1 Financial Aid Guide
2 your guide to FINANCIAL AID Although tuition at Northwest ranks among the lowest in Mississippi, scholarships, loans, grants and workstudy are available to qualified students through the college s financial aid program. This booklet is designed to make your application for financial aid an easy step. We will answer any questions you have whether you are beginning the financial aid process or are a returning student. The major responsibility of the Northwest Financial Aid Department is to inform students of financial opportunities in order to meet post-secondary costs through a program of grants, loans, work-study and scholarships. The secret to an easy financial aid application process is meeting deadlines and taking care of paperwork in a timely fashion. So, let s get started! affordable Compare tuition per year. AVerage MS four-year university $5,466 NWCC $2,250 LOCAL technical college $13,725 Northwest Mississippi Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Applied Science degree, and certificates in career education. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA, , or call (404) for questions about the accreditation of Northwest Mississippi Community College. Northwest Mississippi Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability or status as a veteran or disabled veteran in employment, programs, or provision of services. Compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act is coordinated by Mr. Michael Dottorey, Disability Support Services Coordinator, McLendon Student Center, P.O. Box 5555, Highway 51 North, Senatobia, Mississippi 38668, telephone number , address Compliance with Title II of the Age Discrimination Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is coordinated by Mr. Gary Mosley, Vice President for Fiscal Affairs, James P. McCormick Administration Building, P.O. Box 7017, 4975 Highway 51 North, Senatobia, Mississippi, 38668, telephone number , address The safety and security of students, faculty, and staff are very important to Northwest Mississippi Community College. A copy of Preventing Campus Crime, published annually by the Campus Police Department, details Northwest policies and procedures regarding campus safety. A copy of the brochure, which contains the annual crime statistics report, is available upon request from the Campus Police Office ( ) in printed form. Preventing Campus Crime is published in compliance with all applicable federal laws regarding campus safety and security.
3 SCHOLARSHIPS A number of students who attend Northwest Mississippi Community College every year receive aid whether it be through scholarships, grants, loans, etc. Below are listed a number of the scholarships available to students. Each scholarship applicant must have the following on file at NWCC: Application for Admission Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA - ACT score report Complete High School transcript after graduation Traditional Students Presidential Scholarships These scholarships are awarded to students who make a 20 or above on the ACT. Recipients must be full-time fall-entering freshmen and must maintain the required cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5. Awards will be made as long as funds are available. Leadership Scholarships These scholarships are limited in number and are awarded to students who exhibit leadership abilities, have special skills or talents, have an ACT score of and a B average, and/or have strong academic qualities. Recipients must be full-time fallentering freshmen and must maintain the required cumulative GPA of 2.5. June S. Gardner Scholarships These scholarships are awarded to in-state high school valedictorians and salutatorians. Recipients must be full-time fall-entering freshmen and must maintain the required cumulative GPA of 2.5. Awards will be made as long as funds are available. Non-Traditional Students Adult Student Scholarships These scholarships are limited in number and are awarded to Mississippi residents. Applicants must be 25 years of age and a full-time student. Scholarship applications are reviewed by a committee and awarded based on financial need, credit hours previously earned and academic achievement. Scholarships are awarded each semester. Howard Carpenter GED Scholarships These scholarships are awarded to the residents of the Northwest district who have scored 500 or above on the GED test. Awards are for full-time entering freshmen. Recipients must maintain the required GPA of 2.0 during their enrollment. Application information must be completed prior to the start of a semester. Department Scholarships Other scholarships are available through chosen majors and other departments such as Cheerleader, Athletic, Band, Art, Speech/ Theatre, Music Performance, Student Publications, and Scholarships for Children of Employees. Refer to the latest Northwest Bulletin for a detailed list of these scholarships and their requirements. Foundation Scholarships Through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and civic organizations, scholarships are available through the Northwest Mississippi Community College Foundation. You must submit a Foundation Scholarship Application Form, available from either the Recruiting or Foundation Office. Criteria vary by each scholarship. Look in the current Northwest Bulletin for more information, or contact the Foundation Office. APPLICATION DEADLINE: APRIL 1,
4 HOW DO I APPLY FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID? Every student must complete the FAFSA form online to be eligible for any type of federal aid such as loans, grants, workstudy, etc. STEP ONE GET ORGANIZED! It is recommended that you have a folder to collect all of your college information in one place. STEP TWO Complete the FAFSA at using the above information. It is strongly recommended that you utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to retrieve your 2013 income tax data directly from the IRS. If you do not utilize this tool, the Department of Education may require an official IRS transcript of your 2013 tax return which could delay processing of your financial aid by 2-4 weeks. Incomplete or inaccurate information creates delays in processing your financial aid. STEP THREE Create a PIN and electronically sign the FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, a parent must also create a PIN and electronically sign the FAFSA. STEP FOUR Just because you have submitted the FAFSA does not mean that your financial aid has been awarded. The Financial Aid Office may need additional documentation in order to finish your file. *If your file is flagged for verification by the government please provide the requested documents ASAP to avoid any delays in receiving your award. DON T FORGET! List NWCC school code: Answer all questions; don t leave anything blank! File your FAFSA as soon as you file your taxes and before April 1, FAFSA What do I need? Copy of your 2013 Federal 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. Copy of your parents 2013 Federal 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. Your W2 forms. Your parents W2 forms. What is a dependent student? If you are under the age of 24, unmarried and do not have a child that you are actively supporting, you are typically considered dependent. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances that would warrant a review of this, you can visit the Financial Aid Office to discuss your situation.
