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We Strive to Keep Education Affordable

NWFSC is Proud to Offer Affordable Tuition Rates

  • Federal School Code 001510
  • Northwest Florida State College, Financial Aid Office: 100 College Boulevard, Niceville, Florida 32578-1295

At NWFSC, we pride ourselves on our efforts to keep tuition as affordable as possible. In fact, our average annual tuition rate is about half of other state university systems.

Student Success Navigators are available to assist you via phone, live video chat, and in-person at every campus and distance center. You may schedule an appointment by calling (850) 502-2895, or live chatting during regular business hours. Please check the Academic Calendar for key financial aid dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid

How do I know if I’m eligible?

Students qualify for assistance based on their financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attending college (cost of attendance) and the amount the student (and parents for dependent applicants) can be expected to contribute towards the cost of attendance. Northwest Florida State College uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial need based on federal regulations and information supplied by you and your family.

Like any other student, you need to complete a FAFSA. Once you complete this form, you should visit NWFSC’s Veterans Affairs Office on the Niceville campus to complete a VA application. This will insure you have access to information about entitlements, filing claims to the DVA, and other support services. (Please note that the Veterans Affairs Office [VAO] is not a part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [DVA].)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility Federal regulations (34 CFR 668.34) require a student to move toward the completion of a degree or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Specific requirements for academic progress for financial aid recipients are applied differently than college Academic Standards, Warning, Probation, and Suspension. Federal regulations state that Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. The student must meet all the minimum standards in order to receive financial aid.

There are three parts to the SAP rules:

Your SAP status is calculated using your entire academic record from all schools attended, even if you did not receive financial aid. This includes dual-enrollment credits from high school.

  1. You must maintain a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). This includes all course work you have taken at NWF State College or any college or university (this includes college level classes taken during high school), regardless of whether or not you received financial aid for those classes.
  2. You must successfully complete at least 67% of all of the classes in which you have enrolled. This includes all the course work you have taken at NWF State College or any college or university (this includes dual enrollment classes), regardless of whether or not you received financial aid for those classes.
  3. You must not attempt more than 150% of credits needed for the level of degree in which you are seeking. All coursework attempted is included in these totals.
What happens if…

Your GPA drops below a 2.0

  • 1st term: Warning – Raise your GPA to a 2.0 or higher by the end of next semester.
  • 2nd and subsequent terms: Suspended – You are not eligible for financial aid.

You do not have an overall completion rate of 67% or more

  • 1st term: Warning – Raise your completion ratio to 67% or higher by the end of the next semester.
  • 2nd and subsequent terms: Suspended – You are not eligible for financial aid

Your GPA drops below a 2.0 and your overall completion rate is less than 67%

  • 1st term: Warning – Raise your completion ratio to 67% or higher AND your GPA to a 2.0 or higher by the end of next semester.
  • 2nd and subsequent terms: Suspended – You are not eligible for financial aid

You attempted over 150% of your program of study

  • 1st term: Suspended – You are not eligible for financial aid
  • 2nd and subsequent terms: Suspended – You are not eligible for financial aid
  • You can appeal your suspension if you have mitigating circumstances. If your appeal is approved, you will need to successfully complete 100% of all classes and will be required to maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher.

You are suspended

  • You can appeal your suspension if you have documented mitigating circumstances that were beyond your control.

Academic Progress

  • A student who has lost financial aid eligibility may be reinstated after the student meets the minimum GPA requirement of a 2.0 and a completion rate of 67%.
  • All classes towards the program of study, including those taken at other institutions, will be taken into consideration for reinstatement purposes.
  • A student must be able to complete their degree or certificate within the 150% timeframe.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office when these conditions have been met.

Students who have attempted more than 150% of the credits required for their degree level are not considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress and therefore, are ineligible for financial aid funds.

Students seeking second degrees and students with double majors are monitored like any other student under this policy.

If the student exceeds the maximum timeframe allowed for their respective programs, the student may appeal if they have mitigating circumstances. All transfer hours accepted by NWF State College will be included when determining maximum timeframe eligibility. Students will not have financial aid eligibility if they exceed the maximum timeframe unless an appeal is approved. Students given a maximum timeframe appeal will be placed on a Financial Aid Academic Plan and are required to successfully complete 100% of all future coursework while on the plan.

