Calculate Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

  • 1
    Introduction
  • 2
    Student Info
  • 3
    Family Info
  • 4
    Financial Info
  • 5
    Summary

What is the EFC?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount a family can be expected to contribute toward a student's college costs. Financial aid administrators determine an applicant's need for federal student aid from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) and other nonfederal sources of assistance by subtracting the EFC from the student's cost of attendance (COA).

Use this easy calculator to estimate your EFC

College affordability is important for just about everyone these days, and it's handy to get an idea of how much aid you might be eligible for. Most colleges use the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to calculate your EFC. Many colleges, particularly private schools, will take other data into account before determining your actual aid amount, but the federal EFC is usually the starting point.

College Confidential provides a quick calculator to estimate your Expected Family Contribution. Note that this is an estimate - for important decisions, use ONLY the actual EFC determined by the Department of Education after processing your FAFSA. Because of differences in assumptions and simplification of the calculation process, your final EFC may vary.

Even if you are years away from paying for college, the EFC calculator can be useful - it can give you an idea of how various types of income and assets are valued so you can plan your financial strategies. While the formulas may change from time to time, certain fundamentals are unlikely to change. For example, assets held in the student's name will create a higher EFC than the same amount of assets in a parent's name.

Our EFC calculator is designed to let you change assumptions to see what the impact is on your EFC - after you can complete it and view your EFC, you can return to an earlier page and change one or more input values.