Financial Aid Offer Information

Understanding Your Offer 

The goal of the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) is to assist in financing as much of your cost to attend North Carolina A&T State University within eligibility. The OSFA recognizes that some students are not able to meet the entire cost to attend the University. The Financial Aid Offer Information Guide was developed to provide you with information on programs, policies and procedures. It is very important that you read this document in full to become familiar with programs, policies and guidelines relating to your award. Some offers are based upon eligibility which is calculated using the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The University reserves the right to change without notice any offer due to federal, state and or institutional changes in policies, procedures or regulations.

Your offer notification indicates the types and dollar amounts of aid offered. You have the right to accept or decline all or a portion of your offer. All students must accept or decline the aid offered on Aggie Access Online. Declining a specific offer does not mean that it will be replaced with additional funds. Accepting your offer is an acknowledgement that you have read and will abide by all the rules and regulations of each program awarded.

It is recommended that you check your N.C. A&T email account (aggies email accounts) and Aggie Access on a regular basis to ensure you remain informed regarding your financial aid offers and other pertinent information.

Your Offer Package

Your offer letter may include grants and scholarships. These offers are considered “gift award” free money and do not require repayment. Grants and Scholarships do not require your acceptance on Aggie Access. They will automatically be accepted on your behalf. If you are receiving aid and/or scholarships not listed on your offer letter, you must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid. This may result in an adjustment to your offer package.

Your Offer Package may also include work-study and loans.  Work-study requires you to be work and receive a pay check for the hours employed. Loans must be repaid with principle and interest. 

Adjustments to your Financial Aid Offer

The Office of Student Financial Aid makes every effort to provide you with timely and accurate information regarding your offer. We also reserve the right to modify or cancel your financial aid award at any time during the academic year. You will be notified via your N.C. A&T email if a revision is made to your award.

Common reasons for an offer being adjusted are residency changes, enrollment level changes, receipt of additional aid and changes to family income, to name a few. Your actual enrollment will not be verified until the end of add/drop period. 

Federal Direct Loans Requirement

If offered a Federal Direct Loan, all students must accept, reduce or cancel their loan offer on Aggie Access On-line. New students who areoffered a Federal Direct Loan will not have their loan funds disbursed until 30 days after the semester begins.

Requirements before a Federal Direct Loan can be disbursed to a first time borrower:

(1) You must complete the Entrance Counseling Session at
(2) You must electronically sign a Master Promissory Note (on-line) at
(3) You must accept, reduce or decline your Federal Direct Loan on Aggie Access On-Line.

Work-Study Offers

If you are offered Federal work-study, a week before classes you will receive an email notification informing you of the Federal Work-Study Workshop's time and location. During the workshop you will be assigned a position on or off campus. Work-study students are paid bi-weekly at an hourly rate of at least $8.00 per hour. Work-Study students generally work 10 -15 hours per week. 

Cost, Billing and Payments

Now that you have received your offer letter, the next question is “How much do I owe?" You will be billed each semester for one-half of the university yearly charges. Students who reside off campus will be billed for tuition and fees only. Students and parents should view the Fee sheet to obtain the semester cost.

E-Bills – The University will provide billing statements electronically. (Paper bills will no longer be mailed). Students and their assigned authorized bill payer will receive an email notification when a new billing statement is available online.

Tuition Pay - The University offers an installment payment plan that provides an opportunity to pay tuition, fees, room and board charges for the semester in up to 5 payments for one semester and 10 payments for the academic year. There is a fee to sign up for the tuition pay plan. You may apply at beginning June or you may contact them at 1-800-635-0120 for additional information.

Disbursement Procedures 

Student Refunds Process - All financial aid funds, except Federal Work Study, will be disbursed in two payments to your student account by the Treasurer's Office. One half of your award will be disbursed during the fall semester and the remaining during the spring unless otherwise noted. If your financial aid is in excess of the amount owed to the university, the refund will be deposited into your bank account, if you sign up for direct deposit, or a check will be mailed to you. 

