Award Determination and Eligibility

Eligibility

To receive aid from Federal Title IV programs, you must:

  • qualify for financial need (except for certain loans).
  • have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law.
  • be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • have a valid Social Security Number (unless you're from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic FAFSA to register, you can register at http://www.sss.gov/, or you can call 1-847-688-6888. (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567.)
  • 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.

Even if you are ineligible for federal aid, you should complete the FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) because you may be eligible for nonfederal aid from states and private institutions. If you regain eligibility during the award year, notify your financial aid administrator immediately. If you are convicted of a drug-related offense after you submit the FAFSA, you might lose eligibility for federal student aid, and you might be liable for returning any financial aid you received during a period of ineligibility.

 


 

 

Award Determination

The information you reported on your FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The formula used to calculate your EFC is established by law and is used to measure your family's financial strength on the basis of your family's income and assets. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid and indicates how much money you and your family are expected to contribute toward your cost of attendance for the school year. If your EFC is below a certain number, you'll be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements.

The amount of your Pell Grant depends on your EFC, your cost of attendance (which the Southern Miss financial aid office will calculate), and your enrollment status (full time, three-quarter time, half time, or less than half time).

For our other aid programs, the financial aid administrator takes your cost of attendance and then subtracts your EFC, the amount of a Federal Pell Grant you are eligible for, and aid you will get from other sources. The result is your remaining financial need:

Cost of Attendance
   - EFC
   - Federal Pell Grant Eligibility
   - Aid From Other Sources
   = Remaining Financial Need

Note: Certain aid sources are not allowed to exceed student's Cost of Attendance.