The Expected Family Contribution is calculated according to an established formula and represents the amount of money you can afford to pay for college each year. The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile is used to calculate your EFC.
The EFC is a must-know number for the college selection process and for basic budget planning for the family. The 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 colleges to determine your federal student aid eligibility and total financial aid award.
Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits are all considered in the EFC formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year, and more. It is critical you know your EFC so you understand how it will affect your student’s college search and financial aid awards.