Maximizing Your Financial Aid
College can be a huge expense. Luckily, Purdue Promise provides its students with scholarship funding that will cover up to the total estimated cost of attendance at Purdue.
Depending upon the other types of aid you received, such as federal grants (Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), other scholarships and grants, and Federal Work Study, your Purdue Promise funding may change year to year. You should also know that because each student’s family financial status varies widely, it would be rare that any two Purdue Promise financial aid packages would look the same. This means that you should address concerns about your Purdue Promise award and financial aid package to your Purdue Promise Coach rather than comparing it to your friends’ packages.
Making smart choices can help you maximize financial aid so you are able to cover expenses that may pop up outside of normal tuition/fees and room/board. These expenses can be covered with excess aid money you receive in the form of a refund check.
Know What May Affect Your Financial Aid Eligibility
Before reading below, review actions that could impact your financial aid eligibility, and be sure to schedule an appointment with your Purdue Promise Coach if you think these might apply to you.
You should also be aware of the following policies.
- Required Enrollment
- Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Academic Probation and Academic Drop
- Add/Drop - Impact on Financial Aid
- Census Date
- Initial Course Participation
- Repeat Coursework
- Complete Withdrawal - Impact on Financial Aid
- Dependency Status
- Impact of Drug Conviction
What is a refund check?
If the amount of the total aid accepted does not cover the tuition and fees due, the student is responsible for paying the balance due (shown on the electronic fee invoice).
However, if a student is living on campus and has made wise choices about housing and meal plan, they may have a moderate about of aid disbursed in the form of a refund to help pay for books, supplies, and other indirect educational expenses.
Students living off campus will receive sizeable refunds after their aid is applied to their tuition/fee bills to not only help pay for books, supplies, and other indirect educational expenses, but also pay for off-campus housing expenses (rent, utilities, etc.)
For more information about financial aid refunds click here.
We strongly recommend that Purdue Promise students sign up for direct deposit to ensure the fastest and most secure delivery of their refunds.
While books are budgeted into the estimated cost of attendance, Purdue Promise does not provide funding to cover the cost of books up front. Choosing lower cost housing and meal plan options will increase your chance of receiving a refund after your bill has been paid so you can cover the cost of textbooks.
For more information on purchasing books download our "Paying for Books" handout.
Many students purchase their books at local bookstores. If you plan to do this, we recommend that you reserve them online prior to the start of the semester via University Bookstore or Follett’s Purdue Bookstore. Purdue also now houses the first staffed Amazon store on campus. You can shop online and pick up your order in KRCH, where Purdue Promise offices are located. A word of caution when ordering online: be sure you are ordering the right edition! The best way to know is to check the ISBN.
Program Recommended Residence Halls
Choosing a lower priced residence hall can help reduce total costs, leaving you more money for extra expenses.
If you are a first-year student and have submitted a housing contract application by the deadline, we will work with housing assignments staff in University Residences to ensure you are not placed on rooms that will put you over the cost of attendance and what your scholarship covers, regardless of what you rank on your application.
If you are an upperclass student choosing to remain on campus, University Residences will require you to have a conversation with your Purdue Promise Coach regarding additional expenses associated with certain housing options before allowing you to be placed in one of those rooms.
Your scholarship covers a standard double room with air conditioning. This means that choosing the following housing options may put you over the cost of attendance and cause you not receive a refund for other educational expenses (such as books) and/or incur out-of-pocket costs.
- Suite-style housing
- Apartment-style housing
- Single rooms (no roommate)
Program Recommended Meal Plans
Being smart and realistic about the type of meal plan you choose can also increase your chance of receiving a refund check. College students usually operate on a much different schedule than the rest of the world, so you may find that you don't eat at the same times or as frequently as you did when you were in high school. Once you have selected your housing option, you should choose a meal plan that, when combined with housing, does not exceed the room/board allotment on your financial aid package budget. You can view combined housing and meal plan rates here.