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Student Financial Services

Financial Aid Glossary

Campus Pipeline
Dependent versus Independent
Financial Need
Freeze Date
General Eligibility Requirements
Health Insurance
Remaining Aid
Renewal FAFSA
Student Aid Report (SAR)

Campus Pipeline

Campus Pipeline is the College's name for its online campus portal. It provides students with online access to services such as financial aid, registration, course schedules, email, and unofficial transcripts.

  • Log in to Campus Pipeline
  • School services tab
  • Student services, registration & financial aid
  • Financial aid
  • Eligibility
  • Student requirements

Dependent versus Independent

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.

Financial Need

Your Financial Need is determined by your financial aid counselor based on two factors:

  1. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - This number is determined by the federal government based on your FAFSA and represents the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education.
  2. Cost of Attendance (COA) - This number is determined by the College and represents what it will cost a typical student to go to school. It includes direct costs such as tuition and fees, plus allowances for housing, food, transportation, books and supplies.

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

Example - John Smith is a freshman at NSCC and wants a federal student loan in the amount of $2625 for the school year. He completed the FAFSA and receives an EFC of $7,000. The College calculates his financial need by subtracting his EFC and other types of aid received (if applicable) from his COA:

$8,000 COA - $7,000 EFC = $1,000 Financial Need

In this case, John can receive a subsidized loan to cover his financial need of $1,000 plus an additional unsubsidized loan of $1,625, for a total of $2,625.

Freeze Date

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.

Example - Here's an example of how the freeze date affects the amount of financial aid you receive:
Bill Smith started attending classes at NSCC on September 5. The financial aid freeze date occurs one week later on September 12. Here is a list of the number of enrolled credits and when he enrolled in them:

No. of Credits Date When Bill Enrolled or Added Credits
6 August 28
3 September 8
3 October 2 (for a late-starting class)
12 Total credits Bill is taking in the Fall

As you can see, Bill is taking a total of 12 credits in the fall and he will be charged for 12 credits. However, his financial aid award is based on 9 credits, and not 12, since this was the number of credits in which he was enrolled on the financial aid freeze date of September 12.

Let's say that Bill withdraws from one three-credit class after the freeze date (but remains enrolled in the others.) He will still receive the full amount of financial aid based on nine credits - his current aid is NOT affected.

General Eligibility Requirements

Students must satisfy the following general requirements to be eligible for financial aid:

  • Eligible Program of Study
  • High School Diploma/GED
  • U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-citizen
  • Registered with Selective Service (males, 18-26 yrs)
  • Not in Default on a Previous Loan
  • Valid Social Security Number
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Complete a FAFSA!

Health Insurance

The Massachusetts Universal Health Insurance Law requires that every matriculated student carrying (9) credits or more participate in the student health program or in a health insurance program with comparable coverage.

If you have comparable health insurance coverage, you must waive the health insurance charge through your Pipeline account. This must be waived at the beginning of each semester. To waive the charge, log in to Pipeline and make the following clicks:

  1. Select the "School Services" tab on top of screen
  2. Select "Student Services, Registration, & Financial Aid" link
  3. Select "Student Accounts" link
  4. Select the Health Insurance Waiver and complete your health insurance information as requested

Important: Free Care is not accepted as adequate health coverage.


MASSPIRG is a statewide, student directed and funded, non-partisan organization that conducts research, advocacy, and public education on such areas as environmental protection, higher education, hunger and homelessness, consumer protection and good government. MASSPIRG is funded by a fee of $9.00 (nine dollars) per student per semester. Any student choosing not to support MASSPIRG may waive the fee.


Your PIN is an electronic access code number. If you are a dependent student for financial aid purposes, your parent should also have a PIN.

Your PIN helps you to:

  • Apply online for financial aid, using FAFSA on the Web.
  • "Sign" your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA electronically (no paper involved).
  • Make corrections to your FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA online
  • Access your Student Aid Report and make corrections to it.
  • Access all your federal student aid records online, including federal student loan information.

Remaining Aid

Your authorized financial aid first pays for your tuition, fees and other school charges on your account. If you have remaining aid and are registered for at least 6 credits, you may be eligible for book credit.

Example 1 - Here is an example of a student who is eligible for bookstore credit:

     $1,500 - student's authorized financial aid
     $1,200 - student's total school charges
     $ 300 - remaining financial aid

In this case, this student may be eligible to receive up to $300 credit at the bookstore.

Example 2 - If your authorized financial aid is LESS than your school charges, you will not be eligible to receive bookstore credit.
Here is an example of a student who is not eligible:

     $900 - student's authorized financial aid
     $1,250 - student's total school charges
     0 - remaining financial aid

In this case, the student's aid ($900) does not cover his school charges ($1,250). This student will have to self-purchase books.

Renewal FAFSA

If you completed a FAFSA last year, you have the option of completing a Renewal FAFSA this year. You access the Renewal FAFSA using your PIN.

It's easier than completing a whole new FAFSA all over again. Why? Most of the information you filed the year before will already by filled in on the Renewal form. You need to review each item, correct those that have changed, and provide new information where required.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

Your SAR contains the following:

  • The information you reported on the FAFSA
  • Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is used to determine your eligibility for aid.
  • A list of all your responses on the FAFSA (and a section for changes and corrections)

Your financial aid counselor reviews your SAR and determines your eligibility from this document.

Important: If you did not list North Shore Community College on the FAFSA, you may add it in one of two ways:

  1. If you have a paper SAR, go to Step 6 and write in North Shore Community College with our federal code 002173. Sign (and your parent, if dependent) in the appropriate box in Step 7 and submit it to Student Financial Services.
  2. Add the college information online. Under "FAFSA Follow-up," click on "Add or Delete a School Code" link.


Each year, the federal government selects a group of financial aid applications for verification. Some are chosen at random. 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 your SAR is selected for verification, you will be required to submit appropriate documents to Student Financial Services for review. Documentation that may be required includes, but not restricted to, the following:

  • Copy of your federal income tax transcript
  • Copy of your parents's federal income tax transcript
  • Verification worksheet form.

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