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Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator

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This form is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial need, and to estimate your student financial aid. This is a free service. We do not retain any record of the information you submit using this form, and have taken steps to ensure your privacy.

Before filling out this form, we strongly recommend that you read the caveats.

This form calculates the EFC for a single year, so please enter school costs, scholarships and financial information accordingly.

Each section of this form includes more detailed instructions for the items in that section. For help with a particular question, click on the question mark (?) adjacent to the field label.

After you've filled out the form, don't forget to press the "Calculate" button at the bottom of the form.

If you're intimidated by such a long form, try FinAid's QuickEFC Calculator. It uses much fewer questions to generate a quick estimate of your EFC.

If you prefer to do the calculations yourself, you can find the 35-page FAFSA Formula Worksheets and Tables at the US Department of Education's web site.


Show:

Need Analysis Methodology:

Use Tables for Award Year:

Choose "Federal Methodology" to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC) and financial need using the Federal Need Analysis Methodology used by the Federal processor and school financial aid administrators. Choose "Institutional Methodology" to get an estimate of your financial need using a formula similar to the one used by many private colleges and universities.


Student Status:

The requirements for a student to be considered "independent" for financial aid purposes are very strict. If you aren't genuinely independent, you should select "Dependent Student" below. Use the dependency status form to determine whether you are a dependent or independent student.

If you are an independent student, do not fill in the parent information section, but do add the salary and assets of your spouse to your own in the student information section and provide your family information (not your parents' family information) in the family information section.

Enrollment:
Full Time
3/4 Time
Half Time
Less Than half time
Dependency Status:
Dependent Student
Independent Student
If independent, do you have any dependents other than yourself and a spouse?
Yes
No
If independent, please indicate your marital status:
Single
Married (only student is enrolled at least half time)
Married (student and spouse both enrolled at least half time)

Family Information:

The number in family is the family size, including the student. It should include the number of people in the household that will get more than half their support during the award year from the household.

  • If the student is independent, include the student's spouse. Also include the student's children if they get more than half their support from the student. Other people may be included only if they currently live with the student, currently get more than half of their support from the student, and will continue to get more than half their support from the student during the award year.

  • If the student is dependent, include the student and the student's parents. Also include the parents' other children if they get more than half their support from the parents (or if they would be required to provide parental information when submitting a FAFSA). Other people may be included only if they currently live with and currently get more than half of their support from the student's parents, and will continue to get more than half their support from the student's parents during the award year.

Support includes money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes, car, medical and dental care, payment of college costs, and so on.

The number in college should include only those family members who are enrolled at least half time and working toward a degree in an eligible accredited Title IV institution of higher education. (Students enrolled in one of the military academies, such as West Point and Annapolis, do not count.) The student should always be counted, even if the student is enrolled less than half-time. Parents are not included in the number in college figure, but instead must contact the school for a professional judgment review.

Household Size (Number in Family): ?
Number in College: ?

Parent Information:

If the parents are divorced, list only the income and assets for the custodial parent in the parent information section. If the custodial parent has remarried, however, also include the financial information for the stepparent.

The following questions ask whether the parents were eligible to file one of the simpler tax forms, not which form was actually filed.

Were your parents required to file a tax return during the tax year prior to the award year?
Yes
No

If your parents filed a tax return, were they eligible to file an IRS Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040TEL?
Yes
No

If one of the parents is deceased and the living parent has not remarried, indicate the number of parents as "One".

Number of Parents:
One
Two

When filling in the "State of Legal Residence" please use the appropriate two-letter state abbreviation.

State of Legal Residence: ? 
Age of Older Parent: ?

Please supply the net home equity figure only for the institutional methodology.

If you leave the Federal Tax Paid field blank, it will compute an estimate based on the Adjusted Gross Income. To specify zero tax paid, enter a '0' in the field instead of leaving it blank.

Worksheet A (Untaxed Benefits) reports benefits that were not included in taxable income but which are counted during the need analysis process. These amounts will be added to taxable income. This includes the following:

  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)
  • Additional child tax credit
  • Welfare Benefits, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Do not include food stamps or subsidized housing.
  • Untaxed Social Security benefits.

Worksheet B (Tax-Deferred and Untaxed Income) reports income that was not included in taxable income but which are counted during the need analysis process. These amounts will be added to taxable income. This includes the following:

  • Contributions to tax-deferred pension and savings plans.
  • IRA deductions and payments to SEP, SIMPLE and Keogh plans.
  • Child support received for all children. Do not include foster care or adoption payments.
  • Tax-exempt interest income.
  • Untaxed portions of IRA distributions and pensions, excluding rollovers.
  • Housing, food and living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy, and others.
  • Veterans' noneducation benefits such as Disability, Death Pension, Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC), and VA Educational Work-Study allowances.
  • Any other untaxed income or benefits not reported elsewhere on Worksheets A or B, such as worker's compensation, untaxed portions of railroad retirement benefits, Black Lung Benefits, disability, and so on.

