Sample Financial Aid Packages

We know not all students and families have the exact same financial situation. That’s why we encourage you to read through all the examples in this section – you may find aspects of several examples that resemble your situation.

Young student laughs in class.

We also know that the sticker price for higher education can be daunting. With that in mind, we thought that it might be helpful for you to see some of they ways in which individual students have received financial aid. You will see how our member colleges and universities respond to the needs and resources of individual students and their families. Keep in mind that the cost of attendance will vary from institution to institution. At our Lutheran colleges and universities, we know that every student is unique – and that family situations differ greatly. That’s why every one of our member colleges and universities has active, responsive programs for student financial aid to help you make attending a Lutheran college or university an investment you can manage.

What do Financial Aid Packages Include?

After you apply for financial aid, colleges calculate a financial aid package using a standard formula to determine your family’s financial need and what you should be able to pay. The basic financial aid package starts with aid based solely on need. Some colleges also give merit-based awards that recognize student achievement, and are not dependent on need.

The simplest framework for understanding need-based financial aid is:

Total Cost of Attendance 
(tuition, room and board, books and expenses)
Minus (–)
Expected Family Contribution

(EFC – determined by FAFSA and PROFILE)
Equals (=)
Demonstrated Need

Financial aid packages may include the following:

  • Grants based on demonstrated financial need, such as the Federal Pell Grant.
  • Scholarships based on merit, as determined by such variables as: standardized test scores, general academic achievement, or exceptional accomplishment in a particular area, such as music, drama, mathematics or science. (These differ among individual colleges.)
  • Federally subsidized, low-interest loans, such as the Stafford and Perkins Loans. Students are responsible for these loans, with interest and repayment deferred as long as she or he is in college at least half-time. Loans for parents are also available, from banks and other private sources.
  • Work-study – the opportunity to take a part-time, on-campus job for a certain number of hours per week. College jobs recognize students’ academic priorities and offer flexible schedules at exam time. Many also offer valuable experience in the student’s area of academic or career interest.