The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a number that’s used to help determine your eligibility for financial aid for college. Each school that you selected to share your information with 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 will attend college during the academic year and the age of your older parent will also influence your EFC.
Financial aid administrators will subtract the EFC from the student’s cost of attendance to determine their 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. For a detailed guide on exactly how an EFC is calculated, you can check out The EFC Formula.
It’s important to know that your EFC is not the guaranteed 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 calculated your financial aid eligibility.
The EFC is a very influential calculation, so it’s important to complete your FAFSA sooner than later. You can find the FAFSA online at FAFSA.gov.