Unmet need is the calculation of cost of attendance minus expected family contribution less any need-based aid received such as gift aid, work-study or subsidized loans.  


Many colleges may not be able to meet 100% of the unmet need for all their enrolled students.  Sometimes this is referred to a fiancial aif gap.  Some of these college do it to most students because they do not have enough institional aid whereas oterhs may financial aid gap admitted students who are ranked at the middle to bottom of the class.