The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a number that’s used to help determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid. It’s important to know that your EFC is not the amount of money you or your family will be required to contribute to your cost of attendance. It’s only a number used by your school to calculate your financial aid eligibility.
Each school that you selected on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will use the EFC to determine how much aid you may receive at their individual institution. Your EFC is calculated through a formula that uses your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets and benefits. The size of your family, the number of family members who’ll attend college during the academic year and the age of your older parent will also influence your EFC.
For a detailed guide on exactly how an EFC is calculated, you can check out The EFC Formula Guide.
Financial aid administrators will subtract the EFC from a student’s cost of attendance to determine their financial need for the following federal student aid programs:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Subsidized Student Loans
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- Federal Work-Study
Other federal and state scholarship programs will also use the EFC to determine your eligibility for additional aid. The EFC is calculated after you complete your FAFSA. If you’re planning to attend college next fall, make sure you submit the FAFSA as soon as possible. You can find the FAFSA online at StudentAid.gov. If your EFC does not reflect your current financial situation due to unforeseen circumstances, contact the financial aid office at the college you’re interested in attending. It’s important to discuss your current situation with them.