Financial Aid FAQs
If you can't find the financial aid information you need within our website or this list of common questions, check out the complete Financial Aid Guide, or contact us. Our financial aid representatives are happy to help you. Please call 1-800-NAT-UNIV or e-mail us.
Q: How do I determine my dependency status for finanical aid eligibility?
A: An important step in establishing financial aid eligibility is determining whether a student can apply as a self-supporting student (Independent Student). Students that meet one of these conditions will be considered Independent:
- Students who were born before January 1, 1990.
- Students who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. (This does not include Active Duty students.)
- Students who are orphaned or who were wards of the court until they reached age 18.
- Students who have legal dependents other than a spouse.
- Students who are a graduate or professional student. (This does not include students enrolled in a Credential program.)
- Students who are married.
- Students who are active duty military.
Students who do not qualify as independent students must provide parental information on the FAFSA application or they will be disqualified. Students with special circumstances should contact the Financial Aid Office.
Q: Do I still qualify for financial aid if I don't do well in school?
A: Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their selected course of study to receive federal aid. One aspect of academic progress is the student's overall grade point average. Students must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 for all National University undergraduate course work and a 3.0 for all graduate course work attempted to meet the requirements for graduation. Students who fall below these required minimums will be placed on academic probation. Students may continue to receive financial aid during this probationary period, assuming all other satisfactory requirements are met. Students who do not meet the academic requirements and are disqualified from attendance will not receive financial aid from the period of time they are withdrawn.
Additional academic requirements are differentiated for undergraduate and graduate students as listed in the current National University Catalog. Financial aid recipients are subject to all University academic policies. A student's enrollment status is determined based upon their course schedule. This enrollment period is determined according to the number of months the student is attending, providing the student is not considered withdrawn.
Students (undergraduates and graduates) who receive an "F" grade and graduate students who receive a "D" grade will not receive financial aid for those courses. If financial aid was paid for a course before the grade was posted, the student must, at his or her own expense, pay to retake the course or its equivalent. Financial aid will not be awarded for a repeated course or its equivalent.
Satisfactory progress is also defined as a reasonable length of time for students to complete their educational objectives. Since students enrolled at National University pursue different degree programs, the number of units needed to complete each degree will vary. Typical degree requirements are as follows: Students enrolled in an associate's degree must complete 90 quarter units; for a bachelor's degree they must complete 180 quarter units; and for a master's degree they must complete 60 to 110 quarter units to graduate.
Satisfactory progress is evaluated beginning with the month of the student's first course and continues for 12 consecutive months. Subsequent years are determined by evaluating progress during each 12-month increment.
Q: What is an academic year?
A: The year consists of a period that includes 32 weeks of in-class instruction and at least 36 units. Generally, students are funded for two payment periods. The first payment period is comprised of at least half of the course work in the academic year as measured in units and weeks of instruction. The second payment period comprises the remaining course work in the academic year.
Please note: units that are earned from accelerated studies or repeated course work will not count toward completion of the student's academic year. Generally, an academic year consists of eight courses. Students must successfully complete their first payment period before student loan funds will be released for the second period. Because students apply for and are awarded aid during different times of the year, each student's academic year may be different.
Q: Are transfer students eligible for financial aid?
A: Transfer students may be eligible for Federal Grants, State Grants, and Federal loans dependent upon previous aid received in the current academic year from another institution. National University uses the budgets established by the California Student Aid Commission to determine financial need for all students who apply for aid. All eligible aid has annual limits used in determining a student’s financial aid award per academic year.
Q: What happens if I withdraw during a school year in which I have already received financial aid?
A: If a student is considered withdrawn from the University, federal regulations require a calculation be performed according to a specific formula that identifies the total scheduled financial assistance the student earned, and is therefore entitled to receive. If a student is considered withdrawn from the University before completing 60% of a payment period, the student may have to repay unearned Federal monies that were already disbursed at the beginning of the payment period. For additional information regarding this policy, please refer to the University catalog.
The University will process a deferment for a period of one term (a six-month period); however, the deferment period ends if/while the student is withdrawn. Also, if a student changes their schedule and is considered withdrawn after a deferment is processed, the lender will be notified and repayment on the loan will be initiated.
Students who receive a grade of "incomplete" have the remainder of the payment period to remove the "incomplete" with a passing grade. However, if this is the last course of the payment or loan period, no future aid will be disbursed until the "incomplete" grade has been removed or a replacement course is completed with a passing grade. In addition, students who receive two incomplete grades in the same payment period may not be eligible for future aid.
Q: Are there any other funding requirements I need to know about?
A: Students receiving financial aid at the University will be awarded based on an academic year of 32 weeks of in-class instruction and a minimum of 36 units. Students receiving campus-based aid, state aid, and institutional aid will receive funds for up to 12 months when aid is available.
Student loan recipients (Stafford and PLUS) may apply for an additional loan upon successful completion of all courses in the prior loan period. All grades must be posted from the student's prior academic year and any accelerated course work taken will not count towards the completion of the student's academic year. In addition, 32 weeks of in-class instruction (eight months) must be completed. A new loan application will be accepted for processing, if the student has at least three months remaining in their course schedule and the student meets the University's minimum requirements.
Q: Can I use financial aid to pursue an accelerated course of study?
A: Students may apply for financial aid to cover educational expenses for an Academic Year. Students who enroll in accelerated studies will be required to pay for those units (any units above 4.5) at their own expense.
Q: Can I appeal financial aid decisions about my eligibility?
A: Students who are denied aid due to lack of satisfactory academic progress may submit a Request for Review (appeal) to the Financial Aid Committee if extenuating circumstances exist. The appeal will be reviewed and a decision made based on the student's previous academic record and the nature of the reasons given. The committee attempts to approve or deny petitions in a fair and equitable manner, taking into consideration each student's situation, while complying with federal regulations.
Q: How does the University determine student budgets?
A: National University uses the budgets established by the California Student Aid Commission. These budgets are used to determine financial need for all students who apply for aid.