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Answers to Frequent Financial Aid Questions

If you cannot find the answer to your financial aid questions here, we encourage you to contact our Financial Aid Office at

Financial Aid Basics

What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and why do I need to file it?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form completed by current and prospective college students in order to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.  Rose-Hulman students must complete the FAFSA each year in order to be considered for federal grants, state grants (for Indiana residents), work-study, and loans.  The FAFSA must also be submitted in order to be considered for the Rose-Hulman Grant. 

When should I complete the FAFSA?

You should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after the form becomes available on October 1st each year to apply for financial aid for the next school year.

What is the FAFSA deadline for Indiana residents?

The deadline to be considered for the state of Indiana aid is April 15th.

Do I have to apply for aid each year?

Yes, you must reapply for financial aid every year after October 1 for the next school year by completing a new FAFSA in order to be considered for federal grants, state grants, work-study, and loans.  The FAFSA must also be submitted each year to be re-considered for the Rose-Hulman Grant. 

Do I have to fill out the FAFSA in order to be eligible for the Rose-Hulman Merit scholarship?

No, the Rose-Hulman Merit scholarship is not dependent on financial need.

Who completes the FAFSA?

The student applicant and the parent(s) with whom the student lives fill out the FAFSA.

What if my parents are divorced, separated or have remarried?

If your parents are divorced or separated, you and the parent you live with fill out the FAFSA. If you live with a stepparent, his or her information must also be included in the FAFSA.

What is Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The Federal Processor uses your FAFSA data and federally mandated formulas to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your parents' contribution will depend on their income, assets, family size and number of family members enrolled in college. The parent contribution is not an estimate of how much extra cash they have on hand. It's the part of your educational expenses that the government determines your parents can afford. Your contribution will be based on your income and assets.

Can I use Rose-Hulman gift aid toward the summer term?

No Rose-Hulman gift aid may be used toward the summer term without exception.

Will I receive more money if I qualify as an "independent?"

  • A student who is deemed independent does not necessarily qualify for more financial aid. To be considered independent for financial aid, you must meet at least one of the following qualifications: 
    24 years of age by December 31 of the award year 
    An orphan or a ward of the court 
    A veteran of the Armed Forces 
    Married or have legal dependents other than a spouse at the time FAFSA is filed 
    A professional or graduate student 
    In a legal guardianship per the state you live in 
    An emancipated minor
    An unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless

How does the Financial Aid Office (FAO) determine my financial need and awards?

The FAO first determines a budget for the costs to attend college and for basic living expenses. This budget includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses. The FAO compares the budget to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Using the equation, your financial need is calculated.

Using federal and state guidelines, the FAO will examine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid programs. It checks your eligibility for grants first, followed by your eligibility for student loans or federal work-study. The FAO must also consider scholarships you are receiving from other sources. This process is called packaging.

Will the FAO be able to fill my entire financial need?

In some cases yes, in others no. There are limits on the amount of financial aid money available. Depending on your situation, your costs may or may not be covered in full. The FAO strives to meet our students' financial needs. It is very important to apply on time for full consideration for all financial aid programs.

Does Rose-Hulman award athletic scholarships?

Rose-Hulman is a member of NCAA Division III; as such, no consideration is given to pre-enrollment or post-enrollment athletics participation in scholarship determination.

Financial Aid Notification (FAN) Basics

What is the Financial Aid Notification (FAN)?

The Financial Aid Notification is a document we use to inform you of your financial aid awards for the academic year.  We consider you for all available assistance based on the information we have at the time of the award packaging.

Your financial aid notification may be changed if your financial need changes, you receive funding from other sources or the data on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) changes.

How is the Estimated Cost of Attendance determined?

The financial aid award lists the total estimated cost of attendance, including both direct and indirect costs. We use actual costs for full-time tuition, standard room and board, and school fees. Other costs may vary, so we use averages for such items as books and supplies, personal expenses, and miscellaneous expenses.

What is Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Your EFC is calculated using a federal formula and is based on the information you supplied on your FAFSA. Your financial need is calculated by subtracting your EFC from the total cost of attendance. Most financial aid programs are based on your financial need. Other programs will allow you to borrow your EFC to help you meet your costs.

Does the estimated Room & Board cost include a meal plan?

Yes, the Room & Board cost includes standard housing and meal plan.

What are examples of the miscellaneous expenses?

This is what we estimate a student will spend on items such as transportation, entertainment, personal items.  These are expenses that will not be included in the Rose-Hulman bill.

What is included in the laptop fee?

The laptop is a required (one-time) purchase for all new incoming students.  We select a model each year so that everyone has the same laptop. Laptops must be paid for at the time the order is placed in June. If you indicate the payment is by loan, the loan must be secured, and the laptop paid in full by freshman move-in day.

What is Federal College Work Study?

Federal Work-Study provides jobs for students with financial needs, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.  Students may choose to accept or decline the award.  Work-Study funds are earned through a regular paycheck.  The amount of pay depends upon the hours worked and the rate of hourly pay.  The FAFSA must be completed in order to be considered for this award.

How does my enrollment status impact my financial aid?

Your financial aid award is based on a full academic year of full-time enrollment. If your plans change, your award will be adjusted accordingly. Students graduating at the end of any term are ineligible for undergraduate financial aid in subsequent terms.

Is the Gift Aid an annual occurrence?

The Rose-Hulman Merit Scholarship is renewable for 4 years of undergraduate coursework.

The Rose-Hulman Grant is awarded based on financial need, therefore you must complete the FAFSA each year to be considered and the amount of the grant is not set in stone.  The Grant amount may increase, decrease, or even be removed completely depending upon changes in financial need.

Is the RHIT Grant renewable?

This is a need-based grant that can be re-evaluated each year or with every change in your financial need. The availability of this award will also depend on the institutional funding available for the academic year. You must file a FAFSA each year to determine your eligibility to be considered for this award. 

Is the Rose-Hulman Merit scholarship renewable?

The Rose-Hulman merit scholarship is renewable with no GPA requirement.

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