Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The major federal financial aid programs base your eligibility on financial need according to a formula established by the U.S. Congress. The formula determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an amount you and your family are expected to contribute towards your education. If your EFC is below a set amount, you'll be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
Your estimated family contribution should display on the confirmation page when you complete the FAFSA. If you would like an early estimate, you can project your family contribution at FAFSA4caster.
There is no maximum EFC that defines eligibility for financial aid programs. Instead, your EFC is used in an equation to determine your financial need:
Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
Role of the Financial Aid Office
Your Financial Aid Office calculates your cost of education and subtracts the amount you and your family are expected to contribute (EFC). If there a difference, you are considered to have financial need.
The Financial Aid Office can make adjustments to the cost of education or expected family contribution based on documentation of adverse circumstance that affect the family's ability to contribute towards their child's education. Examples of such circumstances include long term unemployment by a family member, death or disability.
Also see Web Rights and Responsibilities document.