Get A Jump On Your College Journey. Find Your Effective Family Contribution (EFC) Today.

Get A Jump On Your College Journey. Find Your Effective Family Contribution (EFC) Today.

by Chuck Bates, CCFC on Aug 2, 2021

Financial Aid, College Admissions, College, Education

Do you have a rising senior? If so, the summer is a great time to get a head start on your college journey. Your first step should be determining your EFC.

What is your EFC? 

  • Technically it is an index number used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. In simple terms, it is what the government and colleges think a family can afford to pay based on their income and assets.

Why is it important? 

  • Your EFC is part of the equation that determines if you will be eligible for need-based aid. That is the free money associated with grants and scholarships.
  • That equation is Cost of Attendance - Effective Family Contribution = Eligibility for Need-Based Aid.

But, did you know there are three different EFC calculations?

  • Federal method, which the government uses for most public colleges.
  • Institutional method, is used by most private colleges.
  • Consensus method, this is used by a smaller group of the most elite colleges.

Each of these methods is different and uses different factors to calculate your EFC. We will not dive into the factors that impact these calculations here, but it is essential to know your EFC for each method. You can estimate your EFC for all three ways here by completing a few questions and getting your Free College Money Report. It takes less than 5 minutes.

Once you have your EFC, you have the first data point in the equation to determine your actual cost of college.


For help getting and understanding your EFC, schedule a meeting with Chuck Bates, CCFC here.