Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Financial Need Explained
Federal regulations require that your total student financial aid, including loans, not exceed your cost of attendance. For most students, financial aid only meets part of their financial need.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in determining the types of aid for which you are eligible.
Your cost of attendance minus your EFC equals your financial need
Once you have completed your FAFSA, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated through a formula established by federal law. The EFC formula takes into account many variables including your (and your parents' if you are a ):
- Income and assets
- Number of people living in your household
- Number of people in your household attending college
- State of residence
Your EFC, which appears as a dollar amount, does not vary from school to school regardless of the actual cost of the institution you are attending. However, your financial need will vary according to each school's cost of attendance.