Financial Need (COA)

Financial need is a student's calculated eligibility for financial assistance which is determined by subtracting the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the COA (Cost of Attendance).

Many types of financial aid are awarded on the basis of financial need. Financial aid in the form of grants, loans, scholarships and federal work study can be awarded to meet your financial need. Most federal student aid programs are awarded based on financial need except for Unsubsidized Direct Loans and Direct PLUS (Parent) Loans.

Expected Family Contribution

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a number used to determine your federal financial aid eligibility. It measures the strength of your family's resources and its ability to contribute toward your cost of attendance. Your EFC figure is determined by an objective, congressionally approved need analysis formula. It is not the amount of money that your family must provide. 

All data used to calculate your EFC comes from the information you provided on the FAFSA. Your family's income (taxable and untaxed) and assets are considered in determining your EFC. Your family size and the number of family members who will be attending a college or career school are also considered.

Your EFC is used in this equation to determine your financial need.

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

The EFC Formula Guide can assist you in calculating your EFC.

Cost of Attendance

When you apply for federal student aid, the Financial Aid Office uses your cost of attendance (COA) in determining how much aid you can receive. The COA is the total estimated cost for a student to attend a particular school – expressed as a yearly figure. It is determined using rules established by law.

 

Cost of Attendance Example for 2020-21

Below is an example of the costs estimated for the following academic year for an independent student who is living on campus in Winter Hall and enrolled in a total of 24 credit hours for the 2020-2021 school year.

$  2,256 – tuition and fees
$  1,560 – books and supplies
$  10,218 – room and board
$  3,340 – transportation costs
$  6,092 – miscellaneous and personal expenses
$       40 – loan fees

$23,506 = total cost of attendance

Cost of attendance expenses include tuition and fees, allowances for housing and food, books, supplies, transportation, miscellaneous and personal expenses and loan fees. Other costs that can be added to COA are dependent care, study-abroad expenses and costs related to a disability. If you have these or other expenses, please contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you qualify to have these included in your cost of attendance.

If a student has additional expenses not adequately covered in the standard cost of attendance budget, they must contact the Financial Aid Office and provide documentation to request their budgets be increased. The decision of the Financial Aid Office is final and limited to expenses while attending Allen.

Changes and Adjustments to Cost of Attendance and Budget

Budget Adjustments

Adjusted Annually – Budgets will be adjusted on August 1 to reflect each student’s enrollment. 

Tuition Prorated for Enrollment – The tuition, fees, books and supplies of the budgets will be prorated based on actual enrollment. 

Limitations for Less than Half-Time Enrollment – If you are enrolled less than half-time, budgets are not allowed to have miscellaneous and personal expenses included. 

Changes to Awards – Changes to your award package may need to be made after the budget adjustments are complete.

Budgets are Based on Fall Enrollment – The budget will be set for the fall and spring semester based on enrollment for the fall semester. If a student is enrolled in less than full-time hours for the fall semester but increases their hours in the spring, they will need to contact the Financial Aid Office for an increase in their budget.