2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

We consider financial aid an investment in the future of our students. Our primary goal is to provide assistance to those who might not otherwise be able to earn a degree. However, please be aware that we assume students and their families will contribute to the cost of education according to their means. Financial assistance is offered only after it has been determined that family resources are not adequate to meet college expenses. Whenever possible, students will be expected to work or borrow to meet these expenses.

Three types of financial aid are available.

  • Grants and scholarships, which are classified as gifts and need not be repaid
  • Low-interest loans, which are repaid in installments after leaving college
  • Various campus employment opportunities.

Depending upon financial need, a student may be eligible to receive one or a combination of these types of aid. Since resources are limited, students should apply for federal, state, and institutional aid early. All financial aid awards are dependent upon availability of funds and demonstration of financial need. All aid programs are subject to change due to changes in state or federal legislation.


To be eligible to receive financial aid based on “financial need”, a student must:

  • be enrolled in a degree program and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with an I-151 or I-551, or I-551C; or have a Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (showing certain designations), contact Financial Aid Office for more information)
  • not be in default on a federal loan and not owe a refund on a federal grant.

“Financial need” is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance and what the family is expected to contribute. Need is determined on the basis of information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal FAFSA. Continued eligibility, once students are in attendance, depends upon students meeting the general criteria listed above, documenting need for each academic year and remaining in good academic standing.

Financial aid awards may be adjusted upon receipt of such items as changes in family contribution, grants, outside scholarships, and loans. In order to be eligible for financial aid, such resources may not exceed the total cost of attending Northern Vermont University.

Application Process and Deadlines

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between October 1 and March 15 to be considered for all types of aid. A Renewal FAFSA must be submitted each year for continued consideration for assistance. In addition to the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, students should also complete state grant applications. Vermont residents can apply for a Vermont State Grant by completing the VSAC Grant Application. Residents of other states should contact their higher education agency to inquire about state grant application procedures and deadlines.

You must add the Northern Vermont University school code 003688 to ensure that your FAFSA application is received. Every FAFSA received later than March 15 will be reviewed in order of the date received. Aid is awarded subject to the availability of funds. Promptly answer or act on requests for additional forms or information, such as Official IRS Tax Information via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA, obtaining a free Tax Return Transcript, or obtaining an IRS Verification of Non-Filing via IRS Form 4506-T.

All admissions candidates, including transfer students, must be accepted for admission before any action will be taken on their financial aid application. However, students should not wait until they have applied for admission or have been admitted to apply for financial aid.  Award notifications are sent to new students at the email address listed on their admission application. Award notifications are sent to returning students’ college email accounts usually beginning in late-April.

Summer Financial Aid

Federal Direct Loans and Pell Grants are awarded to eligible students who have completed their FAFSA. Summer students must plan to be enrolled at least half-time in order to be considered for Direct Loans. The FAFSA must generally be received by the federal processor by April 1 for consideration of summer aid. In addition, students must also complete a Summer Financial Aid and Payment Form found in the summer course bulletin or on the NVU website.

Grants and Scholarships

A variety of scholarships are available to both new and returning students. Awards are based on academic and personal achievement and are need-based or non need-based. To be considered for both need-based and non need-based scholarships, a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required.

Scholarship Application deadlines are specific to your campus and will be announced in the VSCS Portal. Applications will be available on our website at NorthernVermont.edu

Types of Financial Aid for Undergraduate Students

Students must complete the FAFSA to be considered for any type of federal aid.

Programs Eligibility Award Amounts
Federal PELL Grant

Awarded to eligible undergraduates (determined by the federal government based on expected family contribution).

