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Determining Eligibility

A student's financial aid eligibility is determined by the amount of his or her financial need. Before a student's financial need can be determined, the student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online at the Federal Student Aid website.

Once a student submits a FAFSA form, the federal processor performs a needs analysis on that student. The federal processor takes into consideration factors such as income, assets, number in college, and number in the household, when performing the needs analysis.

Once a federal needs analysis is complete, the student is assigned an EFC number. EFC stands for "Expected Family Contribution." The EFC number represents the amount of money the federal government expects that a family is able to contribute towards the student's education for that year. The EFC is based on the income and asset information listed on the FAFSA form. After a FAFSA form is processed, the EFC number is sent to both the student and each school listed by the student on the FAFSA form. The student will be notified of his or her EFC when he or she is given access to their Student Aid Report (SAR).

Once our office receives an official EFC directly from the federal processor, we can then begin to calculate the amount of financial need a student has. A student's financial need determines the amount of financial aid the University will be able to offer the student. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attending the University and a family's ability to contribute to a student's education. The formula used for calculating a student's financial need is as follows:

Cost of Attendance for Frostburg State University
- Expected Family Contribution
Financial Need


Although Frostburg State University does its best to meet a student's financial need, please keep in mind that the EFC is not all that a student and their family may have to pay towards a student's educational expenses. Each school is given a limited amount of funds for each federal financial aid program every year. This means that, in addition to a student's need, the amount of funding a student receives from any given financial aid program is determined by the amount of funding the school is given for each federal program, as well as the number of students who are eligible for funds from that program. It is for this reason that financial aid may not always cover 100% of a student's financial need. Additionally, Frostburg State University expects that the student and his or her parents contribute to the fullest of their ability from income and assets in meeting a student's expenses. For a full explanation of how we calculate the student's cost of attendance, please see the Tuition and Fees page.

Special Circumstances

Sometimes a student's EFC does not accurately reflect his or her family's current financial situation. In some cases, the financial aid office has the ability to adjust the student's EFC, so that it more accurately reflects the student's current situation. This process is known as a request for "special conditions" consideration. The following situations qualify as special conditions:

  1. A change in a student or parents income due to unemployment or a change of profession
    Divorce or separation

  2. A change in household income due to the loss of child support, alimony, social security benefits, disability benefits, or unemployment benefits

  3. A non-recurring income that was received for the prior year and recorded on the prior years taxes and/or FAFSA form

  4. Unusually high medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance.

If one of the reasons above describes your family's current situation, please download the application for a special condition from the Printable Forms page of this website. Please return the application, along with all of the documentation requested on the application, to the Financial Aid Office. Contact information for the Financial Aid Office can be found at the top of this page by selecting "Contact Us." In all cases, documentation of your family's situation will be required before a request for special consideration can be granted. A "special conditions" request cannot be completed until all documentation requested by our office is received.

If you feel that you may qualify for a special condition, but the reason for the change in your family's situation is not listed above, please contact our office for more information concerning whether or not you may qualify for special conditions consideration.