Financial Aid FAQ
for undergraduate students
What do I need to do now that I’ve received a financial aid award?
- If the award notification indicates that Verification is required, students must submit the required documents before any further processing of financial aid will occur.
- Some types of assistance require further processing steps to secure the aid you were offered.
What is Verification?
Verification is a process that ensures the information provided on an aid application is accurate.
- If you are selected for Verification, additional documentation must be submitted to our office before your financial aid award may be finalized.
- We will review these documents and correct any errors found on your FAFSA.
- Corrections may result in a change to your eligibility for need-based aid.
I received a larger scholarship and/or grant from another school. Can Lewis & Clark increase the amount of my scholarship and/or grant aid?
The amount of Lewis & Clark grant or scholarship listed on the financial aid award notification is the maximum amount that can be offered based on the information provided in your application and the availability of funding from the College. The College does not change or negotiate awards based on comparisons with other colleges.
My family has special financial circumstances that weren’t reflected on the aid application but will significantly affect my family’s ability to pay for college. What should I do?
If any information submitted on a financial aid application needs further explanation, please review the information on Responding to Changing Circumstances. Typically, a written explanation of the situation and/or income tax returns will need to be submitted. Keep in mind that, due to limited institutional and federal resources, an adjustment to financial information does not always result in additional financial aid.
Are there any other resources I can access to help pay for my education?
If a student or parent is in need of additional funds to address educational costs, there are a number of options to consider.
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- Private education loan
- Scholarship support from external resources
- While not a source of additional funds, many families find using a monthly payment plan through Nelnet to be a helpful option.
How does Lewis & Clark determine my family’s financial need and expected financial contribution (EFC)?
The school uses the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to identify the range of aid types a student is eligible to receive. This range includes need-based aid (e.g., grants, etc.) and non-need based aid (e.g., unsubsidized loans, etc.). The EFC is calculated by the Department of Education’s central processor using a formula called Federal Methodology, which considers multiple data elements reported on the FAFSA (e.g., family financial information including taxed and untaxed income, assets, family size, number of siblings enrolled as undergraduate students, etc.).
Do you meet the full demonstrated need of each student?
While the College endeavors to offer financial assistance to meet the full demonstrated need of students, limited resources do not always allow this to happen. In instances where we are unable to fully meet a student’s demonstrated need, families may need to pay more than the calculated EFC in order to address the costs associated with enrollment at Lewis & Clark.
If I’m awarded a scholarship from my community, where does this fit in the process? Do I need to tell you about this award?
As part of the process of finalizing eligibility for financial aid, students must inform us about assistance that will be received from sources other than Lewis & Clark. This type of assistance is commonly referred to as external resources and the treatment of such funding in determining eligibility for financial aid is addressed on the Grants & Scholarships page, under External Resources.
How will my financial aid be applied to my charges each semester?
Financial aid is sent to the Student & Departmental Account Services office at the beginning of each semester; and applied directly to the student account to address charges incurred such as tuition and fees, and room and board (if you reside on-campus). Financial aid cannot be applied to the student account until all of the required action steps to secure the aid have been completed and the funds have actually been received at the College.
Can I use financial aid to purchase books?
Aid applied to a student account that exceeds the amount of charges incurred will create a credit balance that may be refunded to the student. The Student & Departmental Account Services office processes refunds after the first day of classes in each semester, and only when a credit actually exists on a student account. With this in mind, it is important to arrive at the College each semester with sufficient funding to purchase books or address initial expenses associated with living off-campus.