Full-time awards range from a maximum of $6345 to $639 for the 2020-2021 academic year. Amounts are determined on a yearly basis.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Awarded to assist undergraduates with exceptionally high financial need. Priority is given to PELL-eligible students. Awards range from $700-$2,000 and are based on the availability of funds.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Long term, low interest loan. No interest accrues while the student is enrolled at least half-time. See the Direct Loan Chart for eligibility.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Borrower is responsible for interest during life of the loan. Student must be enrolled at least half-time to borrow. See the Direct Loan Chart for eligibility.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Long-term loan, interest rate determined July 1 of each year. Enables credit-worthy parents to borrow for educational expenses for their dependent student. Parents can borrow the difference between cost  of attendance and aid awarded.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) Provides on-campus employment for students to earn money to pay for educational expenses. Award is generally $2,000 (Student is allotted $1,000 per semester.)
Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) and State Incentive Grant Programs
  • FAFSA required
  • VSAC Grants are restricted to undergraduates who are permanent residents of Vermont. Complete the VSAC Grant Application.
  • Non-residents are encouraged to contact their State Higher Education Agency for information on application procedures and deadlines for possible state funding.
Grant amounts are determined by the individual state agencies that offer state grants.
Non-Institutional/Outside Scholarships Check with high school guidance offices, student/parent employers, churches, groups or community organizations. Scholarship eligibility and amounts are determined by the individual donors or agencies.

Note: Students in Master’s degree programs are eligible only for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

*The following certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid:

  • Certificate in Nonprofit Management
  • Certificate in Small Business Management

The following Direct Loan Chart provides maximum annual and aggregate (total) loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans.

Year Dependent Undergraduate Student (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans) Independent Undergraduate Student (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans) Graduate and Professional Degree Student
First Year $5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $20,500
Second Year $6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Third Year and Beyond (each year) $7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Maximum Total Debt from Direct Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits) $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $138,500 - The graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

Veterans’ Benefits

Veterans’ Administration Educational Benefits may be available to students who fit one of the following categories:

  1. Children, spouses, widows, or widowers of veterans who died or were permanently and totally disabled as the result of service in the armed forces of the U.S.
  2. Children of servicewomen/men missing in action or prisoners of war for more than 90 days.
  3. Qualified servicewomen/men in civilian life, or on active duty in the armed forces who qualify. Application should be made to the Veterans’ Administration.

Students eligible to receive veterans’ education benefits must contact the Registrar’s Office and arrange to have their enrollment certified with the Veterans Administration. The amount of monthly benefits is determined by full- or part-time enrollment status. In order to receive maximum benefits, students must be enrolled full-time (12 credits or more) during a regular semester. Those enrolled in fewer than 12 credits receive proportionately smaller benefits.

Enrolling in an independent study (research, field work, internship), or in music or health and physical education courses, may affect the amount of monthly benefits. Students contemplating enrolling in these courses should call the V.A. to determine exactly how benefits will be affected. V.A. regulations exempt some internship experiences from reduction in benefits. The School Certifying Officials on each campus can provide information and assistance for those seeking education benefits.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility

Students receiving Federal Student Aid must maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP) at Northern Vermont University in order to remain eligible for federal aid consideration. The Financial Aid Office evaluates SAP once a year after the completion of the spring term for all students receiving financial aid. All semesters of enrollment, including summer, must be considered in the determination of SAP (even periods in which federal aid funds were not received).

Satisfactory Academic Progress tests three standards:

  1. GPA (Qualitative) Standard
    Students academically dismissed from their academic program are automatically recognized as failing to meet Northern Vermont University’s SAP standards. Otherwise, as a student progresses through their academic program, their cumulative GPA must meet the following standards as recorded and documented by the Registrar’s Office.

    • Students with fewer than 30 earned credits must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.75
    • Students with 30 earned credits or greater must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0
    • Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  2. Pace (Quantitative) Standard
    Students must successfully complete 67% of their attempted courses as recorded and documented by the Registrar’s Office. Dropped courses will not be included. Courses withdrawn from after the end of the add/drop period will be counted as attempted credits.
  3. Maximum Time Frame Standard
    A student’s maximum time frame for completion of their academic program must not exceed 150% of the published program length, measured in credit hours. For example: AA or AS degrees require 60 credits, therefore the maximum time frame allowed is 90 credit hours. BA or BS degrees require 120 credits, therefore the maximum time frame allowed is 180 credits hours. Graduate degree time frames are determined by program.

