Financial Aid for Online Students

Students often ask if they are eligible for financial aid if they enroll in online programs or courses. If you would qualify for financial assistance as an on-campus student, you probably qualify for financial assistance for online and distance education courses. To receive or continue receiving financial aid, a student must be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress as determined by Northern. Also, eligibility for many federal, state and university financial aid programs are affected by enrollment levels.

The process to apply is exactly the same regardless of where you take your NMU courses. It all begins will filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. It is recommended that students try to complete the FAFSA by March 1 to receive maximum consideration for aid for the fall semester.

NMU’s Financial Aid Office has a comprehensive Web site that discusses the financial aid process and timeline, how eligibility is determined and the various types of aid that are available to students. However, here are some points for part-time and non-degree students to consider.

Less-Than-Full-Time Enrollment

  • Students enrolled less than full time (fewer than 12 credits per semester) may have some financial aid prorated or cancelled.
  • Students enrolled less than halftime (six credit hours for undergraduate students and four credit hours for graduate students) are not eligible for federal loans.  An option for students requiring additional financial assistance for less than halftime enrollment may be alternative student student loans.

Non-Degree Program

  • Students enrolled in non-degree programs are not eligible for federal aid through the FAFSA.  A possible option is an alternative loan through lenders not requiring a degree program such as a MI-Loan or Campus Door.

Employer Reimbursement

If you're interested in taking a class or completing a program in your career field, check with your employer about possible tuition support.