Financial Aid & Scholarship Services
University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services administers a broad spectrum of grants, scholarships, work-study funds, and loans in an attempt to meet the financial need of the university’s students.
University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services awards financial aid to students according to their individual calculated need. Student need can be determined by expected family contribution and college costs. All information provided to the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services is regarded as confidential.
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 any campus within the NMSU System. Among the factors that determine the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) are:
- Annual-adjusted gross income based on your/your parents tax return as reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS);
- Savings, stocks, and/or bonds;
- Other assets in the form of a business, farm or real estate;
- Nontaxable income and benefits; and
- Income and assets.
Students applying for financial aid should complete a FAFSA by visiting http://www.studentaid.gov/fafsa
Please refer to the NMSU-Las Cruces, Financial Aid and Scholarship Services web site for more information on aid and policies at fa.nmsu.edu.
General Eligibility Requirements
To receive financial aid you must be admitted to NMSU as a degree seeking student in an eligible degree or certificate program and demonstrate that you are qualified to obtain an education by:
- Having a high school diploma or recognized equivalent such as a General Education Development (GED) certificate or
- Completing a high school education in a home-school setting approved under state law or
- If you were enrolled in an eligible program at a college or career school prior to July 1, 2012, you may show you are qualified to obtain a financial aid by either:
- Having passed 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); or
- 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 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 for graduation, family contribution or 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.
The Federal Pell Grant is a federal grant available to undergraduate students with documented financial need. If the 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 demonstrate exceptional financial need. Funds are limited and are awarded based on need and the priority date. For more information, contact University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services or visit the university’s financial aid website at: fa.nmsu.edu/. Generally, grants do not have to be repaid.
The Federal and New Mexico State Work-Study Programs provide employment awards for eligible students. Funds are limited and are awarded based on need and the priority date. A work-study award does not guarantee employment. Students are responsible for applying for available positions using the NMSU Handshake application at nmsu.joinhandshake.com/.
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 calculated financial need.
The NMSU System offers a variety of scholarships to incoming freshman, transfer, continuing and graduate students. State, institutional and private scholarships may also be available but amounts, deadlines and eligibility requirements vary. For more information, contact University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services or visit the university’s scholarship web site at fa.nmsu.edu/scholarships
To be considered for most scholarships through the NMSU System you are required to apply online through Scholar Dollar$, at scholarships.nmsu.edu each academic year. One scholarship application serves all students in the NMSU system, regardless of campus.
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.
All undergraduate students who borrow for the first time after July 1, 2013 are subject to a maximum time period to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. Students may not receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of their academic program (measured in academic years). A complete explanation of Subsidized Loan usage limits is available at: fa.nmsu.edu/loans/federal-direct-loans.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Loans that are not need-based and offered to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Unlike other federal loans, interest accrues while the student is attending school.
Federal Direct Loan Requirements
Students receiving a subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, must complete an online Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before NMSU will issue the funds. In addition, students are required to complete 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 studentaid.gov.
Repayment of a Federal Direct loan begins six months after graduation or six months after enrollment drops below half-time (less than 6 credits for undergraduate students and less than 5 credits for graduate students).
Recipients of financial aid grants and loans who stop attending class, drop credit-hours, 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-Las Cruces web site at fa.nmsu.edu/return-of-title-iv-funds.
Major Scholarships for Entering Freshmen
For consideration, students must be admitted (tentative or final) to NMSU by March 1, and meet eligibility criteria at that time. Students must be NM residents and graduate from a New Mexico High School and attend at least one year at a New Mexico High School or be a New Mexico GED recipient Students must enroll in the first regular semester directly following high school graduation. Recipients must be enrolled in degree-seeking courses at NMSU Grants. Some scholarships may be funded in part by the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship beginning the second semester. A FAFSA application is or may be required for most scholarships. Scholarships are competitive and number of awards granted is limited. Entering freshman students must accept scholarships offered by July 1st (at NMSU Grants).
NMSU Grants Tuition Scholarship: High School Requirements: minimum 2.5 GPA. Renewable: 2.5 cumulative GPA and 12 graded credits each semester. High School Seniors and current students are advised to apply early. March 1 for Fall semester/December 1 for Spring semester.
New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship: Awarded in the second semester of the freshman year for qualified students completing 12 credits with a semester GPA of 2.5. Student must be classified as degree seeking; not Certificate seeking. Renewable: 2.5 cumulative GPA and 12 new graded credits each semester at a community college.
Students at a community college must be classified as Bachelor’s seeking by their 4th semester on Lottery. Renewable for 7 total semesters at a four year college; 2.75 GPA at a four year college and completion of 15 credits per semester.
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 (SAP), 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 the NMSU System’s Academic Standards of Progress criteria. Students may learn more by visiting http://fa.nmsu.edu/sap
Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Qualitative Progress: Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (a C- average). Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (a B 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) are considered as attempted but not considered completed coursework. Repeated courses are included in the calculation.
- Maximum Time Frame: 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.
Financial Aid Warning
"Warning" is a status assigned to a student the first semester they fail to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) measured as Qualitative Progress and Completion Rate. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this warning semester, they 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 for financial aid purposes. 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.