Parents often have a multitude of questions associated with the financing of their student’s college education. We’ve attempted to categorize the most often asked queries we receive from parents and offer our responses. Please feel free to contact our office if you have a question that we’ve not addressed in this summary.
Using the respective cost of attendance budgets (available on our website), generally half of the annual amounts shown for tuition, fees, room (assuming residence in an on-campus dormitory), and board (assuming participation in an on-campus meal plan) for the entire academic year are billed prior to the start of each semester. From this total, you should subtract half of all awarded scholarships/grants and loans. The net result will equate to the balance that needs to be paid. It is important to note that earnings from Federal Work Study employment should not be factored into this calculation, since earnings vary based on actual hours worked and are basically used by students to help cover incidental and miscellaneous expenses.
It depends. Merit scholarships are generally fixed and do not change from year to year if renewal criteria are met, except scholarships explicitly covering full-tuition (or more) which usually keep pace with any tuition increases. Need-based scholarships require students and their families to reapply each year to confirm that a level of need still exists. Factors that can alter a level of need-based scholarship include changes to the number siblings enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, annual income levels, asset values, and/or the student’s academic performance. If all factors stayed constant, then we would anticipate calculating a similar level of expected family contribution (EFC) each year. If costs rise yet the EFC remains the same, then a student’s calculated financial need would be expected to rise, and subsequently the level of need-based scholarship may also rise. It is important to note that all federal aid and institutional scholarships require that a student meet satisfactory academic progress requirements to remain eligible for such funding.
We recognize that the needs-analysis calculations that determine expected family contributions do not reflect a parent’s current cash flow. The EFC is calculated using a “snap shot” of a family’s financial situation at a specific point in time and measures the overall financial strength towards providing for a student’s educational costs for a given academic year. We can help you explore various options that are available for funding the EFC.
The universal premise behind the financing of a child’s education is that first and foremost the child’s family is responsible for these costs to the best of their ability. When Tulane is offering to award our limited need-based scholarship funds, we extend that premise to include both the custodial and non-custodial parents, and we therefore require financial data from all parents before finalizing decisions on the allocation of our institutional need-based funds.