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EFC (Expected Family Contribution)


Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
 family’s resources that should be available to help pay for college.

What Drives the Family Contribution?

There are several important elements that drive expected family contribution which in turn determines whether or not a student is able to receive financial assistance.

Parent’s Income
The specific element required is the Adjusted Gross Income from the tax return of the year prior to student enrollment. The AGI is the bottom line on the front page of the federal tax return. Untaxed incomes, like contributions to a 401K or similar program, child support and/or Social Security benefits are added to determine total income.

Student’s Income
The student income information will also be used in determining the expected family contribution and more of the student’s income versus the parent’s income will be expected to the paid towards the cost of college.

Parent’s Savings
Every family has an asset protection allowance calculated. This is the amount of savings and investments the system allows. No dollars are expected up to this allowance. The expectation kicks in after the assets go over the allowance. Almost all categories of savings and investments are expected to be listed on the document. However, certain categories should not be listed including equity in your home, qualified plans, annuities and life insurance contracts.

Student’s Savings
With no money protected, 35% of any savings under the social security number of the student is expected to contribute to the cost of education.

Number of siblings attending college
The government and college financial aid offices will take into consideration the number of siblings from a household that are in college at the same time.

EFC Calculators

The following resources are used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial need, and to estimate your student financial aid.

The EFC is calculated when a family files the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) yearly online at starting after October 1st of the student’s senior year.

Web tool designed by Federal Student Aid to assist high school juniors, seniors and their families plan for education beyond high school. The student will receive:
  • an estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by entering the information into FAFSA4caster
  • the potential Federal Pell Grant eligibility
  • reduce the time needed to complete the FAFSA when the student applies as a senior January 1st
  • FREE of charge.
Students and their families are expected to contribute to the cost of college to the extent that they’re able. Use this 2013-14 academic year Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator to:
  • Estimate how much the student’s family will be expected to contribute for the year. After all, you can’t make a realistic plan to cover the student’s share if you don’t have any idea what the student’s share could be.
  • Gain insight into the student’s financial aid eligibility. If you’re unable to contribute the entire cost of college, financial aid is available to bridge the gap. That's how the financial aid system works. The difference between the total cost and the student's EFC is considered the student's financial need and the amount of aid you’re eligible to receive.