FAFSA EFC simply stands for Expected Family Contribution.

Let’s go through a quick process of how you get around to figuring out or receiving your EFC amount:

  1. Complete your FAFSA (either online or hardcopy)
  2. Wait for your FAFSA results. You will receive an email in 3-5 days after completing your FAFSA. The email will give instructions about how to access your SAR, or Student Aid Report, online. If you did not provide a valid email address on your FAFSA, you will receive your SAR in the mail, within 7-10 days, after complete your FAFSA. Your SAR includes your EFC amount.

Your EFC is a legitimate calculation based on a formula established by law. Therefore, when calculating your EFC, FAFSA takes into account your family’s taxed and untaxed assets, income, benefits, number of people in your family, and number of family members who will attend college.

Therefore, whatever information you provide on your FAFSA will help to determine and calculate your EFC.

A copy of your SAR will also be sent to your school electronically. Your school will use your EFC amount to decide how much federal student aid you are eligible for and your financial aid award.

Also, to be noted, your EFC is not the amount of money your family must pay for your college education. In addition, it is not the amount of federal financial aid you will receive. Your EFC is the number your school uses to calculate the amount of federal financial aid you are eligible for.

If you choose to try to calculate your EFC on your own, use a FAFSA calculator. This will not provide you with the exact amount of financial aid you are eligible for, but it will give you a sense of what to expect. Use the formula below:

Total Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need

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