What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How does the Student Aid Index (SAI) work on the FAFSA?

Hey guys! I'm a junior trying to understand the financial aid process. Can someone explain what the Student Aid Index is, and how it affects my eligibility for financial aid through FAFSA? Much appreciated!

7 months ago

Hey there! The Student Aid Index (SAI) is a crucial part of the financial aid process, as it determines the level of financial aid you're eligible for. SAI replaced the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting with the 2023-2024 academic year. Here's a quick rundown on how it works:

1. You complete the FAFSA: First, you'll need to submit your FAFSA form, providing information about your family's financial situation, such as income, assets, and household size.

2. SAI calculation: Based on the information you provide in the FAFSA, the Department of Education calculates your Student Aid Index using a specific formula that considers the details you provided about your family's finances.

3. SAI interpretation: The SAI indicates your family's ability to contribute towards your college expenses. A lower SAI means that your family has a smaller ability to pay for college, which means you'll likely receive more financial aid. Conversely, a higher SAI means that your family has a greater ability to pay, and you're probably going to receive less financial aid.

4. Financial aid package: Colleges use your SAI to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and sometimes, institutional financial aid. The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a college and your SAI is your financial need. Schools then use this information to create a financial aid package, which may include grants, work-study opportunities, and loans.

5. Comparing offers: Once you receive your financial aid offers from the colleges you've been accepted to, you can compare them and decide which college best fits your financial needs.

Remember that each college's financial aid office may interpret the SAI differently, and different colleges charge different amounts for tuition, so your aid package can differ from one school to another. It's essential to thoroughly evaluate your options and choose a college that best meets your academic and financial needs. Good luck with the financial aid process!

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.