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Determining Your Financial Need

Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) and the estimated student/spouse contribution (EFC).

Decisions regarding how much a student/spouse can be expected to contribute from their income and assets are based on the federal need analysis formula developed by the federal government and the University of Miami. 

  • Cost of Attendance (COA):  The cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, room and board costs, plus an additional allowance for books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses.
  • Estimated Family Contribution (EFC):  The student/spouse will be expected to contribute to the student’s education.  The FAFSA will determine the amount of the student/spouse and/or their family contribution.  The student’s/spouse’s financial circumstances are evaluated in a consistent and equitable manner, recognizing any special circumstances that alter a student’s/spouse’s ability to contribute towards the students education.
  • Financial Need:  The amount remaining when the EFC is subtracted from the COA.


    Cost of attendance – Student/spouse contribution = Financial need

    The graduate student’s need is met primarily through a combination of loans and work programs.  The University of Miami awards funds from various programs to meet the demonstrated need of a student if funds are available.  This process is called “financial aid packaging.”  Students are informed of their financial aid package in a financial aid award letter.



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