What is EFC number on Fafsa?

Can someone dumb it down for me? Thanks.


EFC means Expected Family Contribution. It is the amount of money you would need to contribute toward your Cost of Attendance before you would be eligible for need based aid, such as the Pell grant or a subsidized loan. Despite what the name sounds like, it is NOT the amount that you need to pay to the school. The Cost of Attendance is a budget that includes the school's direct charges--such as tuition, fees, room and meal plan--but also amounts for other expenses that students typically encounter, such as books, transportation, personal expenses and off campus living expenses. When determining whether a student will be eligible for need based aid, the school subtracts your EFC from the Cost of Attendance budget. The resulting number is called your financial need. The school can award need-based aid up to that number. Although your EFC will be the same no matter what school you pick, the Cost of Attendance may be very different, and because of that, your financial need and eligibility for need based aid can vary quite a bit from school to school. So, you might be eligible for a subsidized loan at a high priced school, but not at a lower priced school. Schools are required to award any federal aid you qualify for, but they aren't required to award enough aid to cover your entire financial need and often they don't--simply because they may not have the resources to do that.


The EFC is a standard calculation which determines how much the student and/or the student's family should be able to contribute towards the student's cost of attendance (this is NOT necessarily a cash contribution). It is based on family type, family size, where the family lives, and the family's income. You can download the "Expected Family Contribution" booklet from one of the federal government's student aid sites. The "EFC" helps a school determine what aid a student qualifies for and the level of that assistance.


The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a number that determines students eligibility for federal student aid. The EFC formulas use the financial information students provide on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to calculate the EFC.