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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Disbursement Update

Approximately six weeks into the term, excess financial aid above what you owe the college will be mailed to your address of record at NOVA. For students in later starting classes and/or less than full time, your disbursement will process once we have confirmed enrollment to meet the required eligibility for your financial aid. Student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress to be eligible for financial aid.

Posted in Disbursements, General Information, Greenback, Satisfactor Academic Progress | 2 Responses

GREENBACK Newsletter (August_2014)

Check out the latest issue of The Financial Aid GREENBACK, our quarterly Financial Aid newsletter. This issue we give you additional information on the 150% loan eligibility guidelines, the Financial Aid Pending (FAP) process and fall bookstore purchase authorization e-form. 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.

 

Posted in Bookstore Purchases, E-Forms, General Information, Greenback, Loan Information, Return of Title IV Funds, Satisfactor Academic Progress | Leave a comment

Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers on or after July 1, 2013

Maximum eligibility period to receive Direct Subsidized Loans

(This article was originally published on StudentLoans.gov as part of Direct Loan Entrance counseling.)

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period”. You can usually find the published length of any program of study in your school’s catalog.

For example, if you are enrolled in a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). If you are enrolled in a 2-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 3 years (150% of 2 years = 3 years).

Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program. This means that your maximum eligibility period can change if you change programs. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count against your new maximum eligibility period.

Example 1: You are enrolled in a two-year undergraduate program. You then enroll in a four-year undergraduate program. When you change programs, your maximum eligibility changes from three years to six years.

You received Direct Subsidized Loans for only one year while enrolled in the two-year program. When you enroll in the four-year program, you are eligible to receive five more years of Direct Subsidized Loans.

Example 2: You are enrolled in a four- year undergraduate program. You then enroll in a two-year undergraduate program. When you change programs, your maximum eligibility changes from six years to three years.

You received Direct Subsidized Loans for two years while enrolled in the four- year program. When you enroll in the two-year program, you are eligible to receive one more year of Direct Subsidized Loans.

Example 3: You are enrolled in a four-year undergraduate program. You then enroll in a different four- year undergraduate program. Because both programs are the same length, your maximum eligibility does not change when you change programs-it remains six years.

You received Direct Subsidized Loans for three years while enrolled in the first four- year programs. When you enroll in the second four- year program, you are still eligible to receive three more ears of Direct Subsidized Loans.

Periods that count against your maximum eligibility period

The periods of time that count against your maximum eligibility period are periods of enrollment (also known as “loan periods”) for which you received Direct Subsidized Loans.

For example, if you are a full-time student and you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that covers the fall and spring semesters (a full academic year), this will count as one year against your maximum eligibility period.

If you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan for a period of enrollment that is shorter than a full academic year, the period that counts against your maximum usage period will generally be reduced accordingly.

For example, if you are a full-time student and you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that covers the fall semester but not the spring semester, this will count as one-half of a year against your maximum eligibility period.

With one exception, the amount of a Direct Subsidized Loan you receive for a period of enrollment does not affect how much of your maximum eligibility period you have used. That is, even if you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan in an amount that is less than the full annual loan limit, that lesser amount does not reduce the amount of your maximum eligibility period you have used. The one exception applies if you receive the full annual loan limit for a loan period that does not cover the whole academic year.

For example, if you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that covers only the fall semester and not the spring semester, and the loan amount you receive is equal to the full annual loan limit for your grade level, this counts as one full year against your maximum eligibility period.

Effect of borrowing while enrolled part-time

If you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan when you are enrolled less than full-time, the period that is counted against your maximum eligibility period will be reduced.

For example, if you are enrolled half-time and receive a Direct Subsidized Loan for a period of enrollment that covers a full academic year, this will count as only one-half of a year against your maximum eligibility period.

Loss of eligibility for additional Direct Subsidized Loans and becoming responsible for paying interest on Direct Subsidized Loans

After you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you are no longer eligible to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loans. However, you may continue to receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

In addition, if you continue to be enrolled in any undergraduate program after you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, we will no longer (with certain exceptions) pay the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans for periods when we would normally have done so. After you lose eligibility, whether you become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loan depends only on your enrollment, not applying for, requesting, or receiving federal financial aid.

Remember, your maximum eligibility period can change if you enroll in a different program. So, if you received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period for one program and then enroll in a longer program, you will not become responsible for interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans.

Direct_Subsidized_Loans_and_ Direct_Subsidized_Loans_Charts

(This chart was originally published on StudentLoans.gov as part of Direct Loan Entrance counseling.)

