Assessing Need

Financial "need" is defined as:

Needs analysis for the College of Veterinary Medicine is a two-part process. It is used as a means to:

Determine eligibility for federal loans and work study.

Student with guinea pigThe federal government considers all graduate or professional students independent of their families, so only student (and spouse, if married) income and asset information reported on the FAFSA is used in the federal needs analysis formula to determine the expected student/spouse contribution. Any parental offer of assistance is subsequently added.

However, due to the federal regulations regarding the Health Professions Student loan (HPSL), parental information is required on the FAFSA and eligibility is determined by calculating the family contribution as if the student were still dependent. If no parental information is provided on the FAFSA the student is NOT eligible for the HPSL regardless of the contribution calculation.

Determine eligibility for College scholarships and grants, all of which are need-based.

The College of Veterinary Medicine considers all students under the age of 30, on January 1 of the year they are applying for financial assistance, to be dependent. Therefore complete parental data is collected on both the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE forms. Having insufficient non-repayable funds to adequately assist all students, and wishing to ensure that all qualified students have an equal opportunity to attend, the College examines the difference between the total cost of education and the family's ability to pay in measuring the need for gift aid.

The needs analysis formula used to determine the parental contribution is similar to the federal formula, taking into account parents' income and assets, number of dependents, number of family members in college, taxes paid, and the age of the older parent. The calculation of expected student/spouse contribution takes income and assets into consideration, similar to the FAFSA calculation, and further, makes the following assumptions:

  • that students will be gainfully employed during vacation periods and will contribute at least $3,300 per year from earnings; 
  • that spouses, if not greater-than-half-time students, will be employed and will contribute toward the family's support;
Students, at times, make educational-experience choices, which preclude gainful employment during vacation periods, and/or lifestyle choices, which include expenses in excess of the standard student budget. It should be kept in mind that the cost of these choices will not be covered by need-based financial aid, and that the cost of the loans available to cover such choices could increase total debt at graduation beyond a manageable level.