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Determining Your Financial Aid Eligibility

How much financial aid you can receive at NSU depends on several factors. Generally, your eligibility depends on your Student Aid Index (SAI), your year in school, your enrollment status, and your program’s cost of attendance (COA).  Need-based financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Work-Study, is determined based on the following formula:

Cost of Attendance (COA) - Student Aid Index (SAI) = Eligibility for need-based aid

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is determined by the Office of Financial Aid, as governed by federal regulations, and includes tuition and fees, housing and food, books, supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses. If your SAI is lower than the cost of attendance at NSU, the university considers the difference between the two amounts to be your financial need.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that the financial aid office uses to determine your financial aid offer. The SAI results from the information you provide on your FAFSA. The number is not a dollar amount of aid eligibility or what your family is expected to provide. A negative SAI indicates a higher financial need. Your SAI is listed on your FAFSA Submission Summary. Before receiving your official SAI, you can complete the Federal Student Aid Estimator for an estimate.

Eligibility for aid that is not need based, such as the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Federal PLUS Loans, and the Teacher Education Access for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, is determined as follows:

Cost of Attendance (COA) – Financial Aid Awarded So Far*  = Eligibility for financial aid that is not need-based

*"Financial Aid Awarded So Far" includes aid from all sources, including institutional and external scholarships.

Special Circumstances – Professional Judgment
The Office of Financial Aid may use Professional Judgment to consider a student’s special and/or unusual circumstances to make adjustments to:

(1) certain components of the Student Aid Index (SAI),

(2) the cost of attendance budget, and/or

(3) a student's dependency status, as determined by federal guidelines. 

Special modifications to SAI and cost of attendance budget of regulatory provisions may also be made for students who are military personnel. 

For more information on Professional Judgment, including instructions on how to submit a request, view the Request for Professional Judgment Form.

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