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Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Financial Need


The U.S. Department of Education determines your EFC based on information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Parent and student resources are considered the first source of funds to finance an education. Parent income is not included in the EFC for students who meet the criteria to be considered an independent student.


Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) and the EFC. Each university determines its own COA, which includes average cost of tuition/fees, books, room and board, miscellaneous and travel expenses. For example: If your COA is $17,604, and your EFC is $5,000, the financial need would be $12,604.

Financial Aid will review your eligibility for need-based programs up to the amount of your financial need, then review your eligibility for aid programs that are not based on need up to the amount of your COA. Although you may have eligibility for need-based aid ($12,604 in the example), it is not a guarantee that you will receive the full amount due to grant and loan maximums and funding availability.


The definition of a financial aid academic year at SFA is one in which a student completes a minimum of 30 weeks of instruction and 24 semester credit hours. Each year is comprised of both fall and spring semesters which are traditionally between 15 to 16 weeks. SFA also awards financial assistance for the summer terms. For the purpose of awarding financial aid, summer school is considered to be the end of the school year. Therefore, the eligibility of each student aid applicant for student aid funds for summer school is based upon each student's remaining annual limits for grants and loans.

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