Calculating a financial aid award package


Federal financial aid is based on financial need. Using the data collected on the FAFSA, financial need is calculated as follows:

  Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
  Financial Need

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance is not the balance that you owe the college:  it is a calculation of expected expenses during the time you are enrolled in school. It includes allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses.The Cost of Attendance is the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive for a particular time frame of enrollment.

Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of a student’s and his or her family’s financial strength and resources that should be available to help pay for the student’s education. The EFC is calculated from the information you report on the FAFSA and a formula established by law. Your family’s income and assets are considered in determining your EFC. Your EFC will appear on the Student Aid Report (SAR) you receive after you complete the FAFSA. This is not the amount you will be billed by SPC.


Federal, state and private grants and scholarships are awarded first. All funding resources are included as part of a student’s financial aid package, including federal and state grants, scholarships, waivers, fellowships, assistantships, certain Veterans benefits, AmeriCorps, Federal Work Study, loan, and any other educational benefits paid to cover expenses because of enrollment. Federal Work Study is awarded next, followed by Federal Direct Stafford Loans. If it is determined that you do not have financial need, you can still apply for an unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan or scholarships based on merit. In addition, parents can apply for PLUS loans.

If you receive scholarship or other funds that are not listed on your financial aid awards, you must notify Financial Assistance Services. Reporting this information early will help prevent changes in eligibility that can result in reductions of other financial aid.

If a reduction of financial aid is required, loan are reduced first, followed by Federal Work Study, then forms of free financial assistance. In some cases, Florida Prepaid funds are reduced to allow for specific scholarship funds.

If you attend less than full-time during any term, your Cost of Attendance and financial aid award amounts will be adjusted. This could result in reduction or removal of loans or other financial aid.

Login to MySPC to check your financial aid status and accept the Conditions of Financial Assistance.

The Federal Student Aid website offers an overview of the financial aid process. If you want an estimate of your financial aid award, use the FAFSA4caster.

What if I have a change in my income or would like to be considered for a Dependency Override? 

See more information on Professional Judgment.

 What classes are used in the calculation of your financial aid awards? 

At the time of registration in MySPC, you will be informed if the coursework you are registering for satisfies a requirement for your current degree program.

Financial Assistance Services wants you to maximize your federal financial aid eligibility. To do so, make sure to register only for courses that are within your current degree program. For this purpose, students who are working towards an Associate's Degree in Arts (AA), regardless of the degree plan and including those in AA-Transfer Plans, are viewed as though they are in a General AA degree. This is also true for Program Based Academic Standing.

If you choose to register for classes that do not complete requirements of your current degree program, those courses will not be used in the calculation of your financial aid awards. If the financial aid package for your other courses is not enough to cover the full cost of your classes, you will be responsible for any unpaid tuition and fees.

If you have any courses for which you will be requesting an alternative satisfaction, you must request approval from the academic dean of those courses.

Financial aid does not pay for credit hours that are audited. Non-credit continuing education and non-credit Corporate Training classes are not eligible for financial aid funding.

What does the term EFC stand for?

What is an Award Letter?