financial assistance at Montana State University–Northern is available in the
form of loans, scholarships, fee waivers, grants and work opportunities. A
typical Financial Aid package is a combination of several of these sources.
Financial assistance is based on financial need and academic ability,
although some scholarships are given on the basis of academic achievement only.
All forms required to apply for Financial Aid may be obtained through the
Financial Aid Office.
To apply for aid, students must complete a Financial Aid Application.
This form can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office and is used in
determining the total amount of aid, which a student may be eligible to receive.
Aid eligibility is determined through an analysis of the student’s family
three components used to determine your eligibility for financial aid are:
1) Cost of Education or allowable expenses
2) Expected Family Contribution, and
3) Other Financial Resources available to you.
COST OF EDUCATION:
is the estimated average amount for expenses at Northern according to your
residency classification, hours enrolled, and program of study. This budget uses
average costs and includes everything from tuition and fees to miscellaneous
expenses. Expense budgets may also include adjustments for childcare, and costs
related to a disability or other non-discretionary expenses.
expense budgets reflect average costs, you may spend more or less than the
amounts allowed. For example, you
may only spend $500 on books and supplies even though the amount budgeted is
$800. However, you may pay more for
your personal expenses than the amount budgeted. The amount you spend, except for tuition and fees, is up to
you and depends on your own individual lifestyle, priorities, and obligations.
The estimated expense budget for the 2001-2002 (nine months for students
not living with parent) academic year includes the following (fees will vary for
*All amounts subject to change without notice.
Tuition and Fees: Average charges for basic instructional costs and
mandatory fees. Actual fees paid
may vary based on the number of credits carried each semester.
Room and Board: An average amount for housing and food charges for
students living on or off campus.
Books and Supplies: A standard allowance for required books and supplies.
Transportation: A modest allowance for non-local transportation, such as
a trip from campus to home.
Personal Expenses: Entertainment, medical, laundry, toiletries, clothing,
If attendance is less than or greater than nine months, or if enrollment
is less than 12 credit hours per semester, budget components will be prorated
accordingly. Please remember,
financial aid often cannot meet all of your costs while attending MSU-Northern,
so it is very important for you to manage your financial resources wisely.
EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION:
financial aid is designed to assist with your educational expenses, Expected
Family Contribution is the amount that you and your parents (if applicable) are
expected to contribute
your costs. This amount is
determined from information provided on your Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA) according to a formula established by Congress.
OTHER FINANCIAL RESOURCES:
component represents other known and expected financial resources you will have
available to assist you with your educational costs, such as scholarships,
Veterans Education Benefits, etc.
Your eligibility (financial
need) is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution and Other
Financial Resources from your allowable Costs of Education.
AID IS AWARDED
award package is based on a combination of funds available and your eligibility.
Your award package may not include funds from all aid programs.
Some funds carry restrictions, and some are limited as to amounts that
can be awarded. Financial aid
packages are based on the level of eligibility from highest to lowest and files
are worked generally in the order received by the Financial Aid office.
The Federal Pell Grant is the first program awarded, if you are eligible.
The next programs awarded are grants (federal, state, institutional) and
scholarships. Some awards stipulate
further restrictions such as residency. MSU-Northern
funds are limited and awarded until funds are committed.
Work-study funds are awarded after grants.
Stafford loans are awarded after Nursing Student Loans and Perkins Loans
have been awarded. PLUS Loans are
the last category of aid to be awarded. PLUS
(Parent) loans are awarded only when requested by the student or parent after
the student applicant receives his/her award letter.
financial aid award package is designed to meet as much of your financial
eligibility as possible. All awards
are contingent on the following:
Availability of funds from federal, state, and institutional sources.
Accuracy of information provided on your application by you and/or your
parents or spouse.
Adjustments to your award when our office receives information that
affects your eligibility. Any aid you receive, in addition to that listed on
your award offer, which exceeds your unmet eligibility will result in an
adjustment in your award(s) from MSU-Northern.
Satisfactory academic progress toward your degree.
