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General Information

Financial aid is a source of monetary support in the form of: 

Grants  –  Awards based on financial need which do not have to be repaid (unless a student withdraws from the university or owes a refund).

Employment – If eligible, a student can acquire part-time employment to help cover the costs of education related expenses. Money earned during employment does not have to be repaid.

Loan – Money that is borrowed and is expected to be repaid with interest.

Students who qualify for financial aid may be offered a combination of these types of aid based on their financial need and the availability of funds.

For detailed information on these Federal Aid Programs view this link:  Federal Student Aid on the Web

March 1 is FIU's annual priority FAFSA application deadline. Students whose files are completed by the priority deadline have the best chance of receiving a financial aid award that meets the students' need.

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To qualify for financial assistance, you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be registered with Selective Service (males only), if required.
  • Not be in default on a previous student loan or owe a repayment on a previous federal financial aid award received at any institution.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program of study (some aid is available only to full-time students).
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Additional requirements may apply depending on the aid programs awarded.


Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

A student with a drug conviction may be ineligible for federal student aid (grants, student employment or loans). If a student is convicted of a state or federal offense of selling or possessing illegal drugs while  receiving federal student aid, they should still complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligibility may be regained after documented successful completion of a rehabilitation program.

For more information, including requirements for regaining eligibility, please see the following U.S. Department of Education link: 

Federal Student Aid Website

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Financial Need is defined as the difference between the estimated cost of attendance and the amount you and your family can reasonably be expected to contribute toward your educational expenses. Evaluation of the financial circumstances of the student and family follows a federal methodology established by the US Congress to determine eligibility for federal student aid programs.

The formula, established by law, measures in an equitable and systematic manner how much individual students and their families can afford to pay for higher education. The process takes into consideration household income, assets of the student and family (other than your primary residence), number of individuals in the household and in college, taxes paid, and other relevant factors.

This results in an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is included on the Student Aid Report (SAR) this is the response that the student will receive  after completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the expected contribution from the student and family has been determined, the amount of eligibility for financial aid is derived by this simple formula:

FIU Cost of attendance - EFC = Financial Need

Scholarships and other monetary awards from private sources must be considered in determining eligibility when awarding federal financial aid. The amount of financial aid that is met will depend on the timing of the completed application, on the availability of funds and the types of assistance the student is willing to accept.

For an early estimate of your cost, this online Net Price Calculator Tool may be of assistance for students who have never attended college and plan to enroll full time.

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Federal regulations permit the University to override a student's dependency status for federal financial aid purposes IF extenuating circumstances exist and can be documented. Examples of such extenuating circumstances are death of a parent, parent abandonment or abuse. This determination is made on a case by case basis.

Note: All documentation must be submitted at the same time in order for it to be evaluated.

 The following conditions are NOT considered unusual circumstances:

  • A parent refusing to provide data.
  • A student who does not wish to communicate with parents.
  • A student who has been previously considered independent for the purposes of receiving financial aid but does not meet the current definition for 2015-2016 or 2016-2017.
  • A student who is divorced at the time of filing and does not meet one of the current definitions of an independent student.
  • A student who is legally emancipated from their parents unless the student is approved for a dependency override as defined in the "Student's Instructions" below.

Student's Instructions:

Complete the Request for a Dependency Override.

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A Financial Aid Administrator may exercise professional judgment to assist students that have extenuating circumstances which warrant a reevaluation of their eligibility for financial aid. These circumstances are as follows:

  • Involuntary loss of employment (e.g. termination, lay off) of student, spouse, mother/ step-mother or father/step-father.
  • Reduction or loss of untaxed income or benefits (e.g. unemployment compensation, social security, AFDC, etc.) for student, spouse, mother/step-mother or father/step-father.
  • Divorce or separation of student or parent.
  • Death of mother/step-mother or father/step-father; or spouse.
  • Extraordinary medical expenses paid by student, spouse, mother or father not covered by insurance.

A request for Professional Judgment form must be completed and submitted along with all documents required for your extenuating circumstance.

Note: If you are a dependent student, provide documentation for both yourself and your parent(s). If you are independent student, provide documentation for both yourself and your spouse (if married).

“Use of professional judgment is neither limited to nor required for the situations mentioned” as stated by federal regulation.


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   Please Note: The deadline to submit verification documents for the 2017-2018 award year is July 27, 2018.

If the Federal Processor selects your FAFSA for verification, you will be required to submit additional documentation so that FIU can confirm the accuracy of the information provided on your FAFSA.  The required documents will be listed under the To Do List section in your my.fiu.edu portal. You must click on the link(s) posted under your To Do List for details and instructions for each item.

Due to the large volume of verification files being submitted by students, it may take a month or more for your file to be reviewed during peak processing times. We understand that this can be a long time to wait to find out about your financial aid. In order to expedite the process, as much as possible, we encourage the following:

Timeliness – Don’t wait until your deadline to submit your documents. The more quickly you submit your verification documentation, the more quickly we will process your aid.

Completeness – Read the verification document instructions carefully and submit all required documents up front. Incomplete files cause significant delays for you and for other students, as we must dedicate more resources to following up with you and requesting additional documents.

Accuracy – Provide accurate information. Corrections take additional time to process, and providing accurate information up front will significantly speed up the verification process. If possible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to import your financial information directly from the IRS.

Responsiveness – Sometimes our office must ask for supplemental documentation in order to ensure the accuracy of your financial aid application information. Check your email frequently, and monitor your To Do List at My.FIU.edu. The more quickly you respond, the more quickly we will process your aid.

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American Opportunity Credit

American Opportunity/Hope Scholarship Tax Credit: The 1998 Congress approved tax credit if tuition is paid. More information can be found here.

Taxable Financial Aid: Information requirements under the law regarding certain types of financial assistance. More information can be found here: 

FIU Office of the Controllers

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Florida International University
Modesto A. Maidique Campus - SASC 126
1401 S.W. 108th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33199

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