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Apply for Aid - Getting Started

Going to college can be both exciting and financially challenging. The Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to helping you navigate the steps in the student financial aid process.

To apply for financial aid from federal and state sources follow the steps below. Please remember: Many scholarships require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well!

Changes to the FAFSA for the 2024-25 Aid Year
New federal legislation, including the FAFSA Simplification Act, has resulted in significant changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA form. There will be fewer questions, the Expected Family Contribution will be replaced with the Student Aid Index, and the FAFSA will become available later in the year than usual in December 2023, among other changes.  For more details, visit the 2024-25 FAFSA webpage. 

Step 1: Create an FSA Account (FSA ID)

Beginning with the 2024-25 aid year, Federal Student Aid requires each FAFSA contributor to have their own FSA ID. The FSA ID is the account username and password that gives you access to Federal Student Aid websites and the FAFSA form. Since it can take several days for the account to be created and verified, it is recommended you complete this step ahead of time. 

Click here to Create an Account.  



Step 2: Complete the FAFSA

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online annually. The NSU Federal School Code is 001509.


A Special Note About Summer Aid (Traditional Undergraduate Day Students):
Financial aid awarded to NSU undergraduate students is typically based on the traditional academic calendar comprised of the fall and winter semesters. To be awarded for the summer semester, students must submit a request for summer financial aid each year. This is not a requirement for undergraduate students in the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing and the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, as they are automatically awarded offered summer aid.

Step 3: Identify and Apply For Scholarships

Institutional and external scholarship opportunities are available to assist you in meeting your educational goals. The best resource for up-to-date information is the NSU scholarship website. You will find information on how to apply, as well as resources to help you identify scholarships. Commit to continuously identifying and applying for scholarships. This type of financial aid does not have to be repaid.

Step 4: Plan for Housing and Meal Expenses 

Your financial aid budget includes a housing and meal component. Please ensure that you budget for these expenses if you intend to live on campus. For information regarding on-campus and off-campus, housing visit Residential Life & Housing.

Step 5: Complete NSU State Aid Application (Florida Residents)

You only need to complete the NSU State Aid Application if you qualify as a Florida resident and are an undergraduate student seeking your first bachelor's degree or if you are a graduate student entering your first semester with possible Florida Bright Futures credits available.

Exception: Students who have received EASE, FSAG and/or Florida Bright Futures Scholarship funding in the prior year (i.e., received aid in the 2023-2024 academic year at NSU and are applying for 2024-2025), and did not have a break in enrollment for more than 12 months do not have to complete the NSU State Aid Application.

Step 6: Review your FAFSA Submission Summary 

The Department of Education will issue a FAFSA Submission Summary (previously referred to as Student Aid Report) once your FAFSA has been received by the Department. The summary will include your Student Aid Index (SAI) which is used to determine your eligibility for federal aid.

In the past, schools would receive students' FAFSAs within 3-5 business days of filing. For the 2024-25 aid year, FAFSA files are expected to be released to schools beginning in late January 2024. The NSU Office of Financial Aid will send an email to your NSU email once your 2024-25 FAFSA has been received. 

Step 7: Submit Additional Documentation 

Some students may be required to submit additional documents to complete the financial aid process prior to being awarded. You should check your financial aid status via SharkLink regularly to view any outstanding requirements.

Access your financial aid file by following the steps below:

  • Log in to SharkLink. If you do not know your SharkLink ID or password, visit the "My NSU Identity" page.

  • Navigate to "My Finances" on the home page and click on the "Financial Aid" tab. 

For step-by-step instructions on how to view your outstanding requirements in SharkLink, visit the Your Online Financial Aid Account page. 

Step 8: Register for Classes

You need to familiarize yourself with the enrollment requirements defined by your program office, as well as by the financial aid program through which you are receiving aid. Enrollment requirements for federal and state grants vary. Students awarded federal direct loans must be enrolled at least half time in courses that are required for degree or certificate completion. Half-time enrollment is defined as 6 credits per semester for undergraduate students. For graduate and first-professional students, half-time status varies by program. Be sure to register as early as possible to ensure timely disbursement of your financial aid fund.

Once you have received your financial aid award notification, visit the Your Financial Aid Award page.

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