February 10, 2009

What's an EFC? The Results of your FAFSA

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Your expected family contribution, or EFC, is the amount of money the government believes you and your family could reasonably contribute toward your education for the school year. Calculated using a federal formula to evaluate the information you provide on your FAFSA, you will find your EFC on your Student Aid Report (SAR), which you will receive after submitting your FAFSA.

Your EFC will stay the same no matter which college you attend. However, you may be eligible for different types and amounts of aid at different colleges, since each college has its own cost of attendance (COA) and financial aid funds.

Keep in mind that your EFC may or may not be the actual amount you end up paying for college. For example, your college’s cost of attendance includes actual costs for tuition and fees, as well as average costs for housing, food, transportation and personal expenses. You may spend less or more than these averages. If your college is unable to meet all of your financial need, your actual contribution may be more than your calculated EFC.

Your College Cost of Attendance (COA)

Each college has its own student budget or cost of attendance (COA), which includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, food, transportation and personal expenses for the school year. It may also include money for a computer.

Your COA will vary depending on where you live (with your parents, on or on campus) and the college you attend. If you have children or other dependents that require care while you go to class, your COA may also include these expenses. If you have a disability, let your college’s financial aid office know about any related expenses that are not already covered.

Your Financial Need

Each college you list on your FAFSA, and are accepted to, will determine your eligibility for financial aid, also known as your financial need.

Your COA minus Your EFC = Your financial need

Your financial need will vary from college to college because each college has its own COA. Find more information on your SAR (Student Aid Report), results from your FAFSA application. http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

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