How Need-Based Financial Aid Recipients Are Determined and Awarded

Financial Aid Packaging

When awarding financial assistance, the University attempts to balance aid packages between gift aid (i.e., grants and scholarships*) and self-help (i.e., low interest loans and part-time employment). Campus-based aid (i.e., Federal Perkins Loans, FSEOG and FWSP) is a limited federal resource and consequently is awarded on a first-come, first-complete basis. Therefore, it is important to apply as early as possible to be considered for this limited assistance. * Note: All scholarships will be included as part of a student’s total aid package, regardless of source.


Students should apply as early as possible before the beginning of each award year. For example, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1 as possible for the award year that will begin the following Academic Award Year. Some federal funds (i.e., FWSP, Federal Perkins Loans and grants for priority applicants) are provided by the federal government and because these funds are limited, they are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Need Determination

Financial need is the difference between the cost of attending the University and the resources available to the student to help meet that cost. Thus, financial need is determined to be the:
Cost of Attendance
(subtract) Expected Family Contribution
(subtract) Other Available Resources
= Financial Need

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount a student and parent(s) can reasonably be expected to contribute towards educational expenses. The actual amount of the EFC is dependent upon family and student income, assets, family size, number of family members in college, taxes paid and age of the older parent. A student’s EFC is determined by the information provided to the U.S. Department of Education thru the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All applicants are required to inform the Office of Financial Aid of any additional assistance to be received from outside sources during the application period.