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

SAP - All students must attend classes. Aid will be adjusted or canceled for students who fail to attend class(es). Students must also pass 67% of the hours attempted and earn a certain grade point average to continue receiving financial aid.


The office of student financial aid understands that students must withdraw from the university for various reasons. Withdrawing could result in you having to repay all or portion of your financial aid back to the university.

Professional Judgment

Students may have special financial circumstances beyond their control. The Office of Student Financial Aid may exercise professional judgment for special circumstance, dependency override and make adjustment to the student’s FAFSA information or cost of attendance at the request of the student. 

Glossary of Terms for Offer Information 

The Glossary of Terms for Award Notifications contains universally accepted definitions of language typically contained on offer notifications given to current and prospective students. The intent of this glossary is to provide definition and understanding of the most commonly used terms on the offer notification.

Cost of Attendance (COA): The Cost of Attendance consists of the sum of educational costs payable to the school (also referred to as direct or billable costs) and costs paid to others (or indirect, non-billable or discretionary) costs. The Cost of Attendance represents the highest dollar amount of financial aid a student can receive during an award year

Costs Payable to the School (Direct Costs): Payable to the school also referred to as direct or billable costs) generally include tuition, fees, housing, and meals/food (for students residing on campus), health insurance (if minimum insurance coverage is not documented), or any other expenses paid to the school for enrollment.

Educational Loan: Money borrowed from the federal government, a college or university, or a private source like a bank or financial institution to pay for educational expenses and must be paid back with interest.

  • Student Loan: Funds offered to the student that must eventually be paid back to the lender by the student.

1 - Federal Direct Student Loan: Also known as the Direct Loan Program, which allows eligible students and parents to borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating colleges or universities. Federal student loans include Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized and the Direct PLUS programs for parents of dependent students and graduate or professional students. Loan funds provided to the student by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. Repayment of principal begins six months after the borrower ceases to be a student on at least a half-time basis. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the annual application. There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Students with financial need can qualify for a subsidized loan, and the government pays the interest on the loan while the student remains enrolled at least half time. Students who don't demonstrate financial need qualify for an unsubsidized loan and interest accrues while the student is in school.

2 -Federal Parent Loan (PLUS): A federal loan program that allows parents who have no adverse credit history to apply for up to the Cost of Attendance each year, less any financial aid. PLUS loans must be repaid with interest.

3 - Federal Grad PLUS Loan: Loan funds provided to graduate students by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. This federal loan program allows graduate students with no adverse credit history to apply for up to their Cost of Attendance each year, less any financial aid. To be eligible, the student must be enrolled at least half time in an eligible program of study and first borrow the maximum allowable through the Federal Direct Student Loan program. Repayment of principal and interest begins 30 to 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed with deferment and forbearance options available.

4 - Private (Alternative) Loan: A student or parent loan from a bank, credit union, private company, a nonprofit or state-affiliated lender, or from the college or university directly to pay for educational costs. Interest begins to accrue when the loan is disbursed, and repayment begins while the student is still enrolled in school.

Enrollment Level: Level of the degree-granting program in which a student is enrolled. Basic levels of enrollment include: undergraduate (students seeking an associate's degree, a certificate, or a baccalaureate degree); post-baccalaureate (such as teacher certification); graduate (students working on a master's degree or professional degree); and post-graduate (such as students enrolled in a doctoral program). The amounts and types of financial aid a student is eligible for is determined, in part, by their enrollment level.

Enrollment Status: Academic workload (or course load), as defined by the institution, that a student is carrying for a defined academic period. This normally relates to the number of credit hours or clock hours taken by a student during a given academic period. For most traditional undergraduate term-based schools:

  • Full-time status = at least 12 credit hours
  • Three-quarter time status = at least 9-11 credit hours
  • Half-time status = at least 6-8 credit hours.

