Our Mission

NOVA Financial Aid facilitates access to education for NOVA students by providing assistance in all areas of the financial aid process for the purpose of supporting student enrollment, retention and program completion at Northern Virginia Community College.

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Navigate the 150% Loan Limit Rule with these Five Key Take-A-Ways

NOVA financial aid understands that policy changes such as the 150% time limit rule regarding federal Direct Subsidized loans can be confusing for students and can cause additional counseling inquiries and work for your financial aid office. We’re here to help with key policy take-aways and resources.
As of July 1st, 2013, any first-time borrower, (which is defined as someone who has no outstanding balance on any FFELP or Direct loan when receiving a Direct loan on or after July 1, 2013), will only be able to obtain federal Direct Subsidized loans for a maximum of 150% of the published program length in which they are enrolled. Additionally, under some circumstances, the subsidized loans that had been borrowed up to the 150% point will lose further government subsidy, meaning interest will begin to become the student’s responsibility if the student does not graduate by the 150% point (and continues to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program). From that point forward, these subsidized loans will become unsubsidized loans.
Here are five key take-aways to keep in mind regarding the 150% Rule:
Students may receive Direct Subsidized loans for no more than 150% of the length of the current academic program. For example, a student enrolled in a two-year program will have three years’ worth of subsidized loan eligibility, and a student enrolled in a four-year program will have six years’ worth of subsidized loan eligibility.
Once a student reaches the 150% mark in a particular program, future subsidized loan eligibility in that program will end. The student may, however, be eligible for unsubsidized loans.
A student who reaches the 150% limitation will have the interest subsidy end for all outstanding subsidized loans if the student does not graduate and continues to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program. Repayment does not begin, but like unsubsidized loans, the student (rather than the government) would become responsible for interest that accrues from this point forward.
Unlike other measures in determining continued aid eligibility, this provision is not affected by the total dollar amount borrowed. Any and all periods of subsidized loan borrowing will count against the 150% time limit, in most instances, prorated for less than full-time enrollment.
This policy is in addition to, and not in place of, the lifetime aggregate loan limits that are currently in place.

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Financial Aid Transitions to E-Forms

Starting with the 2014-2015 financial aid award year, NOVA Financial Aid will begin its transition to the use of online forms (E-Forms). These forms will be available via the NOVA Financial Aid Dashboard website and will be directly linked to a student’s MyNOVA “To Do List’ login and electronic signatures will be used. The addition of E-Forms will greatly increase the financial aid office’s ability to process FAFSA applications.
Online forms will be presented to students via the Financial Aid Dashboard which will be accessed via the NOVA website and a secure login. Once students have logged into the dashboard, they will access their required documents – “To Do List” – as seen in MyNova; forms will be directly linked to E-Form versions, and students will then have the option to complete and submit them via the dashboard. For those forms that are not in the E-form format, students will access the College Forms Library for normal download, completion, and submission.
The most noticeable change will be to the financial aid forms page. This page will now serve as the entry page to the Financial Aid Dashboard, where students can log in and view, complete, and submit requested financial aid forms. In addition, this page will also host video tutorials on how to access and use this system.
Please continue to check the financial aid page of the NOVA website and your NOVA e-mail for updates as this process moves forward. While this change may be a bit unsettling in the beginning, bear in mind that this will greatly improve the financial aid application process and reduce the time it takes for students to view and accept their financial aid awards.

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FAFSA Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid – January, 2014

The best way to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is early, online and without any mistakes. FAFSA_Tips&Mistakes_2014

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NOVA Financial Aid Improves Verification Process

NOVA Financial Aid has contracted with Financial Aid Services (FAS) to help you, and your family, complete the verification process, if required after filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education Central Processing System (CPS), or the school, selects applications for verification. Because students sometimes make errors when completing the FAFSA, or verification documents, this can become a tedious process and sometimes leads to delays in processing financial aid awards.
FAS will be assisting selected NOVA students with verification through an online interview process. The verification interview process will walk you and your family through a series of questions to assist you in providing the needed information to complete verification. Once you have completed the process, FAS will then make any required corections and forward to NOVA for processing.
It is important to remember, the “To Do List” in your MyNOVA account and the new Financial Aid Dashboard will be your primary sources of information for what you need to provide to process your application. Links to all required items will show on your Financial Aid Dashboard. Within the Dashboard, if selected for verification, you will be directed to the FAS Verification website at www.SSCwp.org. You will be able to track what is needed and can complete most of this verification work on the FAS website. Please watch for e-mails from verification@SSCwp.org and respond as quickly as you can. Your prompt response to all requests will accelerate the review of your request for financial aid for 2014-2015.
NOVA Financial Aid may be requesting other documents from you, and you must submit those documents directly to the Financial Aid Office via fax, online or in person at your campus financial aid office. The FAS verification interview will not be open to you until NOVA has received and accepted documents due directly to NOVA. When accepted, they will no longer show on your To Do List or within the Financial Aid Dashboard.
The verification interview process will reduce the amount of time it will take for students to complete the verification process as well as reduce the number of errors and/or rejected documents. NOVA financial aid is excited to be providing this service, and we are committed to assisting our students in funding their educations.
If you have additional questions or concerns, contact our Financial Aid Support Center at 1-855-323-3199, or stop by your campus financial aid office.

