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Determining Eligibility

Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of each family's ability to pay for the student's educational expenses. It represents the amount of money the student and parent are expected to contribute to the student's educational expenses during the academic year. Each student's EFC is determined by a federal formula applied to the parents' and student's income and asset data reported on the FAFSA.

Financial Need

Your financial need is the difference between Mercer's Cost of Education and the Expected Family Contribution reported on the Student Aid Report (SAR). You can calculate your EFC online and insert it into the table below to estimate what your financial need is. 

Your total need-based aid and outside resources cannot exceed your financial need figure. Need-Based aid includes Federal Work-Study, need-based Federal Student Loans (Federal Perkins and Subsidized Federal Direct Loans), and need-based and academic Federal, State and University scholarships and grants. Outside resources includes private and state scholarships; employer tuition benefits; veterans' benefits; vocational rehabilitation benefits; and non-service fellowships (no required service).

Please be aware that we are often unable to provide enough aid to meet every student's total financial need.

Students who do not demonstrate financial need may still be eligible to borrow non-need-based Federal Direct Student Loans and may also apply for merit-based grants and scholarships.

Verification Process
Students are selected for this process by the Department of Education or by the OSFP in some cases.  Students will be notified by the OSFP if they are selected for the Verification Process.  The process requires the OSFP to verify information submitted on the FAFSA.  Students must complete the Verification Worksheet and return it along with signed copies of their (and their parent(s) if required) Federal Income Tax Returns and all W-2 forms.  If low or no income is reported or further information is needed, additional documentation may be required.   Also, any incomplete verification documents will be returned for completion.
No federal funds will be disbursed to students selected for the Veification Process until all required forms are received and the process is complete.  Students awarded Federal Work-Study funds may not begin working until verification is complete.  In addition, a hold may be placed on future registration until verification is complete.  If there are differences between the FAFSA information and the student's financial documents, their estimated aid may change.  According to federal student aid regulations, selected students must fully complete the Verification Process no later than 90 days after the last day of class or their federal aid will be forfeited and canceled for that term.
Please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning if you have any questions regarding the Verification Process.  Most verification documents are available on our forms page. The OSFP recommends that all students selected for verification complete this process as soon as possible in order for their aid to be finalized.