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Aid Information

Types of Aid

Applying for Aid

The most important step in applying for financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You cannot receive financial aid until NEO receives and reviews your application.

April 1 is the priority deadline for students planning on beginning or continuing enrollment for the following Fall semester.

NEO FAFSA code: 003160

FAFSA requirements


Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and on several other factors.
To receive federal financial aid, you must:

  • Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans).
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or
  • Complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law,
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

Maintain satisfactory academic progress

Federal regulations (CFR 668.34) require that a student maintain satisfactory academic progress in the course of study being pursued, according to the standards and practices of the institution in which they are enrolled in order to receive aid under the Higher Education Act. These programs at NEO A & M include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Direct Stafford Loans, (subsidized and unsubsidized) Federal PLUS Loan, and Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant and Oklahoma’s Promise. NEO must use both a qualitative standard (GPA) and a quantitative standard (time-based). Visit the Academic Progress page for details.

Re-establishing eligibility

If a student’s financial aid appeal is denied, the student may re-establish eligibility for financial aid by successfully meeting the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress. This can include taking classes at NEO or transferring hours from another institution.

Enrollment requirements

Financial aid is initially awarded based on the assumption that students will be enrolled full-time. If you are enrolled less than full time, your aid package will be adjusted to reflect your current enrollment status. All of your aid will likely be effected. Enrollment status is checked each semester prior to disbursement of funds. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive Stafford loans. Pell grants are available for any enrollment status, but students with a higher EFC that are eligible for funds at half-time may not be eligible if enrolled less than half-time.

SemesterFull-Time3/4 Time1/2 TimeLess than 1/2 time
Fall, Spring, Summer12 or more9-11 Hours6-8 Hours5 or Less

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is the number schools use to determine your eligibility to receive need-based federal, state and institutional aid. The EFC is determined by your answers to questions on your FAFSA. Several factors are used by the federal government to determine your EFC. Those factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Adjusted Gross Income
  • Taxes Paid
  • Untaxed Income Amounts
  • Number in the household
  • Number attending college
  • Family Assets

As your EFC number increases, the amount of need-based aid you are eligible for decreases.

Dependency Status

The FAFSA application has 13 dependency questions. If you are unable to answer “yes” to any of those questions, you are considered a “dependent” student and must include your parent’s information on your FAFSA. Under Federal law, to the extent your family is able, they are primarily responsible for paying for your college expenses. To determine how much your family can afford towards your college expenses, the FAFSA collects financial information about you and your parents’ financial situation.

However, Federal law allows for some exceptions if you have a special circumstance (less than 1% of FAFSA applicants meet the definition of having a special circumstance). The following are examples of some special circumstances where you may submit your FAFSA without providing parental information:

  • Your parents are incarcerated; or
  • You have left home due to an abusive family environment; or
  • You do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them (and you have not been adopted).

But not all situations are considered a special circumstance. The following are situations that alone or in combination would not be considered a special circumstance.

  • Your parents do not want to provide their information on your FAFSA; or
  • Your parents refuse to contribute to your college expenses; or
  • Your parents do not claim you as a dependent on their income taxes; or
  • You do not live with your parents

If you believe that you have a special circumstance that may qualify for a dependency override, click on the Forms link above and download the Dependency Override Request. Turn in the application along with all required supporting documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. Your application will be reviewed and you will be notified by mail about the status of your appeal. Please allow 2 – 3 weeks for the appeal to be processed.

Receiving Aid

After the NEO Office of Financial Aid has reviewed your FAFSA application, you will be sent an AWARD NOTIFICATION email. The email will direct you to the Financial Aid Self-Service portal on the NEO website. Once signed in to Self-Service you will need to read and accept the Terms and Conditions on the Award Overview page. Once you have accepted the Terms and Conditions you can click on the Accept Award Offer tab to view and accept your awards.

