Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Although financial aid is
available, the primary responsibility for meeting college costs lies with
students and their parents. It is important for you to be involved in completing
forms (like the FAFSA) and to understand the evaluation of what it will cost to attend college.
As you research financial aid
options, you are going to hear the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
The EFC is a calculated estimate of how much
you and your parents can contribute toward college costs. The result is based on
data such as income and assets, family size, and the number of family members
At each college you apply to, the
financial aid advisor will subtract your EFC from that school's cost of
attendance. The difference will be your eligibility for various types of aid at
that college, also known as your "need." Typically, your EFC will be the same at
each college, therefore, your eligibility for aid will vary with the cost of
In order to plan your college financing strategy,
you and your parents need to investigate what your
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) might be-even before you fill out
any aid application (FAFSA or Financial Aid PROFILE) forms. Fortunately, there
are some easily used options to help you figure out your EFC.
Calculating your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The EFC can be calculated using two methodologies.
Both methods indicate the amount of money your family should
be contributing to your education. Circumstances such as a loss
of job, the divorce of your parents or the death of a parent may
affect your eligibility for federal aid. If your family has special
circumstances you or your parents should submit a letter of explanation
to the college financial aid offices.
Link to EFC and Other Financial Aid Calculators.
Apply4Admissions.com links to free Internet sites
where you can enter your financial information into on-line forms.
This service then automatically calculates your approximate EFC figure using
either the Federal Methodology, which gives you a feel for your eligibility for
federal aid, or using the Institutional Methodology which gives you a clue about
how your Financial Aid PROFILE analysis may turn out.