ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled Saved to Favorites.
Articles / Applying to College / Is it Unlawful for College to Use Profile EFC and Not Federal?

Is it Unlawful for College to Use Profile EFC and Not Federal?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | April 29, 2011

Question: My son did not receive any financial aid from the college he will attend, but he received a federal loan and work study. When a college offers financial aid based on need, and the FAFSA reflects a higher EFC amount than the CSS Profile, is this school, required by federal law to default to the higher FAFSA EFC amount in awarding its own aid? Since our CSS profile EFC is lower than the FAFSA EFC, the school stated they cannot award school grant money because by law, they are not allowed to. Is this correct?

Good question! The college can't give your son more FEDERAL aid than he's entitled to using the FAFSA EFC figure. (Not the college's, which apparently is lower.) So, if this college only awards Federal aid (e.g., Pell Grants, Federal loans) then, indeed, it would be unlawful for them to give your son anything else.


However, it would NOT be unlawful to use the CSS EFC to award the college’s own money over and beyond the level allowed by the FAFSA EFC.

(posted 4/29/2011)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

More on Applying to College

See all
pexels-ketut-subiyanto-4560150

What are College Likely Letters and How Do You Get One?

In the U.S. college system, "Likely Letters" are excellent news for the select few who receive them. Colleges don'…

Copy of Articles & Guidance

Tips for Applying to College as a Trans Student

Choosing where to apply and applying to college is hard enough, but when you’re trans, non-binary, genderfluid, or genderqueer, t…

Header

5 Reasons to Fall in Love With Quinnipiac

Between the Mount Carmel Campus, York Hill Campus and North Haven Campus, Quinnipiac offers something for everyone. It’s no wonde…

How to Transfer to a New College: A 5-Step Plan

How to Transfer to a New College: A 5-Step Plan

It happens from time to time – you've started college, but you realize that perhaps your university wasn't the best cho…

Student in bed on computer in dimly room

Which of Two (Opposite) Colleges Should I Choose?

Question: I'm trying to decide between 2 schools that at first seem very similar: Both are small, private liberal arts colle…

Ace the SAT in Just 10 Minutes a Day!

Discover how you can make your college journey easier.

Get Started
Need Help Paying for College?
VIew Offers