5 NWCC CHECKLIST Apply for admission to Northwest Before you can be awarded Financial Aid, you must apply for admission. Apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Apply online using the steps on the previous page. Be sure to electronically sign with your PIN or the form will not be sent to the schools you want. Northwest s school code is Waiting Period Your Student Aid Report, or SAR, will be sent to the school and to you within 2-3 weeks. If you haven t received your SAR in six weeks, contact the Central Processing System at to check the status of your application. Respond immediately to the Northwest Financial Aid Office If the Financial Aid Office needs more information, respond immediately to avoid delays in receiving your financial aid. Determine if your file is complete You will receive an award letter telling you the amount offered. You must sign and return it to the Financial Aid Office accepting or declining the award. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) You must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward your degree objective. Your class attendance and performance will be monitored. PRIORITY DEADLINE APRIL 1, 2014
6 WHAT IS WORK STUDY? The work-study program provides on-campus jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. Positions are available in many locations on campus. You must complete the FAFSA and indicate that you are interested in work-study to be considered. Unfortunately, you cannot work as many hours as you want. The amount of money you earn cannot exceed your total work-study award, which ranges from hours per month. If a student has remaining eligibility, work-study will be awarded. Wages are $7.25 an hour. You will be paid by the school directly once a month. It is your responsibility to pick up your check from the Business Office or endorse it to the school to credit to your account. For more information, such as how to apply and what jobs are available, visit our Work-Study tab on our website (under the Future Students tab then click on Financial Aid) where you will find the printable documents needed to start your new on-campus job. HELPFUL WEBSITES NWCC Work-Study: Personal Identification Number (PIN): Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): Pre-Application Worksheet for the FAFSA: State Grants (MTAG, MESG): PRIORITY DEADLINE JUNE 1, 2014
7 WHAT TYPES OF LOANS ARE AVAILABLE? Direct Stafford loans are a major form of self-help aid. These funds are to be used for education purposes, which include tuition, books, supplies, room, board, and transportation. Unlike scholarships and grants, these funds do have to be paid back. There are several repayment schedules, but most begin six months after graduation or withdrawal from school or when the student becomes less than half-time, falling below six credit hours. Interest rates also vary. Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan Loans through the U.S. Department of Education are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Borrowing limits vary according to classification and dependency status. The federal government pays the interest for the student until repayment begins. The interest rate is fixed at 3.86 percent. Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Loans through the U.S. Department of Education are available to students without regard to financial need. Borrowing limits vary according to classification and dependency status. Annual eligibility is limited to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid the student receives. Even though repayment does not begin immediately, the student is responsible for interest charges that begin to accrue immediately. The interest rate is fixed at 3.86 percent. Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) Parent loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow to pay the education expenses of their dependent undergraduate children. Annual eligibility is limited to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid the student receives. Financial need is not a requirement for this program. Repayment and accrual of interest begins immediately. Students must file the FAFSA to establish eligibility for the loan. The interest rate is fixed at 6.41 percent. PRIORITY DEADLINE JUNE 1, 2014
8 WHAT ARE GRANTS? Pell Grant Grants are federal aid that, unlike loans, do not have to be paid back as long as you are enrolled more than 60 percent of the semester. They are given based on financial need determined by questions you answer on the FAFSA. Below are listed some of the types of grants you can receive while attending Northwest. This grant is available to any student working on his or her first undergraduate degree. Amount awarded is determined by information provided on the FAFSA and is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the number of hours the student is enrolled. The maximum award for the school year was $5,645. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) FSEOG is awarded to the student with exceptional financial need or the lowest EFC. Priority is given to students who receive Federal Pell Grants. There is no application for this grant. Grant size varies, but it typically ranges from $100-$400. For more information Visit PRIORITY DEADLINE JUNE 1, 2014
