Financial Aid 101

Understanding Grants, Scholarships, Loans and Other Financial Aid Terms

In discussing the world of financial aid it might seem like people are speaking in a different language. Here are some definitions that may help.

Application for Financial Aid : This is a paper application form. This application is required for students who will attend on a part-time basis. It is required for graduate students (excluding law students), and undergraduate students in the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement.

Award Letter: A letter from Duquesne that lists all eligible academic and need-based financial aid that is being offered to a student.

Catholic high school discount: These refund a percentage of basic tuition costs for high school graduates from participating Duquesne or Catholic affiliated institutions.

Entrance and Exit Interviews: Student loan recipients must complete entrance and exit interviews once at the beginning and end of their college career respectively.  These online interviews consist of a series of questions and answers that explain the responsibilities and consequences of loan repayment and default.  Failure to complete these requirements can result in a hold on loan disbursements and/or student records.

Expected Family Contribution: The number that's used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid.  This number results from the financial information you provided in your FAFSA application.  Your EFC is reported to you on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the first step in applying for financial aid and must be submitted each academic year.

Financial Aid - Covers any forms of financial assistance you receive to help you pay for your education. These include:

  • Grants: A grant is a gift. It does not have to be repaid and it is based on the student's financial need.
  • Loans: Loans are funds borrowed by the student and/or parent. In most cases, loans must be repaid with an interest charge and have a time limit for repayment.
  • Scholarships: An academic scholarship is an achievement award – based on your academic record – which is awarded once by the Admissions Office during the admissions process.
  • Work Study: Work Study is an on-campus job approved by Financial Aid and Human Resources, often as part of a financial aid package.

Non-Work Study Jobs: These jobs do not have to be approved by FAFSA or Financial Aid but will help to pay expenses.

Student Aid Report: The Student Aid Report, or SAR, is generated from the information you submit on your FAFSA. A copy is sent to you and to the colleges that you request through your FAFSA.  It will also contain your Expected Family Contribution, which is the number that's used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.

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Visit for detailed information and current federal government guidelines.

The Basic Process to Apply for Undergraduate Aid at Duquesne

  • When you apply for admission to Duquesne  you will automatically be considered for financial aid if you complete the FAFSA. Your financial situation will be evaluated and you will be considered for any aid that you qualify for.
  • Any academic-based and need-based aid that you qualify for and would receive will be outlined in your award letter.
  • You do not need to apply separately  for any other individual grants, scholarships or loans that are administered by Duquesne.
  • Parents or students may need to apply for personal loans with outside lending institutions or banks to bridge the gap between the financial aid package and the cost of education.
Learn more about the application process.