OverAward of Financial Aid
Federal/state overaward regulations and provisions apply to all students receiving federal/state need-based awards. The student's awards will be adjusted accordingly to eliminate any overaward.
SFCC will not reduce or cancel Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) awards to eliminate an overaward situation. In most cases, the student loans and/or federal work study funds will be reduced or cancelled.
What is an over award of financial aid?
When the total of all aid received by the student exceeds the student's cost of attendance budget, awards in the package will be adjusted (cancelled or reduced) in order to eliminate the overaward. Federal Work-Study awards and loans will be reduced before any reduction is made to scholarship or grant awards.
Federal/State Regulatory Overaward Requirements
Federal and state need-based aid regulations (laws) stipulate that a student receiving federal or state need-based awards (see list below) cannot receive assistance (from any source) in excess of his/her gross financial need as determined by the analysis of the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Cost of Attendance (COA)
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
= Gross Financial Need
COA is established by the aid office in compliance with
EFC is determined by the analysis of the information submitted
on the FAFSA using a federally mandated methodology referred to as "FM."
Federal and state need-based awards include the following:
- Federal Pell Grant (Note: The amount of the Pell Grant cannot be adjusted.)
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Work-Study
- Federal Subsidized Loan (FFEL or Direct)
- Health Professions Loans (HPSL)
- State of Missouri Access Missouri Grant
Normally this means your student loans and federal work study awards will be adjusted downward to eliminate the overaward situation. This adjustment of the awards is required by federal/state law if any of the above federal/state need-based awards are included in the student's financial aid package.
How do overawards occur?
Overawards are usually the result of the student receiving aid that the Financial Aid Office was not aware of when it completed the student’s financial aid package and/or processed a loan application for the student. It is the student’s responsibility to report additional resources to the Financial Aid Office and this should be done as soon as the student becomes aware that he or she will receive the aid. We must account for all sources of aid, even if they are not processed directly through the Financial Aid Office.
Overawards can also result from application errors by the student or the Financial Aid Office. Regardless of the reason for the overaward, the Financial Aid Office is bound by Federal regulation to correct the overaward. Exceptions cannot be made for anyone.
Here are the steps that the Financial Aid Office will take to correct an overaward.
1. We will determine whether or not the student has increased financial need that was not anticipated at the time of the award and/or loan application. If so, and the student’s total aid no longer exceeds the student’s need by more than $300 (see note), no further action is necessary.
2. If no increased need is demonstrated, or the student’s total aid still exceeds his or her need by more than $300 (see note), we will cancel any undisbursed loan or return loan funds to the lender if the disbursement has already been made. In cases of extreme gift aid, the institution reserves the right to adjust institutional or campus-based aid within the boundaries of Federal regulations.
c) If the student has no loans or the student’s aid still exceeds the student’s need by more than $300 (see note) after all loans have been cancelled, we will reduce institutional grant and/or scholarship aid.
NOTE: The $300 tolerance applies only if the student’s financial aid package contains a Federal Work-Study assignment. The $300 tolerance does not apply if the student’s only form of Federal financial aid is a Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan.
Overaward Exception: No adjustment is necessary for a student with a full grant-in-aid athletic scholarship and who is also receiving a Federal Pell Grant. NJCAA rules disallow adjustment of the athletic scholarship.