Student Aid Index and Financial Need
Most financial aid is based on financial need. Financial need is the difference between your college's Cost of Attendance and your Student Aid Index (SAI) [formerly referred to a the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)].
Financial Need is:
- determined by the school, and varies from college to college;
- based on the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); and
- calculated using this equation:
Cost of Attendance
- Student Aid Index
Cost of Attendance includes the following:
- Tuition and fees
- Books and supplies
- Living expenses (housing and food)
- Personal expenses (clothing, laundry, recreation)
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is the amount the government has calculated that you and your family can contribute toward your education expenses for the academic year. The SAI is not necessarily the amount you will have to pay a college, but is used in determining your financial need. The calculation is based on the following:
- Your dependency status
- Your and your family's:
- household size,
- income, and
You will learn what your SAI is when you receive your FAFSA Submission Summary.
If you or your family has special financial circumstances that you believe will affect your ability to contribute to your education, such as unusual medical expenses, let the school's financial aid office know. They may be able to make an adjustment.