Your FAFSA questions answered
We answer some commonly asked questions about filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Q: Why should my student complete the FAFSA?
A: By completing their FAFSA, your student is taking advantage of the best student loan and gift aid options. Even if they don’t qualify for grants, they’ll likely qualify for Federal Direct Loans, which have low interest rates and may be forgivable. FAFSA information also is used by UND when awarding scholarships and other aid. At the very least, completing the FAFSA could open doors for financial support that your student may not have been aware of, and any financial aid offered that is not wanted or needed can be declined.
Q: Who is eligible for financial aid?
A: The general eligibility requirements include that your student has financial need, is a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and is enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at the University of North Dakota. There are more eligibility requirements they must meet to qualify for federal student aid.
Q: Is there an income cutoff for federal student aid?
A: There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors — such as the size of your family and your student’s year in school — are taken into account.
Q: When should my student complete their FAFSA?
A: Your student should apply for FAFSA as soon as they decide to go to college! Funding is limited and not guaranteed, so the earlier they complete their FAFSA, the better. UND’s school code is 003005. The FAFSA takes about 30 minutes to complete and about seven business days for the information to get to UND after your student is admitted. Submitting FAFSA early gives your student a better chance to receive an award from programs with limited funds, such as federal work study or grants.
Q: How is financial aid calculated?
A: Your student’s eligibility depends on their expected family contribution, their year in school, enrollment status and the cost of attendance at their chosen school. The financial aid office at UND will determine how much financial aid they are eligible to receive.
Q: How many credits are considered full time?
A: To receive financial aid, your student must be a fully admitted degree-seeking student who is enrolled full time. At UND, full-time status is enrolled in 12 or more credits per fall and spring semesters.
Q: What courses are not eligible for financial aid?
A: Courses with the following characteristics are not eligible for financial aid.
- Coursework that doesn’t count toward UND’s graduation requirements
- Audited classes
- Continuing Enrollment
- Self-Paced Enroll Anytime
- Certain certificate programs (see eligible programs)
- Open-enrollment courses taken online or by mail
Q: Our financial circumstances have changed since our 2020 tax return. How can that be reflected in my student’s FAFSA?
A: A financial aid administrator may adjust an individual’s expected family contribution if the administrator believes the family’s financial circumstances warrant it. Please visit the Special Circumstance Appeal web page for more information on how to submit a form.
Q: My student already has completed their FAFSA. What should they accept?
A: Your student should borrow only what they need. Your student should accept financial aid in this order: free money (scholarships and grants), earned money (work study) and then borrowed money (federal student loans).
Q: Is FAFSA a one-time thing or how often does my student need to complete a FAFSA?
A: The FAFSA is an annual application for your student to fill out, which can be completed each year they are enrolled in college. FAFSA opens on Oct. 1 each year, but the earlier they submit the better.