Compliance with our requests to send additional documentation to support
Eligibility to receive funds. i.e., you are a U.S. citizen or eligible
non-citizen, you have signed all required documentation, and you are enrolled in
a degree-seeking program of study for the appropriate number of credit hours
based on your funding status.
OR DECLINING YOUR AWARD
otherwise indicated, the awards listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter
represent an offer based on your enrollment funding level.
You must accept or decline each part of your aid package.
It is important that you make your decision, sign the award offer, and
return the document by the deadline date. If
you want to accept a lesser amount than the amount awarded, cross out the amount
offered and write in the amount you wish to accept.
This is very important, particularly on the loan amounts. Think about the amount and type of loan being accepted.
If you have more than one type of loan, you will likely be required to
repay those loans simultaneously. Do
not borrow more than you absolutely need.
If you have unique circumstances which may affect your costs of attending
MSU-Northern, please contact the Financial Aid Office. We may be able to
reevaluate your eligibility based on special conditions.
You may indicate your acceptance or rejection of the aid offered by
returning one copy of your Financial Aid Award Letter to:
Montana State University-Northern
Financial Aid Office
P.O. Box 7751
Havre, MT 59501
Awards will be canceled if no response is received by the reply date
indicated on your letter.
aid is money in the form of loans, grants and employment available to students
to help pay the cost of attending the institution of their choice.
Financial aid comes from the Federal Government, which is the largest
provider of aid, as well as state governments, the schools themselves, and a
large variety of other public and private sources.
The following is a source of information concerning Federal financial aid
for which you may be eligible. Please
refer to the current edition of "THE STUDENT GUIDE" published
by the U.S. Department of Education. The
booklet is available from in the Financial Aid Office in Cowan Hall 216 or on
the web at: http://www.ed.gov/gov_info/SFA/StudentGuide/
ACCE$$ Grant was established by the Student Assistance Foundation of Montana for
Montana undergraduate students who do not meet the Federal definition of
“need”. Currently, these funds
are awarded initially to 1st year students who are not eligible for
other grants and whose estimated family contribution is greater than $9000.
These funds will be credited to your student account.
Baker Grant was established to help working Montana undergraduate students
achieve their educational goals. Eligible
students must meet established minimum income earned from work criteria, be
enrolled full-time and making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the
institution. Other awards will also
be taken into account in determining eligibility.
Funds will be credited to your student account.
Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid.
Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not
earned a bachelor's or professional degree. The maximum Pell Grant for the
2001-2002-award year is scheduled to be $3750.
You can receive one Pell Grant in an award year.
How much you receive will depend on your cost of attendance, whether you
are a full-time or part-time student, and whether you attend school for a full
academic year or less. You may not
receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.
Pell Grant funds will be credited to your student account in the
registration process in the Business Office.
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduates
with exceptional financial need, with priority being given to students who
receive Federal Pell Grants. A
FSEOG does not have to be paid back. FSEOG funds will be credited to your
expenses in the registration process in the Business Office.
HIGHER EDUCATION GRANT (MTHEG)
Montana Higher Education Grant is for undergraduates based on financial need.
A MTHEG does not have to be paid back and the funds will be credited to
your expenses in the Business Office. Recipients
must be residents of Montana.
EMPLOYMENT & WORK-STUDY
Center located in Donaldson Hall assists students attending MSU-Northern to
locate employment. Both work-study
and other part-time employment are listed with the Career Center.
On and off campus employment opportunity assistance is available.
Referral systems are in place for you to choose jobs that interest you
and assistance is available to help with interviews.
You must receive work-study as part of your financial aid package in
order to apply for a work-study job. It
is not necessary that you accept work-study if you are successful in finding
other part-time employment. If you
accept work-study aid, please contact the Career Center for job fair, hiring
policies and other information you may need to secure employment.
If you did not receive a work-study award as part of your financial aid
package, you may have your name added to the work-study waiting list.
If work-study funds become available, students on the waiting list will
be considered for an award based on their eligibility.
