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Many factors affect financial aid eligibility, including estimated costs, expected family contribution, financial need, and the conditions under which aid is offered.

Financial Aid Eligibility

To be financial-aid eligible, NC State University students must be:

  • enrolled in a degree-seeking program, approved teacher licensure program, or graduate certificate program. (Review Program Eligibility Requirements.)
  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents or eligible non-citizens.
  • making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward degree completion.
  • without default on any federal education loan; students must not owe an overpayment of a federal education grant.
  • enrolled at least half-time in courses that are applicable to degree program(s).

Independent students are eligible for higher loan limits. However, in order to be considered an independent student for financial aid purposes, a student must be able to truthfully answer YES to at least one of the questions in Step 3 of the FAFSA.

Factors Determining Financial Aid Eligibility

The following factors are used to determine an applicant’s financial aid eligibility and offer amounts:

Estimated Costs

Financial aid eligibility begins with cost of attendance. Factors include North Carolina residency status and living arrangements (on-campus, off-campus or living with parents), type of student, and number of hours taken.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) [2023-24 Academic Year and Before]

The EFC is calculated based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Student Aid Index (SAI) [2024-25 Academic Year and Beyond]

The SAI is calculated based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Financial Need

Need is determined by subtracting the EFC from the cost of attendance. Not all types of financial aid have a financial need component.

Learn more about how the following topics impact financial aid eligibility:

Conditions and Responsibilities

The conditions under which aid is offered impact aid eligibility. Understanding these conditions, as well as the responsibilities associated with being an aid recipient, are critical to maintaining eligibility.