How and when to apply for Financial Aid?

To apply for financial aid at Northark, you should:

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.gov/
  • Complete a Financial Aid Student Data Form
  • Complete the Application for Admission

By completing these forms you are applying for all federal funds, except for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan. The FAFSA should be completed as soon after January 1st as possible.

Note: You must reapply for federal and state aid every academic year. Also, if you change schools, your aid does not automatically go with you. Check with your new school to find out what steps you must take to continue receiving financial aid.

What is available?

Several types of financial aid are available to Northark students. You may receive one of a combination of the types depending on your financial need and other eligibility factors. The four major types of are as follows:

Grants — Grants are fund which do not have to be repaid.

Federal Pell Grant: Awarded to undergraduate students with aid eligibility. Application is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): Intended to assist students with aid eligibility. Priority is given to those students with the largest calculated aid eligibility who are Federal Pell Grant recipients as of April 1. After that date, applicants are prioritized weekly until all FSELG funds have been awarded. Application is made by completing the FAFSA.

Workforce Improvement Grant: Award up to $2000 annually to students at least 24 years old based on financial need. Students apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and awards are made by the institution the student attends. Students may be enrolled part time.

GO! Opportunities Grant: Grant that is awarded based on financial need. Eligibility is based on a family’s adjusted gross income as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
Loans made through this program are referred to as Direct Loans. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participation schools. Direct Loans include subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans.

Direct Subsidized Loan: This loan is based on financial need and you will not owe any interest on them before repayment. The federal government “subsidizes” (or pays) the interest while you’re in school at least half time, for the six months after you leave school (your grace period) and during a deferment (a postponement of loan payments). Award amounts vary based on grade level in school, dependency status and other financial assistance received.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This loan is not based on financial need and interest is charged on the loan from the time it is disbursed until it is repaid in full.

Students have the option of paying the interest during deferment periods and during the grace period, or they may capitalize the interest. Capitalizing interest means that it will be added to the principal amount of the loan and it will increase the amount to be repaid. Award amounts vary based on grade level in school and dependency status.

Loan limits and eligibility requirements can be found in the Northark loan policy.

Code of Conduct for Educational Loans

Scholarships: Scholarships are funds awarded based on academics, talent, skill, financial need or major area of study. Scholarships do not have to be repaid.

  • Institutional Scholarships
  • Private Scholarships
  • Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship

For a list of private and institutional scholarships contact the Financial Aid Office and for an application for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, contact your high school counselor’s office or the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Federal Work-Study: Funds are available to employ part-time on campus or at come off-campus, non-profit organizations, providing an hour’s pay for an hour’s work. Students interested in the work-study program should contact the Financial Aid Office after receipt of the financial aid award notification letter.

Other Financial Aid Sources:
Veteran Benefits: Contact the representative at the North Campus

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: Contact the local Vocational Rehabilitation Office

WIA Benefits: Contact the local WIA Office.

Who is eligible?

To receive financial aid from a major student aid program you must:

  • Show financial need, except for some loan programs
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED). Students completing a secondary education in a home school setting are eligible for Title IV aid as long as the home school setting is treated as a home school or private school under the State Law
  • Be enrolled as a degree or certificate seeking student in an eligible program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Make satisfactory academic progress
  • Not be in default on a Perkins Loan, Federal Family Education Loan or a Federal Direct Loan
  • Not owe a repayment of a Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Grant, or a State Grant

Note: A student who received Pell Grants for preceding fall and spring semesters as a full-time student will not be eligible for summer benefits. If the student has eligibility for the summer terms, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office to complete a summer form.

What should I do if I am a mid-year transfer student?

Any mid-year transfer student must have an academic transcript sent from the transferring school(s), and have a student aid report sent to Northark (Title IV school code: 012261).

What is satisfactory academic progress?

In order to be eligible for Title IV Federal Aid, federal guidelines require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) while pursuing approved degree and/or certificate programs at North Arkansas College. Regulations require progress be measured with both qualitative and quantitative measures, as well as time to completion. SAP will be checked prior to the initial enrollment period and again at the end of each payment period for students enrolled in programs lasting one year or less. Only courses required for a student’s chosen degree plan are eligible for Federal Aid. Other courses will not be considered in calculating eligibility, should a student choose to enroll in them. Rules are applied uniformly to all students whether or not aid has been previously received. SAP is calculated based on your chosen degree plan at the time of file completion. Students are responsible for ensuring that their Major Code is correct with the Advising Office. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

  • Qualitative (Grade Point Average) For the previous semester of attendance, students must have earned a 2.0 GPA.


  • Quantitative (Pace of Progress) Quantitative Students must complete at least 67% of all attempted hours.

            Pace Examples (Multiply hours enrolled in by 0.67)


Attempted Hours

Minimum Completion Requirement












  • Time to Completion Students can receive federal financial aid for no longer than 150% of the total hours required for a program. For example, 150% for a program that requires 60 credits to complete is 90 credits.

All courses attempted, including, but not limited to W, I, F, AU, CR, IP and NC, will be counted as attempted hours. Attempted hours are determined by the number of hours the student is enrolled in on the census date.


