Federal Aid Eligibility Requirements

Below are the basic eligibility requirements to be considered for Federal Aid:

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. Meet all Department of Education eligibility requirements including but not limited to:
    1. Demonstrate Financial Need, explained below,
    2. Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, or demonstrate Ability-to-Benefit, explained in item 5,
    3. Register with the Selective Services, if required,
    4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen,
    5. Have a valid Social Security Number.
  3. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  4. Meet the standards of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP).
  5. Ability to Benefit (ATB)1 - Students may become eligible for Title IV aid if successfully complete one of the ATB alternatives, including passing an ATB test as approved by the Secretary, and enrolled in an eligible career pathway program. Students who first enrolled in any Title IV eligible postsecondary program prior to July 1, 2012, may establish eligibility for Title IV aid through any of the ATB alternatives:
    • Passing an independently administered ATB test approved by the Secretary of Education;
    • Completing at least 6 credit hours or 225 clock hours that are applicable toward a degree or certificate offered by the postsecondary institution (neither remedial nor developmental coursework count toward this requirement. The coursework must demonstrate that the student has the ability to benefit from the postsecondary program in which the student is enrolled or intends to enroll, but need not be applicable to the specific degree or program in which the student is enrolled); or
    • Completing a State process approved by the Secretary of Education. Note: To date, no State process has been submitted for the Secretary’s approval.

1Please check with the Student Financial Services Office for additional information about the Ability to Benefit provisions and eligible career pathway programs.

Financial Need

When you apply for Federal Student Aid, the information you report on the FAFSA is used in a formula established by the U.S. Department of Education. The formula determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), a measure of you and/or your family's financial strength. If your EFC is below a certain amount, you will be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements.

There is not a maximum EFC that determines eligibility for the other financial aid programs. Instead, your EFC is used in an equation to determine your financial need:

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need

To determine your unmet need for aid other than Federal Pell Grant, the calculation is:

Cost of Attendance - EFC - Pell Grant and any other Financial Aid = Unmet Need

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