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Paying For College

FINANCIAL AID FAQs


Do I have to include my parents' information on the FAFSA?

There are 13 questions on the FAFSA that determine whether a student is “independent” or “dependent.” If you can answer any one question “Yes” and have the documentation to verify the answer, you are “independent” and can skip questions about your parent’s income and assets.

What if I just want to apply for a student loan?

Generally, this is the same process as any other federal financial aid. You will need to file a FAFSA. This allows us to determine your eligibility for subsidized loans (loans on which the government pays the interest while you are in school).

When is student aid disbursed (paid)?

Scholarships are processed the week after the drop/add period (about two weeks into the semester). Pell grant funds should be applied and refunds available by the end of the fourth. Loan refunds (money remaining after your Northwestern account is paid) should be available at the end of the fifth week.  If you are awarded Federal Work Study or E&G work, you can begin working as soon as classes begin, you have secured a job, and you have a processed a work agreement. To check the Payroll Schedule see that section within RangerNet.

What if I am awarded financial aid after aid has been disbursed for the semester?

You can expect your Pell to be paid within a week of our receipt of your signed/accepted award letter. Loans usually take at least 10 business days to be processed.

Why was my financial aid suspended (cancelled)?

Each school must develop a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and students must make qualitative progress as well as quantitative progress. This means that generally you must complete 70 percent of the classes you enroll in and you must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. You must complete your first bachelor’s degree by the time you have attempted 186 hours. Please see the policy at http://www.nwosu.edu/Websites/NWOSU/Files/Content/347711/sapp.pdf for more details. (this link is broken)

Will dropping a class affect my financial aid?

Dropping a class can cause you to fall below the 70 percent required completion rate for continued financial aid. It could cause you to be suspended if your financial aid is in a probationary status caused by previously falling below the completion rate or below the 2.0 required cumulative GPA. Remember, each class that you drop is that many more hours that you will have to complete and pay for in order to complete your degree.

Are grants and scholarships available for graduate work?

Generally, the answer is no. However, some foundation departmental scholarships specify that the recipient can be a graduate student.

What is “full-time” for scholarship and financial aid purposes?

Full-time status for financial aid and scholarships is 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and nine credit hours for graduate students per semester. Loans and student work require at least half-time enrollment, which is six credit hours for undergraduates and five credit hours for graduate students. 

My supervisor only lets me work eight hours per week. Why can't I have the maximum student workers are allowed--15 hours?

Not only are supervisors responsible for monitoring the worker's total dollar eligibility, they also must stay within the department's budget amount.

Can I work during the break between semesters?

Any work performed by a student during breaks must be approved in advance by the Financial Aid Office.

What withholdings will I see coming from my paycheck?

In most cases, a student working under an E&G or Federal Work Study Work Agreement will be exempt from FICA (Social Security tax). However, there are instances when FICA must be withheld and remitted to the Social Security Administration. (Contact the part-timers' payroll officer at (580) 327-8175 for more details.)

Your Form W-4 will guide the Payroll Office in calculating the proper amounts to withhold for Federal and State of Oklahoma income taxes.

Will I receive a W-2 at the end of the Calendar Year?

Yes. The Oklahoma Office of State Finance will send the Human Resources/Payroll Office a Form W-2 for you at the end of January to be mailed to your address on file in the Human Resources/Payroll Office. Make sure you advise Human Resources/Payroll of any address change during your employment and after you leave.  (The Northwestern Registry Office must be notified separately by you.)  Each student is responsible for filing the necessary tax forms with the IRS and with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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