Financial Aid FAQs

Who receives need-based financial aid?

To determine who receives need-based financial aid, we first calculate how much financial aid you need. We do this by subtracting the amount your family will be expected to contribute (EFC) according to the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the cost of attending (COA) Miami University for the year:

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

Any family demonstrating need in this way will be considered for financial aid.

What is Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The EFC is the number that is used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in your FAFSA, the application for federal student aid. Your EFC is reported to you on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

Although family income is obviously an important consideration, many factors are examined when assessing what your family can afford to contribute. These factors include assets, family size, and the number of children in college.

What is being measured is your family's financial strength. Miami expects students and parents to be in this together. The expected family contribution includes contributions from both the student and the parents. In addition to the parents' contribution, the student's contribution includes a portion of prior year earnings as well as money from personal savings and assets.

I just received my Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. Do I send it to Miami University?

No. We are electronically linked with the federal processor and will receive the same information from your SAR as long as you have listed Miami as a recipient in the school section. Our federal school code is 003077.

How do I get my excess financial aid?

If you have met all the requirements to qualify for the first disbursement of funds and your aid exceeds your university-billed charges, your excess financial aid will be deposited into your bank account or you will receive a check (at your local address) for the excess amount (see the One Stop dates and deadlines calendar for specific dates).  Make sure you have updated your local address with the University in BannerWeb. For a quicker refund, make sure that you have signed up for RedHawk Refunds.

If you have excess financial aid that is a result of a PLUS loan, a refund check will be sent in your name to the parent borrower's address, unless the parent requests on the Initial Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application that the refund be issued to the student.

If your primary campus is Miami University Hamilton or Miami University Middletown, your excess financial aid will disburse after the enrollment freeze date for each semester (see the One Stop dates and deadlines calendar for specific dates).

Can I use excess financial aid funds to buy my books?

If your aid has disbursed prior to the beginning of school and you have received a check for the excess financial aid, you can use those funds to buy your books. If your aid exceeds university charges but has not disbursed prior to the beginning of school, you may be able to charge your books against your excess financial aid. Visit the One Stop (Campus Avenue Building) during the first week of school to see if you qualify.

Can I receive financial aid for a computer purchase?

A computer purchase is considered an eligible educational expense and financial aid may be used to assist in purchasing one. If you have already received financial aid up to your cost of attendance (COA), you may request a one time COA increase for the amount of the computer with proof of purchase.

Receiving a COA increase does not necessarily mean you will qualify for additional aid. Consult with the One Stop to determine what aid you may qualify for.

I have a special family circumstance. What can be done for me?

You should submit a letter or email to the One Stop explaining the change in circumstance. We will run a simulation to see if the change will result in eligibility for additional federal aid. If so, a special circumstance appeal form will be sent to you. Complete the form and submit it to the One Stop with the required supporting documentation. We will review it and notify you if you qualify for additional financial aid.

Can I receive financial aid for audited classes?

To receive financial aid for any class you must be earning academic credit for it. Though you are charged full fees for auditing a course, you do not receive academic credit. Therefore, you are not eligible for financial aid for any audited courses.

My direct loan money won't be available for another three weeks. What can I do for living expenses in the meantime?

Consider the following:

  • Students may need to provide proof to their landlord of the financial assistance that they will be receiving for the semester to sufficiently cover their rent. They may submit a copy of their Account Summary by Term from BannerWeb or provide copies of their Bursar bill and award letter indicating that an overage amount is expected. A student’s Account Summary by Term shows current charges and disbursed financial aid. Students with private loans can provide documentation directly from the lender verifying the loan amount and the loan period. The landlord reserves the right not to accept these documents.
  • Special circumstances may warrant the issuance of a short-term loan beginning the second week of classes. The maximum amount for a short-term loan is $500. You must have a 2.0 g.p.a. or better and show that you have adequate means of repaying the loan. The loan must be repaid by the due date set at the time of the loan. Exceptions to these guidelines are rare. We may also decline your request for the short-term loan if loan funds are limited or depleted. Contact the One Stop for more information about a short-term loan.

Will my budget be adjusted if I don't live in a standard double room on campus?

Your financial aid budget includes the cost of a standard double room on campus. If you choose to make other housing arrangements, your financial aid budget will still be based on the cost of a standard double room on campus. Your financial aid budget will not be changed.

If I move off campus, how will it affect my financial aid?

When we calculate your eligibility for need-based financial aid, we use the same estimated expenses for living costs whether you are living on-campus or off-campus, as long as you are not living with your parents. If you are receiving financial aid in excess of your tuition charges, a check will be mailed to your local address or you may have the refund direct deposited into your bank account.

If you have been awarded scholarships from Miami University specifically for your Miami room and board charges and choose to live off-campus, you will not receive the portion of your scholarship that would have paid your Miami room costs. If you do not purchase a university meal plan, you will not receive the portion of your scholarship that would have paid your Miami board costs.

How can I notify my landlord that I will receive an overage amount from my financial aid to pay my rent before my actual overage check is sent to me?

If you need to provide proof to your landlord of the financial assistance that you will be receiving for the semester to sufficiently cover your rent, you may submit a copy of your Account Summary by Term from BannerWeb or provide copies of your eBill and award letter indicating an overage amount. Your Account Summary by Term shows current charges and disbursed financial aid. If you have a private loan, you can provide documentation directly from the lender verifying the loan amount and the loan period. The landlord reserves the right not to accept these documents.

I am seeking a second Bachelor’s degree. Am I eligible for aid?

To be eligible for financial aid when you are seeking a second bachelor's degree from Miami University you must be enrolled in a different degree program than the one that you previously completed. A Second Undergraduate Degree form will need to be completed by your academic adviser. This form is available in the One Stop or downloadable from BannerWeb. The information needed to complete this form: type of degree previously earned and the date granted; type of degree you are currently seeking; and the number of hours from the first bachelor's degree that will count towards the second degree according to a DARS audit.

My account shows there is money in the "Pending Aid" column. What does this mean?

Pending aid is any authorized aid, anticipated financial aid, or any other types of grants, scholarships, etc. that are confirmed at the time the account is viewed.

Once the aid disburses and if there are financial aid funds in excess of all charges on the account, the money will be refunded to the student shortly after the start of classes, providing all financial aid requirements have been met.