How your award is calculated

The Formula

Cost of Attendance

- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

= Financial Need  


What is Cost of Attendance?

The cost of attending NC State includes both direct costs and indirect costs. Direct costs are those that you will be billed for such as tuition, fees, on-campus housing, and university meal plans. Indirect costs, such as rent at an off-campus apartment, books, or transportation to campus, are associated with going to college but will never appear on your bill from the University Cashier’s Office. Our costs are based on typical expenses reported by NC State students. Your indirect costs may vary from these averages.

What is Expected Family Contribution?

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information that you report (income, assets, number of family members, number in college, etc.) is applied to a formula established by the U.S. Congress.  The formula calculates your family’s ability to pay for your educational expenses for the academic year, and produces a figure that is referred to as your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You can find this figure on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

What is Financial Need?

Your financial need is the difference between your cost of attendance, as calculated by the institution, and your Expected Family Contribution, as calculated by the FAFSA.
Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Will NC State Meet my Financial Need?

March 1 priority applicants: If you apply for aid by the March 1 priority filing date by submitting the FAFSA for the upcoming year, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will attempt to meet your demonstrated financial need with the maximum grant funds available.  Your aid package may include a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment.  This package must include all resources available to you from other sources, such as federal grants, private scholarships, state scholarships and grants, other institutional scholarships awarded from departmental funds, and funds awarded by other agencies such as Vocational Rehabilitation.

Late applicants: If you submit your FAFSA after March 1, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will meet as much of your demonstrated need as possible. Because institutional scholarship and grant resources are limited, it is unlikely there will be sufficient funding to meet the full needs of late applicants. Your aid package may include a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment.  This package must include all resources available to you from other sources, such as federal grants, private scholarships, state scholarships and grants, other institutional scholarships awarded from departmental funds, and funds awarded by other agencies such as Vocational Rehabilitation.

* Our priority is to award institutional grant funds first to full-time undergraduates working toward their first bachelor’s degree.  Because our funds are limited, there is little gift aid available for second degree students, graduate students, and part-time students. 

Will I Receive the Same Awards Next Year?

Applying for financial aid is an annual process.  You must complete a FAFSA each year for which you are requesting financial aid.  Your Expected Family Contribution and your costs will be reevaluated each year, and as a result your financial aid package may change.  Meeting the NC State financial aid application priority date of March 1 is critical to ensuring that your financial aid package is the most favorable NC State can offer.