A - Z | Find Courses | Find Faculty & Staff | Search Site
North Shore Community College
You are here: Home  >  Student Financial Services  >  Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How will Student Financial Services communicate with me?
The primary means of communication are sent to your NSCC email and will appear on your Pipeline account.

What is the Pipeline?
Pipeline is NSCC web services page. A student will receive a Pipeline account during the enrollment process. For Student Financial Services it lists your financial aid award, current bill, alerts and any missing documentation. Students are expected to check their Pipeline account frequently along with their NSCC email.

Financial Aid

What is financial need?
Your Financial Need is determined by the information provided on the FAFSA and the Cost of Attendance published by the institution.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number determined by the federal government based on your FAFSA and represents the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. This does not mean you will pay the amount given it is used to determine your financial need.

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is a budget determined by the college to what it may actually cost a student to attend NSCC. The budget consists of direct costs (charges that will show on your bill) such as tuition and fees along with indirect costs (other expenses that will not be on your bill) such as transportation, room and board.

Your financial aid counselor will calculate your Financial Need by subtracting the Cost of Attendance from the Expected Family Contribution. If there is anything left over, you're considered to have financial need.

Why am I considered Dependent if I pay my own bills and/or claim myself on my taxes for financial aid?
To read the definitions, find out who has to provide parent information on the FAFSA, and learn what to do if you aren't in contact with your parents please see this Federal Student Aid website's description of Dependency Status.

What is a "Freeze Date" for financial aid?
The freeze date is the date when your credits are "frozen" in order to determine your financial aid. The freeze date occurs one week after the beginning of each term or at the end of the official "Add-Drop" period. The freeze date does not apply to the government loans. A student must be in 6 or more credits in order for the school to receive the loan funds. Any classes added after the add/drop period will not be eligible for financial aid.

What is verification and why was I selected?
Each year, the federal government selects a group of financial aid applications for verification. Some are chosen at random and others are selected because the FAFSA data are inconsistent. The school may also select certain applications to verify due to conflicting or missing information on the FAFSA.

If you have been selected for verification, you will be required to submit appropriate documents to Student Financial Services for review. Any missing documentation will appear as required on your Pipeline account.

What should I do if my income has changed drastically from the tax information that was on the FAFSA?
We understand that financial situations can change during the year. A financial aid counselor can review your FAFSA information to determine if the difference could possibly change your financial aid eligibility. You will need to complete a form and provide supporting documentation for the change. Please contact our office for more information.

Why do my grades and withdrawing from classes affect my financial aid?
The Department of Education requires institutions to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP). The government wants to ensure that students on financial aid are focused on completing their degree and move on to higher degrees. The Office will review your academic record once grades are submitted each semester to make sure you have a cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or better, you have completed 67% of your program and you have not exceeded 150% of the length of your program. You should be able to view your SAP status on your Pipeline account.

Why can't you use my 1040 form instead of the transcripts?
The Department of Education requires the school to collect the tax transcripts if you have not used the Data Retrieval Tool. The tax transcript is a summary of the information you provided on the 1040 form and confirms you have filed your taxes with the IRS.

How do I qualify for summer aid?
To receive summer aid for the summer semester you will need to complete a summer aid application. The form will be available towards the end of the spring semester under NSCC Financial Aid Forms. Summer aid is very limited as it is any leftover funds that you did not use during the current academic year. If you are not sure if you have funds available we will review your application and a determination will show on your Pipeline account once it has been reviewed.

How come my aid has not paid?
There could be multiple reasons why your aid has not paid to your account. We start paying financial aid about 30 days into the semester. One common reason a student's aid has not paid is they have not provided us with all required documentation. A few other reasons are class attendance alerts and/or a change in enrollment. Please review your Pipeline account and NSCC emails for anything that may create a delay in your financial aid paying.


Where is my refund check?
A refund check is extra money after your tuition and fees are paid by your financial aid. This will appear as a negative number on your Pipeline account. If you do not see a negative number on your Pipeline account, your account will not be reviewed for refund. Please contact the office if you have questions.

When are refund checks sent to students?
Refund checks are issued to students once your financial aid funds disburse to your account. Once the funds disburse to a student's account, it can take 3 to 4 weeks to receive a check in the mail.

Where is my book store credit?
Book store credit or voucher is determined each semester. It is extra money after all of your tuition and fees are covered by financial aid. This is part of your refund you may receive. Book store credits are issued in $150 increments for every 3 credits you are registered and can be up to $600 each semester. You will receive an email to your NSCC account if you qualify for a book store credit two weeks before school starts. Once you receive the email you can go to the book store to make your purchase.

Why have I not received a bill in the mail?
Bills are sent electronically to a student's NSCC email. Students can also view their bill through their Pipeline account.

Do you accept cash at the school for payment?
The office does not accept cash at either campus. Please visit our Payment Option page for more information.

What type of payments do you accept?
We accept checks, money orders and credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) in the office. We highly recommend you to make on-line payments through your Pipeline account. We accept ACH and credit card payments online. Please visit our Payment Option page for more information.

Sign In