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Scholarship Need Analysis


To provide consistent procedures for awarding need-based scholarships.

Applies to: 

The policy applies to schools, departments, and administrative offices that award scholarships.

Policy Statement: 

Scholarship Need Analysis Methodology

Institutional Methodology

The primary institutional need analysis methodology for University of Kansas scholarships that have a financial need component is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To ensure equity and consistency in determining eligibility for need-based awards, students applying for need-based awards must file a FAFSA.  This application utilizes a formula for determining a family’s expected contribution (EFC) to the student’s education. The student's EFC is subtracted from KU's Cost of Attendance to determine financial need. 

Any financial aid a student receives, may reduce financial need and impact eligibility for additional need-based aid. Students must complete the FAFSA each year to be considered for need-based awards. International students or undocumented students who are unable to complete the FAFSA, may complete KU's Institutional Student Need Analysis Worksheet. Financial Aid and Scholarships provides FAFSA need analysis on individual students to scholarship-awarding units on request.  

Awarding Unit Alternative Methodology

For awarding units that choose to offer a secondary need analysis methodology for merit plus need scholarships with restrictive criteria, Deans may utilize the following alternative method:

1.       All scholarship candidates should complete the FAFSA annually.

2.       Need based scholarship fund should be awarded to qualified candidates based on the following criteria, in descending order:

·        Students with unmet need based on FAFSA guidelines.

·        Students who show original unmet need based on FAFSA guidelines, but the unmet need is met through other sources.

·        Each scholarship-awarding unit should develop a standard process for demonstrating this need.  This documentation may be a letter explaining why the FAFSA does not accurately describe the student’s financial status.

·        Students who are below the Cost of Attendance in awarded scholarships.

3.       Institutional scholarships, combined with other federal, state and/or institutional aid, should not exceed the published Cost of Attendance.

4.       Units that utilize the Alternative Methodology must clearly document and communicate their need analysis methodology to students and other constituents.

5.       Units choosing to apply the Awarding Unit Alternative Methodology must email the Financial Aid and Scholarships, indicating their intent to apply the Alternative Methodology.  In the email, include the specific SAKU Scholarship Fund Item Type(s) to which the Alternative Methodology will apply.


Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
1502 Building
1502 Iowa Street
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Associate Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships
Approved on: 
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Effective on: 
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Need-based, scholarships, need analysis
Change History: 

03/09/2023: Updated contact section.
12/12/2022: Reviewed; no updates.
11/15/2021: Reviewed; no updates.
12/09/2020: Reviewed policy; Updated criteria; Added Edwards Campus; and replaced University Scholarship Council with Associate Director FA&S as approver.
10/15/2019: Updated. 
09/24/2018: Updated Contact section.
09/10/2013: Modified.
08/07/2012: Modified.
10/27/2008: Modified.
09/16/2008: Proposed.

Financial Categories: 
Student Financial Aid

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