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How Financial Aid is Calculated

Financial aid is based on what you need. 

The financial aid process can feel complicated, but understanding how it works can help you make the best decisions for your future. 

Remember: To be considered for financial aid, you have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Not everyone qualifies for financial aid grants, but you can’t know for sure unless you fill out the FAFSA.

After you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll receive a financial aid package that outlines what you qualify for. 

How to apply for financial aid

Calculating Your Financial Need

Based on the information you provide in the FAFSA, we use this basic formula:

Cost of attendance for 鶹ҹ
Your Student Aid Index (SAI)
= Your financial need

  • The cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, housing, food, books and supplies, and other potential expenses like childcare and transportation. See estimated cost of attendance for 鶹ҹ.
  • Your Student Aid Index is what the U.S. Department of Education calculates as what your family can pay for your college education. That estimate is based on your family’s wealth and size.   
  • Your financial need is how much financial aid you could potentially qualify for, but it may not be how much financial aid you will receive. 

Your financial need determines if you’re eligible for federal student aid programs, including grants, loans, and work-study. Learn more about types of aid

Calculating Additional Aid

You may also qualify for additional financial aid that isn’t based on your financial need or the Student Aid Index. This is called non-need-based aid.

Based on what you receive in federal student aid, we use this formula to calculate additional financial aid:

Cost of attendance for 鶹ҹ
Financial aid awarded so far
= Your eligibility for additional non-need-based aid

  • The cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, housing, food, books and supplies, and other potential expenses like childcare and transportation. See estimated cost of attendance for 鶹ҹ.
  • Financial aid awarded so far includes aid and assistance from all sources, including grants, academic or athletic scholarships from 鶹ҹ, and scholarships from private organizations or companies.  
  • Your eligibility for additional non-need-based aid can help make up the difference between your financial awards and the cost of attendance. 

Your eligibility for non-need-based aid determines if you’re eligible for additional federal student aid programs, including federal loans. 

Learn more about:

Types of Aid

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Cost to Attend 鶹ҹ

Have Questions?