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Family Contributions

You've estimated how much your child's college education will cost, but can you count on the government or college to provide any financial aid to help pay the bills?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount of money your family will be expected to pay toward the cost of your child's college education.

When you apply for financial aid, your EFC is determined by a formula that was developed by the U.S. Congress. The formula assesses your family's financial circumstances based on information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Depending on the student's dependency status, it factors in the number of people in the family, the number of family members attending college, and the income and assets of both the parents and the student.

A student's need for financial aid is figured by subtracting the EFC from the cost of attending a college. The cost of attending a college includes tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation. If your family's contribution is less than the cost, you may be eligible to receive financial aid. The amount of financial aid a student is awarded may vary because the cost of attendance differs between colleges. Additionally, other forms of non-needs based financial aid may be available in the form of scholarships and awards.

Planning for college is a complex task that is most effective when tailored to your specific goals and needs. We encourage you to become more knowledgeable about college planning by scheduling a financial needs assessment with one of our financial services professionals.