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Determining Your Financial Need

DePauw looks at the family as the primary source of college funding and understands most families must finance such an investment over a series of months or years.

Eligibility for financial assistance is determined by applying a consistent set of standards to the financial data you and your family provide on the two applications. We will review your family's financial situation to calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that represents the amount the family could be expected to invest in educational costs from current income and supplemental borrowing.

Financial need is defined as the Cost of Attendance minus the Expected Family Contribution. The cost of attendance is the sum of direct and estimated costs (see our Tuition and Fees page for more information). 

Factors used to determine the EFC include:

  • Student and parent income (adjusted gross income plus any untaxed income)
  • Business net worth, stock losses, depreciation, business losses, and the like
  • Student and parent assets (such as cash savings and investments)
  • Siblings attending an undergraduate institution full-time
  • Living costs, medical costs, and taxes paid
  • Child support, military/clergy housing allowances, annual contributions to retirement savings

Factors that we do NOT consider are:

  • Siblings attending a graduate institution
  • Siblings attending a private secondary school
  • Parents attending an undergraduate or graduate institution
  • A family's individual debt levels
  • Retirement savings accounts

The types and amounts of financial aid offered to a student are dependent on the financial need that the family demonstrates. Although we cannot guarantee to meet the full demonstrated need for all students, we will strive to provide funding options that make it possible for admitted students to attend.


  • The family is viewed as the primary source of funding for a DePauw education.
  • To be eligible for DePauw grants and scholarship, students must meet deadlines for financial aid materials unless there are extraordinary circumstances.
  • Financial aid is calculated and awarded for on-campus study. Additional costs may be incurred to study off-campus for a semester, year or for a winter term. Financial support may be available to help pay for additional costs. The financial aid office will also assist students with supplemental loan options.
  • Outside scholarships will first replace self-help (work-study and subsidized loans) before they affect DePauw grants and scholarships.
  • The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy outlines conditions for maintaining and renewing financial assistance.