Financial planning FAQ

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When do I need to turn in my financial aid paperwork?

The FAFSA application is available to file online at anytime after October 1.  It is important to use the most accurate tax information possible. If you file using estimated information, your initial financial aid package is subject to change. Our priority deadline to file the FAFSA is February 1. We recommend completing the financial aid paperwork as soon as possible.

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When do financial aid funds disburse onto the student’s account?

Financial aid funds, including scholarships, grants, and loans will disburse at the beginning of each semester. Funds will only be disbursed once a student has been verified as enrolled and has completed all the necessary financial aid paperwork. Failure to promptly submit paperwork will delay financial aid funds to be disbursed on the student’s account.

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What do I do if my family circumstances have changed since I filed the FAFSA?

Our office requires you to complete a Loss of Income/Change in Family Circumstance form.Please contact our office to request a form.

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What is the Federal PLUS Loan?

Parents of dependent students may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan to help cover their child’s educational expenses. Graduate students may also apply for a PLUS Loan for their own expenses. A Federal Direct PLUS loan applicant must meet certain criteria in order to qualify. Additional information can be found online at

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How much does a PLUS loan allow parents to borrow?

Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives. On the financial aid award letter the amount of the PLUS Loan is estimated to cover the remaining balance needed to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If your financial aid package includes Federal Work Study funds, keep in mind that those funds are not automatically subtracted from the student bill. The PLUS Loan amount can be increased to cover the amount of the Work Study funds awarded.

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What is federal Work Study?

Federal Work Study (FWS) allows students to work part time on campus to earn money to pay for educational expenses. You must qualify for the FWS program by completing the FAFSA form every year. FWS funds are not automatically subtracted from the student bill. The student must earn the funds to receive them.

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Am I eligible for Work Study?

You may be eligible for work study if you:

  • Submitted your FAFSA before February 1.
  • Requested Work Study on the FAFSA.
  • Are eligible for need-based financial aid.

A student’s actual award will depend on the availability of Work Study money. Funds are limited, so we encourage students to file the FAFSA by the priority filing date and to submit all required paperwork as early as possible.

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What’s the difference between a subsidized student loan and an unsubsidized student loan?


A need-based federal student loan that does not accrue interest while the student is attending school or during a six-month grace period.


Interest does accrue on an unsubsidized loan as soon as it is disbursed. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, it will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal.

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How do I complete the Master Promissory Note for my direct subsidized/unsubsidized and/or PLUS loan?

To take out a direct loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is completed online at You will need your FAFSA pin number to sign in.

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When do I start repaying my loans?

Direct Student Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Once you are no longer enrolled at least half time, you will begin a six-month grace period when you are not required to make loan payments. You must begin repayment at the end of the grace period.

Perkins Loan

You have nine months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status before you must begin repayment.


The repayment period for a Direct PLUS loan begins when the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due 60 days after the final disbursement. However, for PLUS loans with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2008, the parent may defer repayment:

  • while the student on whose behalf the parent borrowed the loan is enrolled on at least a half-time basis, and
  • for an additional six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

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My parents have questions about my financial aid package. Can you help them by phone?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student records by requiring written consent before disclosing personally identifiable information to a third party. If you have not yet completed a Consent to Release information form, you should submit one to the Office of Student Financial planning so that we can discuss your financial aid package with those who you have given us permission to speak with.

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How does an ROTC Scholarship affect my financial aid package?

Students who become eligible for ROTC funding do not retain their basic merit awards on top of the ROTC funding levels.In addition to the tuition support provided by their ROTC service branch, the Norwich ROTC program includes funding of room and board charges through our ID White Scholarship.Students who do not receive full tuition coverage through ROTC are considered for additional funding.Eligibility for additional fundingis determined on an individual basis and is based on remaining need after ROTC funds and annual FAFSA filing outcomes are considered.All ROTC students are able to retain their Federal Pell Grant eligibility in addition to their ROTC award program funding.

I have a merit-based scholarship that requires maintaining a certain GPA. When does Student Financial Planning review my GPA to determine eligibility?

Eligibility for the merit-based scholarships is based on your cumulative GPA and is reviewed annually. However, if your GPA is below the requirement at the time that you are awarded your financial aid package, you may be considered ineligible for your scholarship for the next academic year. If you achieve the required cumulative GPA at the end of the semester, you should notify the Office of Student Financial Planning.

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How are NU merit-based scholarships applied toward my charges?

NU Merit scholarship funds may be applied against a student’s tuition, fees or room and board charges for the award year. The total of NU Merit scholarships plus funding through outside resources may not exceed the total of tuition and fee charges for each award year of enrollment.

Students eligible for need-based grants or Federal Pell Grants may receive these awards above the total of tuition and fees that may be fully paid through NU Merit scholarships plus outside resources. This does not occur in every individual awarding situation.

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How do veteran’s benefits affect financial aid?

If you are eligible for veteran’s benefits you should supply the Office of Student Financial Planning and the veteran certifying official with a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility. You must apply to the VA to get a Certificate of Eligibility.

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Are my scholarships taxable?

Scholarships or grants used to pay for qualified tuition and course-related expenses are not taxable.

However, if any portion of your grants or scholarships are used to pay for non-qualified expenses, such as travel or room and board, and if you are required to file a tax return, then you are responsible for reporting this portion as taxable income. For further guidance and a description of qualified and non-qualified expenses, please review IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, Chapter 1.

To determine the taxable amount, refer to the worksheet located on page 6 of the IRS Publication. If you determine that you have a taxable amount, you must report it as income, even if you do not receive a W-2 form. The taxable portion is included in the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on your tax return.On the FAFSA, you will report the taxable amount so that it will be deducted from your AGI, so as not to adversely affect your eligibility for federal student aid for the next school year.
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What is the difference between Student Financial Planning and the Bursar’s Office?

These are two separate offices. You should contact the Office of Student Financial Planning for any questions regarding your financial aid package, filing the FAFSA and questions related to loans, grants and scholarships. You should contact the Bursar’s office regarding any billing-related questions.

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What is the cash management statement on the Award Acceptance and Certifications form?

The cash management statement releases permission for the Bursar’s Office to use financial aid funds to pay non-tuition costs such as parking fees or library fees. Signing this is optional.

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My son/daughter already has medical insurance. Do they have to take the medical insurance at Norwich?

Medical insurance can be waived online at Gallagher Koster’s website. Check with the Bursar’s Office in regards to submitting this waiver.

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Am I eligible to receive my Norwich scholarships and grants if I study abroad?

If study abroad is required for graduation from your academic program, you will be eligible to receive a portion of your scholarships and grants. Your aid will be adjusted according to the cost of the program you select. You will not receive aid in excess of the direct bill cost of tuition and fees.  Students are eligible to retain their federal Pell Grant and student loan eligibility to help with additional costs.

If you are required to study abroad for one semester to meet graduation requirements, you will only be eligible to receive your full NU scholarships and grants for one semester.

As of June 2013, the majors with a study abroad requirement are International Studies and Chinese.

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