Financial Need is the difference between the cost of attendance and the student’s expected family contribution.
At SUU the University's best indicator of whether or not a student has unmet financial need is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) index reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As a general rule, "the lower a student's EFC, the higher the student's federal student aid eligibility" (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/).
If a student is eligible to receive a Pell Grant, they will likely meet the definition of low-income for many need-based financial assistance programs offered by some departments at SUU.
SPECIAL NOTE: Perhaps the EFC, as reported by your FAFSA, made you ineligible for a Pell Grant. You should know that if there are significant extenuating circumstances that impact you or your family financially, you may be able to amend your FAFSA to account for the change in circumstance. Such circumstances as unemployment, significant medical expenses, or disability may alter your EFC and change your eligibility status. If you think this describes your current situation, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 435-586-7735 and speak with a Financial Aid Counselor.
Find this article in Spanish here: ¿Qué es Necesidad Financiera?