Understanding the Financial Aid Process
Baylor University is committed to using the Principles & Standards of the College Cost Transparency Initiative in its student financial aid offer.
To begin the financial aid offer 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 costs payable to Baylor (billable) or costs paid to others (non-billable).
- Costs Payable to Baylor: Baylor will bill students directly for costs such as tuition, fees, books from the Follett Access program, campus housing and meal plans. These costs are also known as billable costs.
- Costs Paid to Others: These costs are estimated and may vary depending on a student’s enrollment. These costs are also known as non-billable costs since they do not appear on a student's bill. These costs can include books, transportation, personal expenses and off-campus housing and meals.
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.
Most financial aid is based on demonstrated need, which is derived from the results of your CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The CSS Profile is used to determine eligibility for the university's need-based grant and scholarship programs. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for Federal and State financial aid. In both cases, a formula is used to determine demonstrated financial need for each application allowing us to put together a students financial aid offer that will consist of Federal, State and Baylor funds.
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 financial aid amounts 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 offer. Incoming students who are selected for verification or have unsatisfied requirements in BearWeb will receive an estimated financial aid offer. You will receive a revised financial aid offer if the estimated aid changes as a result of the verification process. Aid 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 offer notification carefully. You may accept or reject all or parts of your financial aid; however, if you decline aid, a substitute may not be available.
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.