What Is Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Your EFC is an estimate of the amount of money that the government expects your family to contribute to your education expenses. The federal government calculates your EFC using the information you provide on your federal student aid application (FAFSA).

It is important to know that your EFC is a rationing tool to help determine aid eligibility and award amounts, not the lump sum you will necessarily pay out of pocket! A college's published cost of attendance minus your EFC is what colleges consider to be your "need." Your need can be subsidized through student aid, such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study.

Your EFC is calculated using prior-year income information. If your financial circumstances have changed considerably, speak with a financial aid administrator at the colleges that offer you aid to determine if your award can be adjusted.

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