Awards are made in compliance with federal, state, and institutional policies and are initially awarded based on the assumption of full time enrollment for each student. After the university’s census date has been reached each semester, and students’ initial class attendance is determined, awards may be adjusted and or cancelled based on the students’ final enrollment status. Students who will graduate a semester early in the academic year must also inform financial aid staff so that adjustments, such as proration of Direct Loans awarded, can be made. Funds will be disbursed after the period in which student enrollment is determined each semester.
Financial aid awards are determined and processed by financial aid staff after FAFSA information is complete and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been determined by the federal government. The EFC is defined a measure of a family’s financial strength based on federal methodology that takes into account a family’s income and assets and certain protections of such. This is determined to be the amount a student’s family can contribute toward educational costs.
The Cost of Attendance (COA) or budget is a major factor in determining the amount of financial aid a student receives. The cost of attendance is determined by the school’s financial aid administrator and is the average cost for a full time student to attend school for an academic year -an average cost of tuition/fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses- (this should not be confused with direct costs charged to a student’s account for actual institutional charges). Federal awards that are based on a student’s need are called need based awards. Need is determined by subtracting the EFC from the Cost of Attendance. The result of this calculation is a student’s need.
It is the student’s responsibility to keep the financial aid office informed of all assistance he/she will receive while enrolled. Receipt of additional financial assistance such as scholarships, other grants and state aid grants may change eligibility for awards that have already been processed. Direct Loans (Stafford and PLUS), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE; i.e., Academic Challenge, HEOG, etc.) and institutional aid may be decreased or cancelled if the student receives additional assistance. Please ensure you inform financial aid staff of other awards.