Ways to Pay

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is how much money your family is expected to contribute to your college education for one year.

Typically, the lower your EFC, the more financial aid you will receive.

Your EFC information is sent you and to the schools you listed on the FAFSA. The financial aid office will use your EFC to determine your financial need.

Need is defined as the difference between the cost of attending college and your EFC:

   Cost of Attendance (COA)
– Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
= Financial Need

Based on that, the financial aid office will prepare a financial aid package and give you an award letter.

Your EFC can differ from school to school because the COA is different.

If you or your family has special financial circumstances that you believe will affect your ability to contribute to your education, such as unusual medical expenses, let the school's financial aid office know. They may be able to make an adjustment.

Zero EFC

You may qualify for either an auto-zero EFC or Simplified Needs Test (SNT) EFC if, in addition to meeting the relevant income criteria, you or your parent(s) received benefits from a means-tested federal benefit program (SSI, food-stamp program, or free and reduced price school-lunch program).

Only your parent's tax return is considered for auto-zero EFC and Simplified Needs Test EFC determinations. The maximum Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of the parents was raised to $20,000 (from $16,000) for an applicant to be eligible for auto-zero EFC.

If you are determined to have a higher amount of financial need, you may be eligible for aid programs such as the federal Pell Grant or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

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