Being placed on the list in no way assures that you will receive a
Work-study awards are not credited to your expenses in the Business
Office. You are paid on scheduled pay days for the actual hours
worked during the preceding month. When you have earned the amount of your
work-study award, your employer may decide to continue your employment as a
regular student employee.
Perkins loan is a low interest (5%) loan for students with exceptional need.
This program is for both graduate and undergraduate students and offers
many principal forgiveness opportunities. There
are no origination or other loan fees assessed.
The grace period before repayment begins is 9 months.
Principal and interest payments begin at that time, and you have 10 years
in which to repay the loan. If you
accept this loan, a promissory note and other loan documents will need to be
completed before the loan can be disbursed.
These funds will then be credited to your student account.
FAMILY EDUCATION LOANS
(Stafford Loans) are either subsidized or unsubsidized. With a subsidized
loan, the Federal Government pays interest on the loan until you begin repayment
and during authorized periods of deferment. If you receive an unsubsidized loan,
you will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is
repaid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be
capitalized (added to the principal which means the loan "grows") and
the amount you repay can become very expensive.
If you choose to pay the interest as it accumulates, you will repay less
over the life of the loan. You can
receive both a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment
The interest rate is variable but will never exceed 8.25%.
You will also pay up to 4% in fees, which are deducted from each
disbursement. These fees are paid
to the lending institution from which you borrowed the funds.
Repayment begins after you graduate, leave school, or drop below
half-time enrollment. You have six
months before payments begin. This
is called a "grace period". Contact
your lender for more information about repayment options.
Stafford Loans will be credited to your expenses in the Business Office.
PLUS LOANS (PARENT LOAN)
PLUS Loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow to pay the
education expenses of their children. To be eligible, the child must be a
dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time.
The yearly borrowing limit on the PLUS loan is equal to your cost of
education minus any other financial aid you receive.
The interest rate is variable, but it will never exceed 9%.
The interest is charged on the loan from the date that the first
disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full.
The borrower must also pay a loan fee of 4% of the amount borrowed, which
is deducted from each disbursement. The
loan fee is paid to the lending institution.
Repayment generally begins within 60 days after the loan disbursement.
There is no grace period. This
means that interest begins to accumulate at the time of the first disbursement
and repayment of both interest and principal begins while the student is in
Contact the Financial Aid Office for information on how to process this
type of loan.
PLUS Loan checks are usually co-payable to the institution and borrower.
After required endorsements have been processed, funds that exceed
expenses are returned to the borrower.
two departments - the Admissions Office and the Financial Aid Office award
scholarships. Committees make
selections and application information is available at each office.
Scholarships are awarded generally in the spring of each year for
disbursement in the following year. These
awards are made on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, or a
combination of the two. Many
scholarships have additional requirements as well.
Institutional scholarships are provided to the institution by donors who
specify the award criteria. The
selection process is managed by committee and awards are disbursed through the
Financial Aid Office. Generally,
the Admissions Office serves in-coming students and the Financial Aid Office
serves continuing and transfer students.
Private scholarships are directly controlled by the donor, not the
institution; the application process, selection criteria, and recipients are
determined by the donor. The donor
notifies you of the award, but usually sends the funds to the school for
SCHOLARSHIPS ARE PAID
scholarships are credited to your expenses each semester. Some may be sent
directly to you, but this is the exception.
Normally, the institution must confirm that you have enrolled before
payment will be made. If your
scholarship arrives after you have paid your bill for the semester, funds will
be delivered to you after you obtain a release card from the Financial Aid
Office. Generally, scholarships of
more than $300 are divided equally between fall and spring semesters.
Scholarships totaling less than $300 will be disbursed in full and
applied to your current enrollment semester.
If your scholarship is not available at the time of payment deadlines,
you must make other arrangements to pay your bill to avoid cancellation of
classes or late charges.
you meet all qualifications to receive financial aid funds, any scholarship,
grant, or loan awarded to you will be automatically credited to your expenses
(tuition, fees, room and board if you live on campus) and any other charges
assessed by the institution. You
may decline this automatic crediting of your charges by writing to the Financial
Aid Office at any time prior to payment being made to you for the applicable
If financial aid credited to your expenses exceeds allowable charges due
for the term, a check will be prepared for the difference and will be available
to be picked up on completion of processing.
