Projections indicate overall more students will gain eligibility under these formula changes, but some students in multi-sibling families may lose eligibility.
The Student Aid Index (SAI) is the new name for the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and better reflects what this formula shows. The SAI is a calculation of how much need-based financial aid a student is eligible for, not what the family can or will pay.
What it does
The SAI determines a student’s eligibility for federal student aid with the exception of the maximum and minimum Pell awards, which are determined by the Federal Poverty Tables.
SAI amount can be lower
The SAI amount could be as low as -1,500, which will allow financial aid offices to prioritize students with the most needs.
Formula changes for families with multiple college students
The SAI will no longer factor in the number of students a family is supporting in college for Federal aid calculations. Colleges do have the flexibility with their institutional funds to estimate the impact on their students and make changes in their aid to account for this.
We recognize some families are concerned about this change. According to the federal Education Department, the families with the most needs will not be impacted at all by this change. They estimate based on 2021-2022 FAFSA data that 81% of Pell Grant recipients will qualify for the maximum Pell Grant award under the new formula, up from 63% currently.
There will no longer be exemptions for reporting assets based on the number of employees at a business, or farms on which the family residence is located. Families required to report assets (those with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or higher) will need to report all assets and do their best at estimating value. If debt is owed on an asset, they will subtract the debt owed.
SAI Look Up Tables
These tables will show you how the new formula will be implemented in specific cases, based on individual circumstances such as number of children, income level and assets.