Eligibility for University and Federal Aid Programs

Eligibility criteria for Federal financial aid are determined by the US Department of Education. Click here for a detailed list of criteria required to qualify for Federal financial aid.

In order to establish eligibility for Title IV programs, such as Federal Pell Grant, Federal College Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal (subsidized and unsubsidized) Direct Loans, a student must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at Gallaudet. The student must also meet the requirement of U.S. citizenship.

In order to receive assistance from these programs, the student must:

  • Be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree in their program of study
  • Not be in default on a Federal Direct loan
  • Not owe a repayment on a Federal grant or loan
  • Must not have met lifetime limits for the Pell Grant or Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized loans
Eligibility for University and Federal Aid Programs
Pell x   x   x x x   x x  
FSEOG x   x   x x x   x x  
FWS x x x   x x x        
Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans  x x x   x x   x   x  
Parent PLUS x   x   x x   x   x  
Grad PLUS   x x   x x   x   x  
Grant-In-Aid x x x   x       x x  
Scholarships x x x x x       x x  
UG Undergraduate Student P/T Less than 6 credit hrs
GRD Graduate Student (Master’s/Ph.D.) REPAY Aid is a loan and must be repaid
U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen GIFT Aid does NOT require repayment
INT’L International student DEG Must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program
F/T Full-time student (12 hrs. UG, 9 hrs. Grd) SPEC Not degree-seeking, or non-degree credits – not eligible for any financial aid
H/T At least 6 cr. hrs    

Most of Gallaudet’s financial aid programs require that you demonstrate “financial need.” Financial need is the difference between the estimated cost to attend Gallaudet for an academic year and the amount that a student and their parents together are expected to contribute from their resources (the result of your FAFSA application). Following is an example of how it works:

Total educational costs $24,000
Parents’ contribution -$8,000
Student’s contribution -$1,000
Financial need =$15,000

The financial need amount is the total that a student is permitted to receive in financial aid from all sources. It is assumed that parents who are responsible for their children’s college expenses will pay as much of the costs as they possibly can. Regular family income and assets are the basis for determining your eligibility for financial aid. Consideration is made for family size, the age of parents, and the marital status of parents. The Financial Aid Office makes every effort to see that the majority of an undergraduate student’s financial need is satisfied by grants and scholarship support, including those from sources such as VR, state grants, and private scholarships. More or less may be awarded depending on the availability of funds, enrollment records, and the date applications are received. Financial aid is applied towards disbursed to student accounts and applied to direct costs. Remaining need and indirect costs, if any, may be met through loans and/or work study programs.

Your Financial Aid Costs

The purpose of financial aid is to assist in covering your Educational Costs. These costs include tuition, fees, room, board, transportation, and an average allowance for personal expenses. Financial aid is NOT intended to meet all of your living costs, and students must be prepared to meet their own non-educational living needs when they attend. The average financial aid cost of attendance* for 2024-2025 is $40,730 for Undergraduate students and $45,106 for Graduate students. Your financial aid from ALL sources cannot exceed this amount.

*Cost of Attendance includes expected costs (and allowances) above those charged by the Institution for tuition, fees, housing, and meals. These figures do not represent amounts billed to students by the institution. For more information on direct charges, See Tuition and Fees.

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) figure represents the expenses associated with student attendance for one or two semesters at Gallaudet University and usually is a nine-month figure. The COA is not the same as Gallaudet direct charges for tuition, fees, housing, and/or meals. COA figures do include these direct charges, but also include estimated expenses for transportation, books and supplies, and personal (medical, dental, recreational) expenses. Financial aid must consider all educationally -related expenses in determining financial aid types and amounts. Students/Parents should not confuse Cost of Attendance, or student expense budget, with the amount required to cover tuition, fees and living expenses on campus (which is less).

Student Aid Index

Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that is used to determine how much federal student aid the student would receive if they attend Gallaudet. This number results from the information provided on FAFSA. 

