Financial Need

Federal regulations require that a student’s total student financial aid, including loans, not exceed a student's cost of attendance. For most students, financial aid only meets part of their financial need.  Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in determining the types of aid for which you are eligible.

Your eligibility depends on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your year in school, your enrollment status, and the cost of attendance in the school/college you will be attending. 

Cost of attendance

Student Financial Services begins by deciding upon your cost of attendance (COA). Your COA is the amount it will cost you to go to school. Temple University will calculate an undergraduate and graduate student’s COA to show your total cost for the school year (for instance, a common COA is for both the fall and spring semesters). 

If you're attending at least half-time, your COA is the estimate of:

  • tuition and fees;
  • the cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who do not contract with the school for room and board); 
  • the cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer);
  • an allowance for child care or other dependent care;
  • costs related to a disability; and/or
  • costs for eligible study-abroad programs (provided by Temple University's Study Abroad office).

See the Net Price Calculator for a Temple University finanical aid estimate. The Net Price Calculator estiamtes your eligibility for financial aid and out of pocket expenses.

The cost of attending Temple University is different for each student, depending on variables such as degree program, housing choices, special course fees and individual needs. Budgets used by Temple University Student Financial Services in determining eligibility for financial aid include:

Direct University charges:

Estimate of Indirect Expenses:

  • Books and supplies
  • Off-campus room and board
  • Transportation and Personal Expenses

Temple University uses average budgets in the initial determination of need. Because we use averages, the figures used by Student Financial Services may vary slightly from other published figures.

The cost of a graduate education at Temple University varies from student to student and from program to program. Obtain tuition and fee information from the school or college you plan to attend:

Budgets used by Student Financial Services in determining eligibility for financial aid include:

  • Tuition (see applicable program above)
  • University Fees (see applicable program above)
  • University Housing 

Estimates of indirect expenses:

  • Books and supplies
  • Off-campus room and board
  • Transportation and Personal Expenses

Temple University uses average budgets in the initial determination of need. Because we use averages, the figures used by Student Financial Services may vary slightly from other published figures.

Expected Family Contribution

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an index number that the Student Financial Services office uses to determine how much financial aid you are eligible to receive for the year. The information you report on your FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC.

The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) all could be considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid's EFC Formula guide shows exactly how an EFC is calculated.

Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by Student Financial Services to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.

Need-based Aid

The Student Financial Services office subtracts a student’s EFC from the COA to determine the amount of financial need a student has and therefore how much need-based financial aid they qualify to receive for the year.

Need-based aid is financial aid that you can receive if you have financial need and meet the eligibility criteria. You can’t receive more need-based aid than the amount of your financial need. For instance, if your COA is $6,000 and your EFC is 2000, your financial need is $4,000; so you aren’t eligible for more than $4,000 in need-based aid. The Student Financial Services office is required to adjust financial aid awards to remain within a student's financial need figure for the year.

The following are sources of financial aid that have a need-based component:

  • Federal Pell grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Direct Subsidized loan
  • Federal Perkins loan
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Pennsylvania State grant (PHEAA)
  • Non-Pennsylvania state grants 
  • Temple University grant
  • some Temple University scholarships
  • Temple University tuition remission
  • Outside grants and scholarships
  • Employer tuition remission
  • some Veteran's benefits

Non-Need-Based Aid

Non-need-based aid is financial aid that is not based on your EFC. What matters is your COA and how much other assistance you’ve been awarded so far. For instance, if your COA is $6,000 and you’ve been awarded a total of $4,000 in need-based aid and private scholarships, you can get up to $2,000 in non-need-based aid.

The following are some of the non-need-based sources of financial aid.

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS loan 
  • Private Alternative loan