A student walking on the path on the side of College Hall towards the Red Hawk Statue on a sunny day in summer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid FAQs


How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available for completion beginning in October. When you file your FAFSA electronically it will be processed and sent to the schools you list on the FAFSA. We recommend that you use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA to avoid mistakes. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for all federal programs, including federal student loans. To be considered for state programs, please fill out the information needed by the State of New Jersey.

In order to complete the FAFSA online you will need a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. If you do not already have a FSA ID, visit the FSA ID creation page. Parents of dependent students also need to apply for their own FSA ID. The FSA ID is your electronic signature for FAFSA electronically.

I need help with my FAFSA- please watch this video.

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Do I Have to Report Parent Information on My FAFSA?

Generally, most undergraduate students are dependent for FAFSA purposes, and parental information is required. A student is only considered independent if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • 24 years old or older.
  • Married.
  • Provide more than half support for a dependent.
  • A veteran of the armed forces.
  • Orphan/ward of the court.
  • Already have a bachelor’s degree (unless in a teacher’s certification program).
  • Homeless or at-risk for homelessness.

If you are a student who does not meet one of the above criteria and you do not have a relationship with your parents, review the Independent Under 24 form.

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What Happens After I File a FAFSA?

Within a week after filing, you will receive an email from the Department of Education with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR) for federal programs. If you are a NJ resident who has completed the additional state questions, you will receive an email from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJ HESAA). Verify that Montclair State is listed on the SAR. Montclair State will access this data electronically to prepare your aid package.

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How is Financial Need Determined?

Financial need is determined by a federal formula that uses the information on your FAFSA. Your Expected Family Contribution (which is calculated by submitting the FAFSA) is subtracted from your Cost of Attendance.

Cost of Attendance is developed by each college or university and reflects expenses including tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Your Cost of Attendance will vary based on how many credits you are taking, if you are living on campus or off campus, and whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.

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When Will I Hear about My Financial Aid?

New Students– You will receive an estimated financial aid award letter beginning in early spring. Final awards cannot be determined until all requested documents are submitted and processed.

Continuing Students- Your financial aid notification will be available on NEST after May grades are posted and any requested documents have been submitted and processed.

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What Does My Award Notification Tell Me?

Your award notification will list various awards for which you may be eligible. Descriptions of each type of award are available on NEST. All awards assume you will be a full-time student. Awards will be adjusted after Add/Drop based on your enrollment status.

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Am I Eligible for State Aid?

New Jersey residents who complete the FAFSA and the additional state questions will be reviewed by NJ HESAA for state grant eligibility. Students should regularly check their NJFAMS account with HESAA to take action on any time-sensitive requests for additional information.

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Why Do I Need to Submit Tax Information?

Students can check NEST to see if any additional documents are needed. If so, we are requesting tax information because your FAFSA was selected for Federal Verification. Montclair State is required to collect and review this tax information to ensure your FAFSA was completed accurately.

Financial Aid awards are not finalized until this review is complete. The Verification process may take up to 6-8 weeks to complete, depending on when you submit these documents.

Tax information can be electronically sent on your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or you can .

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How Do I Obtain Federal Loan Funds?

Your federal loan eligibility is based on your total earned credits and federal loan limits. This amount is posted on NEST. All students must accept, reduce or decline their student loan(s) via NEST

First-time Federal Stafford Loan recipients must log on to the Student Loans website and complete both Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Loan funds cannot be disbursed until these steps are taken.

More details are available on the Educational Loans page.

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How Do I Get a Campus Job?

There are two employment programs available for students on campus:

  • Federal Work Study (FWS) – this is a federally supported employment program for students who are eligible based on the FAFSA.
  • Student Assistant (SA) – this is a University employment program. Financial need is not a requirement for participation.

Students can work between 10-15 hours per week while classes are in session. Students are paid for hours worked on a bi-weekly basis. Earnings are not applied to your bill. Jobs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

On and off-campus employers post jobs, internships, and other opportunities on Hire a Red Hawk! Using your Hire a Red Hawk account allows you to take advantage of Montclair State University’s vast network of industry connections.

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When Will Financial Aid Appear on my Bill?

Financial aid will disburse on a rolling basis throughout the semester, after the Add/Drop period and once all faculty members have confirmed your attendance in each class. Federal Work Study funds are not included.

Before then, financial aid will appear as credit that is expected to reduce your bill. Actual award amounts may change based on the number of credits you take, FAFSA verification, state verification, etc.

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Is There a Payment Plan Available?

