Financial Aid

Types of Aid

Financial Aid

How Financial Aid Works

You don't necessarily have to be in a low-income category to qualify for financial aid. Some students receive aid based on special achievements while others receive aid based on their demonstrated need. Need is the difference between what it costs to attend a college and what your family is expected to pay. The basic formula to determine eligibility for aid is:

Educational costs - Expected family contribution = Eligibility for need-based financial aid.

Educational Costs

Educational costs, or a student budget, are the estimated cost of attendance for a student at an institution. It is used to determine the maximum financial aid a student is eligible for. Typically, the budget includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board, personal expenses, and transportation. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information regarding the budget.

Expected Family Contribution

The expected family contribution is a combined total of the parent and student contributions. A parent contribution is calculated for all dependent students. You (and your spouse if your are married) are expected to contribute toward your expenses. Both contributions are based on formulas developed by the federal government and are used at all colleges. The family contribution will be calculated when you send the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor.

The family contribution formulas are complex; they take into consideration a variety of factors including family size, number of family members in college, parent and student income and assets, age of the older parent, etc. There is not a set income cut-off to use when determining eligibility. If you feel you need assistance in meeting your college expenses then you should apply for financial aid.

Sometimes your family may have a change of employment, additional expenses, or emergency situations. We recognize that each student’s situation is unique, so please communicate your special circumstances to the Financial Aid Services Office.


To receive financial aid from any of the federal or state student aid programs, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma
  • Be accepted as a student working toward a degree in an eligible program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress standards set by the institution
  • Register with the Selective Service, if required
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Financial need, as determined by the previous formula, determines how much of different kinds of financial aid are to be awarded to students.