How Financial Eligibility is Determined

Your Student Cost of Attendance (Budget)

First, we determine your cost of attendance (budget) for the academic year at Johnson State College. The cost of attendance includes tuition, mandatory fees, room and board (if on campus) and a standard allowance for books/supplies; personal expenses and transportation.


We use the cost of a double room and the 21-meal plan for all students who indicated on their FAFSA that they will be living on campus. Students living at home have a lower allowance for room and board. Students living off-campus have a slightly higher budget to allow for additional costs of living on their own.

Second, we determine your eligibility based on the information provided on the FAFSA and by following the federal guidelines for the funds available. We use the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is determined by a standard formula called the Federal Methodology (FM). The Federal Methodology takes into account your and your parents’ income and assets, federal taxes paid, family size, number in college and allows for living expenses, taxes, etc. The EFC is not the amount of money your family will need to pay your college bill. Think of the EFC as an index used to determine how much federal financial aid you qualify for.

Your Financial Need

Financial need is the difference between your student cost of attendance/ budget and your expected family contribution. This is what we use to determine the amount of financial aid eligibility. Even though we have limited funds in some of our aid programs, we will make every effort to provide you with a fair and equitable financial aid award. The formula looks like this:

Cost of Attendance (budget) - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Special Circumstances

While the process of determining financial aid eligibility is basically the same for all applicants, there is some flexibility for special circumstances. Please contact us if you believe you have extenuating circumstances such as an income reduction, loss of job, nonrecurring income or high expenses for items like child care or dependent care.