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How to Apply

Applying for Financial Aid is Simple. Just Follow the Steps Below.

How to Apply

  1. Apply for admission and declare a major in an eligible program of study.
    • When applying for admission at www.nvcc.edu, please provide your Social Security number (SSN) on the admission application so that your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be received and linked to your file. If your SSN was not listed on your admission application, please contact Student Services or the 24-Hour Student Support Center to correct your record.
    • Contact a counselor to declare an eligible major if you did not do so when you applied for admission.
    • Most one-and two-year programs at NOVA are eligible.
    • Transfer students should request official transcripts from all schools previously attended and request a transfer credit evaluation by the College Records Office.
  2. Request a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID).
    • Create an account (FSA ID) at https://studentaid.gov.
    • If you are required to provide parental information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), one parent must also request his or her own FSA ID.
  3. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • Complete the FAFSA at https://studentaid.gov. Click: Apply for Aid > Complete the FAFSA form.
    • Submit the 2020-2021 FAFSA for Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021.
    • Submit the 2021-2022 FAFSA for Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022.
    • Enter NOVA's federal school code (003727) on the FAFSA.
    • Be sure that your name on the FAFSA exactly matches the name on your Social Security card.
    • Contact the Financial Aid Office or call the 24-Hour Student Support Center at 855.323.3199 if you need assistance.
    • Remember to submit the FAFSA to reapply for financial aid each academic year.
  4. Verify the information on your Student Aid Report.
    • Within two weeks after you submit the FAFSA, you will receive an email from the U.S. Department of Education with instructions on how to access your Student Aid Report (SAR) online. Carefully review it to ensure it is correct and complete.
    • Read the comments on your SAR and verify that your FAFSA was not rejected. Also make sure that NOVA's school code (003727) was listed.
    • You may correct any mistakes at https://studentaid.gov.
  5. Check the status of your financial aid application on myNOVA.
    • Verify if additional information has been requested by logging into myNOVA and frequently checking your To Do List by clicking: VCCS SIS: Student Information System > Self Service > Student Center. Click on each To Do List item for instructions.
  6. Respond to NOVA’s requests for more information.
    • Approximately one in three students is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education; additional files are selected by NOVA.
    • Verify if additional information has been requested by logging into myNOVA and frequently checking your To Do List.
    • Contact the Financial Aid Office or call the 24-Hour Student Support Center at 855.323.3199 if you need assistance.
  7. Review your financial aid award notification.
    • You will be notified via email and your myNOVA Message Center when you are awarded.
    • You may then review the type(s) and amount(s) of assistance you were offered by logging into myNOVA and going to: Student Center > Financial Aid > View Financial Aid.
    • Accept, decline or reduce student loans and work-study in your myNOVA account.
    • If you decide to borrow a student loan, complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at https://studentaid.gov.
    • Note that aid offered prior to the term census (which is the last day to drop with a tuition refund for the longest session of the fall, spring, or summer term) is based on anticipated full-time enrollment in courses required for your program. If you register for less than 12 eligible credits, your aid may be adjusted after the census.
    • Aid will be adjusted throughout the term if enrollment status and aid eligibility change due to dropped courses or non-attendance as explained on our policies and procedures website.
  8. Enroll in courses.
    • Select and enroll in your courses before the term census date. Pell Grant eligibility is determined by the credits in which you are enrolled and are attending as of that date. Neither Pell Grant nor state aid will increase if you add classes later.
    • Aid can only be offered for courses that are required for your degree or certificate. Review your Advisement Report to ensure your courses are required. You can also view course eligibility by logging into myNOVA and by clicking VCCS SIS: Student Information System > Self Service > Student Center > View Financial Aid > View Course Eligibility.
    • Contact an advisor to discuss your courses if you have any questions.
  9. Buy your books.
    • If you have enough financial aid to pay for tuition, fees and books, your financial aid may be used during a limited time period to buy required textbooks and supplies through the bookstore. This option is available two weeks before the start of the longest session of the term and the second 8-week sessions, and goes through the term census date.
    • Complete the Bookstore Authorization e-Form on your myNOVA To Do List each academic year.
  10. Pay any remaining balance by the payment deadline.
  11. Verify your mailing address.
    • A check may be mailed to your address listed in myNOVA for any credit balance on your account if you do not set up direct deposit as your refund preference.
    • If your address has changed, contact Student Services or update your mailing address on your myNOVA Student Center under Personal Information.
    • Approximately six weeks into the term (if enrollment and attendance have been established at that time), excess financial aid above what you owe the College will be processed for disbursement.
  12. Select your refund preference.
    • NOVA has contracted with NelNet/Tuition Management Services (TMS) to process electronic financial aid disbursements and tuition refunds to students. For more information and to set up your refund preference, go to https://nvcc.afford.com.
    • Note that you might receive multiple refunds due to the timing of aid types disbursing to your account.
    • Once aid is disbursed to your student account, allow 6-8 business days to receive the excess aid via direct deposit or up to 10-14 days to receive a check.

Priority Application Dates

The FAFSA becomes available at https://studentaid.gov/ on October 1 almost a year before the following academic year begins. Please take note of the following important financial aid filing dates and apply early!  Students who submit their FAFSA and any additional requested items by these dates should be awarded any funds they qualify for prior to the start of classes.

  • Summer Session: April 1 (prior to the beginning of Summer term)
  • Fall Semester: March 1 (prior to the beginning of Fall term)
  • Spring Semester: October 1 (prior to the beginning of Spring term)

Questions? Contact your campus Financial Aid Office or your Campus Financial Aid Office.

More detailed information is provided in the Financial Aid Handbook.