Financial Aid Policies

Disbursement of Funds

The first week of school, if you:

  • are enrolled at least half-time in eligible courses (review the Schedule of Classes for details of eligible and ineligible courses),
  • are academically eligible and maintaining satisfactory academic progress,
  • are without a previous balance
  • have been awarded aid before the first day of courses

Disbursement of funds occurs as follows:

  • Grants, Perkins loans, Federal Direct Student loans, and most university scholarships automatically credit to your account in the Business Office. Funds are applied to charges owed.  You must complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note before the Federal Direct Stafford and Perkins loans will disburse.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans (new for 2013-2014)

  •   Multiple Disbursement - All Direct Student Loans will be paid out in 2 disbursements.  Half of the loan will disburse at the beginning of the semester and the second half will disburse at the 50% point of the semester.
  •   30 Day Wait to Receive Loans- First time Direct Student Loan borrowers will have to wait 30 days before they receive the first half of their loan and they will receive the second half at the 50% point of the semester.
    • Work study awards are not applied directly to charges owed.  Apply for jobs listed at our web site. Once hired, you receive semi-monthly payments for your work.  You have 30 days from the beginning of the semester to find a work study job otherwise funds are taken away.  If you encounter difficulty finding a position, make an appointment to visit your financial aid advisor for guidance.

    Beginning July 1st, 2013:

    Subsidized Direct Student Loan

    The federal government has implemented a maximum time limit of 3 years for receiving Subsidized Direct Student Loan at a 2-year institution.  This only applies to new borrowers and borrowers who have paid off previous student loans.  Interest will begin to accrue upon reaching the 3 year time limit.


    Financial Aid Return of Title IV

    Withdrawing/Leaving School before the End of the Semester or Failing all Classes for the Semester

    Official Withdrawal

    Students who wish to leave school before the end of the term should officially withdraw through the Admissions & Records Office.  Financial aid will be cancelled for future terms if students withdraw from NMSU at any time during a semester. Repayment of federal aid received for the current term may be required in accordance with federal rules and regulations. Students must appeal to have financial aid reinstated for the next term if they do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requirements, even if financial aid was not received for that term. Reinstatement of some types of aid may be based on availability of funding.

    Unofficial Withdrawal

    Students who receive all failing or non-passing grades for a semester are assumed to have ceased attendance and are considered an “unofficial withdrawal.” Students may be billed for some or all aid received. Students receiving all non-passing grades for a semester should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarship immediately for assistance. Federal regulations require schools to calculate a return of financial aid based on attendance. If a student withdraws from the semester either officially (all W’s), or unofficially (all non-passing letter grades), New Mexico State University will use a calculation to determine what types and amounts of financial aid will be returned to the appropriate program. The calculation takes into consideration the last date of attendance, tuition and fees and the type of aid received by the student.

    Retaining eligibility for Financial Aid

    All students must continue to meet the requirements for eligibility that were necessary for them to receive an offer of assistance. This includes being admitted and completing courses in a degree program. Students cannot be in default on previously received financial aid. All other criteria as defined by the rules and regulations of New Mexico State University and the federal government must be met.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Federal regulations require all students receiving financial aid must meet satisfactory academic progress to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship will review all financial aid recipients three times a year (end of Fall term, end of Spring term, and end of Summer term). The review will measure both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (completion rate) standards.

    When evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), all terms of enrollment will be evaluated regardless of whether the student received financial aid during those terms or not. For transfer students, only those credits that are transferred to NMSU, and all credits attempted while attending NMSU, will be counted toward the timeframe.

    All the satisfactory academic progress standards for students applying for and receiving Federal Financial Aid, excluding academic suspensions, is established and monitored by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. Academic suspension standards are established and monitored by the University Registrar.


    Notes of Importance:

    • Federal regulations do not allow rounding of financial aid SAP standards.
    • The financial aid SAP standards are not the same as ACC’s Academic Standards of Progress criteria. Financial aid students must maintain a higher completion rate (70%).


    Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress:

    Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement (Qualitative)
    All undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA on all hours attempted at NMSU.

    Completion Rate Requirement (Quantitative): Pace of Progression to ensure completion within the maximum time frame
    Students must complete 70% of all hours attempted at NMSU.
    All students are required to pass and complete 70% of all classes attempted. Student will be ineligible for financial aid until completion rate is 70% or greater or an appeal for financial aid has been approved.

    Maximum Time Frame- Pace of Progression
    Students receiving financial aid must complete their program of study within a reasonable time frame. The maximum time frame is 150% of the published length of the academic program or certificate (to include all transfer credit hours). Limited developmental coursework will not be counted in the maximum time frame.

