AWARD GUIDE (pdf)
financial aid award,
Understanding Your Award: Determining Financial Need
Financial Aid Award
Several factors determine the amount and type of financial aid you are offered:
- your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
- your Financial Need (Estimated Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution)
- timing of your application
- your willingness to accept various types of aid
- availability of funds
Depending on the need analysis results and timing of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your award offer may include need-based aid from federal, state, and institutional sources, including loans. Note that March 2 is the priority application date for California grants. Your award offer may also include other financial assistance offered by the University such as scholarships, tuition waivers, stipends, and other third party payments. There are two rules to keep in mind:Your total need-based aid cannot exceed your financial need. Your total need-based and non-need-based aid cannot exceed the total Cost of Attendance.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
Your Cost of Attendance, also known as the student budget, is based on the estimated cost of a typical student's registration fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses for a nine–month academic year (fall and spring semesters). These budgets include direct university charges (registration and on-campus room and board) and estimates of indirect expenses (transportation, books and supplies, miscellaneous living expenses, and off-campus room and board).
Each college calculates its own student budget. Your COA, or budget, will vary at CSU, Chico depending on where you live -- on or off campus, or with your parents/relatives - and depending on whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, or credential student.
When your FAFSA is analyzed by the Central Processing System of the U.S. Department of Education, a formula is applied to the information you provided. Congress uses this formula to determine your financial need as compared to others, and it represents the portion of your own and/or your family's (or spouse's) financial resources that should be available to pay for college. The formula result is the EFC.
The EFC is an index used in determining the types and amounts of federal and state aid for which you qualify.
If you are a dependent student, your EFC will be calculated on:
- your income and your parent(s)' income
- your assets and your parent(s)' assets
- the age of your older parent living in your household
- the number of family members living in your household
- the number of family members under age 24 in college during the coming academic year
- your state of legal residence
- your parents' state of legal residence
If you are an independent student, your EFC will be calculated on:
- your income and assets, and your spouse's, if you are married
- the number of children and other dependents in your household
- the number of family members in college during the academic year
- your state of legal residence
Financial Need is the difference between your Expected Family Contribution and the standard Cost of Attendance calculated for each academic year.
Your EFC will stay the same no matter which college you attend, because it is the product of a standardized federal formula. You may be eligible for different types and amount of aid at different colleges, however, because each college has its own Cost of Attendance. The bottom line is:
Cost Of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
Remember, your Financial Need will vary from college to college because each college has its own Cost of Attendance. If you have any questions about how CSU, Chico has determined your estimated award, check your Student Aid Report for your EFC as well as our links to Cost of Attendance and Types of Aid. You may also find our section on Frequently Asked Questions helpful as well as our Glossary.
Your estimated financial aid offer from CSU, Chico will be determined by the formula above. Offers are also estimated based on full-time enrollment. However, the financial aid you will actually receive is based on need and enrollment. If you are not enrolled full-time, or drop below full-time, you will receive financial aid that is prorated for the number of units in which you are enrolled. You may view Enrollment Requirements for financial aid full-time status.
Please call us at 530-898-6451, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by our office in Student Services Center 250 if you have any additional questions.