The check will usually be available approximately 10 days after the first
day of classes of each term.
Check your fee statement carefully.
Some types of financial aid appear on your fee bill as credits and others
(such as work-study) are paid at other intervals. Compare your receipts, which
show your aid against your award letter to reconcile funds awarded to you.
NOTE: If for any reason you
register for classes late or enroll for insufficient credits, your aid will be
delayed and possibly adjusted. Loan
funds will not be credited to your charges until all required documents have
Other aid, such as BIA grants, some Stafford loans and scholarships
arrive in the form of checks. These
funds will be made available after processing is completed in the Financial Aid
Office and distributed by the Business Office.
Please remember, fees and other charges must be paid when due or a late
fee may be applied and/or your registration may be canceled.
If a check does not arrive in time for you to pay your fees and other
charges, you are responsible for payment of your bill on the due date.
If you have specific questions regarding charges, distribution of change
checks, or release processes, please contact the Business Office at 265-3733.
is a loan which will permit a student, who may be experiencing temporary
difficulties, to borrow small sums of money for a short period of time.
No collateral is required for a short-term loan although the student must
identify a reliable source of repayment and have a satisfactory repayment record
with respect to any previous loan(s) received.
The institution reserves the right to reject or decline any application,
and to determine the amount and date of repayment for any loan approved.
Applications and other information regarding the short-term loan may be
obtained from the Financial Aid Office. Allow
a minimum of (3) three working days to process a short-term loan application,
which may be submitted at any time during the semester.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
You have the right to privacy.
All records and data submitted with your application for financial aid
are treated as confidential information.
You have the right to a complete
explanation of the award process. If
you do not understand your financial aid award, or feel your application has not
been evaluated fairly, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
You have the right to be notified of
cancellation or withdrawal of aid and to be informed of why this action is being
You have the right to appeal.
You may request a review of any decision concerning your financial aid
eligibility. Please contact the
Financial Aid Office and make an appointment.
If necessary you may be directed to submit a written appeal and
You have the responsibility to report
funds or benefits from any source (such as outside scholarships) that you
receive or are promised (before and after you are awarded financial aid).
The Financial Aid Office is required BY
LAW to make adjustments to prevent or correct over awards. We take this responsibility seriously. You will save yourself frustration, inconvenience, and
possible financial penalty by reporting any changes in your financial status
You have the responsibility to report
any change in your student status immediately.
If you move, change your name, drop credits, withdraw from school, or do
anything else that may affect your financial situation, please report that
information to the Financial Aid Office and your student loan lender/servicer.
You have the responsibility to keep
copies of all correspondence regarding your financial aid, whether it is from
the Financial Aid Office, governmental agencies, or outside lenders.
You have the responsibility to use
financial aid funds for educationally related expenses only such as tuition and
fees, books, supplies, and reasonable living costs.
You have the responsibility to repay
loans on time. Acceptance of any loan carries the serious obligation to repay.
Failure to meet this obligation affects the availability of loans to
future students. Before you accept
any loans for financing your education, you should carefully consider the total
amount and repayment requirements for which you will be responsible when you
terminate your educational objectives.
You have the responsibility to
understand how the Financial Aid Office determines if you are making
satisfactory academic progress and what happens if you do not maintain
TO AVOID PROBLEMS
to the institution with some money of your own. Even if your aid is prepared on
time, funds may not be available until classes begin and processing is complete.
You will need money for housing, books, and other immediate expenses.
If you are able to save money during the summer before school starts,
these savings will be useful in meeting your beginning-of-the semester expenses
and protecting you from hardships if your aid is delayed.
for the appropriate number of credits. You
must register for the appropriate number of credits, which correspond to the
funding level indicated on your Financial Aid Award letter.
