All posts by Clint Young

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.

Helpful Tips to Manage Your Student Loans

If you have a student loan or would like to learn more about managing your finances, you may want to check out Nelnet’s “Live Life Smart Guide“.  It includes helpful tips to manage your student loans and insight on several topics such as:

  • Setting Financial Goals
  • Strategies to Save Money
  • Credit Card Tips
  • Avoiding Identity Theft
  • Loan Repayment
  • Default Management
  • Contacting Your Servicer
  • Exit Counseling

Additional information can also be found on NOVA’s Financial Literacy blog at

Do You Still Have a Financial Aid Pending (FAP) on Your Account?

If you still have a Financial Aid Pending (FAP) hold on your account, you probably have not completed the financial aid process or your anticipated financial aid is not enough to cover your balance.  If so:

  • Please review your myNOVA To Do List and submit any items that may have been requested.
  • If you were already awarded, please review your anticipated aid based on your current enrollment and pay any balance that is not covered by financial aid. Instructions for viewing anticipated financial aid are available here.
  • If you are using a Direct Loan to cover your balance, remember to accept the amount you wish to borrow for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 on myNOVA and complete the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note at The amount accepted will be evenly divided between the fall and spring semesters and a nominal loan fee will be deducted before funds are applied toward your account.  Instructions for accepting a loan are available here.

To prevent classes from potentially dropping for non-payment, students must be awarded enough anticipated financial aid to cover their balance or they must make other payment arrangements before the Financial Aid Pending (FAP) hold on their account expires.

As a reminder, you should attend all classes for which you are registered, whether aid has been awarded or not.  If you do not wish to take a particular class, you should drop it on myNOVA before the census date to avoid being charged for it.

If you have any questions, please contact the 24 Hour Student Support Center at 1-855-323-3199 or visit

Financial Aid Newsletter – August 2018 Greenback

Check out the August 2018 Greenback, the latest issue of NOVA’s financial aid newsletter. This issue features information on:

  • New Admission, Records, & Registration Services
  • 24 Hour Student Support Center
  • Preparing for Fall 2018
  • 15-Minute Financial Aid Video Playlist
  • $500 CashContest
  • Viewing Anticipated Aid
  • Managing Student Loan Debt
  • Fall Scholarships
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Reminders
  • 2018-2019 Financial Aid Handbook
  • Fall 2018 Bookstore Purchase Periods

The Greenback newsletter is designed to provide students and staff members with a concise summary of current financial aid topics.

24 Hour Student Support Center Adds Admission, Registration, and Records Services

The 24 Hour Student Support Center has expanded its services!  In addition to responding to financial aid and student account inquires, the Support Center can now provide assistance with questions related to admission, registration, and records.  By calling 855-323-3199 you can receive 24/7 live assistance from knowledgeable agents on topics such as registration, transcripts, class scheduling, prerequisites, preparatory coursework, the admission application, financial aid and student accounts.  You also have the option to:

When contacting the Support Center you can expect to receive excellent customer service from professional, courteous agents who can answer most of your questions.  Approximately 90% of inquiries are addressed immediately and the rest are responded to within 1-3 business days if additional research or escalation is required.

For more information, please visit or give us a call at 855-323-3199.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Financial Aid Newsletter – April 2018 Greenback

Check out the April 2018 Greenback, the latest issue of NOVA’s financial aid newsletter. This issue features information on:

  • Second Pell Grants for Summer
  • Preparing for Fall 2018
  • Viewing Anticipated Aid
  • Limits on Subsidized Loans
  • $500 CashContest
  • Avoiding Scams
  • Submitting Documents to the Financial Aid Office
  • Reminders About Attending Two Colleges During the Same Year
  • Scholarships for Dreamers
  • Getting IRS Transcripts Online
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Reminders
  • Summer 2018 Bookstore Purchase Periods

The Greenback newsletter is designed to provide students and staff members with a concise summary of current financial aid topics.

2017 Tax Year – Federal Tax Benefits for Higher Education

Check out the information provided below from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) regarding tax benefits for higher education.

The federal government provides a number of tax incentives that can help lower the cost of higher education. These incentives include:

  • Tax credits directly reduce the amount of tax you pay.
  • Tax deductions reduce the amount of your income that is taxed.

You may qualify for more than one of these incentives, but there are some restrictions. It’s a good idea to calculate your taxes multiple ways to find the maximum benefits available to you. For more information, on any of these benefits, refer to IRS Publication 970 or consult a qualified tax advisor.

New Financial Aid Verification Videos

Check out these new videos related to the financial aid verification process.  Topics include:

  • Does everyone selected for verification have to provide the same information?
  • How do I verify financial aid and household information if I filed a tax return?
  • How do I verify my tax information if I amended my return?
  • How do I verify my tax information if I filed an extension?
  • How do I verify my income information if I didn’t file a tax return?