General Information


How Need-Based Aid Eligibility is Determined

Financial aid programs were created with the idea that the primary responsibility for paying college costs rests with the student and his or her family. Need-based financial aid is available to families who demonstrate a need for additional resources to help pay college costs. The formula is used to determine whether you are eligible for need-based aid is:

  Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
- Scholarships/Other Resources (Vocational Rehabilitation, ROTC Funding, etc.)
=Need for Aid

Cost of Attendance represents a reasonable estimate of the cost of attending the University for a full academic year (two semesters-Fall and Spring terms), including estimated amounts for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, plus a modest allowance for personal/miscellaneous expenses.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is derived from a federal need assessment formula known as Federal Methodology, which is legislated by the U.S. Congress. The information used in the Federal Methodology calculation is taken from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and from documents you may file with the Office of Student Financial Assistance when applying for financial aid. Federal Methodology uses this information and a consistent analysis of a family's situation to calculate the EFC.

Federal Methodology includes two parts:

  1. The Parent Contribution-an estimated amount, based on their income and assets (including cash, checking, savings, and money market accounts, etc.; investments and real estate holdings other than your family's primary residence; and business equity) that your parents are expected to pay toward your college costs for the year. Allowances for living expenses, taxes paid, number of family members in college, and asset protection for retirement are built into the formula.
  2. The Student Contribution-an estimated amount, that you are expected to pay toward your college costs for the year. It is based on your income and a percentage of your savings and other assets.

Need for aid equals the total cost of attendance minus the family contribution: If your family contribution is less than the cost, you may be eligible to receive financial aid.

Students are encouraged to seek scholarships from private sources and Pittsburg State University, and to utilize other resources such as ROTC, and veteran's benefits to help offset financial need.


Financial Aid Eligibility/EFC Calculators

To help you estimate your eligibility for need-based aid, try these online calculators:


How Need-Based Aid is Awarded

If the Cost of Attendance (Budget) - Expected Family Contribution = Need for Aid calculation indicates that you are eligible for financial aid, you may be awarded a financial aid package/offer that consists of a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and Work-Study. Your estimated eligibility letter for financial assistance is the figure upon which your financial aid award(s) are based. Award amounts are determined by a combination of demonstrated financial need, federal award maximums, and the funds available. The OSFA attempts to distribute grant, loan, and Work-Study funds equitably among the population of all eligible applicants.

Every student who applies for aid is awarded the maximum amount of grant funds for which he or she is eligible. A student whose parents do not have sufficient resources to contribute very much to his or her education may receive more grant funds than a student whose family can make a more substantial contribution. Whatever your family situation, you can be sure that you will be treated fairly and equitably with respect to students in similar financial circumstances.

If there is remaining unmet need, eligibility for loan and Work-Study awards will be determined. Perkins Loans, Nursing Loans, and Work-Study employment, by federal regulation, must be awarded to students with the most need. Because there are not enough of these funds to meet all students' needs, those who have the fewest family resources are awarded funds from these programs. Students with remaining financial need are awarded Federal Stafford Loans, up to award maximums.

Scholarships and Other Resources:

Students are encouraged to seek scholarships from private sources and Pittsburg State University, as well as to utilize other resources such as ROTC Scholarships, or veteran's benefits. Although federal regulations and University policies require that these forms of assistance be counted as financial resources when determining eligibility for need-based aid, they will improve your overall aid package. These scholarships and other resources will first be used to meet any gap between the cost of attendance, the EFC, and the financial aid offered. Next, they will reduce the amount of loan or Work-Study offered. Only if all loan and Work-Study funds have been replaced by scholarships or other resources will the amount of grant aid be reduced.