  • Students in Career and Technical Certificate (CTC) programs must successfully complete the clock hour course work with a 2.0 GPA for each course funded before additional payment can be made.
  • Students who have zero credits/hours completed for any funded term will lose all subsequent financial aid, regardless of overall GPA and completion ratio.
  • Duration of eligibility will be limited to the published length of the program.
  • Students must complete their program of study within the 150% timeframe of their eligible certificate program.

Federal regulations require a student to complete the term for which they were funded. If you have withdrawn from all of your classes, stopped attending all your classes, or did not successfully complete any of your classes (received all F’s), the College is required to calculate how much of the semester you did attend to determine how much of the aid you have “earned.”” You will be required to pay back the portion of financial aid you did not earn.

How is this calculation done? When the Financial Aid Office calculates the Return to Title IV we must use the last date of enrollment and/ or your last date of academic activity, as reported by your instructors, to determine how much aid you have earned. This date determines how much, if anything, you must repay if you do not successfully complete any of your courses.

Please note, you may not be required to repay your financial aid under these rules if you only drop one or two courses and remain enrolled in at least one financial aid funded course. It is only required when a student is no longer enrolled in or does not pass all courses for a particular term.

A student who has lost financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances may appeal.

  • Extenuating circumstances that may be considered include: personal illness or accident, serious illness or death within immediate family, or other circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student.
  • All appeals must be in writing to the Financial Aid Office and include appropriate documentation.
  • Examples of documentation could include an obituary notice, divorce decree, or a letter from a physician, attorney, social services agency, parole officer, employer, etc.
  • The condition or situation must be resolved which will allow the student the ability to complete course work successfully or an appeal will not be granted.
  • The outcome of an appeal may include a denial or probationary period with a Financial Aid Academic Plan to assure students meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Process.
  • Students will be notified by student email of the results of the appeal, and of any restrictions or conditions pertaining to their appeal.

Students, whose appeal is denied, may submit a written request for a review of the appeal to the College Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The Committee’s decision is final. If the Committee’s decision is to uphold the denial, the student may not submit any subsequent requests for funding consideration. In order to regain eligibility for financial aid, the student would need to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards. Students who do not meet the terms of financial aid probation may permanently lose eligibility for federal student aid at Northwest Florida State College.


What kind of financial aid options do I have?

Grants and Scholarships are “gift” aid and do not need to be repaid. They usually contain certain provisions which students must abide by to meet the criteria of the grant or scholarship.

Loans are available at low interest rates and can be repaid over an extended period of time, usually after graduation. At Northwest Florida State College, loans are regarded as a “last resort” source of financial assistance. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their program of education at Northwest Florida State College without student loans; however, if it becomes necessary to borrow, low-cost federal education loans are available to qualifying students.

A limited number of part-time jobs are also available each year to assist students as part of our Work-Study Program. Students are paid an hourly rate for work performed. The college works closely with each student to arrange a work schedule that does not interfere with scheduled class time. See the Work-Study Program page for details.

Financial Aid Programs

What is a Direct Loan?

Loans may be available to you as part of your financial aid awards to help fund your education.  Remember: A loan is money that must be repaid and may accrue interest.  You should only borrow what is necessary to help you with your education.  Be sure you understand the terms and conditions of your loan if you decide to borrow.

Visit the Federal Student Aid website to learn more about the William D. Ford Federal Direct Staffed Loan and its application process.

How to Apply

You must have the following on file to submit a Direct Loan Application:

  1. Valid FAFSA for current aid year
  2. Complete a paper loan application
  3. Complete Entrance Counseling (first-time applicants only)
  4. Must be registered for at least 6  Compliant hours credits
  5. Completed Master Promissory Note (first-time applicants only)

Please read Steps 1-4 below for more information about the application process.

Step 1: Complete your FAFSA

Click here to complete a FAFSA form for the current aid year. Please note the FAFSA form cannot be pending to receive a loan.

Step 2: Entrance Counseling Session

First time borrowers who want to apply for a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan at NWF State College must complete an Entrance Counseling session. This session can also take place online, which consists of a class followed by an online quiz. The Financial Aid Office must have proof of your completed counseling requirements before your loan application can be processed.

Please note: When taking the counseling course, please type Northwest Florida State College in the section that asks for Selected Schools.

Step 3: Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The Master Promissory Note is required for students who are requesting a loan for the first time. After the MPN has been completed, you do not have to complete another one for 10 consecutive years.

