What is Financial Aid?

Any form of financial assistance you receive to help you pay for your education is considered financial aid and we are here to guide you through the process!

Admitted students will receive a comprehensive financial aid package that explains each student's financial aid and any scholarships received. We encourage you to have a financial planning conversation with our admissions counselors or financial aid team during the college search process to prepare for financing your education.

Video answers are available for a variety of financial aid questions and processes. 


Types of Financial Aid

Grants: A grant is a gift. It does not have to be repaid and it is based on the student's financial need.

Loans: Loans are funds borrowed by the student and/or parent. In most cases, loans must be repaid with an interest charge and have a time limit for repayment.

Scholarships: An academic scholarship is an achievement award based on your academic record. These are awarded automatically for first-year and transfer students. There are also several scholarships that you can apply for if you are an incoming first-year student. 

Work-Study: Work-Study  is an on or off-campus job , for students with financial need and are often as part of a financial aid package. The program encourages students to work within community service areas and/or those related to your program of study.  Learn more about student employment opportunities.

Financial Aid Terms Explained

Academic Year (AY): Your financial aid is awarded for one academic year (fall-spring) and may or may not include a summer semester. 

Award Letter: A letter from Duquesne that lists all eligible academic, need-based and other non-need based financial aid offered to a student. 

Contributor: A parent, step-parent, student, or spouse of the student who is providing information to the FAFSA. Learn more about contributors.

Consent: Required from all contributors in order for the IRS to share tax data directly to the FAFSA. If any contributor does not provide consent, the student will automatically be ineligible for aid. 

Cost of Attendance (COA):  Sometimes referred to as your Budget. The COA includes tuition and fees, food and housing, books and supplies (including course materials and equipment), miscellaneous expenses, and transportation.  

CSS Profile: Used to determine eligibility for need-based institutional financial aid and allows families to provide a more complete picture of their financial circumstances than the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may provide alone. The CSS Profile is optional, but recommended. 

Direct Data Exchange (DDX): Previously known as IRS Data Retrieval; this tool imports tax data directly from the IRS to your FAFSA. 

FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): A summary of your completed FAFSA information. This replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) that was used in previous years (2023-2024 and prior). 

FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students need to submit this form each year to receive federal financial aid. Learn more about applying for financial aid.

Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID):  Your username and password for access to the Federal Student Aid online systems.  The FSA ID will serve as your legal signature for your FAFSA and/or loan documents. Learn more about creating your FSA ID.

Student Aid Index (SAI): A calculation of how much financial aid may be awarded to meet the student’s calculated need. The SAI replaced the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as part of the FAFSA's expanded eligibility for federal student aid and more streamlined application process. Use this Federal Aid Estimator for an estimated SAI.

Catholic High School Student Scholarship: This is a discount for a percentage of basic tuition costs for high school graduates from participating Duquesne or Catholic-affiliated institutions.

Entrance and Exit Counseling: Student loan recipients must complete entrance and exit counseling at the beginning and end of their college career. The online process consists of a series of questions and answers that explain the responsibilities and consequences of loan repayment and default. Failure to complete these requirements can result in a hold on loan disbursements and student records. 

Verification: The process whereby schools are required to gather certain tax data from the family in order to confirm that the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate.  Students are selected at random by the US Department of Education – do not assume that you did anything wrong. Complete the verification forms and learn more about the process.

Your Next Steps

Apply for Financial Aid

Follow our guide to creating your CSS Profile, Federal Student Aid ID and submitting your FAFSA.

Apply for Scholarships

Review the scholarship ranges for academic scholarships and learn more about applying for additional scholarships.

Plan for Success

A Duquesne University education is within your reach! Use these resources and tools to plan for your investment in your future.

Contact Financial Aid

Our team is here to help you!

Office of Financial Aid

Call, email or click the link to review frequently asked questions and to schedule a virtual appointment.