For more information follow the links below:

Understanding your Award Letter

Your award offer lists all of your awards as of the date of the offer. You do not need to accept any gift aid, such as grants or scholarships, but you will need to accept or decline any loans you have been offered. On the Award Offer tab, you can accept or decline your loans and submit your response. Whenever you receive additional aid or an adjustment is made you will receive a new AWARD NOTIFICATION email and you will be directed to Financial Aid Self-Service to view the changes.

Disbursement of Funds

All financial aid funds, except Federal Work Study funds, are credited to your NEO student account each semester. Funds are usually credited to your account during the fourth or fifth week of the fall and spring semesters and during the second or third week of the summer semesters. If you are due a refund of financial aid funds, the NEO Business Office will process your refund and it will be available to you, usually the second or third day after the funds have been credited to your account by Financial Aid. The Business Office will email you when your refund check is ready to be picked up or you can sign up for direct deposit on the self-service portal.


The federal government requires schools participating in federal aid programs to verify the consistency and accuracy of data submitted on the FAFSA’s they receive. Schools must verify at least 30% of the applications they receive. The U. S. Department of Education randomly chooses the applications to be verified, but schools can also choose applications based on their own criteria.

If your FAFSA is chosen for verification you will be asked to submit a copy of an IRS Tax Return Transcript if you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you completed your FAFSA application. You will also be asked to complete a Verification Worksheet which contains information the school must verify that is not included on your tax forms. You may also be asked to submit other documents if there are inconsistencies between the documents you submit and your FAFSA application.

If NEO finds that mistakes were made on your FAFSA application, we will submit a correction to the federal processor. The correction may change your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and consequently change your eligibility for some types of aid.

Verification is not optional. When you sign your FAFSA you agree to submit any documents that your school may require to verify the accuracy of your application. No financial aid can be paid to you until the verification process is complete so it is important to turn in any requested documents promptly.

The chart below shows the deadlines for submitting verification information to NEO.

Description Deadline for fall only studentsDeadline for fall/spring studentsDeadline for Spring/Summer or Summer only studentsLast day for NEO to receive a FAFSA that is not rejected.Last day of the fall semesterLast day of the Spring semesterLast day of the summer semesterLast d

DescriptionDeadline for fall only studentsDeadline for fall/spring studentsDeadline for spring/summer or summer only students
Last day for NEO to receive a FAFSA that is not rejected.Last day of fall semesterLast day of the spring semesterLast day of the summer semester
Last day for students to submit verification paperwork for grants.90 days after the last day of the fall semester90 days after the last day of the spring semester45 days after the last day of the summer semester*
Last day for students to submit verification paperwork for loans.7 days before the last day of the fall semester7 days before the last day of the spring semester7 days before the last day of the summer semester

Definition of Need

Under federal methodology, need is defined as the difference between a student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) and their Expected Family Contribution (EFC).


NEO is required to use this amount to award all need-based aid, such as Pell Grants, Subsidized Stafford Loans, SEOG, Federal Work Study, and scholarships. All of your need-based aid cannot exceed the amount of your need. In addition, students cannot exceed their COA. When you receive additional aid after you have been initially awarded, we may have to reduce some of your other aid in order to not exceed your need or COA. Usually we only adjust your loans. In rare instances, we may have to adjust some of your other aid. Whenever we make an adjustment you will be notified.

Special Circumstances

Your FAFSA application takes a “snapshot” of your family’s financial condition based on your family’s income for the previous year. If you have had a significant change in your family’s income or have had unusual expenses since you have filed your FAFSA, the school may take these circumstances into account when determining your eligibility for aid. Instead of using your previous year’s family income, we can base your eligibility on your estimated current year family income. This is called a Professional Judgment. You should only apply for a professional judgment when there are circumstances beyond the control of the family that significantly affect the family’s ability to contribute to the student’s educational expenses. Follow the links below to apply.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Department of Financial Aid
Karen Key Assistant Director for Financial Aid
David Fisher Director of Financial Aid
Aimee McMain Financial Aid Counselor

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