Student Aid Index and Financial Need

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:

   Cost of Attendance
- Student Aid Index
   Financial Need.

Cost of Attendance includes the following:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and supplies
  • Living expenses (housing and food)
  • Personal expenses (clothing, laundry, recreation)
  • Transportation

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:

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.