Need Based & Non-Need Based
Requirements for financial aid benefits


Need-based Aid

Our office calculates a student’s need by subtracting their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Cost of Attendance (or budget) that we have assigned. Most aid that we award is need-based, which means that a student must have an adequate amount of need in order to accommodate the aid awarded. For instance, if a student’s need equals $10,000, they may receive no more than $10,000 in need-based aid.

Cost of Attendance (Budget) $15,000 – EFC $5,000 = Need $10,000

Need-based aid includes (but is not limited to):

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan
  • Fee Waivers
  • State Grants
  • Most Scholarships
NOTE: While scholarships and fee remissions are typically not awarded based upon a student’s EFC or need, they are nonetheless included when totaling the amount of aid counted towards covering a student’s need.

Non-Need-Based Aid

Some types of aid (including but not limited to the Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan, the Federal Parent PLUS Loan, Graduate PLUS Loan, and private loans) do not require a student to have a need. A student may receive such awards even if their original need figure equals zero.

Regardless of the type of aid package a student receives (all need-based, all non-need-based, or a combination of the two), their total awards may not exceed their cost of attendance.