Financial Aid Disbursement

Financial aid is awarded and disbursed in equal installments each academic year, typically ½ Fall and ½ Spring. To be eligible for disbursement, students must have ALL required financial aid documents on file, register for the required number of credit hours, attend all registered classes, and continue to meet all federal eligibility requirements. Students meeting these requirements can expect to have their financial aid processed according to the disbursement schedule

Graphic of financial aid

Students must meet the minimum enrollment status requirements for aid to be disbursed. Students are initially awarded based on an assumed full-time status. If you are not enrolled full-time, your aid may be adjusted.

Federal Direct Loan: the amount of Federal Direct Loans you receive is based on your yearly eligibility and requires at least part-time (6 credits) enrollment for the semester to be eligible to receive any amount. Entrance Counseling and a signed Master Promissory Note is required to be completed before a Federal Direct Loan disbursement will take place.

First-time, freshman federal student loan borrowers (never received federal loans) are required to wait 30 days before their loan can be disbursed in accordance with federal regulations.

Federal Pell Grant: funds are initially offered based on the assumption of full-time (12 hours) enrollment. Federal Pell Grants will be prorated to reflect your actual enrolled hours after the census each semester, as noted on the academic calendar.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG): minimum of at least part-time enrollment (6 credits) required for eligible undergraduates.

Institutional Scholarships: full-time (12 credits) enrollment is required for eligible undergraduates.

Undergraduate Students

  • Less Than Half Time = 1-5 hours
  • Half Time = 6-8 hours
  • Three-Quarter Time = 9-11 hours
  • Full Time = 12 or more hours

Graduate Students

  • Less Than Half Time = 1-5 hours
  • Half Time = 6-8 hours
  • Full Time = 9 or more hours


Financial aid is disbursed to students on the presumption that the student will attend the hours for which aid has been awarded. If your financial aid is disbursed at the beginning of the semester and you reduce your number of enrolled hours within the drop/add period, your aid will be adjusted to reflect your semester registration. If your reduced enrollment results in less eligibility for aid, you will be charged for the overpayment of financial aid — creating a balance due on your NAU student account.

Changes in enrollment status may result in delays, adjustments, or cancellation of aid. North American University reserves the right to review, revise or cancel all financial aid or Institutional scholarships at any time due to changes in your enrollment, financial and/or academic status, or failure to comply with federal or state laws and regulations, including financial verification, audit procedures, and University policies. In addition, all financial aid is subject to revision based on the funds received by the University from the federal or state government and any changes to federal or state laws, regulations, or policies. This revision may occur after disbursement or after the semester has concluded.

Financial aid disburses each semester as follows:

Institutional Scholarships – disbursement begins on the first day of the term enrolled.

Direct Federal Loans – disbursement begins on the first day of the term enrolled for eligible students*.

Federal Grants – disbursement begins two business days after the census date of each term, as noted on the academic calendar. This date is also known as the Pell Recalculation Date.

*If attending only one semester of the academic year, federal student loans will disburse in two equal installments within the single term you are enrolled.

*First-time, freshman federal student loan borrowers (never received federal loans) are required to wait 30 days before their loan can be disbursed in accordance with federal regulations. However, these students are eligible for federal grant disbursement on the date indicated above.

Students receiving federal grants and student loans who are eligible for a credit balance refund due to excess aid, will have the option to receive a $600 book disbursement by the seventh day of each semester enrolled to purchase books and supplies. To opt-out of the book disbursement, please email the Student Accounts Office by the first Friday of each semester.
Once Title IV aid (Federal Grants & Student Loans) disburses, your account balance will be updated to reflect the amount credited. Aid that exceeds the amount owed for direct costs (i.e., tuition, fees, room & board, etc.) is a Title IV credit balance. This credit balance will be refunded to the student (or parent for PLUS Loans) via direct deposit (ACH) or paper check by the Student Accounts Office. The Student Accounts Office will begin processing credit balance refunds on the first business day after the scheduled disbursement dates and no later than 14 days after a credit balance occurs.

For questions about the refund process, contact the Student Account’s Office for assistance.