When applying for federal student aid, the information you report on the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid “, or the “FAFSA”, is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The formula used to calculate your EFC is established by federal law and is used to measure your family’s financial strength on the basis of your family’s income, assets, family size and number of family members in post-secondary education. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid as well as other student aid programs. Cost of attendance (COA) is also referred to as a budget. Financial need is determined by subtracting the EFC from the COA. Please see the formula below.
Cost of attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
Your eligibility for need-based aid is determined by subtracting other outside financial assistance (scholarships) from the calculated financial need.