Be sure to complete a loan/debt management counseling session if you are
a first-time borrower at MSU-Northern. This
may be completed online at www.eduloans.com
or at the Financial Aid Office. Your
funds will be delayed until you complete this requirement.
Pay your own fees and other charges by the due date if your aid is late.
Fees are due at the beginning of each semester.
If not paid when due, you are subject to a late fee and/or cancellation
of registration. The Financial Aid
Office may be able to offer you assistance depending on the nature of the
processing problem but cannot prevent cancellation for non-payment of fees.
If you anticipate problems, see either the Financial Aid Office or the
Business Office for assistance.
If you are not sure how dropping or adding classes will affect your aid
status, do not drop any of your classes or withdraw from MSU-Northern without
checking first with the Financial Aid Office.
If you drop below the required minimum credit load or fail to complete
the appropriate number of credits, your aid may be canceled and repayment of the
aid may be required.
Please notify the Financial Aid Office of any changes in either your
permanent or school address.
OR ADDING CREDITS
an award letter is prepared for you, the Financial Aid Office has reviewed what
you reported on the FAFSA (application) and the Student Data Form and funded you
at the level you indicated. At the
time of disbursement, your credit load and Satisfactory Progress status is
reviewed. Coordination with the
Registrar’s Office, Business Office and Financial Aid Office will dictate
whether or not aid can be released or needs to be adjusted.
Not all award amounts are affected by changes in enrollment.
If your award is affected, you will be notified.
Disbursement of your aid is based upon the number of credits for which
you are enrolled at the time your aid is disbursed. Your award letter will
indicate this information. If you
add credits after your financial aid has been disbursed, you may be entitled to
additional funds. You should check with the Financial Aid Office for a review of
your funding level.
If you drop credits after all your financial aid funds have been
disbursed, including a retroactive drop of credits, you may have received funds
that you were not entitled to receive. You
will receive a bill for any overpayments that may occur.
CREDITS AFTER THE 15TH CLASS DAY
you drop credits after the 15th day of classes, you may not be required to repay
aid funds. You may, however, have
deficient credits at the end of the semester.
Please refer to the following section in this guide on "Satisfactory
remain eligible for financial aid at MSU-Northern, you must make satisfactory
academic progress toward your degree objective. Satisfactory Progress is a condition for continued
eligibility and is measured by the following factors:
Students who receive financial aid
assistance must complete the appropriate number of credit hours based on their
aid funding level (credits funded). Failure
to do so will result in one of two financial aid statuses, CAUTION or
TERMINATION. See the
"Satisfactory Academic Progress" policy enclosed with your award
letter for complete details.
A student's eligibility is terminated
at the point when maximum time frame parameters have been met.
Generally, limitations are: 98
semester credits for an Associate degree, 186 semester credits for a
Bachelor’s degree, or 45 semester credits for an undecided degree seeking
student. Graduate student
eligibility expires at 68 semester credits.
Transfer credit will affect these time frames.
Students must meet a Grade Point
Average (GPA) and a percentage of credits attempted (usually 67%) requirement to
continue their eligibility. Minimum
GPA is 2.00 for undergraduates and 3.00 for graduates.
Satisfactory completion means a student has received a minimum grade of
‘D’ or ‘P’ (pass). Grades
other than A, B, C, D, or Pass do not meet satisfactory academic progress
At the end of the second academic year
(61 semester credits earned) the student must have at least a 2.00 accumulative
grade point average or immediate termination of eligibility will occur, and the
student will no longer be eligible to receive further funding.
Students whose status is
"Termination" will not be considered for aid while in the
"Termination" status. A
student's file will be reviewed and an award letter produced when a student is
This policy is applicable to all
students receiving institutionally administered aid. Any federal, state, and
institutional aid (including scholarships, fee waivers, work-study and loans)
are included in this policy. MSU-N Staff waivers are the only exception.
The eligibility of students may be reviewed at any time during the
Students declared ineligible for
financial aid under this policy will have the opportunity to appeal.
