Cost of Attendance and Financial Need

Expected Family Contribution

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a number used to determine your federal financial aid eligibility. It is based on information about your family's resources and its ability to contribute toward your cost of attendance. Your EFC figure is determined by an objective, congressionally approved need analysis formula. It is not the amount of money that your family must provide. 

All data used to calculate your EFC comes from the information you provided on the FAFSA. Your family's income (taxable and untaxed) and assets are considered in determining your EFC. Your family size and the number of family members who will be attending a college or career school are also considered.

Your EFC is used in this equation to determine your financial need.

Determining Financial Need

Financial need is a student's calculated eligibility for financial assistance which is determined by subtracting the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the COA (Cost of Attendance).

Many types of financial aid are awarded on the basis of financial need. Financial aid in the form of grants, loans, scholarships and federal work study can be awarded to meet your financial need. Most federal student aid programs are awarded based on financial need except for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans.

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need