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How Your Financial Need Is Determined

Financial aid programs were created by the federal government and based on the premise that the primary responsibility for paying for college rests with the student and his or her family. Need-based financial aid is available to families who demonstrate a need for additional resources to help pay college costs. The formula used to determine need is:

Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Need

Determining Need

Cost of Attendance (COA)

Cost of Attendance (COA or budget) represents a reasonable estimate of the cost of attending school for a nine-month academic year (fall and spring semesters). The Financial Aid Office determines student budgets every year as a basis for awarding financial aid funds. It includes direct costs: tuition and fees, and room and board; and indirect costs: allowances for books, supplies, transportation, and personal/miscellaneous expenses.

Direct costs are charges for which you will be billed directly by Stevenson. Indirect costs are charges you may incur as a result of going to school, but not necessarily billed for by SU. Actual charges vary depending on your choice of program, enrollment, and living arrangements. A breakdown of direct charges for Stevenson University is available on the Tuition & Fees page.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an amount that your family is expected to pay towards your cost of attendance; it is not your bill, is not the amount of federal aid you will receive, and it is not the amount you will pay. It is a number used by your school to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.

The EFC is derived from a formula created by the federal government and is calculated based on the information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (e.g., unemployment and Social Security) all could be considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year. The EFC is part of the information on the Student Aid Report you received after you complete your FAFSA.


Need for financial aid is the difference between the cost of attendance and your EFC. The University is not allowed to award aid that exceeds your need.

To assist you in planning your costs for the upcoming school year, the Financial Aid Office has established the following estimated budgets.

Estimated Cost of Attendance Chart

2017-2018 Academic Year
Costs are subject to change pending SU Board of Trustees' approval.


 Tuition and FeesLiving Expenses1BooksTransportationPersonal
Total Cost
Living in SU







Living with







1Living expenses based on standard double occupancy SU Suite rate and 225 meals (Meal Plan A)
2Included in the total cost of attendance above are loan fees for student borrowers and for parents who borrow through the PLUS loan program.

Have a Question?

Contact Financial Aid
100 Campus Circle
Garrison Hall
Room 241
Owings Mills, MD 21117-7804
Phone: 443-334-3200
Fax: 443-352-4370
Email Financial Aid
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