Financial Aid

How Financial Aid is Determined

Once you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you send the FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education uses the information that you reported to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as well as an estimate of your eligibility for Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loan. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is what the U.S. Department of Education estimates that you and your family can contribute towards your college education. This information is also sent to each school that you apply to. The U.S Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR), which outlines the financial information and includes the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and an estimate of your eligibility for Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loan.

To determine your financial aid award, the Office of Financial Aid undergoes the following process:

  • We Determine Need—Here, the College subtracts your EFC from the total Cost of Attendance (COA), which includes college tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books, supplies and personal expenses.
  • We Establish Eligibility—Once your need is determined, the Office of Financial Aid calculates how much Federal and State grants, loans and work-study programs can be awarded to you. These awards are based on specific formulas, eligibility requirements and availability of funds that are determined by Federal and State government agencies.

If you have any questions about your award letter, or if your financial situation has changed since you completed the FAFSA, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at (201) 447-7148.