How is eligibility for need-based aid determined?
Two major formulas are used to determine eligibility:
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Parents' wages/income + Student's
- Demonstrated Need = Cost of Attendance - EFC
Data on the FAFSA
determines the EFC. To estimate your EFC, try the
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) estimator.
You must meet the following criteria to be considered for federal
and some state financial aid:
To receive institutional and other need-based aid, be sure to check
the specific requirements of the institution or program.
is the director of financial aid at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
She says some people incorrectly assume that they make too much money to qualify
for financial aid.
"They should go through the process to see if they
will qualify. They might be eligible," she says.
Another common myth,
Ruby says, is that if you save money, you will be penalized and won't receive
any financial aid. Families with savings might receive less need-based aid,
but most federal aid is calculated based on income and not assets, she says.
for college is a good thing, and it gives you many more options," she says.
Kahlhamer agrees. The University of North Dakota aviation student says that
is his main piece of advice for high school students planning to attend college.
-- and don't spend money on stupid things," he says.