The above chart summarizes the periods when we normally pay the interest on your Direct Subsidized Loans, and an explanation of what happens after you become responsible for the interest.

If you meet any of the “yes” conditions indicated on the chart, you will become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans on and after the date of your enrollment, during periods when we would have normally paid the interest for you.

Example: If you are enrolled in a four- year undergraduate program and receive Direct Subsidized Loans for six years, you are no longer eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans.

Whether you become responsible for interest on your Direct Subsided Loans depends on what you do next:

1. If you complete the program in 6 years and do not enroll for a 7th year, the Federal government will continue to pay the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans as described in the chart below. Even if you eventually enroll in another program, because you completed the program before enrolling for a 7th year, the Federal government will continue to pay your interest as described in the chart below.

2. If you continue to be enrolled in the program for a 7th year, then on the date you enroll for the 7th year you will become responsible for paying all interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans from that point forward.

3. If you do not complete the program, but transfer to another undergraduate program that is four year or less (that has a maximum eligibility period of 6 years or less), then you will become responsible for interest, starting with the interest that accrues on the date that you enroll in the other program.

Regaining eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans

If you become ineligible for Direct Subsidized Loans because you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you may again become eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans if you enroll in a new program that is longer than your previous program.

If you regain eligibility to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loans because you enrolled in a program that is longer than your prior program and you previously became responsible for paying all of the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans, we will pay the interest that accrues on your new loans during the periods described in the chart above. However, you will continue to be responsible for paying all of the interest that accrues on the previous Direct Subsidized Loans that you received.

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Bookstore Purchase Authorization E-form for Fall 2014

Students with pending financial aid can purchase books against their excess financial aid beginning online on Aug 6th. Campus bookstore purchases begin on Aug 6th and continue through the term census date, Sept 8th, the end of the book purchase period. Students must complete the Bookstore Authorization E-Form, via the Financial Aid Dashboard, prior to completing their purchase. Students enrolled in distance learning or wishing to make their purchase online must complete and electronically sign the Bookstore Authorization form via the Dashboard prior to your order being Processed. 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 Pending (FAP) Holds

The College Financial Aid Office (CFAO) is working diligently to process all financial aid applications. To prevent classes from being cancelled, we are placing FAP indicators on student accounts that meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and have no debt holds. In addition, the student must meet one of the following criteria:
• The student’s “To Do List” on NOVAConnect self-service shows receipt of all required documents (excluding high school diploma), but aid has not yet been awarded
• The student has a loan offered within the last two weeks that is not yet accepted
• A FAFSA correction has been sent to the Central Processor that has not yet come back to NOVA [EC, Electronic Correction, on “To Do List”]
• First-year Pathway/Adult Career Pathway students
• First-year GPS students
• Awarded students who need an additional amount to cover tuition and fees
• Students whose EFC’s fall within potential Pell Grant range and who have open checklist item(s) for outstanding documents
• Students with ISIRs in PeopleSoft and incomplete checklists who are registered for classes
The CFAO will award, in the order files are complete, as many files as possible between now and the first day of classes. We will do our best to award your aid, but FAP’s will generally come off at the close of business on Wednesday, August 11, 2014, whether or not you have received an award. Watch your NOVAConnect account. Respond immediately to additional requests for information. Please take the following steps:
• If you don’t see an award by Friday, August 8, 2014, make arrangements to pay your bill until your aid is processed.
• If you are accepting an awarded Perkins or Direct Loan for the first time in recent years at NOVA, you must complete a Master Promissory Note and loan counseling before any money is actually in place and before you can use that money to purchase books or pay your bill. Allow 5 days for processing the loan after the loan is accepted and paperwork is submitted. FAPs for loans in offered but not accepted status will hold classes for these three+ weeks only.
• Register for all classes for the term before you go to the bookstore; your aid will show as reduced if you are less than full-time. Regardless of when your classes begin, you cannot use financial aid to buy books after September 8, 2014. The first day to charge books for students with enough aid in place is August 6, 2014.
You are responsible for your own registered classes. Drop all fall 2014 registered classes you are not planning to attend. You can be charged for these classes and can even receive failing grades for these classes. A FAP (NVCC Financial Aid Award Pending) will prevent your classes from dropping for non-payment but does not prevent you from dropping classes yourself.
If you withdraw or stop attending before the term is over–whether or not you complete some credits, a portion of your aid will likely have to be returned, resulting in your owing money to NOVA, the Department of Education and/or the Commonwealth. Review the Return to Title IV policy on NOVA’s website.

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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.

Posted in FAFSA Process, General Information, Loan Information | 1 Response

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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