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How is financial aid need determined?

Financial need is determined by taking the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) subtracted by the resources available to the student to help meet that cost. Thus, financial need is determined to be the:

Cost of Attendance (COA)
– Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
– Other Available Resources (such as scholarships)
=Financial Need


Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount a student and parent(s) can reasonably be expected to contribute towards educational expenses. The actual amount of the EFC is dependent upon family and student income, assets, family size, number of family members in college, taxes paid and age of the older parent. A student’s EFC is determined by the information provided to the U.S. Department of Education through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All applicants are required to inform the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of any additional assistance to be received from outside sources during the application period. For example: VA Benefits, Outside Scholarships, and assistance from Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services.


Students should be aware that there are outside scholarships, teacher aide exemptions, Resident Assistants (RA’s), employee scholarships, Veteran Benefits, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services, and outside grants that are considered resources and can affect a student’s financial need. These resources must be considered in your financial aid and scholarship award package.

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