EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC)
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.