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Applying for Financial Aid

How to Complete the FAFSA

Student Type

  • Entering NMC Freshman (first time enrolling in a college)

  • Transfer Student (attended any other college prior to enrollment at NMC)

    • Complete the NMC Application for Admission.
    • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), listing NMC's Federal School Code ( 002302).
    • Please be aware that financial aid does not automatically transfer from one school to another. Contact the Student Financial Services office if you have any questions, (231) 995-1035.
    • Have an official grade transcript sent to NMC from all college(s) you have previously attended.
    • Have an official high school or GED transcript sent to NMC.
  • Continuing Student (has completed at least one semester at NMC)

    • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), listing NMC's Federal School Code ( 002302).
    • After completing the FAFSA, the United States Department of Education will then determine your Student Aid Index (SA). This SAI determines eligibility for various federal and state financial aid programs. The federal processor will provide the applicant with a Student Aid Report (SAR), electronically, within 7 to 10 days. NMC’s Student Financial Services office will receive the Institutional Student Aid Report (ISAR) electronically within 3–4 business days. 
    • When your financial aid process is complete, the NMC Student Financial Services office will notify you through your NMC email account. You will need to accept your awards — online — via NMC Self-Service.

To be eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid funds at Northwestern Michigan College, you must be seeking a certificate or degree from NMC and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA, short for FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, is the form that all U.S. citizens or permanent residents must fill out in order to apply for federal financial aid each year.

Steps to complete the FAFSA

  • Which FAFSA should I complete?

    • Complete the 2023–2024 FAFSA for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 & Summer 2024 semesters
    • Complete the 2024–2025 FAFSA for the Fall 2024, Spring 2025 & Summer 2025 semesters
  • What information is needed for the FAFSA?

  • Information you’ll need

    • Information about yourself:
      Social Security Number
      Alien Registration Number (if you are an eligible noncitizen like a U.S. Permanent Resident)
      Your federal income tax returns (if you filed a tax return). For the 2024–2025 FAFSA, this means the tax year 2022.
    • Information about your contributor(s):
      Social Security Number
      Their federal income tax returns (if they filed a tax return). For the 2024–2025 FAFSA, this means the tax year 2022.
  • How to apply

    • The FAFSA form should be filled out at studentaid.gov. Normally you can complete the form starting October 1 of the year before the one for which you are applying for aid.
    • You, and at least one contributor, should create an FSA ID at studentaid.gov. Your FSA ID is used as your electronic signature for the FAFSA. You do not need to wait until the FAFSA opens to apply for your FSA ID.
    • Your FSA ID should be created 3-5 days before completing the FAFSA.
    • My parents are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents; can I still apply for federal aid?
    • YES. If you, the student, are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident you are eligible for federal financial aid whether or not your parents are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. (Note: When prompted for your parent(s) social security number on the form, you should enter all zeros.)
  • How to review and correct your FAFSA form

    • You might see a note on your SAR saying you’ve been selected for verification; or your school might contact you to inform you that you’ve been selected. Verification is the process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate. If you’re selected for verification, your school will request additional documentation that supports the information you reported.
    • Don’t assume you’re being accused of doing anything wrong. Some people are selected for verification at random; and some schools verify all students' FAFSA forms. All you need to do is provide the documentation your school asks for—and be sure to do so by the school’s deadline, or you won’t be able to get federal student aid.
    • You can find your tax transcript through the IRS’s Get Transcript service at irs.gov/transcript.
  • Other helpful resources

    • There are a number of ways that you can request help completing your FAFSA form.
    • NMC Financial Aid Office — You can contact our office with questions. We are open Mondays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and can be reached at (231) 995-1035.
    • FAFSA Hotline — The Department of Education can help answer questions by calling (800) 433-3243. There are also “help & hints” for each question as you complete the FAFSA.
  • Avoiding scams and fraud

    • Know that you never need to pay for help with your federal student aid, including federal student loans. All applications for financial aid are free and you should not use any web address other than studentaid.gov to apply for federal student aid.
    • Be suspicious of any website that quotes a price or asks for a credit card number, and of companies that contact you that want you to pay for financial aid application assistance or a guaranteed financial aid amount.
    • The U.S. Department of Education advises students to look out for the following red flags:
      — Aggressive advertising language;
      — Promises that sound too good to be true;
      — Asking for log-in info,
      — Typos, and
      — Unofficial addresses or phone numbers.
    • If you find yourself involved in a scam that concerns your studentaid.gov account, or if you’ve shared your FSA ID details with someone you suspect to be a scammer, the Department of Education advises that you log in and change your account password as soon as possible, check your account information (contact email, address and phone number) to make sure it’s still accurate, and file a complaint so the Department of Education can monitor your account for continued suspicious activity.
    • Learn more about spotting and avoiding student aid scams here.

Types of Financial Aid

Scholarships & Grants

Graphic showing a dollar sign and graduation cap

Money you usually don't have to pay back


Photo of two students with laptops

Money you earn to help pay for educational expenses


Photo of a glass jar marked "college" containing loose change

Money you have to pay back


Free, 1:1 assistance completing your FAFSA. Schedule an appointment:

If you have an NMC login

If you don't have an NMC login

Emergency Assistance

For students experiencing hardships during their time at NMC.

Contact Us

Important Dates