Needs Assessment

Federal Methodology

Financial need is determined by evaluating the student’s ability to pay for the cost of education. The process of determining your eligibility for financial aid, commonly referred to as “need analysis,” has been established by federal legislation with reliance on information contained in the FAFSA. If the need analysis shows that the cost of education exceeds the amount you and your family can contribute, you will qualify for need-based loans.

Institutional Methodology

At the UCLA School of Dentistry, as with other dental schools, students who wish to be considered for most need-based loans and all grants are considered “dependent” and are required to provide parental information. The UCLA School of Dentistry uses the FAFSA application to access parental information as well as other supplemental forms for this analysis. In calculating the parental contribution, the parents’ total income and assets are taken into account. Additionally, the amount of taxes paid by your parents, their ages, their need for retirement income, the number of children and other dependents in the family, and the number of family members in college will be considered.

Need Analysis Formula

(Cost of Education) – (Expected Family Contribution) = Financial Aid Eligibility

Cost of Education

The School of Dentistry Financial Aid Office uses a standardized set of budgets to determine the cost of education. The budgets vary based on your living arrangements while in school (i.e., living with family vs. living off-campus). In addition to room and board, each budget also includes registration fees, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.

Please note: The amount of financial aid that students receive cannot exceed the cost of education according to guidelines and regulations established by the federal government and administered through the central UCLA Financial Aid Office.

Budgets do not include items such as consumer (credit card) debts or car loans, so we recommend that you reduce these obligations before entering school. Because these items are not considered budget items under federal regulation, they cannot be included in your cost-of-education budget.

Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. The parental contribution is calculated for dependent students only, based on parents’ FAFSA information. The student contribution is calculated for dependent and independent students by analyzing the income and asset information of the student (and spouse if applicable). The EFC figure is not an actual amount that you have to pay, but it is an approximation of how much you should reasonably be able to contribute toward your educational expenses.  Students often fund EFC amounts with non-need based aid such as the unsubsidized Direct Loan and/or Direct Grad PLUS Loan.

One very useful way of estimating your EFC can be found online. Sallie Mae, a loan servicer, can help you estimate what your expected contribution might be.