Expected Family Contribution or EFC is the resulting calculation of completing the FAFSA form or any college financial aid form. The financial aid form will generate a number that establishes your personal or family financial strength.  This number is then used to determine if you qualify for need based financial aid. If your EFC is lower than the cost of attendance for that college then you will qualify for need based financial aid.  This need based aid can come in the form of both grants and certain loans.

A big misunderstanding of the EFC is that it is only one number.  It is actually four separate calculations added together to create one EFC number. Understanding how the EFC is calculated is critical in determining the correct strategy to use for paying your tuition and other educational expenses.  A common error families make is focusing only on the EFC number.  The Expected Family Contribution number is only one part of the entire process of lowering your cost of education

In this college affordability video on the EFC you will learn:

  • Parts of the Expected Family Contribution
  • The different financial aid calculations
  • Student Aid Report or SAR
  • Common mistakes when completing the FAFSA

Understanding how your EFC is calculated is the starting point of a college funding strategy.

EFC or Expected Family Contribution