Worksheet C (Student Aid Included in AGI) reports certain types of taxable student aid income and credits that were included in AGI but which are not counted during the need analysis process. These amounts will be subtracted from taxable income, thereby increasing aid eligibility. This includes the following:

  • Education credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits).
  • Child Support paid because of divorce or separation (do not include support for children included in the student's parents' household, as reported in the "Number in Household" question).
  • Taxable earnings from Federal Work-Study and other need-based work programs. Include the need-based employment portions of fellowships and assistantships.
  • Other student grant and scholarship aid reported in adjusted gross income (AGI). This includes AmeriCorps awards (awards, living allowances, and interest accrual payments), as well as student grants and scholarships (only the amount that is taxable and was included in AGI, such as the amount in excess of qualified higher education expenses).
Parents should include only those figures that were reported on their income tax return.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): ?
Federal Tax Paid: ? 
Earned Income (Father/Stepfather): ? 
Earned Income (Mother/Stepmother): ? 
Worksheet A (Untaxed Benefits): ? 
Worksheet B (Tax-Deferred & Untaxed Income): ? 
Worksheet C (Student Aid Included in AGI): ? 
Liquid Assets (Cash, Savings, Checking): ? 
Net Home Equity: ? 
Net Worth Business or Farm: ? 
Other Investments: ? 

Student Information:

The following questions ask whether you (and your spouse) were eligible to file one of the simpler tax forms, not which form was actually filed.

Were you (or your spouse) required to file a tax return during the tax year prior to the award year?
Yes
No

If you (or your spouse) filed a tax return, were you eligible to file an IRS Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040TEL?
Yes
No

When filling in the "State of Legal Residence" please use the appropriate two-letter state abbreviation.

If you leave the Federal Tax Paid field blank, it will compute an estimate based on the Adjusted Gross Income. To specify zero tax paid, enter a '0' in the field instead of leaving it blank.

Worksheet A (Untaxed Benefits) reports benefits that were not included in taxable income but which are counted during the need analysis process. These amounts will be added to taxable income. This includes the following:

  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)
  • Additional child tax credit
  • Welfare Benefits, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Do not include food stamps or subsidized housing.
  • Untaxed Social Security benefits.

Worksheet B (Tax-Deferred and Untaxed Income) reports income that was not included in taxable income but which are counted during the need analysis process. These amounts will be added to taxable income. This includes the following:

  • Contributions to tax-deferred pension and savings plans.
  • IRA deductions and payments to SEP, SIMPLE and Keogh plans.
  • Child support received for all children. Do not include foster care or adoption payments.
  • Tax-exempt interest income.
  • Untaxed portions of IRA distributions and pensions, excluding rollovers.
  • Housing, food and living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy, and others.
  • Veterans' noneducation benefits such as Disability, Death Pension, Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC), and VA Educational Work-Study allowances.
  • Any other untaxed income or benefits not reported elsewhere on Worksheets A or B, such as worker's compensation, untaxed portions of railroad retirement benefits, Black Lung Benefits, disability, and so on.

Worksheet C (Student Aid Included in AGI) reports certain types of taxable student aid income and credits that were included in AGI but which are not counted during the need analysis process. These amounts will be subtracted from taxable income, thereby increasing aid eligibility. This includes the following:

  • Education credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits).
  • Child Support paid because of divorce or separation (do not include support for children included in the student's parents' household, as reported in the "Number in Household" question).
  • Taxable earnings from Federal Work-Study and other need-based work programs. Include the need-based employment portions of fellowships and assistantships.
  • Other student grant and scholarship aid reported in adjusted gross income (AGI). This includes AmeriCorps awards (awards, living allowances, and interest accrual payments), as well as student grants and scholarships (only the amount that is taxable and was included in AGI, such as the amount in excess of qualified higher education expenses).
Students should include only those figures that were reported on their income tax return.

State of Legal Residence: ? 
Student Age as of December 31, 2014: ?
 
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): ?
Federal Tax Paid: ? 
Earned Income (Student): ? 
Earned Income (Student's Spouse): ? 
Worksheet A (Untaxed Benefits): ? 
Worksheet B (Tax-Deferred & Untaxed Income): ? 
Worksheet C (Student Aid Included in AGI): ? 
Liquid Assets (Cash, Savings, Checking): ? 
Net Home Equity: ? 
Net Worth Business or Farm: ? 
Other Investments: ? 

For the "Scholarships and Other Resources" field, please include any outside scholarships and educational resources. Resources include veteran's benefits and prepaid tuition plans. If the scholarship or resource is to be paid over four years, please specify the amount available during a single year.

Scholarships and Other Resources: ?


Estimated School Costs:

Information about school costs and standard "student budgets" can be obtained from financial aid and admissions brochures and catalogs provided by the college or university or by consulting college cost references such as those published by Peterson's. Please enter the costs for a single year.

School #1 School #2 School #3
Tuition:
Fees:
Room and Board:
Books and Supplies:
Transportation To/From Home:
Health Insurance:
Incidental Expenses:

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Acknowledgments

This form is based, in part, upon published EFC formulas provided by the US Department of Education. It was implemented by Mark Kantrowitz. Advice, information, and comments were provided by Michael Alexander, Steve Brooks, Ellen Frishberg, Richard Heckman, D. Sherwin Hibbets, Phyllis K. Hooyman, Chris Johnson, Geri R. Larsen, Steven A. Murray, Chris Tillman and Ann White.

 

 
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