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Understanding the Expected Family Contribution

Understanding the Expected Family Contribution

by Shannon Lee
December 16, 2010




When you are filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), many of the financial questions can be confusing. One of the biggest issues most people have when filling out the FAFSA each year is the Expected Family Contribution.

What is the EFC?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount of money that the government expects you to be able to pay toward your college expenses. Often this is considered a "parental contribution," but that is not the case.

The EFC takes into account how many people are in your household, the income of the household, the number of family members in college, the amount of money in savings, and your current earnings to determine how much your family is expected to contribute toward your college expenses.

By filling out the FAFSA completely, your EFC can be calculated for you. The EFC is then sent to the schools you have applied to and helps them determine a financial aid award. How the EFC is used depends on the school. Many schools will ask for additional information, including any mitigating circumstances, to determine the bottom line of your financial aid.

Online Schools Can Make Funding Easier

Traditional colleges and universities might not give you the financial aid you need. Online schools can make funding easier by allowing you a longer period of time to complete your degree. Since you can work at your own pace and choose the courses that are right for you, the financial burden might be less than that of taking a "full load" at a traditional school.

When you are ready to further your education, online degrees can help you get where you need to be! Whether you are pursuing your associate's degree or going after graduate degree programs, online schools can make your journey easier.