Image shows two female high school students at an information session during a Campus Visit day.

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


1. What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and why do I need to file it? You must file this form each year to be considered for federal or state aid. 

2. Can the FAFSA be filed electronically?Yes, you are encouraged to apply online. 

3. When do I file the FAFSA? Rose-Hulman's priority date is March 1. Be sure to apply as soon as possible after October 1 of the prior year you plan to enroll in a college, university or other school. You may apply for financial aid after April 15, but you will not be considered for State of Indiana financial aid programs. 

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

5. 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 on the FAFSA. 

6. 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: 
Be 24 years of age by December 31 of the award year 
Be an orphan or a ward of the court 
Be a veteran of the Armed Forces 
Be married or have legal dependents other than a spouse at the time FAFSA is filed 
Be a professional or graduate student 
Be in a legal guardianship per the state you live in 
Be in an emancipated status 

7. What should I do after completing my forms? Print out copies to keep for your files. 

8. What happens to my FAFSA when the Federal Processor receives it? The Federal Processing Center takes the information you provide on the FAFSA and uses it to calculate how much you and your parents can reasonably pay toward college expenses. The Federal Processor also calculates your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant

9. How much will my family be expected to pay? 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 also is not based just on income because so many other factors are included in the formula. It's the part of your educational expenses that the government determines your parents can afford. Also, most colleges expect you to help your parents pay for the cost of education. Your contribution will be based on your income and assets. 

10. What happens after my FAFSA is processed? The Federal Processing Center will send the results and data from your application to all the colleges and universities that you list on your FAFSA. The Federal Processor will also send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR will list your expected family contribution and eligibility for a Pell Grant. 

11. What if I don't receive a Student Aid Report? If you have filed the FAFSA and have not received an SAR, you should call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. The Processing Center will help determine the status of your application. 

12. 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. 


1. How does Rose-Hulman's Financial Aid Office (FAO) determine my financial need? 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, transportation and personal expenses. The FAO compares the budget to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Using the equation, your financial need is calculated.

2. How does the FAO determine my awards? 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. 

3. 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. 

4. How will I find out what I am eligible for? After your application has been reviewed and packaged, you will receive an award letter from the Financial Aid Office. This letter will tell you the names and amounts of the awards that you are eligible to receive each quarter. 

5. Do I need to borrow the entire suggested loan amount on my financial aid award letter? No. The FAO will indicate the maximum amount you are eligible to borrow that year. You and your parents may want to determine your own personal budget. By looking at all costs you expect to have each semester, your actual need for a student loan might be lower than the FAO has determined. If you want a lower loan amount, write that on the financial aid award letter and return it to the FAO. 


1. Are all aid programs based on financial need? No. There is aid that is not based on a student's financial need. This aid includes outside scholarships and college scholarship that are awarded for merit, college major, hometown, community-service activities and other factors. There are also federal loans that are not based on need. 

2. Does the student have to maintain a certain GPA in order to continue to qualify for the Rose-Hulman Merit Scholarship and the Rose-Hulman Grant? There are no GPA requirements in order to receive the RHIT merit scholarship or grant.  

3.  Does Rose-Hulman award athletics 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.

Return to Top