Make sure you have these items on hand when completing the online Electronic MPN:

  • FSA ID
  • Your social security number
  • The permanent addresses/telephone numbers of your references
  • Your driver’s license (if applicable)
Step 4: Loan Request Form

In addition to filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students who want to borrow funds through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program must complete the Direct Loan Request form available at the Financial Aid Office located on the Niceville campus.

The Financial Aid Office can only originate loans for a student after the student has submitted the Direct Loan Request Application and registered for classes, since the number of credits registered for determines the amount of the approved loan. Disbursement of Federal Direct Loan funds at NWF State College are by a check, mailed to the student from the Business Office.  Unfortunately, direct deposit is not available.

Please note that if you have an outstanding financial obligation due to NWF State College, the Business Office will deduct the amount of these charges from your loan fund before the loan is disbursed to you.

What is it?

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education.  Grant amounts are dependent on: the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) (see below); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

I’m enrolled at more than one school. Can I receive funds from both schools?

Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

How is my grant eligibility determined?

Federal Pell Grants are direct grants awarded through participating institutions to students with financial need who have not received their first bachelor’s degree or who are enrolled in certain post baccalaureate programs that lead to teacher certification or licensure.

Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to determine the family EFC. After filing a FAFSA, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR) and the institution receives an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), which notifies the student if he or she is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and provides the student’s EFC. By completing the FAFSA, you may also be eligible for other grants.

What is it?

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a need-based program designed to provide part-time employment for students with financial need.

How do I apply?

As with other need-based federal programs, information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine eligibility for FWS funds.

I’ve already applied. What do I do next?

Once your FAFSA has been approved, you should visit the Career Center, where staff will help you create a resume. From there, hiring department supervisors will reach out to the Career Center for resumes. From there, hiring department supervisors will reach out to begin scheduling interviews.

Do I qualify?

Once Northwest Florida State College receives your FAFSA, our Financial Aid office will determine whether you qualify for work-study, as well as other financial aid including loans and grants.

You must meet the following requirements:

    1. Applicant must register for a minimum of 6 compliant credit hours
    2. Applicant must meet the NWF State College standards of academic progress & maintain a 2.0 GPA.
    3. Applicant must have financial need based upon the estimated family contribution (EFC) number calculated by FAFSA and includes the cost of attendance, loans, scholarships and grants awarded.
How is Work-Study aid disbursed?

Unlike other forms of financial aid, work-study money is not disbursed in a lump sum at the beginning of the semester. Also, these funds are not automatically applied to a student’s college obligations, but rather are paid directly to the student. Pay rates are at least minimum wage.

Is my Work-Study income taxable?

Work-study income is taxable. You will receive a W-2 from the college at the end of each year, and this form will indicate how much you earned from all employment at the college, including work-study employment. Although you may have to pay taxes on work-study earnings, you should list those earnings as income on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but then also report them as exclusions on the FAFSA. When filling out the FAFSA, read the FAFSA booklet instructions for the exclusions worksheet carefully.

What are my responsibilities as a Work-Study student?
  • Do not work during scheduled classes or exams.
  • Work only the number of hours per week awarded, not to exceed total term award.
  • Abide by work regulations of the department which employed i.e., schedule, attendance, dress, etc.
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office if you do not accept FWS employment.
What should I expect when I start the Work-Study program?
  • Students are paid for hours worked.
  • Work schedules, attendance, etc. will be decided by the department to which a student is assigned.
  • Jobs are limited and will be awarded on a priority basis. Award: up to 20 hours per week at $9 per hour.

Northwest Florida State College has ample scholarship opportunities available to our students. Please visit our Scholarships page for a full list of current scholarships offered, as well as a list of external scholarship resources.

How much financial aid can I receive?

The amount and types of financial assistance a student receives are determined through federal, state, and institutional guidelines. Awards are generally offered to students in combinations, or packages, which may consist of grants, scholarships, loans, and/or employment designed to help students meet their educational costs.

How long can I be eligible for financial aid?

Typically, you are not eligible to receive financial aid once you have attempted more than 150% of the normal credits required for your degree or certificate program. For example, a student in a 60 credit hour program can attempt 90 credit hours (60 hours times 150%). An example of a Bachelor program is 120 credits; 150% of that program would be 180 credit hours. If you have questions about your program’s maximum eligibility, please contact Student Services or the Financial Aid Office. The total credits counted in this calculation include all credits attempted by you, regardless of whether you received financial aid for those classes. This includes those attempted from other schools, and those that might have been failed, withdrawn, or repeated.