The EFC is not
the amount of money a student’s family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid a student will receive. Instead, it is a number calculated by all of the data included on a student’s FAFSA. The EFC is used by the Financial Aid Office to determine how much financial aid a student is eligible to receive. The EFC number is based on the information reported on the FAFSA and is calculated according to a formula established by law.
The EFC Formula
guide shows exactly how an EFC is calculated.
One common misconception people have about the EFC is that it is the amount of the outstanding balance to be paid to the College for the year. The EFC is only used to determine amounts of eligibility for need-based and non-need-based financial aid programs. It is NOT the amount a student or their family will pay the College for the year. The outstanding balance of a student’s bill and the EFC will likely differ. Students are responsible for the outstanding balance.