Category Archives: FAFSA Process

Financial Aid Newsletter – GREENBACK (Dec_2015)

Financial Aid Newsletter – GREENBACK

Check out the latest issue of The Financial Aid GREENBACK, our quarterly Financial Aid newsletter. This issue: Default Prevention/Responsible Borrowing,  CashCourse Contest winners selected, the New Financial Avenue, financial literacy tool, and more. 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.

FAFSA Links and Assistance

Below are links to some of the FSA publications and sites for the FSA ID. If you or your parents do not find the answers below, you can always call the FSA ID helpline at (800) 557-7394.

What is FSA ID?

How to Create an FSA ID

Create or Edit your FSA ID

FSA ID FAQs – Forgot Username or Password

2014 Federal Income Tax Return Transcripts available via Get Transcript early in the 2015 tax filing season

Although the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is still the preferred method for providing tax information when completing the FAFSA, accessing a real-time tax transcript at will simplify the process of obtaining a Tax Return Transcript for those filers who are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Electronic tax filers should have access to a transcript two weeks after taxes are filed, starting about the end of February.

Federal tax filers will be required to provide authentication prior to viewing and printing their Tax Return Transcripts. Get Transcript provides:

  • Individual/joint-filer transcripts
  • All available transcript types and/or

Letters of Non-Filing

  • Taxpayer authentication
  • Immediate display of transcript via PDF; users can view, print, and save the file

Get Transcript will alleviate the need to visit the IRS Office in person or request a transcript via mail; the filer will simply go to After user authentication, students or parents will provide the reason for the request, select the year(s), type(s) of information requested, and other requested information, and the document will be displayed in a printable format.

In preparation for completing the FAFSA, families are encouraged to file their taxes electronically and to do so as early as possible to meet all financial aid priority deadlines.

New FSA ID to Replace the Federal Student Aid PIN

In spring 2015, Federal Student Aid (FSA) will implement a new login process for their student and borrower-based websites, including FAFSA on the Web, NSLDS® Student Access,,, and the TEACH Grant website. The new FSA ID, which will be comprised of a userselected username and password, will replace the Federal Student Aid PIN as the process by which students, parents, and borrowers authenticate their identity to access their federal student aid information. The FSA ID will offer new functionality, including a single sign-on process for most of FSA systems.

FSA is making this change to eliminate the need for individuals to enter personal identifiers (Social Security number, name, and date of birth) when accessing Federal Student Aid’s systems. This change is critical to comply with new security requirements and industry best practices.

FSA is working to ensure that the transition from the FSA PIN to the FSA ID is as seamless as possible for customers. Existing users will be able to link their PIN information to the FSA ID. This change will not impact the FSA User ID log-in process that is currently in place for financial aid professionals.

Students will receive additional information regarding this change, which is expected to occur around the end of April, 2015. Please monitor the NOVA Financial Aid website for forthcoming announcements about the transition to the new FSA ID.

Thank you in advance for your support as FSA implements this important change. As always, if questions arise contact the Financial Aid Support Center.

GREENBACK (Jan_15) Financial Aid Newsletter

Check out the latest issue of The Financial Aid GREENBACK, our quarterly Financial Aid newsletter. This issue: new electronic refund options, FAFSA to replace the Student Aid PIN, be proactive with your student loans, and more. 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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.