2019 Summer Trimester

Federal Student Aid At A Glance

Federal Student Aid At A Glance

Federal Student Financial Aid (SFA), https://studentaid.ed.gov, is assistance for students enrolled at least half-time in participating schools. It helps to cover school expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Most aid is need-based and the three types of aid are grants, loans and work-study.


A grant is a type of gift aid that does not require repayment. Each grant has different requirements for eligibility. Eligibility for need-based grants is determined using federal and/or state formulas and the information the student provided on the FAFSA. Completion of the FAFSA is the only application required to be considered for the specific grant programs listed below.

Federal Pell Grant (Massage Therapy/Undergraduate Programs)

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants may be awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree.

Students are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.

Beginning in Fall 2012, students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant eligibility. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. Students that have received the Pell Grant in the academic year 2011-2012 and have already used 600% of their Pell Grant eligibility will no longer be eligible to receive a Pell Grant starting Fall 2012.

Students may view their percentage of Pell Grant used by logging into https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/. ‘Lifetime Eligibility Used’ percentage will be displayed in the ‘Grants’ section. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) (Massage Therapy/ Undergraduate Programs)

FSEOG is a campus-based award of federal money given to eligible students enrolled in the Massage Therapy or Undergraduate Health Sciences Programs. Students who will receive Federal Pell Grant and have the most financial need are given priority for this award. Funds are limited. The FSEOG does not need to be repaid.

Minnesota State Grant Program (Massage Therapy/ Undergraduate Programs)

The Minnesota State Grant Program provides undergraduate students with assistance in meeting the cost of attendance at eligible Minnesota public and private post-secondary institutions of their choice. In order to receive an award, the student must demonstrate financial need, be a Minnesota resident attending an eligible Minnesota institution, be making satisfactory academic progress, and meet any federal and state requirements.

Yellow Ribbon Program

If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, additional funds are provided by Northwestern and the Veterans Administration to cover the difference between your Post-911 GI Bill Chapter 33 benefit and the annual cost of tuition at Northwestern.

If you are eligible, 100% of your out-of-pocket costs for tuition will be covered for one academic year. In addition, there is no limit to the number of eligible students who may receive the annual Yellow Ribbon Program benefit at Northwestern.

Yellow Ribbon Program Eligibility

Only individuals entitled to the maximum benefit rate (100%) for Post-911 GI Bill Chapter 33 assistance may receive Yellow Ribbon Program funding. If you have not done so already, apply for Post-GI Bill benefits to receive your Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

You may be eligible if:

  • You served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months
  • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001, OR
  • You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above

To be eligible at Northwestern, you must be:

  • Accepted for admission to a degree granting program in the Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Program, College of Chiropractic, Clinical Nutrition Degree Program, Massage Therapy Program, Undergraduate Health Sciences
  • A current student in good academic standing


Northwestern Health Sciences University offers a wide variety of institutional aid including scholarships and endowments. Northwestern Health Sciences University scholarships are awarded based on financial resources, academic performance, service/leadership involvement, trimester level, scholarship history and faculty/clinic recommendation. Funds from outside agencies may also be available.

Institutional scholarships and grants are intended to encourage geographical, cultural and socioeconomic diversity at Northwestern Health Sciences University. Please note that the availability of funds is based on contributions, interest bearing accounts and institutional funding. Actual amounts may vary.

Students may contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about scholarships offered at Northwestern Health Sciences University.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Loans are long-term, low-interest loans designed to provide additional funds for post-secondary education.

For the Direct Subsidized Loan the government pays the interest while you are in school at least part-time and during the grace period.

For the Direct Unsubsidized Loan the interest is the responsibility of the student while in school, during the grace period, and during repayment. The interest may be postponed while in school at least part-time. If the interest is postponed it will be capitalized (added to the principal) only once, at repayment.

Annual Subsidized Limits (Massage Therapy/Undergraduate Programs)

  • 1st Year Undergraduates = up to $3,500
  • 2nd Year Undergraduates = up to $4,500
  • Remaining Undergraduate Years =up to $5,500
  • Preparatory Coursework Needed to Enroll in Graduate/Professional Program = up to $5,500

Annual Unsubsidized Limits (Massage Therapy/Undergraduate Programs)

  • Dependent undergraduates = up to $2,000
  • 1st and 2nd year independent students =up to $6,000
  • Remaining years for independent students =up to $7,000
  • Preparatory Coursework Needed to Enroll in a Graduate/Professional Program = up to $7,000 independent student only

Annual Unsubsidized Limits (Graduate Programs)

  • Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine = up to $20,500
  • Master of Health Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition = up to $20,500
  • College of Chiropractic = up to $33,000

Aggregate Loans Limits

  • College of Chiropractic - The overall aggregate maximum is $224,000 (including undergraduate loans).
  • Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine - The overall aggregate maximum is $138,500 (including undergraduate loans).
  • Master of Health Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition - The overall aggregate maximum is $138,500 (including undergraduate loans).
  • Massage Therapy/ Undergraduate Programs - The overall aggregate maximum is $31,000, maximum subsidized loan $23,000, for a dependent student and 57,500, maximum subsidized $23,000, for an independent student.

Parent Plus Loan

A Parent may borrow a PLUS Loan up to the student’s cost of education minus other financial aid for the loan period. The parent must specify the amount he/she wants to borrow. A PLUS loan may not be made for more than the parent requests.

To borrow a PLUS loan, the parent must not have adverse credit (see adverse credit definition below).

