Determining Eligibility

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 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:

  1. Family income
  2. Number of family members
  3. Number of family members (excluding parents) attending college on at least a half-time basis
  4. Family assets (not including the primary residence)
  5. Essential family living costs

Financial Aid Awards

Once your financial need is determined, a financial aid package is prepared. The package maybe  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 sent 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 May 1. 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 late June. Spring applicants that meet the November 1st deadline will receive notification of their award in December.

Upon receipt of your award letter, read the enclosed award letter guide carefully. If you wish to decline or reduce any of the aid offered to you, indicate that on the bottom of the award letter and return it to us. You can also decline awards by sending us an email.

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 your financial aid package must be adjusted due to the receipt of outside assistance, the policy followed at FSU is to reduce your financial aid in the following order: Direct Loans, other self-help, (such as Massachusetts No Interest Loan, Federal Work-Study), and Grants.

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 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 $700 (possibly more for Pell Grant recipients) at the University Bookstore during the first month of classes.  These funds will appear as available to you on your student I.D. card.  Any unused excess funds will be refunded to you during the normal refund period. Financial aid refunds begin to be processed approximately three 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. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you decided to withdraw or take a leave of absence to see how your financial aid may change as a result. If you do not earn any credits during a semester, you may be considered an “unofficial” withdrawal, and some of your federal and state financial aid may need to be returned.