Federal Eligibility

Aid from federal programs is awarded based on a student's financial need using information reported on the FAFSA form.

To determine your federal financial need, Emory will subtract, from your cost of attendance (COA), the expected family contribution (EFC) and other financial aid you’ll receive. If any amount is left over, you’re considered to have additional financial need for federal student aid:

Cost of Attendance minus FM Expected Family Contribution (EFC) equals Federal Financial Aid Eligibility or Need

Understanding Key Terms

Federal Methodology (FM)

The formulas used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal Title IV funds. The formulas take into account income, some assets, expenses, family size, and other factors. FM is written by Congress, rather than a peer community assessment, and is not updated regularly.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated from the information you report on the FAFSA. Your EFC will appear on your student aid profile and is calculated according to a formula established by federal law. Your family’s income (taxable and untaxed), assets, and benefits (for example, unemployment or Social Security payments) are all considered in determining your EFC. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members enrolled in college.

Cost of Attendance

Cost of attendance is an estimate of the total amount it will cost you to go to school for an academic period and includes tuition and fees, room and board (or living expenses), allowances for books, supplies, and transportation. Other education-related expenses may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Basic Requirements for Federal Student Aid

To receive aid from federal student aid programs, you must meet certain educational and legal criteria.

Educational Requirements

  • You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree in an eligible program.
  • You must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards set by the postsecondary school you are or will be attending.
  • You must be a US citizen or eligible noncitizen.

  • You must have a valid Social Security number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau). If you need a Social Security number, you can find out more about applying for one at the Social Security Administration or by calling 800.772.1213 (TTY users: 800.325.0778).

  • You must certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes. You also must certify you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.

  • You must comply with Selective Service registration, if required. At the same time you complete your FAFSA, you can give the Selective Service permission to register you. You can also register on the Selective Service System website or by calling 847.688.6888 (TTY users: 847.688.2567).

  • You might not be able to receive federal student aid if you’ve been convicted under federal or state law of selling or possessing illegal drugs. You must complete Question 23 of the FAFSA; if you leave it blank, you’ll automatically become ineligible for federal student aid. If you need more information, call 800.4-FED-AID (800.433.3243) or visit the FAFSA website.

Citizen/Eligible Noncitizen Requirements

You must be one of the following to receive federal student aid:

  • A US citizen
  • A US national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
  • A US permanent resident with an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card)
  • If you're not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival Departure Record (I-94) from the US Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:
    • Refugee
    • Asylum Granted
    • Indefinite Parole and/or Humanitarian Parole
    • Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending
    • Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

Permanent residents of the Freely Associated States (Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau) may be eligible for federal student aid. Citizens of the Freely Associated States are eligible for Pell Grants, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), or work-study only.

A student with a nonimmigrant visa isn't eligible for federal student aid or need-based aid from Emory unless he or she has a Form I-94 with one of the endorsements listed earlier. Non-immigrant visas include the F-1, F-2, or M-1 student visa; B-1 or B-2 visitor visa; J-1 or J-2 exchange visitors visa; H series or L series visa (which allow temporary employment in the US): or G series visa (pertaining to international organizations).

Someone who has only a Notice of Approval to Apply of Permanent Residence (I-717 or I-464) cannot receive federal aid or need-based aid from Emory.

Database Matches

When you apply for federal aid, some of your information will be verified with federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (for verification of Social Security numbers and US citizenship status). If the information does not match, the problem must be resolved in order for you to receive an aid award offer.

Your reported information is also checked against the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to verify if any of the following concerns exist: default status on a federal student loan, overpayment of a federal grant, or aggregate loan limits have been exceeded.

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