Skip to content ↓

What does it mean if my Student Aid Index is negative?

Students with a negative or 0 SAI are eligible for the maximum Federal Pell Grant. The difference is that a negative SAI indicates that a student has a higher need than a student with 0 SAI. This information can be used to prioritize how other grants with limited funding are distributed to students. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is an example of where a negative SAI may be considered. However, schools cannot award more financial aid than the total cost of attendance, so a negative SAI does not increase the amount of aid that students receive.

You can get a sense of how much federal student aid you may be eligible for, with the Federal Student Aid Estimator. It takes about 10 minutes, and you can do this before filling out the FAFSA.

Did you find this article helpful?

FAFSA Simplification FAQs

See all FAFSA Simplification questions