How Financial Aid Eligibility is Determined

To receive aid from student aid programs, you must:

  • Have financial need.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the US Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that are approved by the US Department of Education
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • Be a US citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Sign a statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA) certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
  • Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money back on a federal student grant.
  • Register with the Selective Service, if required. (Note: Men must be registered before they can receive Federal or State financial aid for school, including loans and grants. Registration forms are available at any post office or males can register on-line by visiting the Selective Service System home page.

A student’s eligibility for financial aid begins with his or her financial need (except for Unsubsidized Stafford and all
PLUS and Consolidation loans). Financial need/eligibility is the difference between the cost of college and what the student/parents are
expected to pay. Family contribution values are based upon the information
the student provides on the FAFSA. The cost of education includes tuition,
fees, books, food and housing, educational transportation and
miscellaneous personal expenses.

Cost of Education/Attendance - Student/Parent (Family) Contribution = Financial Need

The formula described above is established by Congress.
If your family contribution is below a certain amount, you’ll be eligible
for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility
requirements. Your financial aid administrator calculates your cost of
education and subtracts the amount your family is expected to contribute.
If there is anything left over, you are considered to have financial need.

 *The information on this page is based off the information provided in the 2014-2015 Federal Student Aid Handbook.