The cost of tuition shouldn’t stand in the way of getting an education. Most students rely on some form of financial aid to get through college. New Mexico State University Grants’ Office of Financial Aid will walk you through the application process to help you get the most aid available.

What is financial aid?

Computer lab - NMSU Grants campus. (Photo by Darren Phillips)

Computer lab – NMSU Grants campus. (Photo by Darren Phillips)


Financial aid is money provided by federal, state and institutional sources to help students meet expenses while attending college. Many students find it increasingly difficult to finance a college education without some assistance. In general, most students that are enrolled in an approved degree or certificate program are eligible to receive financial assistance.

The entire financial aid process seems overwhelming and confusing. How can I get financial assistance if I’m not even sure how to apply?

Applying for financial aid can be confusing. NMSU Grants’ Financial Aid office can help you fill out applications and answer any questions you have about the process.

I’m not sure I qualify for financial aid. Should I complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

Yes, the best way to determine what funds you qualify for is by completing a FAFSA application. It doesn’t cost anything to apply. Financial aid removes financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education and also provides needed funds for families who can afford only a portion of college costs. Your financial eligibility will be determined by a number of factors including family income, the size of your family and number of family members attending college. Not applying for financial aid is one of the biggest mistakes a student could make. For students who don’t receive a Pell grant to cover tuition costs, there are many other scholarship options available. Besides for financial eligibility, you must also maintain academic eligibility. For example, you must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and pass 70% of all courses enrolled in.  Student Services will assess your prior college transcripts and sometimes students will need to meet with an advisor to appeal for aid, based upon prior low performance.

You can complete a FAFSA in the following ways:

• Online (FAFSA on the Web) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Create your FSA Id first and then process an application.
• Call 800-433-3243 to obtain a paper application.

When do I file a FAFSA?

If you plan to pay for courses with financial aid, you must file your FAFSA for the 2016-17 academic year at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall semester (August 17 is the first day of class).  FAFSA is submitted one time per year.

What happens once I file my FAFSA form?

After the FAFSA form has been filed, you will be mailed a Student Aid Report (SAR), which indicates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your Federal Pell Grant Eligibility. If you file electronically, you will be notified via e-mail. Watch your NMSU email account regarding additional verification which may be needed and follow up with Nicole Kormick in the Student Services Office, to complete your application.

If I am not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, what other types of financial aid are available?

The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal and state grants, Work-Study and loans. When students are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, they may be eligible for state grants or scholarships, such as the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship. Students also have the option to apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan, which you must pay back.

How do I apply for a Federal Student Loan?

Students must complete a FAFSA form, even if they are not eligible for a Pell Grant, and a NMSU Loan Request form. Students should indicate on the FAFSA that they are interested in student loans or work study. Follow up with a financial aid advisor in Student Services.

Does the College have a tuition payment plan?

Yes. Students who are interested in the Tuition Payment Plan may contact the NMSU Grants Business Office at 505-287-6653.

Glossary

Grants – Money a student receives based on financial need. The student does not have to pay back a grant, unless they stop attending early in the semester. You “earn your Pell by attending and completing your class”.

Scholarships – Money a student gets based on grades or talent that is not paid back.
Loans – Money borrowed for college that needs to be paid back.

Work-Study Program – Money a student earns by working while attending college.