How Eligibility is Determined

How students apply for financial aid and how eligibility is determined:

Students can apply for financial aid before they apply for admission to the Terra State; however, students must be admitted as a regular student in an eligible program of study in order to be offered financial aid.

The 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed beginning October 1, 2023, using 2021 federal income tax information. Use Terra State School Code 008278.

After filing your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) listing all the information you provided in the online application. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be included in the SAR. The Office of Student Financial Aid will calculate your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). Your EFC is subtracted from your COA to determine your eligibility for need-based aid.

Please review your SAR for accuracy and make any necessary corrections online. Contact the U.S. Department of Education if you do not receive your SAR or have questions regarding your SAR. For more information regarding the FAFSA visit the Federal Student Aid .

File your FAFSA

To Qualify for Federal Student Aid (grants, loans, and work-study funds), you have to meet certain requirements.

General eligibility requirements

  • Demonstrate financial need (for most programs)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) stating that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law)

Federal PELL Grant

The PELL amount you get, though, will depend on:

  • your financial need
  • your cost of attendance
  • your cost of attendance
  • your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less

You may not receive Federal PELL Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

How is the "equivalent of six years" calculated? Visit to learn how.

How can I see my PELL Lifetime Eligibility Used percentage?

  • You can log on to National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Student Access Web site using your FSA ID and view your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). The LEU will be found on the Financial Aid Review page.

Amounts can change yearly

  • 2015-2016 award year (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) the Maximum yearly award can be up to $5,775 for full-time enrollment (12 credits)
  • 2016-2017 award year (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018) the Maximum yearly award can be up to $5,815 for full-time enrollment (12 credits)

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

How do I qualify?

  • Demonstrate exceptional financial need

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

How do I qualify?

  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits)


If you decide to accept a loan, make sure you understand the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. For more information, visit

New borrowers in the Federal Direct Loan program are required to complete an Electronic Master Promissory Note and Direct Loan Entrance Counseling session. You may complete both of these requirements on-line by accessing your personal financial aid information and following the instructions provided through Banner Self Service or directly access the Direct Loan Servicing Center at


To be considered for any scholarship:

How Eligibility for Student Financial Aid is Calculated