Note: The EFC Calculator was previously called the College Affordability Survey
Funding college is not a one size fits all proposition. Families need to know how their unique family situation fits into the financial aid process. The EFC Calculator takes each family’s unique family situation in account to generate a specialized strategy for reducing college costs. Proven effective, families have used these strategies for over twenty years to be pro-active when making financial plansfor college. The EFC Calculator is designed to help families understand how to best pay for their child's college education by identifying families as being in one of three categories. Specialized strategies for each category are provided to families, giving them an opportunity to plan and maximize college options.
Families fit in one of three categories based on their calculated EFC. Each category is described to allow families to better understand where they stand in terms of college affordability.
EFC Calculator Definition
The EFC Calculator strategies are key to tailoring affordability to each family’s situation. EFC categories help families or advisor focus on strategies that will be most effective to maximize your college funding potential.
The tagged lists that are identified in the EFC strategies are available in GuidedPath for targeted college searches.
EFC Calculator Resources
The EFC Calculator is more than just a calculator - it is also a strategy finder. Users enter financial information to help solve and better understand how families can afford college. There are two primary calculations: the Federal Methodology (FM) and the Institutional Methodology (IM). The FM is based on the FAFSA and estimates a student’s eligibility for financial aid awarded by the federal and state government. The IM determines eligibility for private and institutional aid, which comes from sources other than state and federal governments. The IM considers more factors in the EFC calculation, and as a result is typically higher than the FM. Completing both calculations allows for a more precise assessment of a family’s financial situation.
To get a quick calculation, go through the survey and answer all required questions. Additional questions are included because they prompt knowledgeable conversations and prompt further analysis with your advisors. College Affordability Shaper™ results are presented as a total EFC. Additional tables are provided to help families understand how their income and assets are contributing to the funding of college expenses.
The EFC Calculator is calculating EFCs only for dependent students. Questions about independent students are included to help provide a complete financial picture.
EFC Calculator Categories
Families fit in one of three categories based on their calculated EFC. Each category is detailed to allow families to better understand where they stand in terms of college affordability.