based on demonstrated financial need and requires the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal and state grants, loans, and work-study are all need-based programs.

Scholarships are based primarily on academic merit, although about 30% of our scholarships require that financial need be demonstrated in addition to academic merit. Most of the General University Scholarships award students regardless of major. College, departmental, Foundation, and Alumni offer scholarships for specific majors, special talents, leadership, or other criteria specified by a donor. You do not have to show financial need to receive money through purely merit-based programs; however, you cannot receive a scholarship which requires both academic merit and financial need without a FAFSA on file. The application process for scholarships is different from the processes for applying for need-based aid. Please complete the scholarship application annually between November and February 1 through MyNEVADA, Student Center, Supplemental Forms, Scholarship Application.

Aid is termed to be gift aid or self help. Gift aid includes grants, scholarships, tuition assistance, and other aid, sometimes called “free money”. Self-help aid includes work-study and loans that require the student to work or borrow.