Helpful Handouts

Please click the links below for handouts that are very helpful in answering most financial aid questions that you may have:

What is an FSA ID and password? (How to setup a new FSA ID and password or reset your existing one.)

What’s a FAFSA and how to complete it? (How to complete and submit your FAFSA.)

I Did My FAFSA Now What? (How to check your award offer and unsatisfied requirements.)

Balance and Refund Information (How to check what you owe and how much financial aid will pay each semester. Also, what amount of refund you may be owed.)

Dependent vs Independent Student (How to determine if you are a dependent or independent student for FAFSA purposes.)

Student Loans (Information on student loans and how to accept them.)

Tips for Appeal (Tips for filing a financial aid appeal.)

How to Apply for Federal Work Study (How to start the process to determine if you are eligible for Federal Work Study.)

Do I need an appointment?

No. Normal business hours for the Shoals campus and Phil Campbell campus are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. However, during peak times (semester registration and first week of class) there could be a short wait.

I need to update/change my address. What department should I notify?

You will need to complete a Change of Information form that can be found in the Admissions Office.

I know I will not qualify for a Pell Grant. Do I still need to complete the FAFSA application?

Yes, we highly suggest you still complete a FAFSA if you are interested in applying for scholarships. You are required to complete a FAFSA if you are interested in the Federal Work Study program or to apply for a Federal student loan.

I am having problems logging into MyNWSCC student account. Whom should I contact?

For assistance with your myNWSCC (Banner) login, you can stop by the Admissions Office on either campus. For assistance with your Blackboard login, you can stop by the Distance Education Office on the Shoals campus or complete the Login Assistance Form.

When do I apply for financial aid?

You need to apply for financial aid every academic year. It is a good idea to complete the FAFSA at least 2-3 months prior to the beginning of the semester you plan on attending.

Is there a deadline to apply?

NWSCC does not have a deadline to complete the FAFSA. However, NWSCC suggests you file at least 2-3 months prior to the beginning of the semester to give plenty of time to complete any requirements.

Will my financial aid be ready in time to cover my classes by the payment deadline?

In order to have financial aid in place and ready to pay your tuition by the payment deadlines, you must have completed your FAFSA, unsatisfied requirements requested by the verification deadline and be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. Verification deadlines are posted on the financial aid section of the NWSCC website. You will find payment deadlines posted in the current semester course schedules.

How do I apply for federal financial aid?

You need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by visiting the website. Be sure to use our federal school code (005697), so your application will be sent to NWSCC. You will be notified by email approximately three to five (3-5) business days after completing your FAFSA to see what requirements, if any, are needed. You must log in to your myNWSCC student account to view any Unsatisfied Requirements. All submitted documents/forms that are to be turned in to satisfy Unsatisfied Requirements will be reviewed and any necessary corrections made. We might request additional documentation from you while processing your verification. Once verification is complete, you will be able to view your financial aid award through your myNWSCC student account.

My parents are divorced. Whose information do I need for the FAFSA?

For 2023-24, the parent you lived with the most during the past year should complete the FAFSA with you. If you lived alone or lived equally with each parent, use the information of the parent who provided you with the most financial support. (It does not make a difference which parent claimed you as a dependent for tax purposes.) Also, remember you will need to enter the stepparent’s personal and tax information if the parent you lived with has remarried.

For 2024-25, you will use the parent who provides the most financial support.  Remember that you also need to enter the stepparent’s information if that parent has remarried.

I do not get along with my parents or live with them. I pay my own rent and bills. Can I apply without my parent’s income?

Starting with the 2024-25 Award Year, both first-time and renewal applicants who indicate on their FAFSA form that they have an unusual circumstance will be granted provisional independent status. They will be able to complete the form without providing parental information. They will also receive an estimate of their federal student aid eligibility, which will be subject to a final determination by the institution they attend. If a student’s institution approves their unusual circumstances, their independent status will carry over when they renew their FAFSA form in future award years and they will be considered independent for as long as they remain at the same institution and their circumstances remain unchanged.

How do I get a copy of the Tax Return Transcript?

Get transcripts from the IRS website by visiting You can either print them off online or have them mailed to you. Or call 1-844-545-5640 to pick up a transcript at the local IRS Tax Office located at 204 S. Walnut Street, Florence, AL 35630.

