Why can't I see see my results after completing a survey? It says that my survey results are not available because the survey is incomplete, but I answered more than the required number of questions so I'm not sure what's up - is there something further I need to do?
Look at the green progress bars in the upper left hand box and look for one or more that are not 100% filled. Go back into those sections and find the questions that were missed. Note that the green progress bars only track required questions, so those are the ones that you need to answer. Under the progress bar is the total number of required questions and how many have been answered, so this will tell you how many you have missed. If all required questions are complete and the results still do not show, then the results may be locked by an advisor.
Why does the EFC Calculator have sections for Non-Custodial Parents if they are not used in the EFC calculations?
The institutional methodology for the EFC calculation does not use the data from the non-custodial parents section of the EFC Calculator. This data is captured so that families and advisors have a complete picture of the student's financial situation. Some colleges that use the IM do require and use the non-custodial parent input. Based on the input on the non-custodial parent sections of the survey, it may be advantageous or disadvantageous to select schools that require this data.
Does the EFC Calculator work for Independent students?
The EFC Calculator does not calculate a unique EFC for independent students in the initial release. This is something that will be added in the future. The EFC Calculator survey does have some questions pertaining to independent students, and those are included to allow families to capture and review the entire picture. The categories and strategies can still be used for independent students to help select financially affordable colleges.
What is an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and how are the Institutional and Federal methodologies different?
The EFC Calculator results are presented as a total Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number. The EFC Calculator in GuidedPath calculates an EFC based on Institutional methods (IM) as well as Federal Methods (FM).
The two primary calculations in the EFC Calculator are termed methodologies.
Federal Methodology (FM): All colleges/universities use federal methodology for awarding federal financial aid.
Institutional Methodology (IM): Many private colleges/universities and programs use institutional methodology to strategically award their own private funds.
The IM considers more factors in the EFC calculation, and as a result is typically higher than the FM.
Here are the types of financial categories taken into consideration by the FM and IM methodologies:
Home equity: only IM
Business (under 100 employees): only IM
Farm (principal place of residence, primary income source): Only IM
Business (over 100 employees): FM and IM
Farm (investment or other): FM and IM
Non-custodial Parent: Only IM
Savings in retirement plans: Only IM
Why is 3.5% uses as the deduction for medical expenses on the EFC CalculatorInstitutional methodology?
The institutional methodology is customizable by each college using it. Colleges can adjust the percentages used for any of the income or asset allowances in the formula. We use 3.5 percent to ensure our estimates fall in the middle, to accommodate for schools that might use a higher or a lower percentage.
Why is it not 7.5% or 10%, which is used for federal taxes?
College affordability is not really tied to federal tax outcomes. Colleges will set their own percentages, we use a conservative percentage for calculating institutional EFC's.
How is the Income Marginal Rate calculated?
A marginal rate for income is based a family's ability to absorb the cost of education. The difference between financial necessary costs (food, housing, etc.) and a family's income creates their marginal rate. The lower a family's income, the lower their marginal rate will be. As income increases, the ability of the family to cover education costs is estimated to rise as well, this is reflected in the marginal rate. The maximum institutional and federal marginal rate for parent income is 46%. The maximum marginal rate for student income is 50% for the federal methodology, and 46% for the institutional methodology.
See quote from a College Board document on the Institutional Methodology:
"After subtracting taxes and other appropriate allowance from total income, a portion of the remaining available income is considered available for college expenses. Similarly to the federal income tax rate structure, the IM assessment rate structure applies a lower rate- 22%- to the first dollars of available income and progressively higher rates to additional dollars of discretionary income. Even families subject to the highest rate ---46%-- are asked to pay that rate only ion their last dollars of available income." http://professionals.
How is the Asset Marginal Rate calculated?
A marginal rate for assets is calculated using more assets than are used on the federal methodology. Most parent assets are considered, including home, other real estate, money in children trusts or other accounts, and business or farm assets. Sometimes retirement accounts are considered as well. This marginal rate is graduated, just as the marginal rate for income. The higher the asset value, the higher the marginal rate. The maximum institutional parent marginal rate is 5%. It ranges between 3-5%. The maximum parent asset marginal rate for federal methodology is 12%. The maximum student asset marginal rate is 20% for the federal methodology, and 25% for institutional methodology.