Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
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How Your Award Was Calculated

To determine the types and amounts of financial aid you are offered, OSFA has to take into account several things including your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), Cost of Attendance (COA) and grade level in college and merge all that information into the federal aid program parameters.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is based on information you provided in your FAFSA.  The EFC is calculated by the federal government, and is the amount your family can reasonably be expected to contribute toward your education.  It is used to determine your eligibility for need-based federal funds such as grants, Federal Work-Study and loans.  If family circumstances have changed significantly since submission of the FAFSA, your EFC may be reviewed and recalculated by a financial aid counselor by submitting a Resource Re-evaluation Form.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

The estimated COA represents the average expenses paid by UA students in various student circumstances.  Your total financial aid cannot exceed your COA.  If you have costs exceeding the average expenses paid, these extenuating circumstances may be reviewed and evaluated by a financial aid counselor by submitting a Budget Re-evaluation Form.

Financial Need

Financial need is determined by subtracting your EFC from your COA.

Financial Need (Example)
Estimated Cost of Attendance
Expected Family Contribution
Financial Need

Financial need is the maximum amount of need-based aid we can offer to the student. Specific types of financial aid are awarded based on this demonstrated need. However, the types of aid offered are also restricted to program guidelines and availability of funds. 

Federal Direct Loan Limits

A student’s ability to borrow is limited by several factors including cost of attendance, class level and total loan accumulation.  Annual loan limits for academic year 2012-2013 were recently increased to:

Federal Direct Loans Dependent Students Independent Students
Freshman $5,500  $9,500
Sophomore $6,500 $10,500
Junior/Senior $7,500 $12,500
Graduate   $20,500


  • Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, P.O. Box 210066, Tucson, AZ 85721
  • Phone: 520.621.1858
  • Fax: 520.621.9473