Payment plans can be used along with financial aid, including student loans.

View: Payment plan information.

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I Was Billed for Health Insurance. Do I Have to Pay for This?

View: Health Insurance.


Why Hasn’t my Financial Aid Paid Toward my Bill?

There are several reasons why financial aid may not have disbursed to your bill yet. These include:

  • Incomplete FAFSA verification.
  • Incomplete loan requirements.
  • Missing attendance verification by faculty.
  • Loans not accepted on NEST.
  • Recent loan application.
  • Number of registered credits.
  • Not enrolled in an eligible program.
  • Not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

To resolve the issues listed above, please refer to the Financial Aid section of NEST and take the appropriate action.

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How Do I Use my Financial Aid to Buy Books?

Students who have more aid than needed to pay their bill will see a credit on their account. You can either receive this credit as an account refund from Student Accounts or you may visit the Red Hawk Dollars Office to transfer some or all of this credit to your Red Hawk Dollars. Red Hawk Dollars can only be used at the campus bookstore or on-campus dining facilities.

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When Will I Get my Refund?

Refunds are issued by the Office of Student Accounts after the Add/Drop period and attendance verification has been completed by faculty for each class. For more information regarding your refund please contact Student Accounts or come see us at Red Hawk Central.

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What If I Have an Unusual Circumstance or Change in Household Income?

You can complete a Request for Review form to have your financial aid re-evaluated if you have recently experienced a change in circumstances. These include:

  • Loss of income due to unemployment, retirement, company closure.
  • Loss of untaxed benefits (worker’s compensation, child support, social security benefits).
  • Separation/divorce.
  • Death or disability.
  • Unusual medical expenses on the federal tax return.

Please refer to the Request for Review page for instructions.

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When is the Financial Aid Office Open?

The Financial Aid office is located in the Red Hawk Central building, parking lot #7 next to the Panzer Athletic Center.

During the Academic Year (September-May), Red Hawk Central is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. with evening hours until 6 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

During the Summer (June through the first two weeks of August) the Office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The only exception is the week of July 4, the Office is open that week (including Friday) 8 a.m.-4:30pm.

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How Can I Meet With a Financial Aid Counselor?

A majority of financial aid questions can be successfully addressed by Red Hawk Central staff at the main counter, or by the on-call financial aid counselor.

If an appointment is preferred, we recommend that you call a Financial Aid representative at 973-655-4461 to have you meet with the appropriate counselor.

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Registrar FAQs


What If You Are Blocked from Repeating a Course That You Have Taken One or More Times in Prior Terms?

Per University Academic Policy, undergraduate students are permitted to repeat a course only in which they have received a final grade of D+, D, D- or F. They are not permitted to repeat a course in which they received a C- or higher without special permission. Graduate students are not permitted to repeat courses without special permission. (Certain “repeatable” courses, like a music lessons, independent studies, coops, special topics courses are exceptions).

For permission to repeat a course for which you have earned a C- or higher, see either the Dean’s Office of the College/School of your major or the Dean’s Office of the College/School in which the course is offered. Graduate students must see the Dean’s Office of the Graduate School.

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How Are Permits Handled?

Permits may be issued by Department Chairpersons. Students who wish to obtain a permit to enter a closed course, or a course in which they have not met the pre-req, co-req or other requirements, may visit the appropriate academic department for assistance. Note that a course in which students have received a permit must be added before the end of the add/drop period for a given term.

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How Do I find the Registration PINS? (Students with mandatory advising ONLY)

Students who are required to have mandatory advising will need a Registration PIN to register. While you are meeting with your academic advisor, you will receive this PIN. Students will be asked to hold on to this PIN, as they will need it for any future drop/adds or withdrawals from classes. Each semester, a new PIN will be issued and needed for registration.

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Student Accounts FAQs

When Will I Get My Statement/Bill?

Montclair State University no longer mails paper bills or statements. All statements are posted and available for viewing on NEST. Statements will be posted on NEST by the end of July for the fall semester, by mid-November for Winter and Spring semester and by the beginning of April for the Summer sessions. These statements will be updated at the end of each day to reflect any changes to your tuition and fee charges as a result of modifications you may make to your schedule. You should check your NEST Account Summary the day after you make any change to your schedule. If someone other than yourself will be making payment, please inform that person of the balance due and the payment due date. The payment due date and all payment options are listed on the Payment Deadlines web page.

Where can I find the tuition and fee cost chart?

