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Determining Eligibility

Financial Aid is offered to students in accordance with the guiding principles and formulas established by the Federal Department of Education.

When your FAFSA is processed, a formula, established by law, is applied to the information you provided. The formula result is called the Student Aid Index or SAI. The SAI is based on your family's income and assets and is used to determine what types of Federal and State Financial aid programs the student will be able to receive.

Students are automatically considered for all aid programs.  If your SAI is below a certain number, you will be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements. The amount of your Pell Grant depends on your SAI, your cost of attendance, and your enrollment status:


Full time is 12 credits or more
Three Quarter Time is 9 to 11 credits
Half Time is 6 to 8 credits
Less than Half Time is 3 to 5 credits

The student's Financial Need determines the amount of financial aid offered a student.  To determine financial need, the SAI is subtracted from the cost of education (tuition, fees, housing, meals, books and supplies, personal and transportation expenses, etc).

Cost of Education - Student Aid Index = Need

In addition to demonstrated financial need, aid applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Qualify for financial aid (except for certain loans);
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education;
  • Be admitted and enrolled in an eligible degree program;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen;
  • Have a valid Social Security Number;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school;
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

Last Modified: 1/3/24 3:06 PM | Website Feedback