Graduate Plus Loan

For graduate and professional students only, students may borrow under GRAD PLUS program eligibility criteria and other federal guidelines. To borrow a GRADUATE PLUS loan, the borrower must not have adverse credit.

Adverse Credit is defined as:

  • Having one or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent as of the date of the credit report, or that have been placed in collection or charged off (written off) during the two years preceding the date of the credit report; or
  • If, during the five years preceding the date of the credit report, the borrower has been subject to a
    • default determination,
    • discharge of debts in bankruptcy,
    • foreclosure,
    • repossession,
    • tax lien,
    • wage garnishment, or
    • write-off of a federal student aid debt.

Interest Rate

Congress has passed and the President has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act, interest rates will be determined each spring for new loans being made for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. For current rates visit: Interest rates and fees.

Loan Fees

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement received. For current fees visit: Interest rates and fees.

Loan Repayment

Repayment for most federal student loans begins after a borrower leaves college or drops below half-time enrollment. However, PLUS loans enter repayment begins the loan is fully disbursed (paid out).

Loan servicers or lenders must provide the borrower with a loan repayment schedule that states when the first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment. Some loans may have a grace period. The grace period is a set period of time after the borrower graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment before beginning repayment on the loan. Not all federal student loans have a grace period. Note that for most loans, interest will accrue during your grace period.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans have a six-month grace period before payments are due.
  • PLUS loans have no grace period. Repayment begins once the loan is fully disbursed, however, the borrower may be eligible for a deferment. Contact the loan servicer for more information.
  • Federal Perkins Loans have a nine-month grace period before payments are due.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Northwestern participates in the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program, which provides campus-based jobs to financially eligible students. The University also participates in the Community Service Program, which pays FWS-eligible students for jobs involved in community service activities. Opportunities include community events, literacy or reading programs, library and clinic positions. Federal Work Study must be part of a financial aid package. Students may work up to an average of 20 hours per week.

Students who are not eligible for the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program, including Canadian and international students, may obtain student employment through Northwestern's student help program.

Private Alternative Loan Programs

Private alternative loans should be utilized only after all other financial aid resources have been exhausted. Private loan interest rates are variable and are often based on credit plus an index such as PRIME or LIBOR. Private loans can take 2-3 weeks to process. It is recommended that students begin applying for private loans before the trimester starts. For information see: Student Loans

Requirements For Prorating Annual Federal Subsidized And Unsubsidized Loan Limits (Massage Therapy/Undergraduate Programs)

NWHSU is required to prorate Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan when it is known in advance that a student is enrolled for a final period of study that is shorter than an academic year in length.

Student Loan Counseling

Entrance and Exit Counseling are required for students who have or will obtain federal loans while attending Northwestern Health Sciences University. Loan counseling is particularly important for new students who have little or no experience with loan repayment and/or managing educational debt. Northwestern Health Sciences University must conduct Entrance Counseling before releasing the first disbursement of Direct Student Loans to all first year first time borrowers. The emphasis for Exit Counseling shifts to specific information about loan repayment and debt management. Completing the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling, Loan Consolidation, Calculators: https://studentloans.gov

Student loan borrowers can access their federal aid history at https://www.nslds.ed.gov.

Cohort Default Rate

The United States Department of Education provides Northwestern Health Sciences University with its annual Official Cohort Default Rate (CDR) Notification Letter (for the most recent available). For information regarding the University’s Title IV Cohort default rate, feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.

Canadian And International Students

For those who qualify, students may apply for Canadian and Provincial Loans, Northwestern Health Sciences University International Scholarships and Canadian Tuition Reciprocity (if available). Private loans may be available based on credit rating, a United States citizen or permanent resident cosigner, or other limitations.

Frequently Requested Telephone Numbers

  • General information about the federal student financial aid programs: (800) 433-3243.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA on the Web) assistance: (800) 433-3243.
  • Educational Computer Systems Incorporated for Perkins Accounts (888) 549-3274.

Useful Web Sites And Consumer Information

  • FAFSA On-Line: https://fafsa.ed.gov
    • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on-line.
  • FASTWEB: www.fastweb.org
    • Database of 1.5 million private scholarships with matching of scholarships to student profiles.
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/consolidation
    • Information center on loan consolidation including help organizing your records, application process and more.
  • Federal Student Aid: https://studentloans.gov
    • Complete promissory notes, online entrance counseling along with resources & tools on financial aid programs including repayment information.
  • Financial Aid Information Page: www.finaid.org
    • General financial information and numerous on-line calculators.
  • Income-Based Repayment: www.ibrinfo.org
    • An independent, non-profit source of information about new federal student loan repayment (IBR) and loan forgiveness (PSLF) programs.
  • NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System): www.nslds.ed.gov
    • National database of your federal loans – Direct Loans - subsidized, unsubsidized, graduate PLUS and Perkins loan programs (interest rate, loan amount, lender and servicer name, etc).
  • Scholarship Scam Alert: www.finaid.org/finaid/scams.html www.finaid.org/scholarships/scams.phtml
    • Information on scholarship scams and ways to protect yourself.
  • Student Aid On The Web: https://studentaid.ed.gov
    • Provides a current list of federal loan servicers, information on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), on Loan Consolidation, Income Based Repayment (IBR) and other repayment plans. Also provides general information on financial aid programs.
  • United States Department Of Education And Consumer Information: https://studentaid.ed.gov

Please note that financial aid awarding and related processing is subject to change.