Santa Clara University

How Financial Aid is Determined


In order to be eligible for financial aid you must meet the following criteria:

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non citizen enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program of study at least half-time
  • make satisfactory academic progress
  • not be in default on a federal student loan
  • not owe a refund on any federal financial aid grant
  • have a valid Social Security number
  • be registered with Selective Service (if required)

Determining Financial Need

Your need-based financial aid is determined from the information gathered from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Financial Aid Office takes the total cost for attending Santa Clara University for an academic year (including room, board, books, supplies, local transportation, loan fees and personal expenses) and subtracts your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The result is your demonstrated need.

Cost of Attendance
minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
equals Financial Need

Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance is the estimated amount it will cost to attend Santa Clara University for one academic year.

Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that you, your spouse (if married) and your parents (if dependent) are expected to contribute toward your education. This amount is determined according to a standardized formula established by the federal government known as federal methodology (need-analysis formula) and is based on the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Awarding Aid

The Financial Aid Office awards financial aid packages for eligible students, which may consist of a combination of grants, work study and loan assistance. Packages and award amounts from each program vary depending on the financial need of the applicant, the limitations imposed by the various programs, and the availability of funds. You should apply by the our priority deadlines. Once a financial aid package has been awarded, students will be directed to view their award letter via ecampus.


Verification is the confirmation through documentation that the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify or confirm the data reported by students and their parents (if dependent) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid to which they are not entitled.

Disbursing Financial Aid

Financial Aid is disbursed at the beginning of each term. These funds are used to pay all Santa Clara University charges including tuition, housing and other miscellaneous expenses. Once these funds have paid your entire student account, any remaining balance is refunded to the student.

NOTE: Financial Aid offers are also estimated based on full-time enrollment. However, the financial aid you will actually receive is based on need and enrollment. If you are not enrolled full-time, or drop below full-time, you will receive financial aid that is prorated for the number of units in which you are enrolled. Please call us at (408) 551-1000, e-mail us at, or stop by the Enrollment Services Center if you have any additional questions.

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