Understanding Your Offer
Financial assistance is based on information provided by students and families and is distributed as equitably as possible. Students must apply for financial aid every year. If family circumstances remain consistent, the need-based portion of the financial aid package should remain relatively consistent from year to year. Significant income changes and/or a change in household size or the number of students in college can have a major impact on eligibility.
It is important to remember that regulatory changes and the availability of federal and state funds may vary from year to year and may impact the amount of aid we are able to award. Eligibility for federal funds is determined from the information provided each year on the FAFSA.
If a student moves off campus, their average costs are lower, and that adjustment is reflected in a reduced award. Off-campus room and board costs can vary greatly. We use an average off-campus budget, which is approximately $3,500 lower than the on-campus budget.
Eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined by federal Department of Education regulations and University policies governing financial aid programs. Using the information provided on the FAFSA, we calculate the resources students and families are expected to contribute toward educational costs. These resources, known as the expected family contribution, are subtracted from a standard budget of expected educational expenses, or cost of attendance.
The difference between the expected family contribution and the cost of attendance is the maximum eligibility for need-based assistance. While we are unable to award to full calculated need, we do offer a wide range of financing options to assist families.
If a student was once a citizen of another country but now has status as an immigrant or permanent resident, they are eligible to apply for financial aid.
To remain eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid, all students must meet the minimum requirements of satisfactory academic progress.
Most financial aid funded by Salve Regina requires full-time attendance. Some government programs require only part-time attendance, although amounts are prorated. Acceptance to a program is required for both University aid and government programs.
The definitions for enrollment status are as follows:
- Full-time: 12 or more credits in a semester
- Three-quarter time: 9-11 credits in a semester
- Half-time: 6-8 credits in a semester
- Less than half-time: Fewer than 6 credits in a semester
Students receiving merit-based scholarships are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA (refer to the academic scholarship agreement for GPA requirements) and must be enrolled full time. Merit-based aid is based on residency status at the time of admission. If residency status changes from resident to commuter, or if a student is studying abroad, the amount of merit-based aid will decrease. On average, the decrease is $3,500 for the academic year based on the lower cost of attendance.
If a family’s financial situation changes considerably from one year to the next due to extenuating circumstances such as the death of a parent, unemployment, retirement or significant out-of-pocket medical expenses, please contact our office for guidance.
Requests for consideration of aid must be made in writing to the Office of Financial Aid. All requested documentation must be submitted prior to a review for special circumstances.
If a student’s parents are divorced or separated, any additional documentation requested to support a reconsideration due to special circumstances must be submitted by the parent with whom the student lives with most of the year. If a student spends an equal amount of time with each parent, documentation must come from the parent who provided most of the financial support for the past year. By law, stepparent income must be included in the household income of the custodial parent.
In some instances, a student may have both special and unusual circumstances.
To apply for funding as an independent student, a student must meet one of the qualifications listed on the FAFSA. Self-supporting students do not qualify as independent without meeting one of the established criteria.
There are times when unusual circumstances (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration) allow a financial administrator to adjust a student’s dependency status on the FAFSA.
Requests for consideration of aid must be made in writing to the Office of Financial Aid. In some instances, a student may have both special and unusual circumstances.