1. Gather together the necessary information to complete the FAFSA.
    • Social security number
    • Driver’s license number
    • Copy of 2010 federal income tax return
    • Signed copy of each parent’s 2010 federal income tax return
    • Your PIN and your parent’s PIN ( www.pin.ed.gov )
  2. Complete the FAFSA (as soon as possible after January 1 of the year you plan to attend).
    • You will need to use the PIN that you applied for at www.pin.ed.gov .
    • You will need Northland’s federal school code: 03872500.
  3. Submit the Northland Financial Aid Application .

What happens after I complete my FAFSA? Within a few days, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). This document will tell the results of the FAFSA. The number most valuable to you is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This reflects the ability of the parent and student to contribute towards college expenses.



Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and on several other factors. The Financial Aid Office at Northland will help you determine your eligibility.

To receive aid from federal programs, you must:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves, or complete a high school education in a homeschool setting that is treated as such under state law.
  • Be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • Be a U.S citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a valid social security number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • Registering with the Selective Service is required. You can use the FAFSA to register, you can register at www.sss.gov  , or you can call 847.688.6888.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) once in school.
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) as amended suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study). If you have a conviction(s) for these offenses, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800.4.FED.AID or go to www.fafsa.ed.gov , click on “Before Beginning a FAFSA” in the left column, and then click on “Drug Worksheet” to find out how this applies to you.

How will I know what I’m eligible for?

The information you reported on your FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The formula used to calculate your EFC is established by law and is used to ensure your family’s financial strength on the basis of your family’s income and assets. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid and indicates how much money you and your family are expected to contribute toward your cost of attendance for the school years. If your EFC is below a certain number, you’ll be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements.

You can get worksheets that show how the EFC is calculated by downloading them from the U.S. Department of Education website at www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs. Click on the award year appropriate to you under the “EFC Formula.”

The amount of your Pell Grant depends on your EFC, your cost of attendance, and your enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, or less than half-time).The Federal Pell Grant is based on the student's FAFSA and the resulting Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) calculation. This is a grant program, and these funds do not need to be repaid. Click on the link below to view the 2011-2012 Pell Schedule.

Pell Grant Schedule

For other aid programs, the Financial Aid Administrator takes your cost of attendance and then subtracts your EFC, the amount of Federal Pell Grant you are eligible for, and aid you will get from other sources. The result is your remaining financial need. If you are attending at least half-time, your cost of attendance is the sum of your actual tuition and fees (or the school’s average tuition and fees), the cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who do not contract with the school for room and board), and cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer).

Allowance for Dependent Care

  • Cost related to a disability
  • Reasonable costs for eligible student-abroad programs
  • Costs unrelated to the completion of a student’s course of study are not included in calculating that student’s cost of attendance.

A financial aid administrator can consider special or circumstances such as unusual medical expenses, tuition expenses, or unemployment and can adjust your cost of attendance or some of the information used to calculate your EFC. The financial aid administrator can also change your status from dependent to independent but only under specific circumstances. You will need to provide written documentation to justify any change. The decision to change or not to change your dependency status is based on the aid administrator’s judgment, and it is final. It cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

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