Financial Need

Financial aid from most of the programs discussed on this website is awarded on the basis of financial need (except for unsubsidized Stafford and all PLUS loans).

When you apply for federal student aid, the information you report is used in a formula established by the U.S. Congress. The formula determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your educational cost. The student and parents or legal guardians are responsible for paying educational costs. Lincoln University expects that parents will assist in paying the cost to the greatest extent their income will permit. The student is also expected to share in the cost of education through working, borrowing, and savings. We encourage you where practical, to seek aid from the community, regional, and national organizations. If your EFC is below a certain amount, you will be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.

There is not a maximum EFC that defines eligibility for the other financial aid programs.

Instead, your EFC is used in the following equation to determine your financial need:

Cost of attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
=Financial Need

Your financial aid counselor will calculate your cost of attendance and subtracts the amount of your EFC from that cost. If there is anything left over, you are considered to have financial need. In determining your need for aid from financial aid programs, your counselor must first consider other types of financial aid you are expected to receive.

If you have special circumstances that may affect your EFC or warrant an adjustment in your cost of attendance, you must complete the Special Consideration form for the appropriate year. Special Circumstances may result from one or more of the following conditions:


  • Loss of employment or significant reduction in income or benefits
  • Unusually high medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Disability
  • Retirement
  • Other unusual circumstances or expenses

The form must be completed and submitted with the required documentation.