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What is the SAI (Student Aid Index)? 

The SAI is a measure of a student’s financial need. It is calculated using information the student (and contributors, if required) provides on the FAFSA form. The SAI will be the new index that determines how much federal student aid the student may receive.

What is the difference between the SAI and EFC? 

Starting in 2024-25 the SAI is replacing the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Previously, the lowest value of an EFC was 0. The SAI will now go as low as -1,500.

Eligibility Formula

Starting in 2024-25 there will be changes to the formula that calculates a student’s SAI (Student Aid Index) which determines eligibility for federal student aid. The key changes are:

  • Family size will be based on the number of dependents on the tax return. Contributors will have the option to update this information if it has changed since the reported tax year.
  • The FAFSA will still ask how many people in your household are in college, but the number in college will no longer factor into the calculation of the SAI.
  • Child support will now be reported as an asset by the parent who receives it. Prior to 2024-25 it was reported by the parent who paid it.
  • The net worth of all businesses and farms, regardless of the size or number of employees, must now be reported. This will include the value of a family farm (family’s primary residence is still excluded), the fair market value of land, buildings, livestock, unharvested crops, and machinery actively used in investment farms or agricultural or commercial activities, minus any debts help against those assets. 
  • For dependent students, education savings accounts will only be counted as parental assets if the account is designated for the student. Accounts for other children will no longer be included.


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Northeast State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. For questions or concerns, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer.