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As an accepted student, you should expect to receive an award letter from the Office of Financial Aid listing the aid you are eligible to receive. Generally sent in the spring, your award letter will provide you the opportunity to accept, reject or revise any of the aid programs for which you are eligible including grants, loans, scholarships and work study.

Remember: You must accept, revise or reject your award within two weeks of the date on your letter. Failure to accept aid by the deadline may result in the loss of some types of financial aid.

Cost of Attendance, Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Financial Need

The amount of aid for which you are eligible - and the resulting programs listed on your award letter - are intended to help meet your financial need.

USD calculates your financial need by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution from the Cost of Attendance:

  • Cost of Attendance - Tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, personal/miscellaneous expenses and transportation expenses.
  • Expected Family Contribution - An estimate of your family's ability to contribute toward your education. The EFC is calculated by the Federal Processor based on the information provided on your FAFSA.
  • Financial Need - Amount USD attempts to bridge with need-based financial aid programs.

Your financial aid award letter will look similar to the following example. Follow the instructions outlined in your letter and accept, revise or reject any of the award programs presented to you.

Financial Aid Award Letter