Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for financial aid and what is the deadline?


You can apply anytime after January 1 or once previous year’s taxes have been filed. If you are applying for 2012-2013 school year, you need to have the FAFSA done before the last day of attendance for that school year. Example: If you are coming fall and spring, you need it done before last day of spring semester.

Do I need to apply every year?


Yes. Every year, beginning in January, or as soon as federal tax returns are completed, students must complete a new FAFSA. Data retrieval from IRS is available 2 weeks after taxes have been processed, but not before February 1.

Pin Number!?! What do you mean? How do I use the pin number?


You will need to apply for a pin number to electronically sign your FAFSA. Go to, on the tool bar at the top is “Pin Site”. Click there and proceed to answer the questions. If you are a dependent student, one of your parents will also need a pin number. Your pin number is a 4-digit number. Please make sure you save the pin number as you will need it for other financial aid processes such as applying for federal student loans and future FAFSA applications.

What is the financial aid code for the college?


Federal school code for both Northland campuses is: 002385. (FAFSA will display address as Thief River Falls, but this is the same code used for the East Grand Forks campus.)

How do I change my school code for financial aid?


Go to and enter your information. On the bottom of the next page, click on “Make FAFSA Corrections”.

Why is my financial aid based on my parent’s income? Why can’t it be on my income?


Information gathered from the FAFSA and how student’s answer a series of questions determines if they must provide parents information or not, even though they may not live with parents or are not claimed on their tax returns.

Questions to be answered: (partial list)

  • Were you born before January 1, 1989?
  • As of today, are you married? (Also answer “Yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
  • Do you have children that will receive more than half their support from you between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013?

Do I have to provide copies of my federal tax transcript when applying for financial aid?


If required, students will receive a letter from the Northland financial aid office indicating additional documentation/forms needed to complete their file.

How do I get my IRS Tax Return Transcript Request?

Do I qualify for work study?


Work study eligibility is determined the sameway as all other financial aid and all data elements of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) are used. Not all students are eligible for work study. Inquiry may be made at the Financial Aid Office. If I don’t qualify for work study, where can I get information about jobs in the community? Job openings are listed weekly in the local newspapers.

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?


Students will receive a financial aid award letter through their school e-mail indicating loan amounts they are eligible to receive. After receiving your award letter, please go to Northland eServices and click on “My Financial Aid Status”.

Sign-In: User ID = Student ID, Password = Password used for eServices.

Applying for loans is a three step process which consists of: 1) accepting the desired loan amount; 2) completing entrance counseling; 3) completing the master promissory note (MPN). When accepting loan amounts please remember this for the school year NOT a term at a time. If you will be graduating and only attending one term, you must notify your campus financial aid office. Click on Financial Aid on the left side, click on “loans”; follow the steps neededto complete entrance counseling and the master promissory note (MPN). The loans can now be processed/certified. DO NOT COMPLETE THIS PROCESS PRIOR TO RECEIVING YOUR AWARD LETTER.

Why does my scholarship affect financial aid?


Any outside source of funds are considered when determining loan eligibility.

What is the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized loan?


Subsidized: Federal government pays interest only while student is in school and during the six-month grace period. Interest will start to accrue once the loan goes into repayment.

Unsubsidized: Interest begins to accrue as soon as funds are disbursed.The student can chose to either pay interest while they are in school or let it accrue and be added to the principal balance of the loan (this is called “capitalization”).

Can I use my financial aid to buy books online?


Yes, provided there are funds available after deducting tuition and fees. To order books using financial aid, go to MBS Direct, select “Order Your Books”, and click on "Pay with Northland Community and Technical College Voucher or Student Financial Aid".

Does my financial aid pay for my housing?


Room and board are included in the financial aid budgets, but students are responsible for paying their monthly housing expenses.

When will I get my award letter?


Once the financial aid file is complete (all required documentation has been received, entered, and verified). You may view your award letter by visiting Northland eServices.

May I use direct deposit for financial aid or work study funds?


Yes, signing up for Direct Deposit is highly recommended. Complete the Direct Deposit Authorization Form.

When will my financial aid be available?


For financial aid disbursement dates, please visit the Northland academic calendar and select the semester you are attending Northland.

At what point am I responsible for paying my financial aid loan?


Stafford Loans: Six months from date of graduation, withdrawal, or enrolled less than half-time.

State or alternative loans have different repayment requirements. Students should/can always check with their lenders regarding loan repayment. It is important that you communicate with your lender/loan servicer if you are having trouble making payments as you may qualify for deferments, forbearances, etc. Communication may/can keep you out of default!!!

You can visit the NSLDS web site to find out who your lender(s) is/are, phone numbers and addresses of lenders, when you borrowed, and how much you borrowed.

What happens if I totally withdraw or fail to complete my courses for the semester?


If you fail to complete 60% of your courses, your financial aid will be recalculated and you may owe Northland Community and Technical College a balance that is payable immediately. Loan repayment may begin earlier.