9 WHAT TYPES OF BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE FOR MISSISSIPPI RESIDENTS? There are a few grants specifically for residents of Mississippi. These are grants awarded by the state and do not have to be paid back. It s a good idea to apply well in advance of the listed deadline. The requirements listed should not be considered as the only requirements for participation in these programs. All dates are subject to change. Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG): Sept. 15 deadline Freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior Resident of Mississippi Enrolled full time Attend an eligible Mississippi college or university Cumulative GPA of 2.5 and ACT of 15 or SAT of 720 This grant covers up to $500 per year for freshmen and sophomores. Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG): Sept. 15 deadline Resident of Mississippi Achieved a GPA of 3.5 after a minimum of seven semesters in high school Scored 29 on the ACT or 1280 on the SAT, or is a National Merit/National Achievement Scholar Enrolled full time at an eligible Misissippi college or university This grant covers up to $1,950 per year. Higher Education Legislative Plan (HELP): March 31 deadline Freshman or sophomore who graduated from high school within the immediate past two years Resident of Mississippi Demonstrates need as determined by the results of the FAFSA Documents an average family adjusted gross income of $36,500 or less over the prior two years Cumulative GPA of 2.5 and a 20 ACT score Meets a specific high school core curriculum HELP covers tuition and requirements for no more than 10 semesters. IMPORTANT DEADLINES MTAG...sept.15 MESG...sept.15 HELP...march 31 For more information, contact the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid at or
10 TIMELINE September Apply for admission for the upcoming school year. If you have taken the ACT, send your scores along with your application for admission to the Registrar s Office. If you have not, prepare for and take the ACT this fall. Look into what NWCC scholarships you are eligible for, as well as search online for scholarships from outside sources. January January 1 is the first day to apply for the FAFSA online. Do not sign or submit the form before this date! Gather all of the forms necessary to complete the FAFSA form. If you are a Mississippi resident, January 1 is also the first date to apply for MTAG and MESG. Also, take this time to get a head start on applying for scholarships and grants, whose deadlines are coming in early spring. March The time of deadlines has arrived! If you are a Mississippi resident, apply for the HELP grant by March 31. Deadlines for scholarships and early deadlines for FAFSA submission are coming up in April, so complete application forms and start submitting! April Deadlines! April 1 - Scholarship application submission deadline April 1 - FAFSA priority deadline May Make sure that the Registrar s Office has all necessary documents such as your application for admission, official transcripts with final grades from your high school and all colleges/universities attended. Check the progress of your financial aid on the FAFSA Web site. June Deadlines! June 1 - Workstudy deadline June 1 - Loan / Pell application June 1 - All documents must be in Financial Aid office in order to be processed in time for registration. July Attend a Summer Orientation session to complete any necessary forms, attend information sessions, finalize financial aid, meet with your adviser, register for classes, and take care of any other necessities for the upcoming school year. September September 15 of your fall semester of college is the deadline to apply for MTAG and MESG.
11 SO HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? With all this talk of aid to help pay for college, you are probably wondering how much it will actually cost. Fortunately, we ve created a table of the average cost of attending Northwest Mississippi Community College for a semester. Costs and fees vary from student to student, so be sure to check with the current Northwest Bulletin for the most up-to-date information. When planning for college, be sure to include costs such as travel, food outside the meal plan and other personal expenses. Expenses In-State Out-of-State General Fees/Tuition (Full-time per semester) $1125 $2,225 Housing & Meal Plan (avg.) $1,554 $1,554 Books & Supplies Total $900 $3,579 $900 $4,679 *This is only an estimate of an average semester. Costs are subject to change. In addition to these costs, many classes require specific fees. Be sure to check the Bulletin for exact prices.
12 CONTACTS Financial Aid Office Suite 103 Yalobusha Hall Foundation Office (Foundation Scholarships) Recruiting Office (Academic Scholarships) Registrar s Office (Admissions) P.O. Box Hwy. 51 N. Senatobia, MS Main NWCC Telephone Number school code