What Is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is a number that’s used to help determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid. 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.

Your EFC is shown on your Student Aid Report (SAR) which is sent to you shortly after you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. You can view your SAR by logging in to your FAFSA and selecting “View SAR” from the My FAFSA page. Your SAR is an electronic or paper document that summarizes the information you reported on your FAFSA and offers some basic data regarding your eligibility for federal student aid.

Each college you selected to receive your FAFSA results will use the EFC to determine the amount and type of aid you may receive at their institution. Your EFC is calculated using a formula that considers 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 parent can also affect your EFC.

For a detailed guide on exactly how an EFC is calculated, you can check out the 2023-24 EFC Formula Guide.

Financial aid administrators will subtract the EFC from a student’s cost of attendance to determine their eligibility for the following federal student aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Student Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  • Federal Work-Study

Other federal and state scholarship programs also use the EFC to determine eligibility for their systems. The UCanGo2 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) PowerPoint will guide you through the ins and outs of how the EFC is used.