Your college will award you a financial aid package to help meet your financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (which can include living expenses) as determined by your college, and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

If you believe that you have unusual circumstances that should be taken into account, such as tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school, unusual medical or dental expenses or a significant change in income from one year to the next, contact the financial aid office at your college for assistance.

Federal student aid is paid to students through the college. You should receive an award letter from your college, which details your aid award types and amounts. Your aid awards will likely be disbursed each semester, quarter, or other payment period. Typically, the college first applies your aid towards your tuition, fees, and room and board (if you live on campus). The remainder is paid to you for other expenses.