Understanding Your Award

Financial Aid

Financial assistance is based on the information provided by students and families, and is distributed as fairly as possible. Students must apply for financial aid every year. If family circumstances remain stable, the need-based portion of the financial aid package should remain relatively consistent from year to year. Significant income changes and/or a change in household size or the number of students in college can have a major impact on eligibility.

If students move off campus, their average costs are lower, and that adjustment is reflected in a reduced award. Off-campus room and board costs can vary greatly. Salve Regina uses an average off-campus budget, which is approximately $3,500 lower than the on-campus budget.

It is important to remember that regulatory changes and the availability of federal and state funds may vary from year to year and may impact the amount of aid we are able to award. Eligibility for federal funds is determined from the information provided each year on the FAFSA.

Special Circumstances

  • If your family’s income or situation changes considerably from one year to the next due to extreme circumstances such as the death of a parent, unemployment, retirement or significant out-of-pocket medical expenses, please contact our office for guidance.
  • To apply for funding as an independent student, you must meet one of the qualifications listed on the FAFSA. Self-supporting students do not qualify as independent without meeting one of the established criteria.
  • If you were a citizen of another country but now have status as an immigrant or permanent resident, you are eligible to apply for financial aid.
  • Divorced or separated parents should submit information from the custodial parent (the one with whom the student lives the majority of time). If you spend an equal amount of time with each parent, documentation must come from the parent who provided the majority of financial support for the past year. By law, stepparent income must be included in the household income of the custodial parent.
  • Requests for reconsideration of aid must be made in writing to the director of financial aid. Files must be complete before a reevaluation of assistance will be considered.


Eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined by federal Department of Education regulations and University policies governing financial aid programs. Using the information you provide, we calculate the amount of resources you and your family are expected to contribute toward your educational costs. These resources, known as the expected family contribution, are subtracted from a standard budget of expected educational expenses, or cost of attendance.

The difference between the expected family contribution and the cost of attendance is your maximum eligibility for need-based assistance. While we are unable to award to full calculated need, we do offer a wide range of financing options to assist families.

To remain eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid, you must meet the minimum requirements of satisfactory academic progress.

Full Time Attendance

Most financial aid funded by Salve Regina requires full time attendance. Some government programs require only part-time attendance, although amounts are prorated. Acceptance to a program is required for both University aid and government programs.

The definitions for enrollment status are as follows:

  • Full time: 12 or more credits in a semester
  • Three quarter time: 9-11 credits in a semester
  • Half time: 6-8 credits in a semester
  • Less than half time: Fewer than 6 credits in a semester

Merit-Based Aid

Students receiving merit-based scholarships are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and must be enrolled full time. Merit-based aid is based on residency status at the time of admission. If your status changes from resident to commuter, your amount of merit-based aid will decrease. On average, the decrease is $3,500 for the academic year based on the lower cost of attendance.