What Is Financial Aid and Cost of Attendance

Financial Aid is assistance in the form of grants, loans, and work. It is provided by federal, state, local or private sources to help meet college expenses. Most financial aid is based on financial need, enrollment status, satisfactory academic progress and attendance, and availability of funds. It is intended to supplement, not to replace, family and student contributions. Loans must be repaid with interest.

The information you supply on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine your (or your family’s) contribution to your college education. Financial need is defined as the difference between total college costs (tuition, fees, transportation, books, and personal expenses) and the student’s and/or family’s contribution.

How Cost of Education is Determined
To determine how much financial aid you may receive, the Office of Student Financial Assistance first determines your cost of attendance. Below is a sample cost of attendance for an academic year for full time students who are dependent and independent paying resident tuition and for an independent and dependent student required to pay non-resident tuition based on 2014-2015 tuition charges.

 

SAMPLE BUDGET FULL-TIME, 12 OR MORE UNITS

 

DEPENDENT IN STATE DEPENDENT NON-RESIDENT
TUITION

4,280

11,770

FEES

572

572

BOOKS

2,000

2,000

ROOM  0

 0
BOARD

3,100

3,100

PERSONAL

600

600

TRANSPORTATION

1,600

1,600

TOTAL

12,152

19,642

 

 

INDEPENDENT IN-STATE

INDEPENDENT NON-RESIDENT

TUITION

4,280

11,770
FEES

572

572

BOOKS

2,000

2,000
ROOM

6,200

6,200

BOARD

3,100

3,100

PERSONAL

600

600

TRANSPORTATION 1,600

1,600

TOTAL

18,352

25,842

Note: Figures are subject to change.

How need is Determined

You and your family’s ability to contribute to your education is determined by a formula set by law which analyzes the information submitted on your FAFSA. The result of this process is referred to as your EFC or Effective Family Contribution.

Your need is your total Cost of Education as determined by the institutional budget minus your EFC or Effective Family Contribution.

Since family financial strength and EFC is based on a prior years’ income and family situation (e.g. 2013 information is used to determine your EFC for 2014-2015) circumstances could have changed such as loss of job, death etc. If you or your family experience dramatic changes in their financial situation form one year to the next, you should collect all appropriate documentation and make an appointment with your financial aid counselor to have your circumstances re-evaluated.