How financial aid works

Step 1: Be admitted to Northern Arizona University

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Be certain you are admitted to the university as a degree-seeking student.
Undergraduates should visit the Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation site.
Graduates should visit the Graduate College site. (Note: you do not have to be admitted to fill out the FAFSA.)

Step 2: Request a PIN from pin.ed.gov

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Obtain a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov, if you have not already received one from the federal processor. This will allow you to access, complete, and electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA, to view the status and results of your processed FAFSA, to make corrections to your Student Aid Report (SAR), to complete Entrance and Exit Counseling. You should never share your PIN with anyone and be sure to keep your PIN in a safe place. Parents and students must obtain their own seperate PIN.

Step 3: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

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Complete the FAFSA and submit it online at fafsa.gov using previous year's tax information.  Please note the priority deadline is February 1st.  In order for NAU to receive your FAFSA information, please enter NAU's school code 001082. 

Step 4: Get access to LOUIE

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Obtain access to LOUIE (the university’s Lumberjack Online University Information Environment) so that you can check your financial aid, awards, and any documents our office may be requesting to process your financial aid. You will also use LOUIE to check your current schedule of classes, grade reports, class availability when preparing to register, and to add or drop classes. 

Step 5: Get and use your university e-mail account

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Your NAU e-mail account is the official delivery method to receive important notifications from the Office of Student Financial Aid and other university offices. If you have questions regarding your university e-mail account, please contact the Academic Computing Help Desk. If you have a main e-mail account— Yahoo, AOL, etc.—that you would rather use, you should always forward your university e-mails to that account so you do not miss any important messages from our office. 

Step 6: Register for classes

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Register for all of the hours you indicated on the FAFSA, which assumes you are full-time student until you indicate otherwise. You can view how many hours for which you are funded:

  • log into your LOUIE account
  • select Financial Aid 
  • scroll down to Term Summary for Aid Year
  • your funded hours will be under FA Load

Undergraduate students

6 hours = part time
12 hours = full time

Graduate students

5 hours = part time
9 hours = full time

Contact our office to have your class load and financial aid adjusted accordingly to avoid delays in getting your financial aid funds. Remember that the summer and winter sessions do not have an automatic Tuition Payment Plan; if you do not have enough financial aid to cover your summer tuition, your classes will be dropped.

Step 7: Check your LOUIE to-do list

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Once your file is complete, it may be selected to go through a verification process. If you are selected for verification, you will be required to submit further documentation before your financial aid can be awarded. Check your to-do List on LOUIE to make sure your file is complete and verified to avoid delays in receiving your financial aid funds and service fee charges. 

Step 8: Complete loan counseling

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If you are a first-time loan borrower to Northern Arizona University, you must complete Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov. Your federal student loans will not disburse without this.

Step 9: Sign a promissory note for your student loan

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If you have never signed an Electronic Master Promissory Note (EMPN) before and you wish to accept a student loan, you must use your PIN to sign one. Your federal student loans will not disburse without this.

Step 10: Sign up for direct deposit for possible financial aid refunds

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To sign up for direct deposit, you will need your savings or checking account number and the routing number for your United States bank or credit union. If you do not have a direct deposit account, your financial aid refund will be mailed in the form of a check to your ‘Refund’ address (in LOUIE). Checks are not available for in-person pick up. Sign up for Direct Deposit on LOUIE:

  • go to the LOUIE Student Center
  • click on Finances
  • click on Direct Deposit

Step 11: Check LOUIE for your awards

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If you have been awarded any type of financial aid, check your LOUIE account to ensure your aid will cover your tuition and fees.

Step 12: If necessary, pay fees not covered by your awarded financial aid

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Please be prepared to pay your fees by the due date listed on your bill. If your awarded financial aid will not cover all of your fees, you must pay the difference by the due date. Visit the Student and Departmental Account Services for tuition due dates and payment methods to avoid service fee charges.*

Step 13: Keep your information updated in LOUIE

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Keep your preferred address current via LOUIE.

Learn more about how financial aid works with: