Determining Aid Eligibility
When you complete the financial aid process and meet admission, enrollment, and academic progress requirements, your eligibility for aid is determined using the following formula:
UN = COA – EFC – OR
- UN is Unmet Need, in other words, Financial Aid Eligibility
- COA is Cost of Attendance
- EFC is Expected Family Contribution
- OR is Other Resources like Scholarships, WIA, etc
Cost of Attendance (COA) is the estimate of expenses you must meet in order to attend college. Frequently referred to as the student “budget”, COA varies depending upon residency (in-state or out-of-state), housing (residing with parents or living on your own), or terms of enrollment.
General eligibility requirements must be met to receive grants, work study, or loans.
- Be a United States citizen, national, or permanent resident.
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or proof of passing an independently administered test approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Be registered with Selective Service if you are required to do so (men only).
- Sign a statement verifying you do not owe a refund on a federal grant nor are you in default on a federal student loan.
- Enroll in an eligible program as a degree-seeking student.
- Meet a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) and 70% credit progression requirements throughout your academic history. Satisfactory Academic Progress must be maintained in order to receive aid.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
To view your student Cost of Attendance (Budget), check your my.nmsu.edu student account.
Cost of Attendance (COA) or Budget is an algorithmic estimate of a student’s educational expenses for a given period of enrollment. These expenses include, but are not limited to tuition, fees, books, residency, enrollment, grade level, etc.
A student receives a Budget upon the completion and packaging of FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Federal Aid.
Always keep in mind that a student Budget will change to reflect any updates and/or enrollment changes made to a student’s record and/or FAFSA. This can and may result in Over Awards and/or billing of Federal Student Aid. Always check with your Financial Aid Advisor with questions.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the dollar amount you and/or your family are expected to contribute to educational expenses in one academic year. This amount is determined by your FAFSA data and the methodology used by the federal government to analyze that data. The EFC appears on the Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to you after FAFSA processing. The EFC also determines Federal Pell Grant eligibility (see Financial Aid Programs for details.)
Other Resources (OR)
Other Resources are types of educational assistance you receive that are not reflected in the FAFSA information. This can include WIA, or scholarships.
Unmet Need (UN)
Unmet Need is the difference (or gap) between the Cost of Attendance at your chosen school and the financial resources you have available to meet those costs (EFC and Outside Resources). Unmet need determines your aid eligibility and is the foundation of the financial aid awarding process. The type and amount of aid offered to fill the unmet need depends on federal regulations for each type of aid and the availability of aid at the time you complete your file. This is why accuracy, diligence, and promptness are so critical to receive the optimal aid package for which you are eligible.