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You took the time and made the effort to apply for financial aid by submitting the application. Financial aid applications are processed centrally by national processors. The processor does not award or deny funds. They assist in calculating your financial need.

Step 1: Completing Verification

After we received all supporting documentation, we cross-check information from all documentation (including the application) related to earned income, untaxed income, expenses, assets, liabilities and household size. This process is called "verification".

Step 2: Assigning Budgets

We assigned a standard student budget which includes basic costs of fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation and personal expenses.

Step 3: Calculating Expected Contribution

We verified your parent and student contribution as calculated by the Federal need analysis formula. This family contribution is the amount which the family may reasonably be expected to contribute toward meeting your college expenses. The formula assesses income, expenses, assets and debts as well as the size of the family and the number of family members attending college. This process is called "need analysis". The theory of need analysis is based on the following assumptions:

  • Students have primary responsibility to pay for their education
  • Parents, to the extent that they are able, have responsibility to pay for their children's education.
  • Parents will contribute, as they are able, funds for their children's education.
  • Families should be evaluated in a consistent and equitable manner while recognizing that special circumstances can alter a family's ability to contribute.

All students (dependent and independent) are expected to contribute toward their education. Your expected contribution is determined by adding together all resources which include:

  • Earnings from employment;
  • All other assistance such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Social Security and Veterans' Benefits;
  • A percentage of assets such as savings and investments.

Step 4: Establishing Financial Need

From the need analysis, we are able to determine the relative financial strength or ability to pay for postsecondary educational expenses. Financial need is determined by subtracting the amount of the expected contribution from the standard budget. The remainder equals financial aid eligibility or "financial need".

What It Costs - Expected Contribution = Financial Need
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