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Top 10 Questions for Incoming Freshmen and Parents (Spring)

Click questions to expand or collapse their answers. If you wish to print this page, please click here: print.

1. What is the best way to find out about scholarship opportunities?

A. The department, school, or college your student was admitted to may offer scholarships. Additional Purdue scholarships may also be available. Our office maintains a list of external, or private, scholarships, and we encourage you to also look for additional private scholarships at www.fastweb.com, www.scholarships.com, and www.finaid.org.

2. What criteria has to be met and when will we be notified of Presidential and Trustee Scholarship selections?

A. The Trustee and Presidential Scholarships are awarded through a holistic process, which takes all of the information included with the admission application into consideration. The incoming class has many strong students, which makes the process very competitive. Trustee Scholarship recipients will be notified by mail by the end of December, and Presidential Scholarship recipients will be notified by mail by mid-February. Additional merit scholarship information is available on the Admissions Office website. Students who had a complete admission application by November 8 were automatically considered for the merit scholarships. If your son or daughter does not receive notification by the timeframe indicated, he or she likely was not selected as a recipient of these awards. Unfortunately, merit scholarship selections are non-negotiable and cannot be apppealed.

3. We don’t have our taxes done. What should we do? What steps do we need to take to complete the financial aid application process?

A. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed with estimated tax information in order to meet Purdue’s March 1 priority filing date. After your taxes are completed, you may utilize the IRS Data Retrieval tool within the FAFSA to update your tax information. A great resource is the help section that is built in to the FAFSA on the Web. It provides tips on answering each question. For instructions on how to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please see FAFSA's help page on the topic. View a list of financial aid tips and a timeline to keep track of important dates.

4. When is financial aid eligibility determined, and do incoming students have to accept their offer of admission beforehand?

A. Our office plans to mail financial aid eligibility letters to incoming freshmen by the end of March. An email will also be sent to the student’s Purdue email address and will direct them to view the award offer in their myPurdue account under the Financial tab. Your son/daughter does not have to accept their offer of admission to receive a financial aid eligibility notice.

5. What is verification, and what am I required to provide?

A. Federal regulations require us to verify information provided on the FAFSA for a percentage of students. Most students are randomly selected for this process to fulfill our requirement. This process requires our office to obtain 2013 Federal income tax information. All required documents are listed as Financial Aid Requirements on the student’s myPurdue account under the Financial tab. If you have been selected for verification, all requested documents must be submitted before your student will be eligibile to receive financial aid, including loans. Please do not send verification documents to Purdue unless we request them of you.

6. What is the EFC and how is it used to calculate financial aid eligibility?

A. The EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, is calculated by the Department of Education utilizing the information provided on the FAFSA.  It considers a variety of factors, such as the Adjusted Gross Income, investments, the number of people in the household, and the number of family members in college.  It is not a figure or dollar amount that parents are expected to pay for their child’s schooling, but rather an index number that determines need-based scholarship, grant, and loan eligibility. Since it is only an index number, parents may be required to pay more or less than their EFC. Our office is not responsible for calculating the EFC, and you may contact the Federal Processor at 1-800-433-3243 if you have specific questions about your EFC.

7. Our family’s financial situation is not accurately reflected on the FAFSA. What are our options?

A. Current circumstances are not always reflected accurately on the FAFSA since tax information from the prior year is used. If your family has experienced a significant change in income, we encourage you to speak with a financial aid counselor at DFA about your circumstances. If the counselor finds that the revision could change the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) resulting in additional financial aid eligibility, then they will provide the family a Special Circumstance Appeal Form. The family will complete and return the form with requried documentation. Families should allow a minimum of 2-3 weeks (longer in April and May) for processing. Note: All families requesting a Special Circumstance Appeal will be required to provide verification of FAFSA information before the appeal can be processed. Refer to Question 5 for more information regarding verification.

8. Does Purdue charge us for books and miscellaneous expenses?

A. Purdue awards financial aid to cover the Estimated Cost of Attendance (also known as budget). The budget estimates educationally-related expenses during the enrollment period including tuition and fees, room and board (housing), transportation, books, and miscellaneous expenses. It is important to note that the budget is made up of both direct and indirect costs and does not represent the amount the student will be billed by the University. The direct costs are tuition and fees and room and board, if your son or daughter is living in campus-contracted housing. Direct expenses are paid to the University. The indirect costs are not billed by the University but represent out-of-pocket educationally-related expenses the student may incur, regardless of the college or institution chosen to attend. Financial aid can be awarded up to the total budgeted amount.

9. We are non-Indiana residents; how do we become Indiana residents in order to reduce tuition?

A. The Registrar’s Office at Purdue determines residency status for tuition purposes after initial enrollment. The dependent student’s residency status is determined by their parent’s state of residence. Generally, a student attending Purdue cannot become an Indiana resident while they are pursuing their education. Contact the Registrar's Office if you have further questions about residency, or refer to their website at www.purdue.edu/registrar/Residency/index.html to see the residency policy and process to appeal.

10. How can we get a discount on tuition or increase scholarship offers to match other schools?

A. Students should plan to pay the assessed rate of tuition for their duration at Purdue, including non-residents. Purdue is unable to match financial aid offers from other schools and does not negotiate aid eligibility. However, when economic circumstances have changed, please see the process listed under question 7.