How Need is Determined

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

We use the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number  to determine your need. The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated from the information you report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. The following are considered in determining your EFC.

  • Your family’s income (taxed and untaxed)
  • Assets and benefits (for example, net worth of investments, a business or unemployment benefits)
  • Your family size and the number of family members who will attend a college or career school.

We begin the award process by reviewing your Student Aid Report (SAR). The EFC from the Student Aid Report (SAR) is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance (COA) to determine your financial need:

Cost of Attendance (COA)

The cost of attendance (COA) includes;

  • tuition and fees
  • on campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off campus students)
  • an allowance for books, supplies, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.



Cost of Attendance(COA) Minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Equals Need

Using the financial aid award notification, the Financial Aid Office will notify you of  your eligibility for aid from each of the financial aid programs based on your “need” as derived from the above formula. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Parent Loans for Undergraduate Dependent Students (PLUS loans) and alternative loan resources are not based on need but are considered part of a financial aid package. All combined financial aid may not exceed the COA as determined by the college.

budget worksheet was developed to assist you with determining the amount of aid you may need to meet your educational costs.