Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Get More Information About Financial Aid?

These websites provide excellent information about financial aid as well as scholarship databases that you can search for free:

How is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated?

The EFC is calculated using a formula set by Congress. This formula is applied to the FAFSA information to determine the total amount each family should be able to contribute to the cost of attending college. The EFC amount is constant regardless of which college you choose to attend.

What Happens If My Financial Aid Application is Late?

You must complete all financial aid information (including loan applications, any corrections needed by the student and/or the parents and all supporting documents such as tax forms) and have this on file with the Financial Aid Office 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester. If not completed by that time, potential aid may not be available before the payment deadline. This results in you having to cover costs with another method of payment and/or service charges accruing on your student account.

What is Financial Need and How is it Determined?

Financial Need is the difference between what it costs to attend a specific school and what the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount is. An amount up to this unmet need may not be met by various types of financial aid.

Are there any other requirements to receive aid?

  • Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) as a regular student to be eligible for student loans. (Federal and/or state grants may be available at less than 6 credits)
  • All federal aid is awarded based on full-time status (12 credits). For the Minnesota State Grant, 15 credits is considered full-time. If a student drops below 12 credits for any semester, the budget will be recalculated; federal and state aid may be decreased, and institutional aid is forfeited
  • Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress at North Central University in order to continue receiving aid (See the Financial Aid Office for further details)
  • For students who withdraw from North Central, the "North Central University Refund Policy" will be used (See the Financial Aid Office for further details)
  • North Central reserves the right to alter any information in this brochure without prior notice to financial aid participants

What Happens After I Submit the FAFSA?

Approximately two to four weeks after you file the FAFSA you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) either by mail or email, which will list your FAFSA information. If you listed North Central as one of your school choices on the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will receive your FAFSA information electronically. Review your SAR for accuracy and contact the Financial Aid Office if corrections are needed. The Financial Aid Office may ask you to provide additional documentation for your file (such as copies of federal tax forms). After all necessary information has been received, the Financial Aid Office will calculate your aid eligibility and send you an email to the address you listed on the FAFSA indicating that your estimated awards are ready to be viewed on NCU Financial Aid Online.

What is Included in the Cost of Attendance?

The U.S. Department of Education requires that each university prepare a "9 Month Cost of Living Budget" based on the average costs of its students. This Cost of Attendance includes things that are directly paid to the school (tuition, fees, room, board, books) as well as personal expenses such as transportation, school supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses.

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?

Step by step instruction can be found on our Steps to Receive Financial Aid page.

When Should I Apply For Financial Aid?

For a student entering college in the Fall, the FAFSA may be completed any time after January 1st of that same year. Because the funds for some financial aid programs are limited, you should apply as early as possible. Since tax return information is needed to file the FAFSA, families should complete their income tax returns before filing for aid. A student must complete a new FAFSA each academic year. Students who have previously filed a FAFSA and are receiving federal aid will receive a PIN number reminder in December so they can file a renewal application online at Those who prefer using a paper FAFSA form can request one by calling 1-800-4FEDAID.

How Do I Know if I'm a Dependent or Independent Student?

For the 2013-2014 school year, the U.S. Department of Education determines that you are independent of your parents if you meet on of the following conditions:

  • You were born before January 1, 1990

For students born after January 1, 1990 you must (only one of the following must apply):

  • be married
  • be currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training
  • be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • have dependents other than a spouse
  • have been an orphan at any time since you turned age 13, even if now you are adopted
  • have been in foster care at any time since you turned age 13, even if you are no longer in foster care
  • have been a dependent or ward of the court at any time since you turned age 13, even if you no longer are either of those today
  • be an emancipated minor as supported by a court's decision

Not meeting any of the above criteria means you are a dependent student and must provide parental information on the FAFSA

Note: you are not automatically classified as an independent student if:

  • you are not living with your parents
  • your parents are not claiming you as a dependent on their tax return

What is North Central University's FAFSA code?

  • The FAFSA code for North Central University is 002369
  • Feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office at 1-800-289-6222 or 612-343-4485 with questions.

How is the Amount of Need-Based Aid Determined?

To determine eligibility for need-based federal aid (grants, loans and work-study from the federal and state government), North Central uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The purpose of the FAFSA is to gather information on the student's income and assets, as well as data on the parent's income, assets, family size and number of family members in college. After the Financial Aid Office receives the FAFSA results, the student's financial aid eligibility is determined.