What is financial need?
For financial aid purposes, financial need is defined as the difference between what it costs to attend and what the student and the student’s family can pay towards college expenses. The calculation of what the family can pay is called the Expected Family Contribution or (EFC). The EFC is calculated by the application processors of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Washington Application for Student Financial Aid (WASFA) and the results are sent to the schools the student designates on the application.
The cost of attendance (COA) varies by school based on the schools tuition and other expenses. The cost of attendance, or student budget, at YVC consists of tuition at YVC combined with the student budgets prepared by the Washington Financial Aid Association that periodically conducts student budget surveys and adjusts costs based on changes to the consumer price index.
Cost of Attendance
The cost of attendance is an important concept in planning for pursuing educational opportunities over the school year. Student budgets are intended to represent a modest, but adequate estimate of what a student can expect to pay for direct and indirect educational costs over an academic year. Students are expected to maintain a low but adequate standard of living while attending post-secondary education and are encouraged to reduce expenses where possible.
Three budget categories have been authorized and recommended by the Washington Financial Aid Association. Generally, the financial aid office will not authorize total financial aid in excess of the cost of attendance; and the cost of attendance less the student’s expected family contribution as calculated based on the data provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Washington Application for Student Financial Aid (WASFA) is the basis for the computation of the student’s financial need. Adjustments may be made to student budgets only with documented allowable costs approved by the financial laid office on a case-by-case basis.
*Full time tuition is based on a weighted average of full time students at YVC.
YVC assigns student budgets based on the student’s dependency status for financial aid and the housing arrangements selected when completing the application form. Financial aid officers may adjust the student budget with documented allowable expenses such as childcare expenses, expenses related to a disability, student medical/dental expenses, or other educational expenses with a Budget Revision Request and appropriate documentation. However, the financial aid office cannot consider non-education related expenses, expenses for other members in the household, undocumented expenses or expenses related to life style or consumer choices. Start-up costs that are unique to specific programs (tools, uniforms, equipment) should be documented at the time of any request for additional funding, such as loans that are not offered in the original financial aid package.
Need-based Assistance Programs
There are three main types of need-based financial aid that may be included in a student’s financial aid award notice from the financial aid office:
- GIFT AID (funds not repaid by eligible students) May be in the form of a grant, scholarship or waiver. Awards are based on student eligibility, need based on FAFSA data, and available funds. Awards are posted on the financial aid portal and do not require the student to formally accept each award.
- LOAN (funds must be repaid, but may be deferred while the student is in school) Federal Direct Stafford Loans are based on student request after eligibility for grants has been determined. Loan request forms are available on the forms webpage and at the financial aid office after initial grant awards have been issued.
- WORK (a job for which the student is paid) Work Study awards are based on student request after eligibility for grants has been determined. Awards are restricted by the availability of funded positions. Each student must attend an initial Student Work Study Orientation and verify eligibility for employment before being awarded. Watch the announcements on the financial aid office web-site for dates and times of upcoming orientation sessions.