College Affordability will now provide a free online Expected Family Contribution calculator. Our free EFC calculator generates both the Federal and the CSS profile numbers. This number is used to determine your financial aid position for each school you apply to. Understanding the financial aid process is an important part of the college decision process.
The EFC is defined as the amount of money a family can be expected to pay toward a student’s college cost. This EFC number is the resulting number after you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Every secondary school that disburses federal financial aid requires the FAFSA to be completed to qualify for both federal and state money.
Some colleges have an additional process called the Independent method. The most common independent method is the CSS Profile. This method asks more questions and each college will put different weight on your financial situation. They are allowed to do this since it is used to determine aid the school is going to disburse under their own programs. There are approximately 400 colleges and scholarship programs that use the CSS/Financial Aid Profile.
Our EFC calculator provides you with both numbers. The CSS Profile calculation is an estimate since each school modifies their focus.
Remember the better the information entered into the EFC calculator the better the number will reflect your actual financial need. Your financial need is calculated by finding the total cost of attendance and subtracting the expected family contribution number. The EFC is based on several factors including income, assets, and number of dependents. It is actually four separate calculations that make up the one EFC number.
By understanding the details of this calculation, a family can create a better utilization of their resources. These details of the EFC help create other college funding strategies in the tax and educational saving plan area.
College Affordability LLC, has also developed EFC PLUS, the college planning software to help families with college financial aid, college funding and student loan decisions.
To get access to the calculator, you will need to complete the input form on the side of the page. We hope this free calculator is helpful. If you feel you need professional assistance, please review our Services page.