Determining Need

Financial Aid Basics

The Financial Aid Office at Eastern Connecticut State University assists students and parents who might not otherwise be able to afford the student’s educational expenses. The staff in the Financial Aid Office is available to assist students, both current and prospective, in determining their eligibility for available financial aid.

Determining Financial Need

A student’s financial need is determined using the following simple formula:

Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution equals Financial Need
A cost of attendance budget is established for a student by combining the student’s costs for tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation and personal expenses. Some of these costs are fixed (standard for large groups of students) and directly billed by the institution. Others are not directly billed by the institution and may vary based on an individual student’s circumstances, such as major, living arrangements or distance from campus.
See Eastern’s Estimated Cost of Attendance Budgets for different categories of students by clicking the links below:

2014-2015 Undergraduate Full Time and Part Time Estimates.
2014-2015 Graduate Full Time and Part Time Estimates.

2013-2014 Undergraduate Full Time and Part Time Estimates.
2013-2014 Graduate Full Time and Part Time Estimates.

A nationally agreed upon formula that considers the following family characteristics is used to establish the student’s expected family contribution.

  • Student and/or Parent income,
  • Family size,
  • Assets (Parent/Student), and,
  • Number of family members in college, not including parents.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to collect this and other information from students. Once established, the expected family contribution (EFC) is subtracted from the student’s cost of attendance in order to establish the student’s financial need and ultimately, eligibility for need-based financial aid. While eligibility for all financial aid (i.e. merit scholarships) is not based on financial need, a student may never receive financial aid that exceeds that student’s financial need.

Alternatively you may also Estimate your Financial Aid using our calculator.

Net Price Calculator

Another key factor, beyond financial need, that determines the amount of aid that a student receives in an academic year is availability of funds. Eastern, like most universities, is not able to meet the full demonstrated need of its student body as its institutional funds devoted to financial aid are limited. Therefore, it is very important for students to file the FAFSA by Eastern’s FAFSA Priority Date (March 1), as institutional aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Late applications are processed, but receive less aid as our institutional funds are depleted.

Regrettably, there is no need-based financial aid available for international students at Eastern. All international students must demonstrate their ability to meet their financial obligations during their stay in the United States before an I-20 is issued. International students may be considered for some merit-based scholarships, for private, alternative loans if they have a credit-worthy U.S. citizen co-signer and for on-campus student employment.

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