To calculate an SAI, the financial aid office conducts a need-based analysis. The Analysis considers your income and assets and those of your parents or spouse, if applicable. The analysis formula considers both taxed and untaxed income, as well as any assets and benefits received, such as unemployment or Social Security.

Financial need is determined by using the COA (see section above) minus the SAI. Financial aid will not be awarded beyond the financial need amount. If aid is received in excess of the financial need figure, reductions/cancellations will be made by the Financial Aid Office. For information, refer Financial Aid Awards.

Students/Parents who need additional assistance may apply for Unsubsidized or PLUS Loans (if otherwise eligible).

Special Circumstances

Special circumstances are financial situations that support a change to the Cost of Attendance (COA) or Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation. Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in employment status, income, or assets
  • Change in where the student is living
  • Tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school
  • Medical, dental or nursing home expenses not covered by insurance
  • Child or dependent care expenses
  • Severe disability of student or other member of student’s household
  • Additional family members enrolled in college
  • Other changes or adjustments that impact the student’s costs or ability to pay for college

If you have a special circumstance, please contact the Financial Aid Office and complete the Cost of Attendance Appeal form.

Unusual Circumstances

Unusual circumstances are conditions that support a change to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation. Examples of unusual circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Human trafficking
  • Legally granted refugee/asylum status
  • Parental abandonment, estrangement, or parental incarceration
  • Homelessness or at-risk of homelessness

Please note that unusual circumstances do not include:

  • Parents refusal to contribute to student’s education
  • Parents refusal to provide information for the FAFSA or verification
  • Parents do not claim the student for income tax purposes, or that the student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

If your parents refuse to provide their financial information on the FAFSA, your FAFSA will be considered “rejected”. Although rejected, you may still be eligible for a Direct Unsubsidized loan. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Request for Financial Aid Appeal:

If you or your family has experienced an unusual circumstance, you may request a re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility by contacting the Financial Aid Office and completing the Financial Aid Appeal form.

Dependency Override:

For financial aid purposes, a student is considered a dependent of their parents unless the student is:

  • 24 years old before January 1
  • married
  • serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces
  • a veteran with an honorable discharge status from the U.S. Armed Forces
  • a parent with dependents or other people (excluding a spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you
  • an emancipated minor
  • assigned a legal guardian before the age of 18

Students who have indicated on the FAFSA that they are unaccompanied, homeless, at-risk of being homeless or indicate that they have unusual circumstances preventing them from contacting their parents will be considered provisionally independent. Students will then be asked to complete the Financial Aid Appeal Form with supporting documentation so the Financial Aid Office can determine if the student has met the requirements of an independent student status.

Verification of FAFSA Information

The Federal (FAFSA) Processor may select your application for “Verification”, which is indicated on your FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) by an asterisk ( * ) beside the Student Aid Index (SAI) number. Verification selection means that information/documents supporting the FAFSA entries must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office for review. The Financial Aid Office also may select applications for verification if there is some indication that information was omitted or entered incorrectly. All students selected for verification will be notified that information must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

For additional information and assistance through the process of satisfying Verification requirements, please refer to our FAFSA Verification page. Financial aid awards will not be determined until all verification documents are received and processed. Applicants are required to provide these documents within 30 days from the verification notification date. Students that choose NOT to complete FAFSA verification requirements may opt to borrow Direct unsubsidized loans only, up to the maximum annual limit. Note that the maximum annual limit in Direct Unsubsidized loan is insufficient to finance the sum of basic direct costs, such as tuition and fees.

Students must be alert to the fact that during the semester these notifications will be sent via email and/or their Workday account, NOT to parents at home. For this reason, Gallaudet email and your Workday account should be checked on a regular basis.

Contact Us

Financial Aid

SLCC One Stop Center

(202) 618-6844

(202) 651-5290

(202) 651-5740

8:30 am-4:30 pm
8:30 am-4:30 pm
8:30 am-4:30 pm
8:30 am-4:30 pm
8:30 am-4:30 pm

Select what best describes your relationship to Gallaudet University so we can effectively route your email.
By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.