Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid
Completing the FAFSA generates a number called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is the driving force behind financial aid.
What Makes Up the EFC?
- Income (from parents and student)
- Family size
- Number of family members in college
Note: the EFC is the number that is given in the confirmation after completing the FAFSA
Important Information regarding student income: when the information entered in the FAFSA is processed, dependent student income and income from students with no dependents counts at a much higher percentage towards the estimated family contribution. Thus, students that want to work, should (if eligible) consider work-study before any other kind of employment, because work-study employment will not be counted as income since it is a form of financial aid.
What makes up the Cost of Attendance?
- Tuition and fees
- Room and board
- Books and supplies, equipment, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses
- Loan fees
Note: Cost of Attendance varies not only by school, but also by enrollment status and living arrangements. For more information regarding UTPA’s Cost of Attendance click here.
How is need determined?
Need is obtained by taking the school’s COA and subtracting the EFC from it.
As per Federal regulations students receiving need based aid cannot exceed their need, and student receiving aid that is not need based cannot exceed the COA, if this occurs, we must reduce the amounts awarded.
To see an example of how all these elements play into a sample student award package click here