A-Z Index

Important Notes, Definitions, and Disclaimers

Federal Financial Aid

  • No Direct Loan funds can be credited to a student's account without properly completing the online Loan Entrance Counseling and Direct Loan Master Promissory Note.
  • Funds for academic year loans are required to be disbursed in two equal payments.
  • The amount listed for federal aid could decrease if the student receives additional scholarships or other resources.
  • Students who are seeking a degree may receive aid from only one institution during an academic term.
  • Your Award Offer indicates whether or not you are eligible for the Federal Work Study program. Being eligible does not guarantee you a position. In order to receive these funds you must obtain employment. The job application, search and interviewing process are part of your career education. Search Student Employment for open positions on campus.
  • All awards, except Federal Work Study, are applied to the student's account. Employment through work study program positions is NOT guaranteed and hours must be earned before a payroll check is produced. Payroll checks are produced on the 25th of each month and are made payable to the student.
  • You may seek employment on campus even if you do not qualify for Federal Work Study, but first priority for employment is given to those who do. Contact the Student Employment Office at 660.562.1140 or at if you have specific questions. The Student Employment Office will also be available to answer questions at all SOAR dates. Students intending to work on campus will be required to complete employment verification and authorization paperwork which will require presenting certain documents.

Admission-Based Merit Scholarships

  • Freshmen admission-based merit scholarships cannot be stacked with the each other (Provost Scholar, Dean's Scholar, Distinguished Scholar, Academic Excellence, Tower Scholar, University Scholar, and Northwest Merit). Maximum award is for four consecutive years.
  • The President's Scholarship will supersede the admission-based merit scholarships (Provost Scholar, Dean's Scholar, Distinguished Scholar, Academic Excellence, Tower Scholar, University Scholar, Northwest Merit, or Northwest Scholar).
  • Transfer admission-based merit scholarships cannot be stacked with each other (Transfer Distinguished, Transfer Academic Scholarship and Transfer Merit). Maximum award is for three consecutive years.
  • Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship will supersede the admission-based merit scholarships (Transfer Distinguished, Transfer Academic, or Transfer Merit).
  • Undergraduate scholarships are restricted for use during a student's first undergraduate program.
  • Admission-based merit scholarships are not available to students enrolled in Online Professional programs.  More information about cost for those programs can be found at
  • All scholarship recipients must be enrolled full-time (12 Northwest hours per semester) to receive University scholarships.
  • Students must be accepted for admission by specified dates before scholarship awards can be offered.
  • Admission-based merit scholarships have admission application deadline of May 1 to guarantee scholarship awards. For students who complete their admission application after May 1, scholarships will be awarded contingent upon available funding. 
  • Students participating in a study abroad program where fees are waived will not receive the Bearcat Advantage that semester.
  • Major-specific and private scholarship award amounts funded through the Northwest Foundation may fluctuate with funding availability.
  • Freshman President's and Northwest A+ scholarships are only available to students beginning in fall semester.
  • Transferable credit hours do not include AP, CLEP, military or nongraded credit hours.
  • Renewal requirements must be met within the academic year sequence (fall, spring and/or summer) in order to maintain continuous award of the scholarship.
  • Northwest's scholarship programs are subject to change from year to year based on funding levels and University priorities. While Northwest will attempt to honor renewal programs based on the student's year of admission, the University cannot always guarantee this.
  • Bearcat Advantage has a maximum award of 132 total Northwest credit hours earned.

Outside Resources

  • All financial assistance (including private scholarships and outside resources) reduces a student's total Northwest account balance before installment amount is calculated. Scholarships will not satisfy an installment payment.
  • Many outside resources such as private scholarships, vocational rehabilitation, etc. are sometimes not awarded until a later date. When we are notified of those awards, it will require a revision of your financial aid package.
  • You may need to provide proof of enrollment such as a copy of your billing statement, class schedule or most recent grades before your donor will release funds. Please allow ample time for the payment to reach Northwest before the semester begins. Arrangement for these funds is the responsibility of the student and scholarship donor. As a general practice, Northwest does not bill for the funds

Glossary of Terms and Definitions

  • Cost of Attendance (COA): The total amount (not including grants and scholarships) that it will cost you to go to school during the school year. COA includes tuition and fees; housing and food; and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and dependent care. It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses, such as an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer; costs related to a disability; and reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs. For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes tuition and fees; an allowance for books, supplies, and transportation; and dependent care expenses.
  • Direct Subsidized Loan: Loans that the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on while you’re in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan: Loans that the borrower is responsible for paying the interest on during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
  • Expected Family Contribution: A number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive. It is based on the financial information provided in your Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA). This is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive.
  • Federal Work-Study: A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while the student is enrolled in school to help pay his or her education expenses. The student must seek out and apply for work-study jobs at his or her school. The student will be paid directly for the hours he or she works may not automatically be credited to pay for institutional tuition or fees. The amount you earn cannot exceed the total amount awarded by the school for the award year. The availability of work-study jobs varies by school. Please note that Federal Work-Study earnings may be taxed in certain scenarios; however the income you earn will not be counted against you when calculating your Expected Family Contribution on the FASFA.
  • Grants and Scholarships: Student aid funds that do not have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based. Occasionally you might have to pay back part or all of a grant if, for example, you withdraw from school before finishing a semester. If you use a grant or scholarship to cover your living expenses, the amount of your scholarship may be counted as taxable income on your tax return.
  • Loans: Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Loans from the federal government typically have a lower interest rate than loans from private lenders. Federal loans, listed from most advantageous to least advantageous, are called Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Parent PLUS Loans. You can find more information about federal loans at
  • Net Price: An estimate of the actual cost that a student and his or her family need to pay in a given year to cover education expenses for the student to attend a particular school. Net price is determined by taking the institution's cost of attendance and subtracting any grants and scholarships for which the student may be eligible.
  • Non-Federal Private Education Loan: A private education loan is a loan issued expressly for postsecondary education expenses to a borrower (either through the educational institution or directly to the borrower) from a private educational lender, rather than as a Title IV, HEA loan offered by the Department of Education.
  • Origination Fees: An upfront fee charged by a lender for processing a new loan application. It is compensation for putting the loan in place. Origination fees are quoted as a percentage of the total loan.
  • Parent Plus Loan: A loan available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.
  • Teach Grant Program: Provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching. If you do not meet the requirements of your service obligation, all TEACH Grants you received will be converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You must repay these loans in full, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement. Service obligation information can be found at
  • Tuition Payment Plan: A tuition payment plan offered by an institution may allow students to spread out their payments. It includes an extension of credit of 90 days or less in which the educational institution is the lender, or of one year or less where an interest rate will not be applied to the credit payment.
  • VA Education Benefits: Benefits that help Veterans, service members, and their qualified family members with needs like paying college tuition, finding the right school or training program, and getting career counseling. You can find more information here:

For more information visit