The appeal procedure must be initiated by the student by completing an
appeal form and returning the form with appropriate documentation to the
Financial Aid Office (Cowan Hall, Room 216).
copy of the “Satisfactory Progress” policy is included with your award
letter and will also be enclosed with any ‘Caution’ or ‘Termination’
notice mailed from the Financial Aid Office. You are responsible for knowing and
understanding this policy thoroughly. The
information in this policy provides more detailed instructions on how the
institution monitors progress and on how to exercise the appeal process.
you stop attending classes, you should officially withdraw to prevent assignment
of grades of "F". If you
don’t withdraw, your status will be "TERMINATION", and you will not
be eligible for aid until you reinstate your eligibility. In order to reinstate
your eligibility, you must re-enroll and earn a GPA of 2.00 with no funding
assistance from any funding source included in this policy. You must complete
67% of any credits attempted during your reinstatement period with a minimum GPA
of 2.00 in order to regain eligibility. For more information on withdrawal
procedures, contact the Registrar’s Office or Student Services, both located
in Cowan Hall.
If you withdraw from all courses either officially or unofficially, a
withdrawal calculation will be performed by the Business Office to determine
whether you received funding for which you were not eligible.
A copy of this refund/return of Title IV funds is available in the
Business Office located in Cowan Hall.
If you received funds for which you were not eligible, you will receive a
bill from the institution for repayment of those funds.
If you are eligible for a refund of your registration or housing fees
from MSU-Northern, Federal regulations require that the refund first be applied
to any student loan disbursed to you during the current loan period and then to
repay any other financial aid for which you were billed.
Any remaining amount will be refunded to you.
If you have any student loans, your lender or servicer will be notified
of your enrollment status change and you may enter a "grace period" or
repayment status. In keeping with
the terms of your loans, you are required to inform your lenders of changes in
your enrollment status.
If you plan to return to MSU-Northern and apply for assistance, please
refer to the Satisfactory Progress policy to determine your eligibility status
for future applications for aid.
you or your parent(s) have had a substantial change in family income or assets
due to unemployment, disaster, disability, divorce, or the loss of other
compensation or benefits since applying for financial aid, you and/or your
parent(s) may be eligible for special consideration. In addition, if you have non-discretionary expenses, which
may affect your ability to meet educational expenses, you may ask for
reconsideration to increase your eligibility.
As in any special consideration, all requests must follow the
"Appeals" process outlined in the Satisfactory Progress policy.
All requests must be documented and reasons for the exception must be
If you or your parent(s) have special circumstances, please contact the
Financial Aid Office for assistance with the "Appeal" process.
CHANGES IN CIRCUMSTANCES
your residency or student classification status changes, your aid eligibility
may be affected. If you receive any
new or additional aid from any source, your eligibility may be affected.
Report these changes in writing to the Financial Aid Office as soon as
you know of them. If these changes do not appear on your Award Letter, it is
your responsibility to report them when you sign and return the office copy of
the Award Letter.
The office will follow up on changes made and, if necessary, recalculate
your eligibility. If you are no
longer eligible for any part of the aid you have been offered, the Office will
work with you to resolve the over award. If,
however, it is necessary that you repay a portion of your financial aid, you
must repay it before you are eligible to receive further aid.
applicants are selected at the federal level for verification of information
contained on their application (FAFSA). This
means that the Financial Aid Office needs additional information from you in
order to determine your eligibility. You will be asked to supply a signed copy of the current
year’s tax return(s) of the student (and parent or spouse) when applicable.
Failure to provide this requested documentation would stop further
goal is to provide information for you the student, to enable you to meet your
educational objectives and longer term goals.
We have a qualified staff of professionals to further assist you with
questions beyond what is provided in this guide.
If you have questions, please call us at 406-265-3787 or come in to the
office located at Cowan Hall, room 216 in Havre.
Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.
Although personnel usually are available on a walk-in basis, appointments
Policies and procedures governing financial aid programs are subject to
change at any time without prior notice or publication due to changes of policy
by federal and state governments. MSU-Northern
is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution that does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual
orientation or preference, marital status, age, physical or mental disability,
creed or political belief, religion, or veteran status.