Calculating Eligibility

Your eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined by the following federal formula:

Cost of Attendance (COA)
- minus Student Aid Index (SAI)
- minus other financial assistance
= equals the maximum amount you can receive in need-based financial aid.

This forumla is calculated using these amounts:

  • COA: your Cost of Attendance
    COA is the estimated cost to attend SDSU during the 9-month academic year. These standard expenses reflect a modest, adequate living allowance. 
  • SAI: your Student Aid Index

    The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number used to determine how much federal student aid you are eligible to receive. This number results from the information that you provide on your FAFSA form. This number is not a dollar amount of aid eligibility or what your family is expected to provide. The SAI can be a negative number.

  • Other financial assistance you may receive, such as private scholarships.