When applying for federal student aid, the information you report on the FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The formula used to calculate your EFC is established by law and is used to measure your family's financial strength on the basis of your family's income, assets, family size and number of family members in post-secondary education. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid as well as other student aid programs. Cost of Attendance (COA) is also referred to as a budget.
Financial aid is either need-based or non-need based. Financial need, and need-based aid eligibility, is determined by subtracting the EFC from the COA. Cost of Attendance (COA) minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) equals Financial Need. Students are not allowed to receive aid that exceeds their Cost of Attendance.
Your eligibility for need-based aid is determined by subtracting other outside financial assistance (scholarships) from the calculated financial need. Students are not allowed to receive aid that exceeds their Cost of Attendance.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
- Financial Aid Awarded So Far*
= Eligibility for Non-need-based Aid
*Includes aid from all sources, including private scholarships
What Happens Next?