Financial Aid Overawards

An overaward occurs when a student’s total amount of financial aid exceeds their Cost of Attendance (COA) budget1 or when their need-based aid exceeds their financial need2.

This most commonly occurs when a student receives an outside grant or scholarship after their Federal and State aid has been awarded.

Federal regulations require that all overawards be corrected.  When adjustments are made to correct overawards, the student will receive an email notification stating what caused the overaward and how their aid was adjusted to correct the overaward.

If an adjustment to aid creates a balance on the student’s school account, the student is responsible for paying the balance.


1 Cost of Attendance (COA) is the estimate of tuition and fees, cost of housing/living expenses, cost of books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses that a student could incur for attending.  COA is adjusted accordingly for the student’s enrollment level; full-time, three quarter-time, half-time or less than half-time.

Per Federal regulation, a student’s overall financial aid cannot exceed their COA.

2 Financial Need is calculated by subtracting the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as determined by the FAFSA, from their Cost of Attendance (COA).  Need-based aid can only be received up to the Financial Need amount.  Need-based aid includes the Pell Grant, FSEOG (grant), and Subsidized Direct Loan.