Framingham State University follows the United States Department of Education guidelines in administering its financial aid programs. The basic principle behind financial aid is that the student and his/her family has the primary responsibility for meeting as much of the cost of attending college as is reasonably possible. Financial aid is a supplement to family resources if family resources are insufficient to meet college costs.
There are three components in determining eligibility for financial aid: cost of attendance, family contribution, and financial need. Stated simply:
Cost of Attendance - Family Contribution = Financial Need
The cost of attendance is determined by the Financial Aid Office. Standard average expense budgets are used for students based on where they will be living during the academic year. The following PDF shows financial aid budgets for the 2014-2015 academic year.
The expected family contribution is determined based upon the information supplied on the FAFSA and other application materials that are submitted to the Financial Aid Office. The family contribution is calculated using the U. S. Department of Education guidelines and a process called "need analysis." This process takes into account several components such as:
- Family income
- Number of family members
- Number of family members (excluding parents) attending college on at least a half-time basis
- Family assets (not including the primary residence)
- Essential family living costs
Financial Aid Awards
Once your financial need is determined, a financial aid package is prepared. The package is usually a combination of grant, work, and loan programs.
The amount of financial need that is met depends upon the availability of funds, the number of eligible applicants, and the date your financial aid file is completed. Please be advised that financial aid eligibility is dependent upon housing and enrollment statuses. Should your enrollment or housing status change, please contact the Financial Aid Office as your financial aid package could be affected.
After your file is complete, an award letter will be mailed to you. If you are an incoming student who has been accepted, filed your FAFSA, and submitted any requested documents to the Financial Aid Office by March 1, you can expect to receive an award letter by April 15th. If you are a returning student who filed your FAFSA, and submitted any requested documents to the Financial Aid Office by March 1, you can expect to receive an award letter by June 30th. Spring applicants that meet the November 1st deadline will receive notification of their award by December 15th.
Upon receipt of your award letter, read the enclosed award letter guide carefully, sign the award letter, and return it to the Financial Aid Office within two weeks of the date on the letter, or by May 1st in the case of a new freshman. Award letters returned after the deadline are subject to cancellation.
It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Financial Aid Office of all financial assistance received from other sources. Types of assistance that must be reported include: private scholarships, tuition waivers, veterans' benefits, Massachusetts Rehabilitation assistance, etc.
All forms of outside assistance must be taken into account in the financial aid package. Outside assistance received after aid has been awarded by the Financial Aid Office may cause the financial aid package to be adjusted. If an adjustment is necessary, the award will be recalculated as if the outside assistance was known prior to awarding.
Financial Aid Appeals
If your family situation changes after you receive your financial aid award, you can appeal the decision. Appeals must be in writing, preferably typed, and submitted with documentation to the Financial Aid Office.
Grounds for an appeal may include, but are not limited to: loss of job, loss of other income, a death in the family, a divorce or separation in the family, and unusually high medical bills. All appeals are handled on an individual basis.
Payment of Financial Aid Awards
If you have been awarded financial aid prior to the due date of your bill with the University, you may apply your aid (excluding Federal Work-Study) directly to your bill. The bill is sent to you via your student email by the Student Accounts Office. If you have been awarded more aid than is required to meet your obligation to the University, the excess will be refunded to you and it can be used to meet other educational expenses. You may use excess funds available to you up to a maximum of $500 (possibly more for Pell Grant recipients) at the University Bookstore during the first week of classes. These funds will appear as available to you on your student I.D. card. After the first week of classes, the book voucher is no longer available and any unused excess funds will be refunded to you during the normal refund period. Financial aid refunds begin to be processed approximately two weeks after the end of the add/drop period. It is the policy of the Student Accounts Office to first credit money received to the student bill.
If you withdraw from the University during the semester, you may not be eligible for your entire financial aid award.