A student’s Financial Need is calculated as the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA), sometimes referred to as the student’s “budget”, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Once the student’s financial need is established, the Financial Aid Office will determine a financial aid award.
Cost of attendance
The cost of attendance budget for the period covered by the financial aid award is comprised of the following components:
- Student Fees
- Books & Supplies
- Room & Board
- Personal/Miscellaneous Expenses
These budgets will vary in total amounts depending on the number of credit hours for which the student is enrolled and whether the student will be living at home or off-campus.
The Expected Family Contribution
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that the student and their parents are expected to contribute toward the student’s educational cost for the academic year. The federal need analysis formula that is built into the FAFSA, utilizes the student and parent’s income and assets, as well as other financial information reported on the application, in order to calculate the following:
- Parental Contribution (PC) is calculated for dependent students only, based on the parent’s FAFSA information.
- Student Contribution (SC) is calculated for dependent and independent students based on the student’s (and spouse’s if applicable) FAFSA information.
The EFC is not an actual amount that the student and/or the parent will have to pay or be billed for directly. It is an estimate (based on the income/asset information listed on the FAFSA) of how much the student and the parent should be able to contribute toward the student’s educational expenses throughout an academic year. If the EFC assessment is not manageable for the family, the Financial Aid Office may be able to replace that EFC with a loan offer.