How Financial Aid Eligibility is Determined

Your eligibility is determined by an evaluation of your cost of attendance, financial need, and other key factors explained here.

Your Student Cost of Attendance (Budget)

First, we determine your cost of attendance (budget) at VTSU. The cost of attendance includes tuition, mandatory fees, housing and food (if on campus) and a standard allowance for books/supplies, personal expenses, and transportation.

Second, we determine your eligibility based on the information provided on the FAFSA and by following the federal guidelines for the funds available. We use the Student Aid Index (SAI) which is determined by a standard formula called the Federal Methodology (FM). The Federal Methodology considers your and your parents’ income and assets, federal taxes paid, family size, the number in college and allows for living expenses, taxes, etc. The SAI is not the amount of money your family must provide. Rather, you should think of the SAI as an index used to determine how much federal financial aid you qualify for.

Your Financial Need

Financial need is the difference between your student cost of attendance/budget and your expected Student Aid Index. This is what we use to determine the amount of financial aid eligibility. Even though we have limited funds in some of our aid programs, we will make every effort to provide you with fair and equitable financial aid. 

The formula looks like this:  Cost of Attendance – Student Aid Index = Financial Need

Other factors regarding financial aid eligibility

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • You must be enrolled in a degree or Title IV approved certificate program at VTSU.
  • You must not be in default on any federal student loans or owe a refund for previously awarded financial aid.
  • You must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours (3 credit hours for Pell Grant eligibility only).
  • You must be making satisfactory academic progress.*

* Federal financial aid regulations require financial aid recipients maintain a satisfactory rate of progress toward their degree completion requirements in order to continue receiving aid. Students must meet a time progression and a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement. Students with disabilities may be allotted additional time for completion of courses if this is an appropriate accommodation.