Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

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Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is a number that’s calculated by the federal government using a formula that’s determined by law.  It’s not random or subjective, it’s based on the FAFSA facts you submitted,.

“Expected Family Contribution” might sound like it’s what you’d be expected to pay, but it’s not. It’s just a number that the schools you’ve been accepted to will use to determine:

  • Your financial NEED (COA – EFC = Financial Need)
  • How much federal financial aid you’re eligible to receive
  • Your eligibility for school specific scholarships and grants

The calculation of the EFC could include things like a family’s:

  • Income
  • Assets
  • Benefits (ie. unemployment, social security)
  • Family size
  • # of family members in college or career school that school year.

What it doesn’t include is a family’s debt or any extenuating circumstances, which hurts because not including that information can make what a family is expected to pay seem quite high and out of reach.

If that’s the case for you we’ll be going over ‘Financial Aid Appeals” a bit later in this course. 

Want an Estimate of Your EFC?

Interested in getting an estimate of what your EFC, and your federal student aid eligibility, will be before you’re ready to fill out any forms?

If you are, check out FAFSA4caster at the button below.  It’s a free tool from the US Department of Education that can help you get some answers so you can start preparing early.