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 www.fafsa.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. SAP will be checked prior to the initial enrollment period and in increments of no longer that half the program length or one year, whichever is less.

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

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

For the previous semester of attendance, students must have earned a 2.0 GPA. For any period of enrollment, students must complete a minimum amount of coursework based on the following scale: Enroll in 12 + hours, must complete 8 hours; enroll in 6-11 hours, must complete 6 hours; enroll in less than 6 hours, must complete all hours.

Students can receive federal financial aid for no longer than 150% of the total hours required for a program. All courses attempted, including W, I, F, AU, CR, and IP, will be counted as attempted hours.

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.

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 Warning: At the point of SAP review, any student not meeting the minimum GPA or minimum completion requirements will be placed on Financial Aid Warning during the next period of enrollment. SAP will be checked again immediately following the Warning semester. Students meeting SAP at that point will be removed from Warning and placed in good standing.

Students not meeting SAP at the end of the Warning semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Students will be given a Warning status only once. Failure to meet SAP for each semester thereafter will result in Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension: Students who do not meet SAP at the end of a Warning Status or students who exceed 150% of the hours for a program 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 automatically 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.

Appeals: Students who do not meet SAP at the end of the Warning Status and are placed on Financial Aid Suspension as a result, and who can demonstrate and provide documentation of unusual or mitigating circumstances, such as serious illness or death of a close family member may appeal a Financial Aid Suspension. 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 suspended because of exceeding the 150% timeframe will be required to include an academic plan along with their appeal form. Appeals submitted without supporting documentation will not be reviewed. Students who appeal and are reinstated will automatically be reviewed following the semester of reinstatement. If SAP is being met, the student will be considered in good standing. If SAP is not met, the student is automatically placed back on Suspension. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final; there is no further appeal.

Academic Plans: Students suspended due to exceeding the 150% timeframe will be required to submit a degree plan with an appeal form. The degree plan must be completed by a Northark Academic Advisor. This plan will be used as a guide to determine courses needed for completion of a program. Financial aid will only be granted for courses needed for completion. Enrolling in courses not included in your academic plan will result in your aid being reduced or revoked. Students are responsible for ensuring that their Major Code is correct with the Advising Office.

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.