Financial Aid Offers are determined by a multitude of factors, including Cost of Attendance (COA), Student Aid Index (SAI), Financial Need, program enrollment, enrollment intensity, academic performance, residency, and many others. Follow the sections below to help you understand how your specific aid package was determined
COA is determined by a multitude of factors and differs for every student. It is not the bill that you may get from your college; it is the total estimated amount it may cost you to go to college each year. For example, Housing & Food, Personal, and Transportation amounts are estimated at an unknown amount until students complete the Housing Survey located on their Task list in SOAR. This gives us a student's housing preference to be able to determine more accurate expenses.
|The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that a college’s financial aid office uses to determine how much federal student aid the student would receive if the student attended the school. This number results from the information that the student provides in their FAFSA® form. SAI replaced Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that many people may be familiar with.
|Financial Need is used by different aid programs to determine eligibility. For example,
aid programs such as the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Teacher
Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Federal Work
Study, and Subsidized Loans require that students have need to be eligible.
If you have determined you have financial need by subtracting your SAI from your COA, you may have eligibility for these programs. Additionally, many scholarship programs require that students have need to qualify, so this would also impact eligibility for those scholarships.
Students have the ability to view their COA, SAI, and Financial Need in their SOAR account. When navigating, be sure you are viewing the correct Financial Aid Year by using the drop down at the top of the page to switch to the year you want to view.
- COA: Navigate in SOAR to your Student Dashboard and then click on Financial Aid Summary under the Financial Aid Menu on the left side of the screen. It is titled "Estimated Financial Aid Budget" and is broken down by fall, spring, and summer. You will only have a COA determined for semesters that you are enrolled or are planning on being enrolled for.
- SAI: Navigate in SOAR to your Student Dashboard and then click on Financial Aid Summary under the Financial Aid Menu on the left side of the screen. SAI will appear on the top of the screen next to your Estimated Financial Aid Budget. NOTE: If you have not completed a FAFSA, your SAI will show zero.
- Financial Need: Navigate in SOAR to your Student Dashboard and then click on Financial Aid Summary under the Financial Aid Menu on the left side of the screen. Estimated Need will appear on the top of the screen next to your SAI. NOTE: If you have not completed a FAFSA, your Estimated Need will be incorrect due to you not having a calculated SAI. This will make you ineligible for most need-based aid programs.