Financial Aid Awarding Process

Although rules and regulations surrounding Federal Student Aid (FSA) may seem complex at times, we strive to make the financial aid awarding process as easy and seamless as possible. Grantham’s Office of Financial Aid is here to assist you in making informed financial decisions that will help save you money in the long term and provide tools for you to manage your budget.

The following provides basic guidelines of what is involved in the financial aid awarding process:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the application developed by the U.S. Department of Education to determine a student’s eligibility for Federal Student Aid (FSA). The federal government requires all students who wish to receive FSA to complete the FAFSA, and a new FAFSA must be completed for each year a student wishes to apply for FSA.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

After you submit the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will process your application and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). A SAR notification will be sent via email if a valid email address is provided on the application. If no email address is provided, the SAR will be delivered to your home mailing address. You may also access your electronic SAR on the web at A copy of the SAR known as the Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) is sent to Grantham University and any other schools you may have listed on the FAFSA. The SAR contains your official Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is used to calculate your financial need and determine your eligibility for various Federal Student Aid programs. The EFC is subject to change based upon verification of information you provided on the FAFSA.

Financial Aid Award Package

Once we receive a valid ISIR, completed application, and any other requested documentation, one of Grantham’s Financial Aid Officers will determine your eligibility and calculate your award package.

Packaging Philosophy
Our packaging philosophy is to offer financial assistance up to a student’s total Cost of Attendance for an academic year. If a student’s coursework remaining for program completion is less than an academic year, award amounts will be prorated or adjusted accordingly. A student may choose to accept only a portion of the financial assistance offered.

The following is the order in which financial aid is awarded based on your eligibility and need analysis calculation:

  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  3. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  4. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  5. Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Note: If you have accepted Federal student loans at another institution within the last 30 weeks, you may only be eligible for the remainder of your annual loan limit, which will affect the amount of funding you are eligible to receive at Grantham University.

After we calculate your financial aid award package, we will send a notification of the official award letter, which outlines the amount you are eligible to receive for each FSA program, along with instructions on how to access your awards.

You must formally accept/decline any loans awarded by logging onto the GOFAO Student Portal.