How Online Undergraduate Financial Aid Disburses
How Financial Aid Disburses
Financial aid is generally credited to individual student accounts in equal disbursements by term. The specific amount to be disbursed each term is indicated on the student’s Financial Aid Offer. Most often, an award is divided into three equal payments, disbursing at the beginning of each term (Fall, Spring and Summer).
Undergraduate Online Programs
In general, financial aid begins disbursing approximately ten days after the first day of classes for the term and continues twice weekly thereafter. To have aid disbursed, the student must have completed the financial aid process and meet all disbursement eligibility requirements.
Provision for books: Students who are otherwise eligible for disbursement 10 days prior to the start of the term, and are expected to have a credit balance after financial aid has been applied toward their owing balance, will be advanced the lesser of their presumed credit balance or $300 to ensure that the student has funds to obtain books by the seventh day of the term. Enrollment or aid changes may result in a student needing to repay the book money if the student becomes ineligible for the fund.
Common reasons that may prevent or delay a disbursement from occurring:
- Student has not received a Financial Aid Offer.
- Student has not signed the annual Financial Aid Terms and Conditions.
- Missing, or late submission of, required documentation needed to confirm aid eligibility.
- If borrowing loans, missing the required Entrance Counseling and/or Master Promissory Note (MPN).
- Not registered for the appropriate number of credits for the term (as indicated in the Financial Aid Offer)
- Not meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements.
- Student’s first class of the term starts at a later date.
Institutional and Federal Scholarships and Grants
Institutional and federal scholarships and grants will automatically credit the student account each term once all disbursement eligibility requirements have been met. See “How Financial Aid Disburses” section above for more information.
Prior to disbursing federal loan funds, the student must complete the required Entrance Counseling and Loan Agreement/Master Promissory Note (MPN). Loan funds will automatically credit the student account each term once all disbursement eligibility requirements have been met. See “How Financial Aid Disburses” section above for more information.
As a borrower, the student has a right to cancel or decrease their loan within 120 days of the date the school disbursed the loan money. If a student would like to cancel any part of their loan, they must submit their request to Student Financial Services as soon as possible (see timeline below). If the cancelation will result in an owing balance on the student’s school account, they must pay the outstanding balance immediately.
- If cancelation request is received within 14 days of the disbursement date – Student Financial Services will process the cancellation and return the loan funds on behalf of the student.
- If cancelation request is received more than 14 days after the disbursement date, but within 120 days – Student Financial Services may or may not be able to accommodate the requested cancelation. If unable to process the request, the student will be directed to contact their assigned loan servicer for guidance on how they can proceed with the cancelation and return the loan money.
- If cancelation request is received more than 120 days after the disbursement date – Student Financial Services will not be able to accommodate the requested cancelation, as it is outside of the timeframe allowed. The student will be directed to contact their assigned loan servicer for guidance on how they can make a payment to return the money (loan funds returned more than 120 days after disbursement will be processed as a payment rather than a cancelation, and no adjustment of loan fees or interest will occur).
Washington State Scholarships and Grants
The student’s signed designation on the Washington State Aid Conditions of Award form, indicates their choice for funds to either be applied toward the owing balance on their school account, or sent directly to the student in the form of a paper check.
If the student elects to have the aid applied toward their owing balance, the funds will automatically credit the student account each term once all disbursement eligibility requirements have been met. See “How Financial Aid Disburses” section above for more information.
If the student elects to have the aid sent to them in the form of a paper check, the funds will not be credited to the student account and a check must be picked up and signed for in-person in the Student Financial Services (SFS) office in the Barton building of the Kirkland campus after the last day to add/drop classes for the term (assuming all disbursement eligibility requirements have been met). Since the aid will not be applied toward the owing balance, the student is responsible for ensuring that their balance is paid. SFS will contact the student when the check is ready.
Non-Northwest University Scholarships
Most of the scholarship checks from outside sources will be mailed to Northwest University and automatically credited to the student’s school account. Scholarship funds are generally applied to the first term of enrollment, unless there is information submitted with the check that requires otherwise.
Private loan disbursement dates are generally set to align with the term(s) in which the loan is intended. However, lenders are required by law to allot a specified period of time to allow borrowers the right to cancel their loan, without penalty, after certification. The length of this period varies by lender, and no loan proceeds may be disbursed until after the period has ended. Upon certification, students will receive a statement from their lender including the specific date in which their cancellation period expires.
Once the lender has sent loan proceeds to Northwest University for disbursement, the funds will automatically credit the student account once all other disbursement eligibility requirements have been met. See “How Financial Aid Disburses” section above for more information.