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College Budgets & Borrowing
When finalizing your financial aid, it's important to borrow responsibly. Research all your options and make an informed decision. Learn more.


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Student Aid Index

SAI stands for Student Aid Index. Your SAI is based on the information you provide on the FAFSA about your family income and assets, and family size. Colleges subtract your SAI from the cost of attendance to decide how much financial aid you can receive.

This chart shows how three colleges might assess a student's financial need.

  College A College B College C
Cost of Attendance (COA) $50,000 $27,000 $18,000
– Student Aid Index (SAI) $18,000 $18,000 $18,000
= Financial Need $32,000 $9,000 $0


To estimate your SAI prior to filing the FAFSA, visit

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