Financial Aid & Scholarship Services
The mission of the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Services is to improve access to higher education by providing comprehensive financial assistance and information to all students and the NMSU-A community. Although primary responsibility for educational costs rests with the student and his/her family, NMSU-A, the federal government, and the state of New Mexico all contribute to assist students pursuing higher education.
The Financial Aid Office administers an extensive program of grants, scholarships, and loans. The awarding of grants and loans is based on need, while the awarding of scholarships is based mainly on academic ability and, in some cases, financial need. Assistance in the form of work is available through the Federal College Work-Study Program and the New Mexico Work-Study Program.
Students applying for financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) designed to determine, in accordance with state and federal guidelines, the difference between what the student and/or family is expected to contribute and the cost of attending NMSU. Among the factors that determine the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) are:
- annual adjusted gross income as reported to the Internal Revenue Service;
- savings, stocks, and/or bonds;
- other assets in the form of a business, farm or real estate;
- nontaxable income and benefits; and
- student’s two year prior income and assets.
Students applying for financial aid should complete a FAFSA by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
Please refer to the NMSU-Alamogordo, Financial Aid and Scholarship Services web site for more information on available financial aid. A complete listing of programs and policies is available at http://nmsua.edu/student-services/financial-aid.
General Eligibility Requirements
To receive financial aid you must demonstrate that you are qualified to obtain education by:
- Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or
- Completing a high school education in a home-school setting approved under state law.
If you were enrolled in college in an eligible program or career school prior to July 2, 2012, you may show you are qualified to obtain a higher education by:
- Passing an approved ability-to-benefit test (if you don’t have a diploma or GED, a college can administer a test to determine whether you can benefit from the education offered at that school);
- Completing six credit hours or equivalent course work toward a degree or certificate (you may not receive aid while earning the six credit hours)
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (state funded scholarships are available to undocumented students).
- Have a valid Social Security number. If you don’t have a Social Security number, you can find out more about applying for one at www.ssa.gov.
- Must be meeting satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
- Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you will use Federal student aid only for educational purposes.
- Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money back on a federal student grant.
- Register with the Selective Service, if required.
Financial Aid Awards
All financial aid awards are based on information provided by the student and/or parents, availability of funds and eligibility requirements. Any award may be revised based on changes in enrollment, cost of attendance, application of graduation, family contribution or failure to meet satisfactory academic progress. Withdrawals or reductions in enrollment may affect an award or any future awards. Financial Aid will not pay for audited courses or some repeats.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans: This is a loan program for eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Loans that are made to eligible undergraduate and graduate students that do not demonstrate financial need. Unlike other federal loans, interest accrues while the student is attending school.
Repayment of a Federal Direct loan begins six months after graduation or six months after enrollment drops below 6 credits or less than half time for undergraduate students.
Students receiving a subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, must complete an online entrance counseling session and a master promissory note before NMSU will issue the funds. In addition, students are required to complete an exit interview upon graduation or withdrawal from the Student Loan Acknowledgment every academic year. Once Federal Loan Borrowers graduate, or withdraw from the institution, they must complete the Exit Counseling to avoid delays in receiving their transcripts or diplomas. Students may complete all these requirements at https://studentaid.gov
Grants: The Federal Pell Grant is a federal grant available to undergraduate students with documented financial need. Pell Grants range from $649 to $6345, though these figures are subject to change each year. If a Pell Grant is insufficient to pay educational expenses, the student may be eligible to receive other types of aid, including a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) or Leveraging Education Assistance Partnership Program Grant (LEAP), and/or other miscellaneous grants. These grants are awarded to undergraduate students who show exceptional financial need. For more information, contact University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services or visit the university’s financial aid website at: http://nmsua.edu/student-services/financial-aid/. Generally, grants do not have to be repaid.
Work-Study Programs: The Federal Work-Study Program provides employment opportunities for selected undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. The New Mexico Work-Study Program also provides employment opportunities for New Mexico resident students. Students are responsible for applying for available positions using the NMSU Handshake application at https://nmsu.joinhandshake.com/login.
For more information on the U.S. Department of Education student aid programs, go to http://studentaid.ed.gov/ or see the NMSU Financial Aid web site at http://nmsua.edu/student-services/financial-aid/.
Scholarships and Other Aid: Many students finance part of their education with scholarships, which may be awarded for academic achievement, special skills, talent and/or based on the applicants financial need.
NMSU-A has a variety of scholarships that are offered to incoming freshman, transfer, and continuing students. State, institutional and private scholarships may also be available but amounts, deadlines and eligibility requirements vary. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office or visit the scholarship web site at http://nmsua.edu/student-services/financial-aid/scholarships/.
To be considered for most scholarships at NMSU you are required to apply online through Scholar Dollar$, at https://scholarships.nmsu.edu/. One scholarship application serves all NMSU students regardless of campus.
Note: Financial Aid will not be paid for any courses added after the census date. Students will be billed for courses they drop or do not attend if a change of enrollment status results.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients meet certain academic standards to be eligible for federal financial aid. To ensure that financial aid recipients are making satisfactory academic progress, academic transcripts are reviewed at the end of each term to determine eligibility for the next term. All terms of attendance are reviewed, including periods in which the student did not receive financial aid. All transfer credit hours are taken into account when satisfactory progress is reviewed. The Financial Aid SAP standards are not the same as NMSU’s Academic Standards of Progress criteria.
Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress:
- Qualitative Progress: Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (a C- average).
- Completion Rate: Students must complete a minimum of 70 percent of all coursework (registered credit hours) attempted within the NMSU system. Any course with a grade of withdraw (W), incomplete (I), repeats (RR), failure (F), audit (AU), or no credit (NC) is not considered completed coursework. Repeated courses are included in the calculation.
- Maximum Time Frame: Undergraduate students must complete their program within 150 percent of the published length required by the program. Students who have reached the maximum allowable time will be suspended from receiving financial aid. Limited developmental/remedial hours are excluded from this calculation. Total attempted hours including repeated courses and transfer coursework are included in the student’s maximum time frame calculation.
- Recipients of financial aid grants and loans who drop credits or withdraw may be required to return all or a portion of awarded Title IV funds. Further information regarding the return of Title IV funds is available on the NMSU web site at http://fa.nmsu.edu/resources/return-of-title-iv-funds/.
Financial Aid Warning: “Warning” is a status assigned to a student the first semester they fail to meet the standard of satisfactory academic progress measured as Qualitative Progress and Completion Rate. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this warning semester, he or she will be suspended from further financial assistance until satisfactory progress standards are met.
Financial Aid Suspension: Students are suspended from receiving financial aid if they do not meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Students on financial aid suspension will not receive any form of federal or state financial aid (grants, loans, work-study). Financial aid eligibility is reinstated when all standards of satisfactory progress are met.
The Appeals Process: Students suspended from financial aid may appeal the suspension if there are extenuating circumstances affecting their progress. Students who would like to appeal the suspension must submit an appeal form which can be obtained at the NMSU-A Financial Aid Office. They must also submit all required documentation to University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. A committee will review the appeal and may grant reinstatement of financial aid based on extenuating circumstances that directly contributed to deficient academic performance. Appeals are evaluated on a term-by-term basis. All appeals, including relevant documentation, must be submitted by the semester deadline based on the current semester of enrollment. A student may appeal the termination of eligibility only twice during his or her career within the New Mexico State University system.