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Determining Financial Need

The process of determining your eligibility for financial aid using information contained in the FAFSA is called your "need analysis."

If the cost of education exceeds your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), you will qualify for financial aid based on need.


Cost of Education

A standardized set of budgets are used as the basis to determine the cost of attendance at Art Center. The budgets vary based on your living arrangements while in school, from living with parents or relatives to living off campus (away from family).

Each budget includes tuition, books and supplies, housing and food, transportation and personal expenses.

Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that you and your parent(s) are expected to contribute toward your education.

The need analysis formula uses your parents’ income and assets, savings, taxes and other mandatory living expenses to determine the parent contribution.

In addition, parents’ ages and need for retirement income, number of dependents in the household and family members currently enrolled in college are considered. The "need analysis" procedure is legislated by the U.S. government.

Your contribution is derived by analyzing your own income and asset information.

The approximation of how much you (and your parents) should reasonably be able to contribute toward your educational expenses will determine your EFC.

If at the time of completing the FAFSA you were required to provide only your and your spouse’s income and asset information, the EFC will be calculated using these resources. Note: The EFC does not represent the amount you will need to pay the College.

Special Circumstances

If your or your parents’ financial situation changes after you have filed the FAFSA, or at any time during the academic year, you can complete a Special Circumstance form. Complete it and return it, along with supporting documentation, to the Financial Aid Office.

Changes in your financial situation include but are not limited to loss of employment, reduction in work hours, disability, illness, separation, divorce or death.

Your petition will not be considered without supporting documentation. The Financial Aid Office will request additional information if required.

Students who have been classified as dependent according to the criteria established by the federal government may petition for reclassification to independent status based upon documented extenuating circumstances.

To appeal for independent status, you should contact the Financial Aid Office for further instructions. Only those students with extremely unusual family circumstances will be considered.

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