Your Financial Aid Package: An Overview

You are eligible for need-based financial aid based on your allowable expenses and your expected financial resources for the academic year.

Your eligibility for need-based financial aid is calculated according to the following formula:

[Budget] – [Expected Resources] = Need-based financial aid eligibility

Once this eligibility has been determined, an Offer of Financial Assistance is created based on funds that are available at that time. SPU attempts to meet as much of your financial aid eligibility as possible.

Your budget

Your budget represents allowable costs for the academic year. Tuition, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation are included in these allowable costs. Your budget is your cost of attendance.

Unless you have told us differently, your college expenses have been calculated to cover full-time enrollment in a three-quarter academic year. (Graduate and post-baccalaureate students must inform us of planned enrollment prior to the awarding of aid.) Details in your financial aid budget (allowable costs) are available in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs and on our Costs page.

For summer financial assistance, you must complete an SPU Summer Application, which will be available in SFS on April 1 prior to each summer.

Your resources

Your resources include your expected family contribution and other outside assistance.

The FAFSA calculates how much you and/or your family can be expected to financially contribute based on federally mandated allowances and expectations, given reported income, assets, and other information. This federal need-analysis calculation views a family as being the primary source of funds for a college education, and it attempts to evaluate a family’s resources in a consistent and equitable manner.

Other resources include financial support from outside sources such as grants and scholarships. Any outside resources will be used to replace the loan portion of your financial aid award or unmet need. If the amount of your outside resources exceeds the loan portion, the excess amount will replace the work portion of your financial aid award. If the resources exceed the loan and work portion, they will replace grant eligibility.

Your offer of financial assistance

Your offer of financial assistance contains the types and amount of aid you are being offered. The total financial aid offered is based on your eligibility (i.e., the difference between your budget and your resources) and the funds available through federal, state, and institutional programs.

After one initial paper offer, all subsequent notifications and instructions regarding financial aid will be sent to your SPU email account.

The financial aid you have been offered is based on:

  • The results of your FAFSA
  • Your eligibility for each of the programs
  • The amount of funding available
  • Notice to Student Financial Services of outside financial assistance
  • Institutional policies for awarding various types of financial aid