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Eligibility For Aid

Financial Need

Eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined by an evaluation of your family's ability to contribute to educational expenses.  Bentley's philosophy for awarding financial aid is based on the premise that you and your family have the primary responsibility for paying for your university education to the extent that you are able.

Two formulas are used to determine your estimated contribution from family resources (called the estimated family contribution, or EFC).  Federal Methodology is used to determine your eligibility for federal aid and most state aid programs.  We use the data you and your family provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your Federal EFC.

Because the government does not include some financial information for consideration in the need analysis formula, Bentley uses a second formula based on data provided on the CSS Profile Form, called Institutional Methodology, to determine your eligibility for Bentley-based funding.  Institutional Methodology helps us target limited resources to students with the greatest need.  Students must complete both a FAFSA and CSS PROFILE and meet eligibility requirements for federal aid programs to be considered for institutional need-based funding.  International students are not eligible for need-based funding from Bentley.

The difference between the established cost of attendance and your family's ability to contribute toward paying that cost is your financial need.  Financial aid may contribute toward your need through a combination of loans, eligibility for on-campus employment, and possibly scholarships or grants from a variety of federal, state, and institutional aid programs.

Factors That May Affect Eligibility

Your financial need will change when your estimated cost changes and/or your family's resources change.  Following are some factors that may result in a change to your financial aid award this year or in future years.  If an award adjustment becomes necessary, we will notify you.

Enrollment and Housing Status

Any change in enrollment status (if you register less than full-time) or housing status (if you change from a resident to a commuter or vice versa) will have an impact on your costs and therefore your aid eligibility.  The costs for a resident student are estimated to be similar to those for a student living in an off-campus apartment.  Student commuting from a parent or relative's home are expected to have lower costs.  We ask students living in off-campus apartments to verify that they are not commuting from the home of a relative.  This verification usually takes place after the start of the academic year.

Bentley grants and scholarships are only available for full-time enrollment (12 credits or more) during the fall and spring semesters.  If you reduce your course load to below full time, you may lose your Bentley grants and scholarships for that semester.  If you drop below half-time enrollment (fewer than six credits per semester) you will lose eligibility for most types of financial assistance.  Unless you inform us that you plan to enroll as a part-time student, we will assume that you will enroll full time until the registration period at the start of each semester has concluded.  We will then check your enrollment status and adjust your aid if necessary.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Federal regulations specify how colleges and universities must determine the amount of federal financial aid (including PLUS loans) you have earned if you withdraw from the university before 60 percent of an enrollment period (usually a semester) has elapsed.  The amount of federal assistance that you have earned is determined by the percentage of the semester completed.  If you have received more assistance than you have earned, the excess funds must be returned to the government.  If the removal of returned funds from your account creates a balance due, you will be responsible for paying this balance.  For more information about withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from the university, please see the Student Handbook.

Number in College

Families with more than one child in college often have increased family expenses and therefore will see an increase in their eligibility for financial assistance.  If the number of children in your family attending undergraduate college decreased from two to one, this change can nearly double the expected family contribution, thereby significantly reducing financial need.  Because enrollment plans sometimes change, we will ask for verification of your sibling's enrollment in college if you included them as a family member in college on the CSS Profile form.  We do not include parents, siblings in military service academies, siblings taking college courses before graduating from high school, or graduate students in the number of family members enrolled in college for purposes of determining eligibility for Bentley-based funding.  If you are unable to verify that your sibling is enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree program, we may reduce your aid at any point during the academic year.

Because having a sibling in college often has a significant impact on your aid eligibility, we may make adjustments to your award if your sibling attends a very low-cost institution, such as a community college, or is receiving substantial financial aid in the form of grants and/or scholarships.  If your sibling takes longer than eight semesters to graduate from an undergraduate program, we may choose to discontinue the treatment of that student as a sibling in college when determining your institutional financial aid eligibility.

Federal Aid Eligibility and Drug Violations

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for federal student aid funding.  For more information, click here.