Student Financial Aid

Reasonable Academic Progress (RAP)


Cost of Attendance (Budget)

  • The student’s academic year cost of attendance budget is an estimate of the student’s average educational expenses for a 9-month school year (fall and spring semesters).
  • Allowable expenses in the student’s cost of attendance budget include tuition and mandatory fees and allowances for room and board (living and meal expenses), books, supplies, transportation, personal/miscellaneous expenses and loan fees, if applicable.
  • The cost of attendance budget for a student enrolled in a summer session(s) is adjusted to reflect expenses associated with that enrollment period.
  • The student’s cost of attendance budget is displayed on the student’s paper award letter and is also available on the Budget tab in the student’s financial aid information on the myUK portal.
  • A student’s budget may be adjusted for additional costs such as expenses associated with dependent care, study abroad, disability expenses and/or employment expenses for co-op study.
  • Personal expenses can only be adjusted if there is an extraordinary circumstance. Appropriate documentation is required for the above. Adjustments for discretionary consumer expenses are not allowed.
  • To request a budget adjustment, contact the student’s assigned financial aid counselor.

Expected Family Contribution

  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated using information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and represents the amount the family is expected to contribute toward the student’s educationally related expenses as represented in the student’s cost of attendance budget. Determination of the EFC is based on a federally mandated methodology/formula.
  • Students and/or parents who have experienced a significant change in family income and/or benefits since filing the FAFSA can request a recalculation of the EFC. Appropriate documentation of the change in income/benefits is required.
  • To request an EFC recalculation, contact the student’s assigned financial aid counselor.

Independent Status

The federal definition of an independent student is one who meets at least one of the following criteria: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse. 

  • Undergraduate students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and do not meet the federal definition of an independent student may appeal for independent status if the student can document other unusual circumstances that might warrant the treatment of the student as independent for purposes of establishing eligibility for federal and state need-based financial aid.
  • Circumstances that will not be considered unusual include a parent refusing to provide data, a parent who is able but unwilling to provide support, a student who does not want to ask parent for information, a student who is or has been “on their own” for several years, or a student who does not communicate with their parents. 
  • A student not being claimed on a parent’s tax return also does not warrant independent status. 
  • Unusual circumstances that might be considered for independent status include a documentable abusive or threatening situation with parents.
  • Contact your assigned financial aid counselor for further information and appeals procedures. 






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