Financial Aid

Financial Aid 101

Below you will find a list of important information you should be aware of when applying for and receiving financial aid.


Financial Aid 101 Videos

You’d rather watch a video than read, we get it! Check out these short videos to help you navigate the financial aid process. 

Fulfilling Scholarship Requirements: Outside Scholarships and Thank You Notes
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Self-Service Portal
Verification & Disbursement
Loan Procedures
Types of Financial Aid

Types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, loans, and work study. Scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back, but may have other stipulations. Loans do need to be paid back. For more information on loans, visit our Loan Information Page . Work study is funding you can earn by getting a job on campus.

Student Aid Index

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is a measure of the student and their families ability to pay for college, as well as an eligibility index number that a college or a college’s financial aid office uses to determine federal student aid a student would receive. This amount is determined according to a standardized formula established by Congress under the FAFSA Simplification Act (see Federal Student Aid Estimator ) and is based on the information reported on the FAFSA  (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Note: these links take you to external web sites.

Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance is the estimated amount it will cost to attend Southwestern University for one academic year. A detailed breakdown of Southwestern’s current tuition and fees is available .

Determining Financial Need

Financial need is determined by subtracting the family’s Student Aid Index (SAI) from Southwestern University’s Cost of Attendance and subtracting any additional resources/scholarships:

  Cost of Attendance

– Student Aid Index (SAI)

Financial Need

While Southwestern would like to fund all students demonstrating need, this is not always possible. The demand for grants and scholarships based on need often exceeds available resources.

Awarding Aid

The Financial Aid Office awards financial aid packages for eligible students, which may consist of a combination of grants, work-study, and loan aid. Packages and award amounts from each program vary depending on the financial need of the applicant, the limitations imposed by the various programs, and the availability of funds. Students who apply by the priority deadline of April 1st are awarded on a “first-processed, first-served” basis. Once a financial aid package has been awarded, the applicant will be sent an award notification letter to their personal admission portal indicating the types and amounts of aid offered. In addition, if loans are accepted, additional steps & processing time are required.

Disbursing Financial Aid

Most available financial aid (including student loans) is disbursed at the beginning of each term toward your University bill. These funds are used to pay all University charges including tuition / fees, room / board, and miscellaneous expenses. If the amount of financial aid funds exceeds a student’s direct charges, any remaining balance is available to the student in the form of bookstore vouchers and/or check.

Reporting Outside Scholarships

You may have other resources available to assist you with your educational costs, such as scholarships awarded by schools, businesses and civic organizations. In order to ensure your financial aid award letter is accurate, please notify the Financial Aid Office if you will receive other resources by reporting them through Self-Service on the “Report/View Outside Awards” screen.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients meet standards of academic progress. The standards established by the Financial Aid Office consistent with the federal student aid requirements, are detailed in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy .