Key Terms

COA: Cost of Attendance

The COA is the sum calculated by Vermont Tech for one year of attendance. It includes tuition and fees payable to the institution, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, and transportation.

EFC: Expected Family Contribution

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of how much money you and your family will be expected to contribute toward your educational expenses for one academic year. Your EFC is calculated once you have submitted the FAFSA.

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

This is a free federal form that students must file in order to qualify for federal funds, state grants, and college need-based financial aid. It must be filed each year beginning in the spring of a student’s senior year of high school. The information provided on the FAFSA is used to calculate a student’s EFC.

SAR: Student Aid Report

The SAR outlines the details of your EFC. It is processed and sent to you after you file your FAFSA. Copies of the SAR are also sent to your state’s grant agency and the colleges you list on your FAFSA.

VSAC: Vermont Student Assistance Corporation

VSAC is an organization that offers excellent grant and loan programs, information on paying for college, and help with college and career selection. VSAC is known for its personalized customer service. Applications are available in the Vermont Tech financial aid office or online at

Demonstrated Financial Need

A student’s demonstrated financial need is calculated using this formula: COA - EFC = Demonstrated Financial Need

This reflects the amount of your total cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution. You must demonstrate financial need in order to be eligible for need-based financial assistance programs.


Unlike loans, grants provide money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back. They can come from Vermont Tech, the state or federal government, and private sources. Grant eligibility is typically determined by looking at your FAFSA results.


If scholarships, grants, and your personal finances don’t cover the entire cost of tuition, you may want to take out a student loan to cover the difference. Federal student loan rates and terms are generally more flexible than those of private loans, and you won’t have to start payments until you’re done with college.

Merit-Based Financial Aid

This is financial aid based on your academic credentials, such as your SAT or ACT scores and your grade point average.

Need-Based Financial Aid

Need-based aid takes into account your financial need, which is the difference between the cost of a Vermont Tech education and your EFC.

Room and Board

This is the cost of food and housing on campus.


Scholarships are primarily awarded for academic merit (good grades) or for something you have accomplished (volunteer work or a specific project). Need-based scholarships also exist. Like grants, scholarships don’t have to be repaid.


Simply put, tuition is the base price of your education. It does not include room and board, textbooks, and other fees. Tuition rates may vary by program at Vermont Tech.


The Federal Work-Study program provides a part-time job to eligible students to help finance the costs of their education. Students are paid by check every other week for the time they work.