    Example: Associate of Science Degree in Physics = 64 hours x 150%= 96 hours
    96 hours is the maximum that can be attempted with financial aid

    Consequences of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):
    In the following provisions, “warning” or “suspension” means financial aid warning or suspension, not academic warning or suspension.

    1. Financial Aid Suspension– If, after being placed on financial aid warning status, a student fails to meet the SAP standards of a cumulative 2.0 GPA and 70% completion rate, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.
    2. Financial Aid Probation– When a student fails to make SAP and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for financial aid reinstated with an academic plan (W-Stips).
    3. Maximum Time Frame Suspension(Pace of Progression) – Undergraduate students must attain their degree on or before 150% of the published credits needed for an associate or bachelor degree.

    If a student fails to meet the Maximum Time Frame standards, he or she will be placed on Maximum Time Frame Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.
    Failure to meet one or more of the established financial aid standards of satisfactory academic progress will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Students who have their financial aid revoked due to the failure to meet the SAP standards will remain ineligible until such time that they are able to meet the cumulative financial aid SAP standards. Those students will be responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees.

    Appeal Process

    Students that fall below the satisfactory academic progress requirements have the right to appeal their ineligibility for aid.  All appeals are reviewed for mitigating circumstances by Financial Aid Advisors, Financial Aid Appeals Committee and/or Financial Aid Managers. All situations must be fully documented, including supporting letters from counselors, doctors, ministers, and/or other appropriate third parties. As part of the appeal, the student must provide information about why he/she failed to make SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow him/her to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.

    Appeals may not be approved for reasons such as:

    • Withdrawing from a class to maintain a higher grade point average
    • Withdrawing from or failing classes because of the student’s work requirements
    • Being previously ineligible for financial aid and returning to school after an absence
    • Adjusted Credit Option-ACO
    • Several semesters of low grades because of an ongoing illness or other situations
    • Conflict with a professor
    • Classes not being what was expected
    • Not being prepared for college

    The student will be notified of the committee’s decision in writing. Students should make payment arrangements while waiting on a committee decision.

    Students are encouraged to access the applicable forms; Appeal for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress and Time frame Appeal Form from the forms library.  Appeals may be submitted by email, fax, or taken directly to the Financial Aid Office.

    Academic Plan Status (W-STIPS)

    Students who have had an appeal approved will be placed on an Academic Plan. The student will be considered for federal aid during the semester for which the student has applied and is otherwise eligible.

    Once the probationary semester has concluded, the student may re-establish eligibility to be considered for federal aid for a subsequent semester by either:

    • Taking action that brings him or her into compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of NMSU’S SAP standards; OR
    • Meeting the specific academic plan (W-Stips) and standards for the semester as established.

    If the student again fails to meet the cumulative satisfactory progress standards at the end of this semester, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension (U-Holds).

    Maximum Time Frame/Second Degree Appeal Process

    Students who have completed a pace of progression and has earned an associate’s/bachelor’s degree or have exceeded the maximum time frame for their declared program of study must submit a degree plan appeal to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship. Maximum time frame appeals may not be approved for students who are not meeting the cumulative 2.0 grade point average as an undergraduate student and a 70% overall completion rate. See chart below for unsatisfactory time frame for some degree programs.

    For credit remedial courses, of up to 30 credits, may be deducted from the total number of credits attempted when calculating time frame since they do not count as credit toward a degree but may be required and taken within an eligible program.

    An academic plan will be used for maximum time frame appeals that are approved for extenuating circumstances. Examples of time frame maximums for most programs are listed below:

    Degree Attempted Credits
    Certificate 36 Attempted Credit Hours
    Associate Degree 99 Attempted Credit Hours
    Bachelor’s Degree 192 Attempted Credit Hours

    Adjusted Credit Option
    Students granted the Adjusted Credit Option (ACO) by NMSU will have to have their SAP separately calculated for Time Frame, Completion Rate, and GPA. Federal regulations do not allow a student’s SAP to be calculated based on adjusted GPA, time frame or completion rate if Academic Amnesty has been applied to the student’s records.

    When evaluating a student with an ACO, the Advisor must calculate their completion rate as would be done for any other student (all credits completed divided by all credits attempted). Time frame will be evaluated by adding all credits attempted at NMSU plus any transfer credits accepted at NMSU. For GPA, the actual non-adjusted cumulative GPA must be determined without any consideration of the ACO and the non-adjusted cumulative GPA must be used for purposes of evaluating SAP requirements. These students will be coded U-ACO until reviewed.

