Need Analysis: 2024-25

2024-25 Need Analysis Self-Study Guide

This self-study guide reviews the calculation of the student aid index (SAI) and includes a discussion of the SAI formulas and determining Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Bonus material: Included with this guide is an optional lesson on institutional methodology, developed in collaboration with the College Board. Completion of this self-study guide qualifies individuals to take the corresponding NASFAA Professional Credential test.



Published February 2024

Learning Objectives

Lesson 1: Introduction to Need Analysis 

  • Understand what is need analysis;
  • Know a brief history and the evolution of need analysis; and
  • Understand the underlying principles of need analysis.

Lesson 2: The Student Aid Index Formulas  

  • Recognize the three formulas used to calculate SAI ;
  • Identify the formula which should be used to calculate a student’s SAI; and
  • Learn the steps used to calculate the SAI using the applicable formula.

Lesson 3: SAI and Pell Grant Eligibility

  • Recognize the differences between the SAI formulas and the maximum and minimum SAI calculations;
  • Be able to identify students whose SAI qualifies them for a maximum or minimum Pell Grant;
  • Understand the eligibility criteria for an Automatic Pell SAI ; and
  • Understand the eligibility criteria for the minimum Pell SAI.

Lesson 4: Institutional Methodology  

  • Identify the principles of IM and why schools use it;
  • Understand the various IM data elements and hose schools might use them; and
  • Recognize the differences between FM and IM calculations.
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