Financial Aid: Frequently Asked Questions
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How is My EFC Determined?
Your EFC is determined by using the information provided on the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a "federal methodology"
formula. The formula considers income, assets, family size, and the number
of family members enrolled in college.
After receiving your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure from the
federal processor, the financial aid office at your school then subtracts
your EFC from the school's average cost of attendance to find your financial
need. Contact your school to get a breakdown of their cost of attendance.
|COA (Cost of Attendance)
||-EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
||= Financial Need
Based on estimated financial need, the financial aid office will prepare
a financial aid or "award" package. The FAO
applies available resources to try to meet your financial
need. However, the school is not obligated to meet your
financial need, and may be unable to do so dependent
upon the types of aid available. This aid may include
federal and state grants, scholarships, loans, and federal
work study. Grants (i.e., the Federal Pell Grant and
the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) and
scholarships do not have to be repaid. Loans, such as
Federal Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford loans, must
Why is the EFC on the SAR Different from the EFC of
Your EFC is generally calculated using one or two methodologies: the Federal
Methodology (explained above), and the Institutional Methodology. The
Institutional Methodology determines eligibility for institutional grant
programs. Universities may use this methodology and/or the federal methodology
to determine eligibility for grants or other private funds. One difference
between the two formulas is the federal methodology does not consider
home equity in assets calculation.
Types of Financial Aid
The majority of financial aid comes from the federal
government, in the form of grants, federal work-study,
and subsidized and unsubidized student loans.
- Pell Grants are a form of federal funding that do not need to be repaid,
and are awarded to undergraduate students based on need. The Pell Grant program was formed to help
neediest of undergraduates to earn their first
baccalaureate or professional degree. Maximum Pell Grant amounts can change each academic year and rely upon federal funding.
For the 2013-14 year the Pell Grant maximum award is $5,645. For the 2014–15 (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) it will be $5,730.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity
Grants (FSEOG) are funding that do not need to be repaid, and are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need or lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Not all schools participate in the FSEOG program, so you need to see if it is offered by your school. The FSEOG awards are from $100 to $4,000 per year.