How Financial Aid Is Awarded
How Aid Is Awarded
There are three elements that assist us in determining students' financial aid awards: Cost of Attendance, Estimated Family Contribution, and Financial Need
a) Cost of Attendance (COA) or ‘budget’
Your Cost of Attendance (COA) is the Office of Student Financial Services estimate of your educational expenses for the aid year and is comprised of five (5) budget components:
- Tuition and Fees: Tuition and fees costs are estimated based on your projected or actual enrollment, IU residency status for fee payment purposes, and major.
- Room and Board: Room and Board costs are estimated based on the housing option you reported on the FAFSA – living ON-CAMPUS, OFF-CAMPUS, or WITH PARENTS.
- Books and Supplies: Books and Supplies are estimated based on an average cost for textbooks and related supplies based on your projected or actual enrollment.
- Transportation: Transportation is estimated based on U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
- Personal/Miscellaneous: Miscellaneous costs are estimated based on your clothing, recreation, medical and dental costs, and life insurance and health insurance. **Important note: A student’s total aid package CANNOT exceed the Cost of Attendance.**
b) Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Using a need analysis formula set by Congress, the U.S. Department of Education uses the information you reported on the FAFSA to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This number appears on your Student Aid Report (SAR) and represents the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your Cost of Attendance (COA). Your EFC and COA are key factors to determine your financial aid eligibility.
c) Financial Need or ‘need’
Certain financial aid awards are based on the student’s calculated financial need – calculated based on the following formula:
Cost Of Attendance (COA) – Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need
The next step in determining the financial aid package is to use the data obtained from these three elements above and examine each aid program to see if the student fits the individual eligibility criteria.
Other eligibility criteria that are reviewed include (but are not limited to) the following below:
- FAFSA completion date – March 10th is Indiana’s priority date
- Academic/Class level – based on the number of credit hours completed
- Enrollment Status – number of credit hours enrolled/attending
- Prior Degree Completion
- Aggregate Stafford Loan Amounts already received
- Residency status (resident vs nonresident)
- State and Federal Regulations
- Institutional philosophy
- For federal campus based aid, awards are made based on financial need with priority consideration based on our receipt of your FAFSA data (Priority Date of March 10).
Most aid awarded is need-based – meaning the student must show financial need as defined above. However, there is some aid, such as a Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan, that can be used to assist in covering the EFC or your families’ contribution.
Grants Are Awarded Before Loans
Before awarding Federal Student Loans, eligible students are awarded grants. If a student rejects or reduces a loan, we cannot increase grants to make up the difference.
Additional Options – Federal PLUS Loans and Private/Alternative Loans
Federal PLUS Loans (parent Federal PLUS loan for undergraduates) and Private/Alternative Loans are not initially awarded to students.
A Student's Financial Aid Awards Might Change
If the student's financial circumstances change and he or she is approved for a Professional Judgment Appeal, we will review the student’s eligibility and awards and make appropriate adjustments. On the other hand, a student can delay or lose aid by missing deadlines or failing to meet other requirements.
A Student's Aid Could Be Delayed, reduced or cancelled if:
- The student's Master Promissory Note is not completed (typically a first-time IUPUI borrower)
Students must complete the master promissory note (MPN) within 60 days if he or she has not previously borrowed from the lender (bank). If the student does not complete the MPN within 60 days, we will cancel the award. A student may contact us to request a determination of eligibility to award a loan that has been cancelled.
- The student does not accept Federal Work-Study award before the deadline
A Federal Work-Study (FWS) award is typically made in an offer status and the student must accept the award via OneStart within 60 days. After 60 days, FWS awards still in an offer status are cancelled. A student may contact us to request a determination of eligibility for a FWS award that has been cancelled.
- The student does not complete Quality Improvement (QI) or Quality Assurance (QA)
Based on criteria established by internal and federal guidelines; some students are notified and required to complete the Quality Improvement and/or Quality Assurance process. If selected, the student will receive a letter explaining this process. A delay in completing the QI or QA process will result in cancellation of all awards if the student had previously been awarded financial aid or a delay in determination of financial aid awards until the student completes the QI or QA process.
- The student fails to make Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in an eligible degree or certificate program to be eligible for financial aid.
- The student is enrolled in a repeated course (SAP)