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Calculating Financial Need

Financial need is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (as determined by the FAFSA) from the student’s cost of attendance (budget). The cost of attendance is based on the average educational and living expenses for a student attending SMC. It does not represent an individual student’s actual costs.

If a student is a dependent student (as determined by the FAFSA), the federal government assumes that parents first, then students, have the primary obligation to provide for the student’s educational cost to the extent that they are able, based on a standardized method of determining parental contribution. The student’s Expected Family Contribution may come from personal earnings, savings and assets and may include the use of student loan funding.

If a student is an independent student (as determined by the FAFSA), the federal government assumes that the student has the primary obligation to provide for the cost of education to the extent the student is able, based on a standardized method of determining student contribution. The student’s Expected Family Contribution may come from personal earnings, spouse’s earnings (if applicable), savings and assets and may include the use of student loan funding.

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Award offers are subject to change and are determined based on the latest information received. Students are responsible for reporting information which may alter an award offer, such as changes in income or previous aid received at another institution in the same academic year. Students are responsible to view the most recent award information through SMC Wired Self-Service.