Students sitting on the third floor of the Student Center studying and having conversations.

Apply for Financial Aid – New Students

Follow the steps below to apply for financial aid at Montclair State University.

Step 1
Apply for Admission

Make sure you are admitted into a Degree Program (Bachelor of Arts/Science)

  • You must be fully accepted before your financial aid can be processed. Send your official FINAL transcripts from your high school and any college you attended previously.
  • Send your SAT and ACT to Montclair State University AND take the placement test (undergraduates only) at the Academic Success Center located in Webster Hall, Room 302.
  • Meet with the academic advisor for your program.

For more details please visit the Admissions Website or contact them at 973-655-4444.

Step 2
Apply for Financial Aid

Log on to the FAFSA website (fafsa.gov) and apply. 

  • Montclair State University’s school code is 002617.
  • Students AND parents should electronically sign with FSA ID.

Visit the NJ HESAA website.

  • Set up a student account to review state grant funding and other requirements – they will notify you directly.

Check your Student Aid Report when your FAFSA is processed (about 3 days) – this will come to you in an email from the federal processor.

You may be selected for federal or state verification. If your FAFSA was selected for federal verification, you/your parents will be required to submit documents to Montclair to verify the information on your FAFSA.  You can review your document requirements under Financial Aid on your NEST.  Follow the link to StudentForms to complete this process.

If you are selected for state verification, you will receive an email from NJHESAA.  Your document requirements will be posted on NJFAMS.  Send all documents directly to the state.

The sooner you can follow up on requests for information, the sooner you will have accurate results on your Financial Aid Application.

Step 3
Review of Financial Aid

Step 3: Review of Financial Aid

You will receive an email to check your financial aid on NEST.

  • Admitted new students will receive an “Estimated” award notice which shows your aid eligibility for the academic year (fall and spring).
  • Your award package may include grants, loans, work-study.
    • Share this information with your parent(s) and/or guardian(s).
  • Awards may be revised if verification results in a correction of your FAFSA information.
  • You are always offered the MAXIMUM awards allowable based on the FAFSA and full-time enrollment.
  • If the FAFSA information is outdated due to a change in circumstances, your family may Request a Review of these special circumstances.
    • This review cannot be completed until after you accept admission to the University.
  • If you choose to attend part-time, your financial aid will be adjusted.
  • Scholarships are not offered by the Financial Aid Office, they are awarded to students by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Step 4
Estimate Costs

Step 4: Estimate Costs

The Financial Aid Office provides you with estimated fall/spring costs (on NEST).

  • This Cost of Attendance lists charges for two semesters.
    • It also includes several estimated expenses (books, living allowances, transportation, miscellaneous personal expenses).
  • Your bill from Student Accounts will represent Direct Costs (actual charges) for each semester (tuition, fees, room and board, Red Hawk dollars).
  • The reason that your Cost of Attendance is more than your billed charges is that the federal government allows students to receive financial aid and loans up to the Cost of Attendance to help families pay for all costs associated with a college education.
  • Each semester’s bill will show all financial aid (for that term) to be deducted.
  • You will owe any remaining balance.
Step 5
Accept, Reduce, Decline Loan(s) or Work-Study

Loans are borrowed funds and MUST repaid after you leave school.

  • Students accepting student loans must be unconditionally admitted to a degree program and must be registered for six credits or more.
  • You must accept your loan(s) by logging into NEST.
    • Please click on the Award Offer tab to accept, decline or change the amounts.
  • To get your work-study funds, you must find a job on campus.
Step 6
Make a Plan to Pay Your Bill
  • Account balances (after financial aid deductions) are due when indicated on the billing statement on NEST.
  • Financial Aid is not credited to your account until after the ADD/DROP period ends each semester.
  • There are many options for paying the remainder of your bill.
    • Student Accounts options can be found under Payment Options
    • Or check Steps 7 and 8 for types of educational loans.
Step 7
Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN)

ALL Freshman and Transfer students who wish to borrow a Federal Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan must complete the federal application on StudentAid.gov. Once logged in, complete the required entrance counseling and MPN.

  • Learn the Stafford Loan basics (loan limits).
  • Loans must begin to be repaid when you are no longer in school or you are registered less than half-time.
Step 8
Other Educational Loans

Students and families requiring additional assistance may apply for credit-based Federal PLUS or private educational loans.

Federal Parent [PLUS] Loans are available to parents of undergraduate students.

  • Parents can borrow up to the Cost of Attendance (See Step 4 for explanation) but may need less – consider your actual costs for the year.
  • Parents must complete a Direct Loan Promissory Note on the Student Loans website with their FSA ID.

Private Loans are provided by various financial institutions

  • These loans have varying interest rates and repayment plans.
    • Requirements vary by lender.
    • Typically requires a co-signer for the student-borrower.
  • Students and co-signers need to seek out the loan and complete the application process before the semester begins – allow 6 weeks.
Step 9
Stay Up-to-Date

Be aware of what is happening to your account.

  • Read your emails on your Montclair State University email account.
  • Check NEST regularly for financial aid, billing, registration and other important information.
  • Check FAQs.

Contact Red Hawk Central with any questions.