Financial Aid Eligibility

Before you apply for aid, it is important for you to be aware of the eligibility requirements for receiving any Federal Financial Aid. 

Note: Completed FAFSA applications received by April 1 are considered on-time. All financial aid files must be complete and loans originated or certified by the financial aid deadline. 

Please note the following:

You must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen. You must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at Castleton. You must not be in default on any federal student loans or owe a refund on previously awarded financial aid. You must be enrolled for at least six credit hours (three credit hours for Pell Grant eligibility only). You must be making satisfactory academic progress. You must be registered with Selective Service (if required).

How Financial Aid Eligibility is Determined

Your Student Cost of Attendance (Budget)

First, we determine your cost of attendance (budget) at Castleton. The cost of attendance includes tuition, mandatory fees, room and board (if on campus) and a standard allowance for books/supplies, personal expenses and transportation (please refer to the Cost of Attendance and Funding Options information on the right side of the Financial Aid web page). We use the cost of a double room and the 21-meal plan for all students who indicated on their FAFSA that they will be living on-campus. Students living at home have a lower allowance for room and board. Students living off-campus have a slightly higher budget to allow for additional costs of living on their own.

Second, we determine your eligibility based on the information provided on the FAFSA and by following the federal guidelines for the funds available. We use the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is determined by a standard formula called the Federal Methodology (FM). The Federal Methodology takes into account your and your parents’ income and assets, federal taxes paid, family size, number in college and allows for living expenses, taxes, etc. The EFC is not the amount of money your family must provide. Rather, you should think of the EFC as an index used to determine how much federal financial aid you qualify for.

Your Financial Need

Financial need is the difference between your student cost of attendance/budget and your expected family contribution. This is what we use to determine the amount of financial aid eligibility. Even though we have limited funds in some of our aid programs, we will make every effort to provide you with a fair and equitable financial aid award. The formula looks like this: 

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need