Basics of Financial Aid

The idea of financial aid is pretty simple — it’s any money that helps you pay for college.

That money can come from a variety of places, including scholarships, government grants and federal loans.

We happen to do financial aid really well at Transylvania. It’s why USA Today/College Factual named us one of its Top 10 Best Colleges for the Money in 2016!

Student in hammock

Types of aid

Here’s a quick rundown on all the different types of aid you can qualify for at Transylvania:

Scholarships—This is money that you can earn for things like academic achievement, leadership, fine arts, need—and more. This money doesn’t have to be paid back. Take a look at some of the scholarships we offer.

Grants—Families with financial need are eligible for grants, which are typically given by the federal or state government, or by Transylvania, and do not need to be paid back. Here are some of the grants available.

Work-Study—This federal program provides eligible students with a part-time job on campus. We have about 250 work-study positions available.

Student Loans—You may be interested in taking out student loans, which are usually administered by the federal government, and will be paid back later. More about student loans.

Get in touch

Phone: 859-233-8239 or 800-872-6798
Fax: 859-281-3650

Old Morrison, 1st Floor
Hours M-F, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

300 North Broadway
Lexington, Kentucky

Jennifer Cosens

Beth Mitchell

Alexandria Wasson

Kara Ivey

The financial aid process

This is where it gets much easier. To be eligible for financial aid at Transylvania, all you have to do is these two things:

That’s it! We’ll use those forms to come up with your financial aid offer, which we’ll send as soon as you’re admitted to Transylvania.

Here’s a video overview of how the process works:

What’s with all these terms?

Yeah, it can get a little technical. Here’s a list of words and definitions about the financial aid process. (There are a lot more here if you’re curious.)

COA—Cost of Attendance. This is the sum of educational expenses to attend a college or university and includes tuition and fees; living expenses, including food and housing; books, course materials, supplies, and equipment; and miscellaneous expenses. Generally this estimate is higher than the published cost to attend a school, and is used in conjunction with your student aid index (SAI) to determine the student’s aid eligibility.

EFC—Expected Family Contribution. Through the 2023-24 year, when the FAFSA was processed, the federal government used a formula to determine the amount you and your family were expected to contribute toward your education for the academic year. Beginning in 2024-25, the EFC will be replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI).

FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the federal application required for all need-based grants, loans, and work-study, as well as non-need based unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan—This loan is awarded on the basis of financial need, and the federal government pays the interest while you’re enrolled in school. You don’t have to pay these back until after you complete your education.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan—This loan is not need based, and the government does not subsidize the interest. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized. You don’t need to repay these until after you graduate.

SAI—Student Aid Index. The SAI will replace the EFC starting with the 2024-25 FAFSA as the index used to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional need-based student financial aid. It is based on the information you and your family provide on the FAFSA.

SAR—The Student Aid Report is a document that gives you some basic information about your eligibility for federal student aid and lists your answers to the questions on your FAFSA. If you provide a valid email address on your FAFSA, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to access an online copy of your SAR. Otherwise you’ll receive either a SAR or a SAR Acknowledgement in the mail. Typically, you’ll be able to access your SAR within two weeks of filing your FAFSA.

Verification—When you complete the FAFSA, sometimes it is selected for a process called verification. In this process, the government asks you and your family to confirm the information that was put on the FAFSA. In order for your financial aid to be processed, additional worksheets may need to be completed and returned to our office. Learn more about verification