Transfer Students

Transfer students are subject to the same policy regarding length of time and GPA in regard to hours that are transferred to Northark. NOTE: All official transfer transcripts must be received in the Registrar’s Office and must be evaluated before SAP can be determined. 


Repeated Course Work

Students can only receive federal aid for a repeated course one time if a passing grade has been earned.


Clock Hour Programs

Academic progress for students enrolled in a clock hour program will be reviewed at the completion of each payment period.


Financial Aid Suspension

Students who do not meet SAP will be placed on Suspension from Title IV Aid. Any student that withdraws from all classes or completes the semester with a zero GPA will be suspended for their next term of enrollment. If suspended because of GPA or minimum completion, a student must complete a semester with his/her own finances and meet SAP to regain eligibility. If a student has exceeded the 150% timeframe or academic progress reflects the inability to complete a program within the timeframe, the student will be suspended and the only option for reinstatement of aid is to appeal the suspension. 



Students who are placed on Financial Aid Suspension that can demonstrate and provide documentation of unusual or mitigating circumstances, such as serious illness or death of a close family member, may appeal.  An appeal form and supporting documentation must be submitted to the financial aid office before it will be reviewed by the appeals committee. The appeal must include what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow him or her to now meet SAP requirements.

Students will be required to contact an academic advisor to obtain their official competition date at Northark. Students should submit a copy of their transcript and a degree audit along with any additional supporting documentation with their appeal form to the Financial Aid Office. All documentation must be submitted together to ensure that the appeals committee has all pertinent information at the time of review. 

All SAP notices will be sent to the student’s official Northark email account.

Appeals submitted without supporting documentation may be automatically denied. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final; there is no further appeal.

Will I be notified of my aid?

Once a student’s need has been determined, the Financial Aid Office will prepare a financial aid “package” to assist in meeting the student’s need. This package could consist of funds from federal, state, institutional, and other resources. The student will be notified of the information by way of an “award notification letter.” The major sections of the award letter are described as follows: Your name, address, and student id number. If any of this information is incorrect, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office immediately. The award(s) will be listed by the type and amount of aid per semester. The student may decline any/all awards. The amount of each award is based on enrollment status as a full-time student. If you do not enroll in the number of hours for which your award was calculated, award(s) may be reduced or canceled.

When you receive your award letter, read it carefully, if you chose to decline any/all of the awards you must mark decline on the letter, sign it and return it to the Financial Aid Office.

How will I know if I am a dependent or an independent student?

Dependency status is determined according to federal guidelines and responses to questions regarding dependency status on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

How will my aid be disbursed?

Financial Aid and scholarships are disbursed to the student one time each semester based on a disbursement schedule which is printed in the class schedule. The disbursement of a Stafford Loan does not occur until the student has been enrolled for a minimum of 30 days. Every loan must be delivered in two equal disbursements. The second disbursement must be delivered after the mid-point of the loan period. Work-study checks are disbursed in the Student Accounts Office one time per-month.

The amount of financial aid for which the student is eligible will be credited to the student’s account first. If the amount of aid awarded exceeds the total charges, the student will receive the difference. If the aid is less than the charges, the student will be expected to pay the difference

All financial aid checks are disbursed in the Student Accounts Office. Photo identification is required at the time a student obtains the check(s).

What is the refund policy for Title IV funds if I withdraw?

If a student completely terminates enrollment or stops attending classes before completing more than 60% of the enrollment period, a repayment may be required. The amount of the Title IV aid the student must return is determined by the Federal Formula for Return of Title IV Funds as specified in Section 484B of the Higher Education Act. This law also specifies the order of return of the Title IV funds to the programs from which they were awarded.

A repayment may be required when cash has been disbursed to a student from financial aid funds in excess of the amount of aid the student earned during the term. The amount of Title IV aid earned is determined by multiplying the total Title IV aid (other than Federal College Work Study) for which the student qualified by percentage of time during the term that the student was enrolled. If less aid was disbursed than was earned, the student may receive a late disbursement for the difference. If more aid was disbursed than was earned, the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned (i.e. that was unearned) is determined by subtracting the earned amount from the amount actually disbursed.

The responsibility for returning unearned aid is allocated between the college and the student according to the portion of disbursed aid that could have been used to cover college charges and the portion of disbursed aid that could have been disbursed directly to the student once college charges were covered. North Arkansas College will distribute the unearned aid back to the Title IV program as specified by law. The student will be billed for the amount the student owed to the Title IV program and any amount due to the college resulting from the return of Title IV funds used to cover college charges.

What is my responsibility as a student?

  • Students receiving financial aid must inform the Financial Aid Office when:
  • Withdrawing from school
  • There is a change in name
  • There is a change in mailing address
  • Receiving any additional financial aid from any source.

What type(s) of training or qualifications are maintained by the Northark Financial Aid Staff?

Northark Financial Aid staff participate annually in various types of Institutional, State, Federal and Supplemental trainings and conferences in order to stay up-to-date with changes in rules, regulations and policies at all levels.