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Determining Financial Need

When a student files a financial aid application (FAFSA or TASFA) the application data is used to determine the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount of money that a family is expected to contribute toward the student’s education for the academic year.

To determine financial need, the university subtracts the EFC from the estimated cost of attendance. If there is a difference, the student exhibits financial need. If the EFC is greater than the estimated cost, the student does not exhibit financial need.

Beginning with 2024-2025 aid year, the Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAI brings a change in the methodology used to determine aid.

The SAI is a number used to determine eligibility for federal need-based aid. It is calculated using information the student (and contributors, if required) provides on the FAFSA form. The SAI will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting in the 2024-25 award year. A student’s SAI can be a negative number as low as -1500.

The following formula is now used to calculate your federal financial need.

Calculated Need = Cost of Attendance (COA) – Student Aid Index (SAI) – Other Financial Assistance (OFA)

For more information on these changes please visit the FAFSA Simplification page.