Apply for Financial Aid

Find out how to apply for financial aid

FAFSA Availability

Apply for FAFSA as early as October 1 of this year for the following year's academic year which starts next year in August.

Priority Date

Apply before May 1 every year to receive the most financial aid funding based on eligibility.

Requirements for Financial Aid

To receive financial aid, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Sign a statement of educational purpose (FAFSA)
  • Enroll in an eligible program of study
  • Enroll in eligible courses at CNM (see the list of ineligible programs and ineligible courses)
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress defined by federal regulations
  • Be in compliance with Selective Service Registration
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or have been home-schooled
  • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school
  • Not have been overpaid on a grant or be defaulted on a loan
  • Not exceed federal cumulative loan limits defined by federal regulations
  • Not be in default on any federal educational loans
  • Not owe a refund on a grant

You may not receive financial aid for more than 30 credit hours of attempted developmental coursework.


Financial aid does not pay for audited classes, GED or apprenticeship classes. You will not receive federal Pell Grant from more than one college for the same period of time. 

Apply for Financial Aid

Step 1

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1 of each calendar year. The FAFSA determines eligibility for state, federal, and institutional aid based on information you provided on the financial aid application.

You can access the online FAFSA at Financial Aid and Scholarship Services Resource Center (Main, Montoya, or Westside campus) by visiting Ask about it at our offices at Main, Montoya, or Westside campus or at Enrollment Services at the South Valley campus.

Step 2: Complete the FAFSA

  • If you filed a federal tax return in the prior year, it must be used to complete the "Income, Earnings and Benefits" section of the application since it requests specific information from the tax return. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for easy completion of the FAFSA.
  • If you did not file a tax return, don't worry, a federal tax return is not required to receive financial aid.
  • If you intend to file a Federal tax return for the prior year but have not yet done so, wait until you have completed it before you complete your Financial Aid application.
  • If you are a dependent, the same advice applies: wait until your parent(s) have completed the federal income tax returns before completing your financial aid application.

Other useful records to have on hand while completing a FAFSA are:

  • W-2 forms, current bank statements, and, if applicable, records of benefits received from the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and other agencies.

Do not mail any of these documents, but do save any records and other materials used to complete the application for future reference.

Step 3: File electronically

Apply for your FSA ID

Submit your application online (see FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid above) using your FSA ID to sign your application electronically. Students who file the application electronically must mail the signature page to the address designated.

Step 4

Within about 48 hours, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from FAFSA. Then CNM will download it, processing will then take about 7-10 business days.

Step 5

Check your myCNM email account for further instructions.