Financial Aid Overaward Policy

The Office of Student Financial Aid is required to monitor and adjust students’ financial aid awards to eliminate overawards and/or overpayments in compliance with federal and state regulations and institutional policy. 

What is an Overaward?

An overaward or overpayment exists when any of these situations occur:

  • The student’s financial aid exceeds the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA).
  • The student is receiving need based aid in excess of the student’s financial need. Financial need is determined by subtracting the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the estimated Cost of Attendance.
  • The student receives multiple tuition specific awards (scholarships, grants, or waivers) that exceed the student’s tuition charges.
  • The student receives multiple housing specific awards that exceed the student’s housing charges.
  • The student’s award in an individual program (e.g., Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loan) exceeds annual or aggregate/lifetime limits.
  • The student is receiving Federal Pell Grant or Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant at multiple schools for the same payment period.

How do Overawards occur?

Overawards are usually the result of the student receiving aid that the Office of Student Financial Aid was not aware of when the student’s financial aid was initially offered.

Overawards may also occur when a student’s estimated cost of attendance changes due to a change in residency status, enrollment, or housing status. For example, when residency status changes from Non-Florida resident to Florida resident after financial aid has already been awarded.

Overawards may also be created when the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) increases as a result of verification. Overawards can result from application errors as well. Regardless of the reason for overaward, the Office of Student Financial Aid is bound by regulations and policy to correct the overaward by reducing or cancelling a portion of the student’s aid.

Resolving the overaward may result in the student owing the University money if the overawarded funds have already disbursed to the student’s account. It is the student’s responsibility, therefore, to notify the Office of Student Financial Aid as soon as possible when the student becomes aware that he or she is receiving an external financial aid resource.

Example of Need-Based Overaward  

Estimated COA | $24,884
EFC | $3,000
Eligibility for Need-Based Aid | $24,884- $3,000 = $21,884
Total Need-Based Aid (example: Direct Subsidized Loan, Pell Grant, FAU Grant, FSAG Grant) Offer | $22,884
Need-Based Overaward | $21,884 - $22,884 = -$1,000
This student has a Need-Based Overaward because the student's need-based aid offer exceeds their eligibility for need-based aid by $1,000.

Example of COA Overaward 

Estimated COA | $24, 884
Total Aid Offer (example: Direct Unsubsidized and Subsidized Loans, Pell Grant, FAU Grant, FSAG Grant, Bright Futures Scholarship) | $26,884
COA Overaward | $24,884 - $26,884 = -$2,000
This student has a COA Overaward because the student's total aid offer exceeds the estimated cost of attendance by $2,000.