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Financial Aid Policies

Financial Aid

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Financial Aid Policies

Each semester, grants, loans, and scholarships are disbursed to student accounts a week before classes to pay off any University balances. If there are funds remaining, a refund will be issued to the student. Disbursement and refund dates are shown below for standard disbursement, summer disbursement, one semester only loans, and first-time loan borrowers. Dates are subject to change.

Students are encouraged to complete their financial aid files early to ensure timely disbursement. Learn more about disbursement.

Students interested in receiving grants, loans, or work-study employment must meet these eligibility requirements to be considered for federal aid.

Withdrawing or Leaving School Before the End of the Semester

Students who receive financial aid funds at NMSU and subsequently withdraw from that same term (for any reason) should be aware of the repercussions withdrawing will have on their financial aid in the current semester and in future semesters. Financial aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. Learn more about returning Title IV funds.

Federal regulations require all students receiving financial aid to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Services office 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 Timeframe. Transfer credits will not be considered when calculating Completion Rate.

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

Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement (Qualitative)

  • Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or greater on all hours attempted at NMSU.
  • Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA or greater.

Completion Rate Requirement (Quantitative)- Pace of Progression to ensure completion within the maximum time frame

  • Students must complete 70% of all hours attempted.Grades of A’s, B’s, C’s, and D’s will count as passed credits.
  • All students, both undergraduate and graduate 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. Grades of I, RR, F, W, and U will be considered hours attempted but not completed.
  • 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 Arts = 66 hours x 150%= 99 hours (99 hours is the maximum number of hours allowed by financial aid.)

Consequences of Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress

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.

In the following provisions, “warning”, “suspension” or “probation” means financial aid warning, suspension, or probation, not academic warning, suspension, or probation.

  1. Financial Aid Warning – A status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at a school that evaluates academic progress at the end of each payment period and/or term, and chooses to allow students who fail its progress standards to continue to receive aid. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, he or she will be suspended from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met.
  2. 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.
  3. Financial Aid Probation (W-STIPS) – When a student fails to make SAP and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for financial aid reinstated with an academic plan.
  4. 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, they will be placed on Maximum Time Frame Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility. Note: The 150% maximum timeframe also extends to students seeking a second degree. Example: if a student has obtained an associate’s degree within a 66 credit hours attempted and comes back for a second degree, the student will only have 33 credits in eligibility to obtain the second degree.

Completed Degree or Change of Major

Credit hours obtained in a completed degree (i.e. a certificate, associates, bachelors, masters, etc.) will affect a student’s maximum timeframe. Students who change majors will also have the attempted credit hours from the previous major count against the maximum time frame.

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 financial aid SAP standards. Those students will be responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees.

Appeals

Students that fall below the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements have the right to appeal their ineligibility for Federal Financial Aid. All appeals are reviewed for extenuating circumstances by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. View NMSU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for more information on appeals.

Financial Aid Appeal Form Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
All appeals must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the semester’s census date of the student’s enrollment period. Appeals submitted after this deadline will be returned to the student.

Appeals may be submitted by email, fax or taken directly to the Financial Aid Office.

Appeal Deadlines
Is the 3rd Friday of Each Semester

Adjusted Credit Option

Students granted the Adjusted Credit Option (ACO) by NMSU will 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 financial aid 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.

What is Ability-to-Benefit?

Federal Regulations require that students have an ‘Ability-to-Benefit’ from post-secondary education before they can receive Federal Student Aid, which typically refers to earning a high school diploma or equivalent, being enrolled in a degree seeking program, and not concurrently enrolled in elementary or secondary school.

You may not have been required to provide a copy of an official high school transcript or GED certificate for admissions purposes to NMSU, however, if you do not meet one of the other ATB options, you will be required to submit either of these documents to be eligible for Federal Student Aid.

How do students demonstrate Ability-to-Benefit?

  • Have earned a high school diploma. This can be from a foreign school if it is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma.
    • An official High School transcript with a graduation date must be submitted to the NMSU Admissions Office.
    • If a Foreign High School transcript is not available, a copy of the ‘Secondary School Leaving Certificate’ is acceptable and must be submitted to the NMSU Financial Aid Office.
  • Have passed a General Educational Development (GED) exam.
    • An official GED transcript must be submitted to the NMSU Admissions Office.
  • Have passed a State-authorized exam that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma.
    • An official copy of the state certificate or transcript must be submitted to the NMSU Admissions Office.
  • Transfer students – Have an academic transcript showing the student has successfully completed at least a two-year program
    • A minimum of 60 credit transfer hours that have been accepted at NMSU and posted to your student record
  • Homeschool – the student has completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting that is treated as a homeschool or private school under State law
    • If you were homeschooled in a state where the state law requires you to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool, you must provide an official copy of the credential to the NMSU Admissions Office.
    • If you were homeschooled in a state where state law does not require you to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool, a transcript or the equivalent, signed by the parent or guardian, that list the secondary school courses the student completed and includes a statement that the student successfully completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting must be provided to the NMSU Financial Aid Office.
  • If a student was admitted to any Title IV eligible institution prior to July 1, 2012 and either
    • Completed a minimum of 6 credit hours or 225 clock hours that are applicable toward a degree or certificate offered by the postsecondary institution; or
    • Passes an independently administered Department of Education approved ATB test.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances

Students, who have not earned a valid high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, may qualify for Title IV aid under one of the ATB alternatives as long as they meet both of the following criteria:

  • The student must be admitted on or after July 1, 2012; and
  • The student must also be enrolled simultaneously in an eligible Career Pathway Program.

ATB alternatives are:

  • Passes an independently administered Department of Education approved ATB test.
  • Completes at least 6 credit hours or 225 clock hours that are ap¬plicable toward a degree or certificate offered by the postsecondary institution.

Consequences

Students will lose Federal Student Aid eligibility until they can provide documentation to satisfy this eligibility requirement.

Contact

If you have any questions, please Contact the Financial Aid Office.

Verification Policy

New Mexico State University 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. While institutions vary widely by type, and students served, 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. Learn More about NMSU-A’s Verification Policy

MyNMSU Instruction Guide

The MyNMSU instruction Guide will help you with navigating the MyNMSU system for your financial aid needs.

Terms and Conditions

Your federal, state or institutional aid has been awarded or adjusted as indicated on your award summary. You must agree to these Terms and Conditions, including any program-specific conditions linked to your awards. Messages associated with certain programs will be listed on the Terms and Conditions tab under the Financial Aid menu in your MyNMSU account for any awards you have been offered. Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions includes acknowledgment of messages linked to specific programs.