    Effects on Funding

    Financial aid will not be provided for certain courses. Please be aware of the following stipulations:
    * Financial aid does not apply for courses taken by audit, credit hours earned by placement tests (CR), and Continuing Education (CE) courses.

    • Grades of I, RR, F, W, and U will be considered hours attempted but not completed.
    SAP codes for Banner are as follows:
    Academic Problem Area Identifying Codes
    Unsatisfactory, GPA, Completion, Time Frame U-All
    Unsatisfactory, GPA & Completion U-GPCO
    Unsatisfactory, GPA & Time Frame U-GPMX
    Unsatisfactory, Completion & Time U-COMX
    Unsatisfactory, GPA U-GPA
    Unsatisfactory, Completion U-COMP
    Unsatisfactory, Time Frame U-MAX
    Conditional/Warning Status
    Conditional/Warning status is to make students aware that although they are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress they are close to the minimum SAP requirements.
    Conditional/Warning, GPA, Completion, Time Frame C-ALL
    Conditional/Warning, GPA & Completion C-GPCO
    Conditional/Warning, GPA & Time Frame C-GPMX
    Conditional/Warning, Completion & Time C-COMX
    Conditional/Warning, GPA C-GPA
    Conditional/Warning, Completion C-COMP
    Conditional/Warning, Time Frame C-MAX
    Student in good standing G-Good
    Approved appeal with stipulations W-STIP
    Appeal reviewed and denied APDN
    Adjusted credit option needs review U-ACO

    Verification Policy 2012-2013

    New Mexico State University (NMSU) adheres to the following verification principles developed by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). To ensure that limited financial aid funds are awarded to eligible students in an equitable and consistent manner, all institutions must develop policies for verification of family reported information. Requirements for verification of family-reported information for purposes of qualifying for financial aid must be cost effective, flexible, and based upon acceptance of a reasonable tolerance range for error applied to award amounts. While institutions vary widely by type, students served, and mission, minimum standards for verification must exist for all institutions. Verification procedures will be uniformly applied to all financial aid programs which require demonstrated financial need as eligibility criterion.


    New Mexico State University (NMSU) will verify 100% of the total number of aid applicants selected for verification by the Federal Processor and/or NMSU.  In addition, we will resolve all comments on the ISIR, and conflicting documentation.  The NMSU Financial Aid Staff may also question any aspect of an application.


    For applicants undergoing verification, NMSU will verify the items specified in the
    34 CFR Part 668.56. Specifically, these items include for Title IV applicants:

    • U.S. income tax data
    • Number enrolled in college;
    • Household size;
    • High school completion status; (new for 2013-2014)
    • Identity/statement of educational purpose; (new for 2013-2014)
    • Certain untaxed income and benefits:
      • Child support
      • Food stamps (SNAP)
      • IRA/Keogh deductions
      • Tax-exempt interest
      • Untaxed portions of pensions
      • Payments to tax-deferred pension/savings plans (found on W-2)

    Additional items will also be verified when there is conflicting documentation on file or items selected by the NMSU Financial Aid Staff.

    Applicant Definition

    An applicant is anyone enrolled at NMSU who is also eligible to receive Federal aid.

    Applicants’ Responsibilities

    It will be the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all documents requested are submitted with proper signatures. If an applicant’s dependency status changes during the award year, updating will occur unless that change is as a result of a change in marital status. Household size and number in postsecondary education can only be updated during the verification process.


    Documentation will consist of signed copies of the completed and signed appropriate NMSU requested forms. Some exceptions to documentation may be made in conjunction with what is allowed by federal regulation.

    The Federal Department of Education has instituted some changes to the verification process regarding income-tax return data as follows:

    • Students and parents can no longer submit a signed paper copy of the IRS 1040 as a way to confirm the income reported on the FAFSA.  When completing the income sections of the FAFSA, the applicant is given the option to have this data retrieved directly from the IRS.

    IRS Data Availability – In general, tax filers can anticipate that the IRS data will be available within:

      • Two weeks if the tax return has been filed electronically
      • Eight weeks if the tax returns have been mailed.
    • If the applicant decides not to use the IRS data retrieval process and the application is chosen for verification, the applicant and the parents will be required to submit an IRS tax transcript.
    • If the tax information retrieved from the IRS is changed on the FAFSA, the applicant will be required to submit an IRS tax transcript.
    • However, the IRS data can be retrieved by the applicant when a correction is made to the FAFSA. If the retrieved data is not changed, then an IRS tax transcript will not be required.

