How Scholarships Affect Financial Aid

Most scholarships are based on merit and academic achievement. However, they are still considered part of your financial aid package. Federal regulations require that the Financial Aid Office take into account all resources awarded to a student when determining the student’s eligibility for financial aid awards.

It is a federal financial aid policy not to award students in excess of their needs or overall cost of attendance (COA). Students who have received aid (including institutional, state, federal, and private sources) in excess of their need or COA will have any UTRGV institutional scholarship(s) reduced or canceled. In addition, the Scholarship and Enrollment Communications Office may substitute a scholarship if a more favorable funding source is identified.

In addition, federal and state requirements do not allow a student’s financial aid to exceed the Cost of Attendance (COA) and/or Financial Need. A student’s financial need is calculated as follows:

COA - Expected Family Contribution (EFC on FAFSA/TASFA) = Financial Need.

When a scholarship is received after financial aid is awarded, the Scholarship Office determines how the funds can be processed while adhering to financial aid guidelines and donor requirements. The scholarship office determines if the new scholarship can be awarded partially or fully to avoid being awarded above financial need. In some cases, a scholarship may cause the elimination or reduction of student loans.

Students awarded UTRGV Advantage or Texas Grant Tuition Differential, may see a reduction in either of these grants to comply with program requirements even if their total awards do not exceed financial need.


The cost of attendance (in-state tuition and living at home) for Jenny is $15,000 for the academic year. Her EFC is $1,780 leaving her with a Financial Need of 13,220. Resources (Financial aid and scholarships) cannot total more than $13,220.

$15,000(COA) - $1,780 (EFC) = $13,220 (Financial Need)

Award Summary
Award Amount
Pell Grant $5,550
Texas Grant $5,000
Subsidized Direct Loan $2,670
Total $13,220

Jenny receives two scholarships after financial aid has been awarded of $2,500 outside(non-UTRGV) scholarship from her high school choir and a $1,000 UTRGV Engineering Scholarship.

Jenny’s financial aid will be reduced by $3,500. Her loan will be canceled, and $830 will be returned to the donor of her outside scholarship according to financial aid guidelines.

Award Summary
Award Amount
Pell Grant $5,550
Texas Grant $5,000
Subsidized Direct Loan $0
Scholarships $2,670
Total $13,220

Her award total is the same but now she has no loan to repay.

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Scholarships and Enrollment Communication

ESSBL 3.104
Phone: (956) 665-2935

Visitors Center 1.113
Phone: (956) 882-4026