Everyone wants to minimize their out-of-pocket costs for college as much as possible. Getting familiar with the aid process is a fundamental step, helping students and families stay ahead of deadlines and understand all of the options for which they may be eligible.

of LaGrange students receive financial aid

Applying for aid vs. applying for admission

Applying for admission to LaGrange College is a separate process from applying for aid. That’s the basic thing to understand. LaGrange College can’t prepare an aid package for a student until they have been accepted for admission. For this reason, we encourage students to apply for admission as early as possible, thereby maximizing the options for aid. The later an applicant applies for admission, the fewer aid options will be available, as scholarship and grant deadlines may have passed.

Even with our encouragement to apply for admission as early as possible, if a student is applying for admission after October 1, then they can move forward with filing their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA opens each year on October 1 and must be complete for LaGrange to prepare a financial aid package. It can take some time to complete, so start early.

Students and families completing the FAFSA will need to have the LaGrange College Federal School Code at the ready. The LaGrange College Federal School Code is 001578.



How the FAFSA works and changes for 2024–25

Prior to the 2023–24 cycle, once the FAFSA was completed a student received an Expected Family Contribution number, commonly referred to as the EFC. The EFC was calculated by looking at a student’s unique financial circumstances and how those circumstances compared to others applying for aid. Students and families received their EFC on their Student Aid Report (SAR). The EFC was then subtracted from the cost of attending a certain college (LaGrange, for instance).    

With the FAFSA Simplification Act now in effect, there have been changes to the process and the language. A key change on the 2024-25 FAFSA is a shorter application, potentially decreasing the number of questions from roughly 100 to around 40. A new term is being introduced – the Student Aid Index (SAI) – which will replace the former term of EFC. Students and families should still expect to receive their SAI on their Student Aid Report and for its usage to continue as a part of the equation to calculate the cost of attending a particular school.

Yellow Quotes

Because of my scholarship, I knew I was meant to be at LaGrange.

MAJOR : Exercise Science

Presidential Learning and Living Scholarship Recipient


Your financial aid award

Once a student has been accepted for admission and submitted all documentation necessary to determine financial aid eligibility, a financial aid award package is constructed. The amount and type of financial aid for which the student qualifies, in most cases, is determined by the results of their FAFSA and their SAI.

The SAI is deducted from the Cost of Attendance to determine the student’s demonstrated financial need. The Financial Aid Office attempts to meet as much of a student’s financial need and direct costs (tuition, books, and room and board, if residing on campus) with a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and student employment programs. In constructing a financial aid award, full-time enrollment is assumed.

$26 Million

Total amount of financial aid awarded annually by LaGrange College

When constructing a financial aid award package, the Financial Aid Office evaluates eligibility for individual federal, state and institutional programs. Eligibility for grants and scholarships is considered before loans and student employment programs are offered. Some financial aid programs have limited funding; therefore, these programs are awarded to students with the greatest need on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds are depleted. This is why starting the process as early as possible is so important.

After your financial aid package is completed, you will receive an email notification that your financial aid award is available. The notification will include instructions on accessing your award on our secure website, MyLC. If an email address is not available or the student opted-out of electronic communication, the award letter will be mailed in duplicate to the student’s permanent mailing address. A link to Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter, which contains information on maintaining financial aid eligibility and individual program requirements is included and should be read before accepting the financial aid award. After reviewing the financial aid award, the student will have an opportunity to accept, decline or reduce each financial aid program included in the award.

Awards from outside sources

When determining eligibility for need-based financial aid programs, private scholarships and grants must be considered. If the student expects to receive scholarship assistance from a source other than LaGrange College, it must be reported to the Financial Aid Office. Adjustments to the student’s financial aid award may be necessary according to their financial need and program guidelines. Typically, need-based loan assistance is reduced first, if necessary.

FAFSA aid vs. other types of aid

The SAI determined by the FAFSA is only one aspect of aid for which a student may be eligible. Scholarships, grants and loans are additional types of aid that should be explored. There are different application requirements for each type of aid, as well as different stipulations. Aid determined through the FAFSA process, like grants, are based upon financial need and do not involve repayment. Ever. There are scholarships based upon merit or other student characteristics (not need) that do not involve repayment. Loans of all kinds do require repayment and should be assessed very carefully.    


Ask us anything

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the general process of financial aid applications and awarding, you probably have questions brewing. Contact us. The LaGrange College Office of Financial Aid wants to help you and your family navigate this process.