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Determining Need

Institutions determine an applicant's financial need based on the standard equation below.

–   Expected Family Contribution
 Financial Need

The following information will help you understand how the formula works.


A college's or university's cost includes:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and meal plan
  • Estimates for books, personal expenses and transportation to and from home each semester. Susquehanna estimates that you'll spend $2,000 per year for these expenses.

Expected Family Contribution

Review of the financial aid application determines an amount the student and his or her family will be expected to pay for the year's expenses. The family contribution should be approximately the same from one college to another, and is based on:

  • Parents' income and assets
  • Student's income and assets
  • Family size
  • Number of dependent children attending college in the same year
  • Other family income and expense information, excluding consumer debt

Financial Need

The difference between the cost and expected family contribution is financial need or financial aid eligibility.

Quick Calculations

You can make some quick calculations of your expected family contribution with this online tool provided by the College Board. The Institutional Methodology (IM) results from this exercise will give you an approximation of what you will be asked to contribute for one year of college expenses.

Once you have completed the SU financial aid application process, any results from the estimator tool noted above will be superseded by your actual application.

Susquehanna Financial Aid Packages

Susquehanna designs financial aid packages to come as close as possible to meeting financial need. The packages take the following into account:

  • Susquehanna expects all first-year students to have worked during the summer and saved at least $1,500 for their expenses.
  • After their first year at Susquehanna, students are expected to save $2,000 each summer.
  • Standard aid formulas calculate that students will use 20 percent of their personal assets (savings and investments) toward annual college expenses.

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