The Estimated Family Contribution or EFC is a calculated measure of your family’s financial strength. It is an index number that colleges use to determine your eligibility for different need-based financial aid programs.
What EFC is NOT:
Your EFC is not an indication of the amount you or your family are liable to pay towards your college tuition. Nor is it an indication of the total federal student aid that you will get. The college you are attending will not bill you for this amount. The school does not expect parents to provide their dependent children with that amount of support.
What it actually is:
The EFC is simply an estimated amount that you or your parents can theoretically contribute to fund your college expenses for one academic year. College expenses take into account tuition, rent, boarding, textbook, and other miscellaneous college-related expenses.
Filing the FAFSA and CSS or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a requirement for all students wishing to apply for financial aid. The information that you provide on the FAFSA form regarding family size, income, assets, and other details are used to calculate your EFC using the government-approved formula. Your college’s financial aid office will use this formula as their basis for preparing a financial aid package. Accordingly, they will then send you a financial aid award letter.
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