Improving financial support for students at Northern Arizona University


How might we offer students meaningful financial support?


Eight-pronged effort: 

  • Developed the Four-Year Tuition Pledge, which locks in one standard tuition rate for incoming students for up to four years from the time they start, incentivizing on-time completion
  • Offered the Lumberjack Scholar Award, which covers up to 100% of tuition for eligible high-performing Arizona students
  • Began delivering financial aid packages nine months before a student’s first semester
  • Conducted “financial fit campaign,” in which advisers called students at risk for nonpayment
  • Counseled first-year students on strategies to afford Northern Arizona (or to consider other options such as starting at a community college)
  • Offered financial literacy courses online through Inceptia
  • Offered a $500 scholarship to incentivize students to keep on a timely academic track
  • Reviewed fees, with an eye to eliminate some entirely


University now emphasizes “social, academic, and financial fit,” with financial aid office working closely with incoming students to counsel them even before they start.

Ready to take action?

Brainstorming prompts for you and your team to consider

Learn more about financial aid from our research