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  External ("Outside") Awards
Federal regulations and school policies require the financial aid office (FAO) to consider all sources of aid received by a student when determining eligibility for financial aid. You are required to report any external award, regardless of amount, in writing to the school’s financial aid office. An external award that you receive will be taken into consideration when calculating your financial aid package, which is often counted 100% toward meeting your financial need.

If you receive an external award not listed in your award letter, the financial aid office is required to re-evaluate your financial aid package and possibly reduce certain financial aid to remain in compliance with federal regulations and school policies. For federal financial aid programs and any need-based financial aid, the total financial aid package a student receives cannot exceed the school’s estimated cost of attendance.

If the external award affects your existing financial aid package, the financial aid office may have to make adjustments by reducing some of your financial aid, and you may owe money back. Reductions in your financial aid package are typically made in the following order: any unmet need, self-help aid, and then need-based grants. The FAO will allow outside awards to replace unmet need or self-help aid to a maximum of the loan or work-study in your financial aid package. Every effort should be made not to reduce need-based grants unless required by federal or state regulations and school policies. An external award cannot be used to replace a part of your expected family's contribution.

External awards include, but are not limited to:
Prepaid Tuition Plan
Employer benefits
VA Educational Benefits
Any Tuition Benefits
Non-Service Fellowships
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
RA Benefits
Graduate Assistantship
Social Security Educational Benefits
ROTC Benefits
Private Scholarships and Grants

It is up to you to decide whether or not to inform your school’s financial aid office about any external award(s), not listed on your award letter. If you do not notify your school’s FAO, they may eventually find out about your external award. Usually, this occurs whenever the organization submits the scholarship check directly to your school. If this is the case, they will make adjustments as necessary.

Avoid unpleasant surprises of receiving reduced aid or owing money back to either the federal/state government or your school. If you are unsure about how your external award(s) will affect your financial aid package, contact your school's financial aid administrator to discuss your situation.

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Financial Aid Disbursements



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