A tuition and fee chart can be found on the Tuition and Fees web page. This chart is updated each academic year. The Montclair State University Board of Trustees (BOT) approves our rates by the third week of July. New charts are posted on our web site within a day or two of the BOT approval.

Montclair State University reserves the right to change tuition and fees every academic year.

Please Note: Students are billed on a semester basis.

What Happens If I do Not Review My Bill Using NEST?

Once you have registered for classes, you are responsible for all charges associated with that semester. A late charge will be assessed if full payment is not made as indicated online.

Please refer to the Bills and Payment page or contact us for further billing information and/or procedures.

If the student’s financial commitment to Montclair State University becomes delinquent at any time, Student Accounts will send the student notification via their Montclair State University email. If an account becomes past due, an invoice or postcard may be sent to the address on file. The student is obligated to update any address Montclair State University has on record. Financial obligations include but are not limited to tuition, room, board, course fees, parking fines, library fines, residence hall fines and any special fees or fines charged to a student’s account. If the account remains unresolved, it will be referred to a collection agency for collection and it may also be sent to credit bureaus for reporting purposes. Once an account is placed in collection the student will be liable for all collection and/or attorney’s fees (20% to 40% of the amount placed in collection).

How Can I Get a Copy of My Bill and When Is Payment Due?

You can print a copy of your Account Summary/bill by accessing your NEST account. You will be able to view your current semester bill on your NEST account plus all previous semesters. Payment is due by the due date as shown on NEST. Remember, if you do not acknowledge a bill, you are still responsible for payment by the due date and a late charge will be assessed if full payment is not made. All students that register for classes will have a bill available on NEST.

How Can I Pay My Statement/Bill?

Payment at Cashier’s Window – Personal check, certified check and money order payments are the only forms of payments accepted at the Cashier’s window. Payment must include the student’s CWID number to ensure credit to the student’s account. Post-dated checks (checks with future dates) cannot be accepted.

Mail Payment by Check or Money Order – Checks and money orders must be in US dollars, drawn on a US bank and must be made payable to “Montclair State University.” Payment must include the student’s CWID number to ensure credit to the student’s account. Post-dated checks (checks with future dates) cannot be accepted.

Mail payments to:
Montclair State University
Red Hawk Central
1 Normal Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07043

Web Payments Via NEST

TouchNet is a web-based, real time service that will provide online, self-service access to the students account, billing history, and allows you to make payments using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express cards (processing fee applies) or via an electronic payment from a checking or saving accounts (complimentary). TouchNet is available to you via NEST.

Free On-line Checking/Savings account payments are accepted through the NEST. Students must sign on to NEST to process payment. Once payment is processed, a confirmation email will be sent to the student’s email address. The student’s account will then be immediately updated with the payment.

Web Credit Card Payments – Montclair State University only accepts credit card tuition payments online. Students must sign on to NEST to process payment. Once payment is processed, a confirmation email will be sent to the student’s email address. The student’s account will then be immediately updated with the payment.

Please Note: A non-refundable convenience fee (2.75%) will be added to the amount charged by our credit card servicer.

Wire Transfer of Funds – Wire transfer of funds for payment on a student’s account at Montclair State University may be processed through any full service bank in your area. The student’s name, identification number, and social security number are required in order to credit funds properly to the student’s account.

Please direct the transfer to:

Bank of America
441 Bloomfield Avenue Montclair, New Jersey 07042
(973) 509-0100
ABA: 026009593

For credit to Montclair State University #: 381027822553

Swift Address:
BOFAUS3N (For wire transfers within the US)
BOFAUS6S (For international wire transfers)

Returned ChecksAll returned/rejected check (e-check) payments due to incorrect information (i.e.; invalid account number, bank’s inability to locate account due to invalid routing/account number, non-sufficient funds, stop payments, etc.) will be will be assessed a $60.00 return check fee. Your initial payment will be reversed and holds will placed on the student account.

A subsequent payment must be made immediately by cash, certified check or credit card to avoid an interruption in your studies. Should payment not be made, you will be subject to Canvas deactivation, late fees, holds and deregistration. If you are deregistered from your classes, you will not be permitted to re-enroll for that specific semester.

Montclair State University reserves the right to deny accepting a check payment from a student that has numerous returned/rejected checks.

Does Montclair State University Offer Payment Plans?

Montclair State University will offer a Payment Plan for the fall and spring semesters. This is a self-monitored payment plan. All students are responsible for ensuring their contracts are correct and payments are up to date. Students can enroll for one semester at a time. This plan is interest free and available for a modest fee. Enrollment is available for a limited time. This is NOT a loan.