I completed my FAFSA and it said it was submitted successfully and gave me an amount of what I may receive. Why has it not paid out?

Roughly 7-10% of students who complete a FAFSA are selected for the verification process. While it does give an estimate of eligibility when you have submitted your FAFSA, if a student is selected for verification this process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded to the student. Students must check for any Unsatisfied Requirements for their financial aid by logging in to their myNWSCC (Banner) account.

Why was I selected for verification?

The Federal processing center randomly selects applicants and requires the College to verify the information provided. Again, it is a random process and does not necessarily mean anything is wrong. If selected, no award will be made until all verification is finalized.

How will I know how much I will receive in Financial Aid?

Your award notification will be posted on your MyNWSCC (Banner).

Do I have to attend full time to receive Pell Grant funds?

Full-time enrollment is not necessarily required to receive Federal Pell Grant funds. If you attend less than full-time, your award will be prorated based on the number of credit hours enrolled. Please contact Financial Aid for your specific situation. You must attend at least half-time (6 credit hours) in order to be eligible for student loans.

When can I purchase books with my Financial Aid?

Bookstore purchases can be charged to your financial aid beginning on the 1st day of class each semester. Please see the Registration Guide for the deadline each semester.

How will my aid be awarded?

The award amount is posted in MyNWSCC (Banner). Aid is based on the number of enrolled hours. Check Banner under Award by Aid Year (for the yearly amount) and under Award by Term (for the amount by term). Since the Federal Government has incorporated Year Round Pell Grant, students may also be eligible for a Pell Grant during the summer semester. Student loans are awarded for a Fall and Spring semester. If the student did not take out both Fall and/or Spring loans, then they may apply for the unused portion for the Summer semester.

Will I have Financial Aid for the Summer semester?

Please contact Financial Aid at 256-331-5364 and they will help you determine what options are available to you for summer semester.

For all refund questions, please reference the BankMobile Disbursements Refund page.

If I withdraw from a class how will it affect my financial aid?

Withdrawing before the freeze date or completely withdrawing from the College before the 60% date could cause your award to decrease, thereby possibly making you owe money to the college. Withdrawing from classes will also affect your SAP, potentially causing you to lose your financial aid eligibility. It is best to talk with someone in the Financial Aid Office before you withdraw from a class or completely withdraw.

Why does my eligibility status show Warning?

If you fail to achieve the required cumulative GPA or do not successfully complete the required percentage of hours (completion rate), you will be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. You can still receive financial aid during your warning semester. Warning will be lifted in a subsequent term if you attain the required cumulative GPA and successfully complete the required percentage of hours. If you do not achieve required SAP, you will lose your eligibility.

Why is my eligibility (SAP) status showing MAX?

Per federal regulations, students are expected to complete his/her program of study within a period not to exceed 1.5 times the length of his/her program of study. Once a student has reached this maximum time frame, MAX will appear as the eligibility on the student’s MyNWSCC account. Students with MAX status are not eligible to receive federal financial aid.

How does the Appeal process work?

If a student failed to make SAP or has reached MAX, the student may file an appeal by submitting a Financial Aid Appeal Application and all required documentation to the Student Financial Services office. This application is available forms tab on this page. If an appeal is approved, the student is required to follow all instructions of the appeal probation form to maintain their appeal. Note, incomplete appeals will be an automatic denial. In addition, there is no appeal for Lifetime Eligibility.

How do I find out the results of my Appeal?

Appeal decisions will be emailed to the student’s email address provided on the front of the application.

Will it help my eligibility (SAP) if I bankrupt a semester?

Filing academic bankruptcy will not improve your SAP status. All classes attempted, whether bankrupted or not, are factored in to your SAP status. If you are interested in academic bankruptcy, please visit the Admissions Office for information regarding academic bankruptcy.

I know I will not qualify for a Pell Grant. Do I still need to complete the FAFSA application if I want a student loan?

Yes, you must complete a FAFSA to apply for Federal Student Loans.

What types of loans do Northwest Shoals Community College offer?

Northwest Shoals Community College offers Federal Direct Student loans. The two options of Direct loans offered are Subsidized and Unsubsidized.