Terms and Conditions

Your Offer Letter

Electronic Offer Letter

Only the first offer notice/letter you receive is mailed in a paper format. All subsequent offer letters, including revisions, are electronic. An email is sent to your NIU email account with offer letter information and disclosures. The types of aid and amounts can be viewed in MyNIU. The email content and MyNIU information together constitute your offer letter.

Official Financial Aid Offer

All financial aid offer letters will be revised to reflect final/official registration for a term at the end of the second week of each semester. NIU allows some registration changes during the first two weeks of a semester, commonly referred to as the add/drop period. Visit the Academic Calendar for a list of official dates and deadlines.

Official aid offers based on less than full-time fall registration will also reflect spring financial aid for the same enrollment level until spring official offers are revised. For example, if your final fall registration status is half-time, both fall and spring aid will change to half-time. Your aid will be adjusted to reflect actual spring enrollment after the spring add/drop period or upon request.

Official aid offers may be adjusted based on events such as receipt of a new grant or scholarship, change in loan amount accepted, change in financial aid eligibility, withdrawal from all courses and registering in a course with a start date after the first two weeks of the semester.

What is not included on an offer letter?
  • The offer letter does not detail student charges or calculate the amount you will owe.
  • The offer letter may not include a private scholarship if they check has not yet been received by NIU.
  • Parent PLUS loans are not automatically offered on an offer letter. Parents who wish to borrow from the PLUS loan program begin the application process at studentloans.gov. NIU will be notified of the approval and amount by the federal processor and will add the PLUS loan to your offer letter.

MAP Grant and Enrolled Hours

The MAP grant pays per credit hour from 3 hours to 15 hours. Early aid offers inform you of your maximum semester eligibility. You must be enrolled in 15 hours to receive the full amount. You can determine your per-hour amount by dividing the semester MAP offer by 15.

Federal Pell Grant Recalculation Date (PRD)

The Pell Recalculation Date (sometimes referred to as the census date) is a date in the semester when the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is required to evaluate a student’s Federal Pell Grant eligibility based on their current enrollment status. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office has a single PRD, which is the last date of the university add/drop period (the end of week two of the payment period), after which no Federal Pell Grant recalculations occur due to enrollment status adjustments made by the student.

Any enrollment changes recorded after the PRD for these students will not translate into any changes to their already awarded Federal Pell Grant. Students can still see changes to other types of aid in their awards (MAP, Merit, Direct Loans, etc.).

Pell eligibility may still be recalculated by the institution if required SAI change, or non-attendance.

Students Who Are Packaged After the PRD

Federal Pell Grant recipients who are packaged after the PRD would be awarded based on actual enrollment hours at the time of packaging. Some things to consider:

  • All withdrawn courses (grade of W) would not be counted towards Federal Pell Grant eligibility
  • All courses that resulted in a failing grade (F) must verify student’s attendance prior to factoring it towards Pell eligibility
  • All audit courses would not be counted
  • If the student was initially packaged prior to the PRD but the award was later cancelled, this would be considered as a “reinstatement” of award. The reinstated award would take precedence over the recalculation.
  • For students who are appealing their SAP status for Title IV eligibility, any previously established award will also take precedence over a recalculated one. If the student was never packaged, then only actual enrollment would be considered.

Terms and Conditions of Your Financial Aid

  • 1. Financial aid disbursements are made directly to your student account. Year amounts are disbursed one-half for Fall and one-half for Spring unless otherwise notified.

  • 2. Financial aid is disbursed two weeks after your first class begins and after you have completed financial aid files and qualifying enrollment. Disbursed financial aid will be based on final and official registration per university add and drop policies and procedures.

  • 3. Different disbursement dates and procedures may apply to students taking courses that are late start (after the first week of the semester).

  • 4. You must be fully admitted as an undergraduate student, enrolled for the purpose of seeking a bachelor’s degree and enrolled in courses that can be used as credit toward a bachelor’s degree.

  • 5. You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

  • 6. You must notify our office of any financial aid including private and/or local scholarships or other educational benefits that do not appear on your financial aid offer letter.

  • 7. You must be enrolled at least half-time in undergraduate degree courses to receive a Federal Direct Student Loan.

  • 8. You must begin attending all registered courses and remain enrolled at least 60 percent of the term, or your aid may be reduced.

  • 9. Federal student loans and Pell Grants have annual and lifetime limits set by federal statue. If at any time, including in a future year, NIU becomes aware of loan and/or Pell usage at another institution, we may be required to reduce funds and you may owe repayment of the reduction.

  • 10. MAP grant eligibility is tracked by the number of credit hours MAP has paid for you to all institutions. You may not receive MAP after 135 hours of MAP has been paid to all institutions attended.

  • 11. Students working on a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible for state, federal or institutional need-based grants. Students will be considered for a Federal Direct Student Loan if admitted, taking at least six credit hours of undergraduate classes required for the new degree, are meeting all satisfactory academic progress standards, and have not exceeded annual or lifetime (aggregate) loan limits.

  • 12. If after filing the FAFSA you are convicted of possessing or selling drugs, you must notify the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. This may affect your aid eligibility.

  • 13. Federal Work Study (FWS) funds on an offer notification are not a guarantee of employment and are not disbursed to your NIU student account. To receive FWS, you must seek and be selected for employment. FWS earnings are based on actual hours worked and are paid through bi-monthly paychecks.

  • 14. To continue to receive aid you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

  • 15. All offers are contingent on funding from external sources. If federal, state or private funds are reduced, suspended or eliminated, your offer will be adjusted accordingly. Reduced or rescinded offers previously disbursed to your student account will be charged back to the account.

  • 16. The State of IL Monetary Award (MAP) Grant, whether offered or credited (disbursed) to your student account, is always an estimate until funding is received from the state. Your letter from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) includes this information. Until funding is finalized through the state budget process and received, NIU uses the amount announced in your ISAC letter as part of your financial aid offer and for the estimated credit to your student account.

  • 17. If you have been offered a State of IL MAP Grant, you may be required to submit documentation verifying your/your parent’s Illinois residency. If this pertains to you, a request for documentation will be posted to your MyNIU To Do List.
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