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.

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.