Expected Family Contribution
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by Congress. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year.
The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.
Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive. However, many factors determine financial aid eligibility, so sometimes a student pays more than their EFC and sometimes they may pay less.
The EFC is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance (COA) to determine the student's financial need. Financial aid is then awarded to help offset the student's COA. If the financial aid is not enough to cover the Need, then the remaining amount is considered Unmet Need. It is important to note that a student is not required to have financial Need to be eligible to receive Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, PLUS loans, or merit-based scholarships.