For most clock hour schools full-time enrollment equates to at least 24 clock hours per week.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): A measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student's education for the year. The EFC is calculated according to a formula specified in the law and is based upon the information provided by the student and his or her family during the FASFA filing process.

Family Financial Responsibility: Many schools offer institutional scholarships and grants based upon a more comprehensive calculation of family financial circumstances using information provided on the CSS PROFILE or the College's own financial aid form. This can result in a higher (or lower) financial responsibility for the student (and his/her family) than the FAFSA might indicate with its Student Aid Index (SAI) estimate.

Federal Pell Grant: The Pell Grant is a federal grant program designed to assist undergraduate students in low- and moderate-income households to pay for college. The award amount is based on the cost of the institution, SAI, and enrollment status, and is subject to an aggregate limit.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): A federal grant provided by the institution to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and does not need to be repaid. The amount of funding from this program varies by institution. 

Federal Work-Study (FWS): Federal Work-Study provides funding for part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. Unlike grants and loans, FWS is paid to students as they earn the funds by working.

Gift Aid: Funds offered to the student that do not have to be repaid, unless the student fails to meet certain terms, such as a service requirement, specified as a condition of the grant. Gift aid includes offers with titles such as grants, scholarships, remissions, waivers, etc. Gift aid can be awarded based upon many factors, including (but not limited to) financial need; academic excellence; athletic, musical, and theatrical talent; affiliation with various groups; or career aspirations.

Grants & Scholarships: Any money provided to students that does not have to be repaid. They can be called grants, scholarships, tuition remissions, gift aid, or tuition waivers. Grants and scholarships are provided based on many different factors.

Costs Paid to Others (Indirect Costs): Costs paid to others (also referred to as indirect, non-billable, or additional costs), are other expenses not paid directly to the school, but associated with receiving an education. These expenses are estimated by the school and may differ from student to student based on their individual circumstances. These expenses may include books, course materials, supplies, equipment, transportation and parking, personal expenses, childcare costs, computer costs, disability expenses, licensure expenses and off-campus rent and food.

Need: The student's Cost of Attendance minus their Student Aid Index.

Need-based Aid: Financial assistance provided to students based on their financial situation, determined by completing the FAFSA. Need-based financial aid can take different forms, including grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and low-interest loans, like the federal direct subsidized loan.

Net Price: The difference between the cost of attendance and all grants and scholarships. Net price reflects what the student is expected to pay for their education on their own and can be covered through a variety of sources, including savings, student employment, institutional payment plans, or education loans.

Out-of-pocket Cost: Difference between the cost of attendance and all gift aid. Out-of-pocket cost can be covered through a variety of sources, including: savings, income and educational loans.

Other Funding Options: Funding options outside of grants and scholarships that a student and their family may use to pay any remaining costs or expenses. This may include loans, student employment, institutional payment plans, or personal savings. 

Scholarship: Gift aid offered to the student that does not need to be repaid. Scholarship offers are typically based on merit or a combination of merit and need, such as academic excellence, talent, affiliation with various groups, or career aspirations.

Self-help: Financial aid in the form of loans or student employment. Loans are used to help pay the remaining net costs after gift aid is deducted. Student employment earnings (including Work-Study offers) are generally not deducted from billed costs but can be used to help cover indirect costs and are paid in the form of wages to the student.

Student Aid Index (SAI): The SAI is the eligibility index used to determine your eligibility for federal, and in some instances, state and institutional need-based student financial aid. Generally, students with a higher SAI are eligible for less need-based financial aid. It is based upon the information provided by the student and their family on the FAFSA. 

Verification: A federally mandated process to confirm the accuracy of data provided by selected applicants on the FAFSA. To complete the verification process, the student, their parent(s), or spouse, if applicable, are required to provide certain documents to the school for review. If the documentation the student provides the institution doesn't match what was reported on the FAFSA, verification can result in changes to the student's financial aid eligibility, and/or financial aid offers.