Understanding the Award Process
To begin the award process, we create an annual cost of attendance (COA), which is also referred to as a budget. The COA represents a realistic estimate of the costs associated with attending Baylor University. The COA components are considered either billable or indirect costs.
- Billable costs: Baylor will bill students directly for costs such as, tuition, fees and on-campus housing and meal plans. These billable costs are also sometimes referred to as direct costs. A student’s annual cost of attendance will reflect these direct costs along with average indirect costs (those not directly billed by Baylor) such as books, transportation, personal expenses and off-campus housing and meals. These costs are estimated and may vary depending on a student’s enrollment.
- Indirect costs are items that are not billed by Baylor but are estimated expenses related to attending college. These include items such as books, supplies, transportation and personal/miscellaneous costs.
The COA varies depending on your enrollment status (full-time, three quarter-time or half-time) and where you plan to reside (on/off campus or with parents). Unless indicated otherwise, we have awarded your aid based on full-time enrollment. You can request an increase to your COA by submitting an adjustment request form available online at forms.
Costs of Attendance (COA)
Most financial aid awards are based on demonstrated need, which is derived from the results of your CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Baylor uses the CSS Profile to determine demonstrated financial need for the university's need-based grant and scholarship programs. The FAFSA uses a complex formula, known as federal methodology, to produce an expected family contribution (EFC). The COA minus EFC equals your financial need.
We use need and merit (admission criteria) to provide a variety of financial aid programs to help meet the annual cost of attending Baylor. Actual awards vary according to your need and academic achievement.
As a reminder, receipt of additional funding (e.g. Veteran Affairs benefits, outside scholarships, increase in academic scholarships etc.) may require adjustments to your financial aid award package. Incoming students who are selected for verification will receive estimated financial aid awards. You will receive a revised award notification if the estimated awards change as a result of the verification process. Awards will not apply toward your semester charges until the verification process is complete.
You can learn more about our financial aid programs under the Types of Aid tab. Also, read your financial aid award notification carefully. You may accept or reject all or parts of your awards; however, if you decline an award, a substitute may not be available.
You may accept or reject your aid in BearWeb
Academic Year Definition
At Baylor, a Standard Academic Year (SAY) and a Borrower Based Academic Year (BBAY) are used based on the type of student and/or program of enrollment.
A Standard Academic Year (SAY) is a fixed period that generally begins and ends at the same time each calendar year. Baylor uses a SAY for our undergraduate and traditional graduate students with the standard academic year beginning in the fall semester through the end of the spring semester. Students are typically packaged for financial aid for fall and spring terms at the same time, with aid disbursing for the intended term within 10 business days prior to the start of the term in most cases. If graduating in December, the student will be packaged for fall only. For students attending summer, summer is designated as a trailer, which means that it would be added to the end of the SAY. If you enroll in summer, the financial aid office will automatically calculate eligibility for summer aid and notify students through BearWeb of any eligible aid.
With some of our graduate programs, such as our online graduate programs, Baylor uses a Borrower Based Academic Year (BBAY). Beginning and ending dates for a BBAY depend on the period of enrollment and progress. Using a BBAY allows the academic year to begin at any point the student enrolls, and to end when the student completes the calendar period associated with the BBAY.
Special note on loan resources: Annual limits associated with federal Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS Loans, will be based on the SAY or the BBAY used for the student population and/or program.