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Making sense of the dollars

Each student that attends Southwestern has a financial aid counselor available to him or her who can answer questions and provide assistance. Southwestern's financial aid program is designed to help you afford a private Christian education. While we believe that the main responsibility for paying for school rests with the student and his or her family, our financial assistance program of grants, scholarships, loans, and work assistance is available to help you achieve your educational goals.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

In order to apply for Federal and State financial aid, you must fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are unable to access the online forms, please contact the Financial Aid Office immediately to request a paper financial aid application packet.

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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

What is SAGU's FAFSA school code?

SAGU's FAFSA School Code is 003616. You can complete your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov

How can I contact Financial Aid?

We are here to help, please contact us at:

Email - finaid@sagu.edu
Phone - 972-825-4730
Fax - 972-923-8143

How do I get financial aid?

File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid — and do it as early as possible. (Jan. 1 is the earliest day you can file the FAFSA for each academic year.) It’s good to file the FAFSA based on a completed tax return. However, it’s far better to file the FAFSA early with estimates than later with exact figures. If you won’t have your taxes done by early February, estimate.

What types of assistance are there?

  • Gift Aid is money that doesn't have to be paid back. These come in the form of scholarships, tuition allowances and grants. This is the most desirable type of financial assistance because it does not have to be repaid.
  • Self-help Aid is money that is earned or that must be paid back.
  • Work-study is money that you earn by working a part-time job while you are in school.
  • A loan is money that you borrow that must be paid back, usually after you leave school or drop below half-time status. There are student loans and parent loans available to help finance your education. Rarely does gift aid meet the full cost of attending college. Most students rely on part-time employment and loans to pay for school.

What is the difference between merit aid and need-based aid?

Merit aid is based on merit, such as academics, athletics, music, etc. A lot of scholarships are merit-based. Need-based aid depends on how much aid you need and how much you and your family can afford to contribute toward your education.

What is financial need?

Financial need is the difference between what it costs to attend a certain school and what the family can reasonably be expected to contribute toward the cost of attendance. View our page on Determining Financial Need.

What is included in the cost of attendance?

University expenses include fixed costs such as tuition, fees, room & board and personal expenses such as books and supplies, transportation, off-campus room & board, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

The Department of Education requires that each university prepare 9 Month Cost of Living Budgets based on average costs of its students living at home with parents, on-campus housing, and off-campus. These Cost of Attendance budgets are adjusted depending on the number of semesters enrolled and the enrollment status (full time, 3/4 time, and half time).

Your actual fixed expenses for tuition, fees, room & board depend on what courses you take and what dorm you live in. Please refer to a current price list of charges to determine what your actual charges will be. Contact the SAGU Enrollment Services Office or the Student Billing Office if you need help in projecting your costs.

How is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated?

Your EFC is calculated using a standard Congressional formula. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid collects the information such as family size, number in college, whether you are a dependent or independent or parents, and you and your family's income and assets. This information is used to determine what the family can reasonable be expected to contribute toward your education.

How do I know if I am dependent or independent?

For the 2006-2007 school year, the United States Department of Education determines that you are independent of your parents if:

  • You were born before January 1, 1983, or you
  • are an orphan;
  • are a ward of the court or were until the age of 18;
  •  are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • have legal dependents other than a spouse;
  • will be enrolled in a graduate school in 2006-2007;
  • are married; or
  • can prove to the school unusual circumstances that
  • show independent status.

What aid is available to graduate students?

Loans are the main source of aid for graduate students. Additionally, some students may qualify for Institutional Scholarships and some TX residents may qualify for state grants. There is also limited eligibility for Work-study.

Is aid available to international students?

Federal and state aid is available to citizens and Permanent Resident Aliens but not for students on a Student Visa. International Students may compete for scholarships.