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 NMSU students.
Students applying for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must submit the FAFSA every year. The information reported on the FAFSA calculates a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is an index number used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid. The formula that establishes the EFC is instituted by law and considers your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as, unemployment or Social Security).
NMSU uses the EFC to determine your financial aid award. Some college scholarships also require an EFC. All information provided to the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services is confidential.
Students can begin applying for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA through studentaid.gov. Please refer to the NMSU-Las Cruces, Financial Aid and Scholarship Services web site for more information on awards 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
- Achieving a passing score on an independently administered ATB test approved by the Education Department as a student who first enrolled in an eligible program of study prior to July 1, 2012 without a high school diploma, recognized equivalent, or did not complete home schooling, and could continue to qualify based on completing 6 credit hours from that eligible program.
- Being a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (state funded scholarships are available to undocumented students).
- Having a valid Social Security number. If you do not have a Social Security number, you can find out more about applying for one at ssa.gov.
- Meeting satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
- Signing a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you will use Federal student aid only for educational purposes.
- Certifying that you are not in default on a loan under any title IV or HEA loan program, and have not exceeded annual or aggregate loan limits, and you are not liable for grant overpayment.
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 offered 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.
Work-study is a federal or state-funded financial aid program that provides funds for part-time employment to students. Students earn their semester work-study award through hourly pay within on-campus or academic-related jobs. These awards are based on early FAFSA submission, financial need as determined by FAFSA, and funding availability, so students are encouraged to apply before the March 1st priority deadline. Work-study jobs are a great opportunity for students to earn income and work within a professional career-oriented position. Students can apply for work-study positions using the NMSU Handshake application at nmsu.joinhandshake.com/. For more information on the U.S. Department of Education student aid programs, go to studentaid.gov or visit the NMSU Financial Aid web site at fa.nmsu.edu.
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 applicant's 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 (six-credit hours).
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 six 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.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients meet certain academic standards to be eligible for federal aid. The NMSU Office of Financial Aid will review the Satisfactory Academic Progress of financial aid recipients at the end of each payment term/semester to ensure continued eligibility. When evaluating SAP, all enrollment periods are considered regardless of whether the student received financial aid during those terms. For transfer students, credits accepted for their NMSU-degree program are counted toward Maximum Timeframe, but the transfer GPA is not calculated in the cumulative GPA for the Completion Rate. 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 fa.nmsu.edu/sap.
Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require all students receiving financial aid to meet minimum qualitative and quantitative standards in order to maintain their eligibility for aid. Below are the minimum standards for SAP. The qualitative component of SAP measures a student’s academic achievement by their cumulative GPA. The quantitative component is comprised of two parts: Completion Rate and Maximum Timeframe. Below are the descriptions of each SAP standard:
Grade Point Average (GPA)
- Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or greater on all hours attempted at NMSU. This is equivalent to an average letter grade of “C” or better.
- Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA or greater. This is equivalent to an average letter grade of “B” or better.
Completion Rate: Pace of Progression
- All students, both undergraduate and graduate are required to pass and complete 70% of all classes attempted.
- Grades of F, W, U, I or RR will be considered hours attempted but not completed.
Maximum Time Frame: Pace of Progression
- Students must attain their degree within 150% of the published credits required for a degree program.
- Transfer-credit hours counted towards the student’s degree program will be included in the maximum timeframe.
- Limited developmental coursework will not count in the maximum timeframe.
Financial Aid Warning
"Warning" is a status assigned to a student who fails to meet satisfactory academic progress at the end of the payment term/semester. A student on Financial Aid warning may continue to receive financial aid for one payment term while in this status. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, they will be suspended from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who do not meet the SAP standards will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students who have their financial aid revoked due to the failure to meet the SAP standards are ineligible to receive financial aid and are responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees. Students will remain on financial aid suspension until they are able to meet both the quantitative and qualitative SAP standards, or have an appeal approved by the campus’ Financial Aid Office.
The Appeal 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, available at: fa.nmsu.edu. They must also submit all supporting documentation to University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services.
A committee will review the appeal and may grant reinstatement of financial aid based on the extenuating circumstances that directly contributed to the deficient academic performance. To receive timely decisions from the committee, students are encouraged to submit appeals and supporting documentation by the priority date found at fa.nmsu.edu/sap.
For more information, contact:
Las Cruces Campus Financial Aid Office
PO Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
Phone: (575) 646-4105