General Questions

Do I need an appointment?

No. Normal business hours for the Shoals Campus are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Normal business hours for the 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 MyNW-SCC student account. Whom should I contact?

For assistance with your myNW-SCC (Banner) PIN, 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 contact April Cookson by emailing or calling 256-331-5395.

Applying for Financial Aid

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. However, it is now available October 1 for the upcoming academic year so it can be filed even sooner than 2-3 months prior.

Is there a deadline to apply?

NW-SCC does not have a deadline to complete the FAFSA. However, NW-SCC suggests you file at least 2-3 months prior to the beginning of the semester to give plenty of time to complete any verification 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, turned in any verification documents requested by the verification deadline and be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. Verification deadlines are posted on the financial aid section of the NW-SCC 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 NW-SCC. 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 myNW-SCC 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 myNW-SCC student account.

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

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.

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?

Until you are 23 or 24, depending on your exact birthdate, or you can truthfully answer “yes” to at least one question in the Dependency Determination section of the FAFSA, the Federal Government requires you enter your parent’s personal and tax information.

I do not work, and my parents do not file a tax return because they receive Social Security benefits. How do I answer the tax questions?

If there is no income earned from work and Social Security benefits are untaxed, answer tax-related questions as “Not Filing a Tax Return” with zero income. However, there will be a section asking the amount of Untaxed Income received during the year.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

Students and parents who have completed their tax returns may be eligible to use the Date Retrieval Tool (DRT) and transfer tax information directly into the FAFSA. The DRT is the easiest way to provide your (and your parents’/spouse’s) tax information on your FAFSA. The DRT accurately enters your tax information into your application. However, there are some situations where an applicant will not be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

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.

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 30-40% 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 myNW-SCC (Banner) account and choosing the Financial Aid tab. Then click Eligibility and choose the academic year you are registered for and submit. It will list all Unsatisfied Requirements that must be completed before the student will receive a financial aid offer.

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 MyNW-SCC (Banner). Check Banner under Financial Aid, Award by Aid Year (for the yearly amount) or under Student Tab/Account Detail by Term (for the amount by term).

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

Full-time enrollment is not 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. However, if your EFC is very high, you may not be eligible for any Pell Grant funds or only a portion of Pell Grant funds unless enrolled full time.

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. You will be able to make bookstore charges just for the 1st week at the beginning of each semester.

How will my aid be awarded?

The award amount posted in MyNW-SCC (Banner) is for a Fall and Spring semester. 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?

Pell-eligible students making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) may receive up to 50% of the initial scheduled award (full-time amount awarded for Fall and Spring). To receive additional funds, students must be enrolled at least half-time (6-8 credit hours) during the summer term. If a student has not used all of the initial scheduled award, the remainder of the scheduled award will be used first. If less than 100% of the scheduled award remains, then the remainder and part of the additional 50% will be used. Below are some examples for a student who is eligible for $4,000 for the year. • If a student enrolled full-time ($2,000) in the fall and three-quarter ($1,500) in the spring, funds ($500) from the initial scheduled award would remain. If enrolled half-time in the summer, the student would be eligible for $1,000. The Pell payment would include the remaining amount of the initial scheduled award ($500) plus additional “year round” funds ($500). • If a student attends full time in the fall and spring, no Pell funds from the initial schedule award would be remaining. However, the student could receive Year Round Pell funds so long as the student is registered for at least six credit hours during the Summer semester. Be mindful, aid will continue to be prorated based on enrolled and attended hours. In addition, all Pell Grant funds received, including additional funds beyond the initial scheduled award, must be counted towards the student’s overall lifetime eligibility limits.

Student Refunds

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

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Financial Aid

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

Withdrawing before the freeze date (10 working business days after the first day of class) 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: e.g. a two-year program of study (4 semesters, 64 credit hours) must be completed within 3 years (6 semesters, 96 credit hours) of attendance. Once a student has reached this maximum time frame, MAX will appear as the eligibility on the student’s MyNW-SCC 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. For more information regarding student loans, please refer to the current academic year catalog under the Student Financial Services section or you can visit the Student Financial Services section of the website.