    Tax Filers with Special Circumstances – The IRS Data Retrieval may not be available for the applicant in the following circumstances:

    • A joint tax return was filed for 2012 and the student or the student’s parents have filed the FAFSA with a marital status of separated, divorced or widowed.
    • If the tax filer is married to someone other than the individual included on the 2012 joint tax return.
    • If the parent or student was not married in 2012 but is married at the time the FAFSA is filed. The current spouse’s income must be reported on the FAFSA.
    • If the parents or the student is married but filed tax returns separately.
    • If an amended tax return was filed.

    Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript– There are three ways tax filers can request a tax transcript.

    • Online Go to www.irs.gov – A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5 to 10 days.
    • Telephone (800) 908-­‐9946 – A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5 to 10 days.
    • IRS Form 4506T-EZ 4506TEZ forms can be downloaded from http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf. A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5 to 10 days. **Transcripts ordered using this method can be mailed directly to NMSU by the IRS only if the tax filer requests this on line #5.

    If the tax filer has changed or corrected the federal income tax return, the amended information may not be available through the IRS data retrieval process. You will be required to submit both the original IRS tax transcript as well as the amended IRS tax account transcript.

    If An IRS 1040 Will not and is not required to be filed The filers must attest that an IRS 1040 has not and will not be filed and that the IRS 1040 is not required to be filed. Copies of all W-2 forms from all employers must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid at NMSU.

    Applicants filing a Puerto Rico tax return or a foreign tax return may not use the IRS Tax Retrieval and must send a copy of their 2012 tax documents.

    Food Stamp Recipients:- Recipients of Food Stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may be asked to provide the Office of Financial Aid with documentation that Food Stamps were received. If documentation is not provided when requested, there may be additional income and asset information requested by the Office of Financial Aid.

    Child Support Paid Applicants, who have been chosen for verification and who have indicated that child support was paid by the filer during 2012, the filer must confirm the amounts of child support paid, to whom the payments were made, and the names and address of the children receiving the child support.

    Time Period

    All applicants are encouraged to submit the required forms and documentation as quickly as possible. For federal aid recipients, the deadline for submitting verification documents is 120 days from the applicant’s last date of enrollment. This includes making any necessary corrections, submitting those corrections to the Central Processor, and submitting the new correct Student Aid Report (SAR) to the institution.

    Interim Disbursements

    No Title IV aid will be released until the student has completed any required verification process.


    If a student fails to provide documentation or information within the required time frame, no Title IV aid will be released.


    For the Federal Pell Grant Program, the tolerance values will be used in order to pay a student. If the student does not qualify for payment options based on tolerance, then a correction must be filed with the Central Processor.


    During peak periods, it may take a minimum of five (5) business days for documents to be reviewed and logged into the financial aid system as received. Students may track the documents by logging onto their myNMSU account to see the updated status after the five days have passed. If additional information is required, email notifications will be sent to your NMSU email address within two (2) weeks. Students may also view their outstanding requirements on their myNMSU account.

    Referral Procedures

    If it is determined that a student has received funds that they were not entitled to receive, the student must repay the amount. If a repayment is not made, the overpayment will be referred to the US Department of Education.


    Student Rights and Responsibilities

    Student Rights

    You have the right to know…

    • What financial aid programs are available at your school
    • The deadlines for submitting applications for each of the programs
    • How financial aid will be distributed, how decisions on distribution are made, and the basis for these decisions
    • How your financial need was determined
    • What resources were considered in the calculation of your need
    • How much of your financial need as determined by the institution has been met
    • The details of the various programs in your student aid package
    • Your school’s refund policy
    • What portion of the financial aid you received must be repaid, and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time you have to repay the loan, and when repayment is to begin
    • How your school determines if you are making satisfactory progress, and what happens if you are not.
    • How your school determines return of funds to Title IV programs if you withdraw from the university

    Student Responsibilities

    In accepting your responsibilities, you must…

    • Complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time to the proper place
    • Provide correct information. In most instances, misreporting information on financial aid application forms is a violation of law and may be considered a criminal offense that could result in indictment under the US Criminal Code
    • Return all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Services or the agency to which you submitted your application
    • Be responsible for reading and understanding all forms that you are asked to sign, and for keeping copies of them
    • Live up to all agreements that you sign
    • Perform the work agreed on in accepting a work-study award
    • Be aware of and comply with deadlines for application or reapplication for aid
    • Be aware of your school’s refund procedures
    • Report changes in name, address, telephone number, and enrollment status to Financial Aid and Scholarship Services