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GREENBACK Newsletter (December_2013)

Check out the latest issue of ‘The Financial Aid Greenback,’ our quarterly Financial Aid newsletter. This issue we give you additional information on NOVA’s new Verification Interview process, the 150% loan eligibility guidelines, the new Financial Aid Dashboard with E-Forms and spring book purchase information. This newsletter is designed to help students and staff members stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the world of financial aid.
GREENBACK_Dec_13

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Spring Bookstore Purchase

Students with pending financial aid can purchase books against their excess financial aid beginning online on Dec. 30. Campus bookstore purchases begin on Jan. 2 and continue through the term census date, Jan 30. Students must sign a statement allowing the charges and must purchase all desired and required books/materials by Jan 30. Students enrolled or planning to enroll in later starting classes who desire to use their financial aid to purchase books must do so during this purchase period. Students who are awarded after the term census date will not be able to charge bookstore purchases against their undisbursed financial aid award until a second book purchase period opens prior to the second eight-week session.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Financial Aid Support Center at 855-323-3199 or your campus financial aid office.

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Financial Aid Transitions to E-Forms

Starting with the 2014-2015 financial aid award year, NOVA Financial Aid will begin its transition to the use of online forms (E-Forms). These forms will be available via the NOVA Financial Aid Dashboard website and will be directly linked to a student’s MyNOVA “To Do List’ log-in and electronic signatures will be used. The addition of E-Forms will greatly increase the financial aid office’s ability to process FAFSA applications.
Online forms will be presented to students via the Financial Aid Dashboard which will be accessed via the NOVA website and a secure log-in. Once students have logged into the dashboard, they will access their required documents – “To Do List” – as seen in MyNova; forms will be directly linked to E-Form versions, and students will then have the option to complete and submit them via the dashboard. For those forms that are not in the E-form format, students will access the College Forms Library for normal download, completion, and submission.
The most noticeable change will be to the financial aid forms page. This page will now serve as the entry page to the Financial Aid Dashboard, where students can log in and view, complete, and submit requested financial aid forms. In addition, this page will also host video tutorials on how to access and use this system.
Please continue to check the financial aid page of the NOVA website and your NOVA e-mail for updates as this process moves forward. While this change may be a bit unsettling in the beginning, bear in mind that this will greatly improve the financial aid application process and reduce the time it takes for students to view and accept their financial aid awards.

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Valid High School Diploma or GED Required To Receive Financial Aid

In order to receive financial aid, a student must have the equivalent of a U. S. high school diploma. The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges that receive federal funds to adopt procedures to determine the validity of a student’s high school completion status when the student applies for Federal Student Aid (FSA).

Students who possess a high school diploma that is determined to be invalid are ineligible to receive financial aid. A diploma will be considered invalid if there is reason to believe that limited coursework was required to receive the diploma and/or a fee was charged by the agency that issued the diploma.

Requirements considered to be the equivalent of a high school diploma changed 7-1-2012. Students who wish to receive financial aid may establish eligibility by completing one of the following requirements if they do not have a valid high school diploma and did not complete a homeschool curriculum recognized by the state in which they lived at the time. [Enrollment means actively registered and attending classes.]:
First enrolled in an eligible program prior to July 1, 2012 –
1. Completed GED
2. Passed an approved Ability to Benefit Test and earned the minimum required score
3. Enrolled in and passed a minimum of six curriculum credit hours
4. Transferred six credit hours from a previous institution

First enrolled in an eligible program after July 1, 2012 –
1. Completed GED

Students meeting other admission requirements will not be denied admission to NOVA but will not be eligible to receive financial aid until high school completion requirements are met. As of the 2013-2014 award year, high school completion is a verification requirement for selected students. If asked to submit this information, please do so promptly for your application to be processed. Contact your campus financial aid representative if you have questions regarding this requirement.

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The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

How does this work? The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and NOVA Financial Aid have teamed up to roll out the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet for the 2013-2014 award year. The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (PDF) is a consumer tool developed collaboratively by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education. The standardized form is designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about college costs and their financial aid awards so they can easily compare award packages and costs to make informed decisions about where to attend school.

The Shopping Sheet pulls together essential information for the potential student. This includes the specific cost of attendance, a summary of awarded aid, and the FAFSA calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Additionally, the Shopping Sheet includes loan repayment information, institutional loan default rates, and graduation rates. Putting this information in a standardized format will enable students and their families to make the most informed decision about college attendance.

To view your Shopping Sheet, log in to your My NOVA account >VCCS SIS: Student Information Center >Self Service >Student Center; scroll down to Finances >View Financial Aid >financial aid year (2014). Select NOVA Shopping Sheet.

Posted in FAFSA Process, FYI, General Information | 2 Responses

GREENBACK Newsletter (August_2013)

Check out the latest issue of ‘The Financial Aid Greenback,’ our quarterly Financial Aid newsletter. This issue we address 150% loan eligibility, HS completion requirements, SAP Facts, and our commitment to providing superior service to our students. This newsletter is designed to help students and staff members stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the world of financial aid.

GREENBACK_Aug_13

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