To avoid a late fee with Montclair State University you must ensure your payment plan is established prior to the semester due date, monthly payments are made on time and your budget contract amount is enough to cover your total due to the University.

Please refer to our Payment Deadlines so you may plan accordingly. Past due balances may not be included as part of the plan. The University will cancel these payment plans.

To access the Payment Plans, please log into NEST, navigate to the Student Accounts page and select Payment Plans link in the Payment Plans portlet. You will be redirected to TouchNET where you can set up your Payment Plan.

What Happens If I Do Not Pay By the Due Date?

Should a student’s account remain unpaid, the University may (in no specific order)…

  • Assess a late payment fee based on the amount posted on the Student Account web page.
  • Place a hold on the account.
  • Deactivate Canvas access.
  • Drop all current semester class(es).
  • Be removed from the residence hall.
  • Withhold release of transcripts and/or certificate of degree.

Failure to remit payment will result in your account being referred to an agency for collection and the credit-reporting bureau(s) will be notified of failure to pay this obligation. Once an account is placed with an agency, payment arrangements can no longer be made with the University. The student will then be liable for all collection and/or attorney fees (up to a maximum of 50% added to the unpaid balance).

If I Add a Class During Add/Drop or Before the Semester, When Is the Payment Due?

Payment Is Due Immediately. It is the responsibility of the student to check his/her NEST account online after making changes to their schedule. If registering for the 1st time right before the beginning of the semester and/or during the add/drop period, payment is due immediately. A bill will not be mailed – you will need to either log onto your NEST account or come by Red Hawk Central for a copy of your bill.

Your Montclair State email is the main form of communication. Failure to check your Montclair State email, errors in forwarding email and returned email (from an “over quota” mail box or “unknown user” or other error message) will not excuse a student from missing deadlines.

Why Are My Financial Aid/Awards-Scholarships/Loans Not on My Bill?

Your aid/awards/loans will be listed on your bill as an “estimated” amount on the bottom of the statement/bill. Aid will be listed as either a Memo or Authorized Aid; but if it is not listed, you will need to contact the Financial Aid at financialaid@mail.montclair.edu or 973-655-4461 or in person at Red Hawk Central.

What Is FERPA? What Does It Mean?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. For the complete Montclair State University policy and description, consult the Student Development and Campus Life website.

What Happens If I Withdraw from the University?

Once you have registered you are responsible for all charges associated with that semester. If you decide not to attend any or all of your courses, you must officially withdraw through NEST or submit a written notice to Red Hawk Central. It is the student’s obligation to drop/withdraw from their classes. All tuition and fee appeals must be submitted in writing to Red Hawk Central. If you have received a refund prior to the cancellation or reduction, that amount will be owed back to the University. Students who withdraw and have received financial aid must contact Red Hawk Central immediately. Some of your aid may need to be returned. Any balance that results from a reduction in aid is the responsibility of the student.

When and How Do I Receive a Refund Check?

If all of your financial aid information is complete, you may get a refund after add/drop as listed on Important Dates calendar on the front page of Student Services. Montclair State University offers the use of Direct Deposit for all types of refund checks that are generated by activity on your student account. Your money will be deposited directly into your checking or savings account. To participate in this service you will need to complete a Direct Deposit form. This form can be accessed on NEST by navigating to the Student Accounts page and selecting “Set Up Direct Deposit” in the refunds portlet. If you choose not to participate in Direct Deposit ensure your mailing address is correct as shown on NEST.

Please Note: If you enroll in Direct Deposit and decide to change your mind, you will need to deactivate your account via NEST.

Where Can I Obtain My Parking Permit?

Parking is managed by Standard Parking located on the first floor of the Red Hawk Deck parking garage. All payment of fines, decals, removals of any type of hold and/or questions should be directed to them at 973-655-7580 or go to the Parking Services.

Who Can I Contact for Help?

You are always welcome to come by Red Hawk Central, call us at 973-655-4177 or email studentaccou@mail.montclair.edu. Please ensure that your full name and CWID number are provided with your email.

Please monitor your NEST account and Montclair State University email address regularly throughout your semesters in order to avoid any discrepancies with your semester bills. Montclair State email is the main form of communication. Failure to check your Montclair State email, errors in forwarding email and returned email (from an “over quota” mail box or “unknown user” or other error message) will not excuse a student from missing deadlines. Please do not ignore these emails and forward them to the individual(s) responsible for payment if it is not you.