Grades and Credits

Courses with grades of “W” (withdrawn), “NP” (not passed), “I” (Incomplete), and/or “F” (failed) are counted as courses attempted but not earned AND count toward the Maximum Time Frame Standard and the Pace Standard. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will include repeated and remedial coursework unless determined otherwise by the Financial Aid Office during review of a SAP Appeal. Please note that transfer credits do count in determining the GPA (Qualitative) Standard, Pace (Quantitative) Standard, and Maximum Time Frame Standard for SAP. The Financial Aid Office will NOT automatically adjust a student’s SAP status when grades are changed or finally reported. For any grade change (especially regarding a prior grade of “I” [Incomplete] that has now been assigned a traditional letter grade), a student is responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office of such a change and requesting a review of their SAP evaluation.

Monitoring Period and Suspension

Students will have their satisfactory academic progress evaluated once a year at the end of the spring semester regardless of whether the student received financial aid. Students not meeting these Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will receive communication via letters sent to the mailing address on record as well as their campus email.

Aid suspended includes all federal aid; Pell Grants, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Work-study, Perkins, Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Student Loans, Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS Loans, as well as State Incentive Grants, Scholarships, and Private Educational Loans. This may also apply to scholarships/loans from an outside resource. Scholarships that have specific requirements in order to maintain eligibility (GPA for example) will not be reinstated even with an appeal approval.

The first time a student falls below the GPA (Qualitative) Standard, and/or the Pace (Quantitative) Standard for Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student’s aid will be suspended for the upcoming semester. The student can immediately appeal for a probationary period.

Appeal for Probationary Period

A student who fails to meet a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standard at the conclusion of the Spring Semester will be placed in a Financial Aid Suspension Status and will lose all financial aid eligibility until the student is in compliance with the SAP standards. A student whose aid eligibility has been suspended may appeal for a Probationary Semester by:

  1. Completing a SAP Appeal form
  2. Writing a letter explaining the specific circumstances attributable to their noncompliance
  3. Meeting with an academic advisor or Financial Aid staff to develop strategies for successfully completing the students’ academic career.

An appeal must be based on significant mitigating circumstances that seriously impacted academic performance. Examples of possible mitigating circumstances are serious illness, severe injury, death of a family member, and other similar situations. Also, the student will need to describe what has changed in their current situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation. The student will be notified of the appeal decision via their email and the decision is final.

If a student’s appeal is approved, they will generally be placed on an “Academic Plan” and the student will be notified via email. The student will be considered for federal aid during a probationary period but only for the semester that is current at the time the appeal is submitted - aid will not be reinstated retroactively. Once the probationary semester has concluded, the student’s progress will be reviewed. Continuation of federal aid eligibility will be based on adherence to the “Academic Plan” and the general requirements of a probationary period, which requires the student to earn all credits attempted (no W’s/Withdrawals or NP/Not Passed) and to also earn a GPA of at least 2.00


Grades and credits excluded from the calculation of a student’s grade point average by amelioration must be included in the evaluation of a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress for both PACE and GPA, per federal regulation.


If you repeat a course, it will be added to your attempted credit hours total. However, only the most recent grade received in the course will be included in the calculation of your cumulative GPA/qualitative measure.

Note: Federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course.

The student’s probationary period ends once they are meeting both components: GPA (Qualitative) Standard, and Pace (Quantitative) Standard, as outlined in the Northern Vermont University Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Special Circumstances

Students with documented disabilities may be allotted additional time for completion of courses.

Adjustments to Financial Aid Awards

Financial aid awards may need to be adjusted if a student exits the college during a semester. Federal regulations govern the return of Title IV funds for students eligible for federal financial aid. The university is guided by those regulations with regard to the return of institutional aid as well. Other aid, such as state grants and outside scholarships, will be returned as specified by the grantor. If a student stops attending all classes and does not complete an Exit Notification and/or Leave of Absence Form at that time, their Title IV funds may be adjusted or canceled, and the student will then be personally responsible for his/her bill. If Title IV money needs to be returned, it will be returned in the following sequence:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG

Employment through the federal work-study program is terminated on the date the student withdraws. Awards from sources other than the university and Title IV funding are adjusted according to the source agency’s own policy.

NVU Online follows the same refund policies as noted above. If an NVU Online student withdraws from a course at another institution, the student will be charged the prorated tuition and fees due to the other institution.