What Does My FAFSA EFC Number Mean?

Realistic Simple Definition of Your EFC Number (“Code”)

  • It is not the amount of money your family will pay for college, it is an estimate.
  • It is not the amount of financial aid you will receive. [Student Aid Report “SAR” EFC Codes]
  • Clarification: EFC Code/s can refer to your family’s number or SAR codes link above.
  • A good EFC number? The lower the number the better for financial aid qualification.

 Your EFC is Like an Index Number for Colleges

Colleges use your EFC Code to calculate your financial aid eligibility. Some people use a formula COA – EFC= Amount You Pay but in reality this understates in most cases what you will pay. 

graduation cap with gold tassleStrategy Alert: FAFSA EFC Analysis Calculator provides FAFSA/CSS Profile estimates not only of your EFC number/s but also projects financial aid awards for each college. The result is your funding gap (net-out-of-pocket costs) for each college.

 The video above explains in more detail what your EFC means.

Timing Factors Must Be Considered – Know the Rules

Watch time of events, example  income is assessed for the base year (year prior to completing forms) and assets are assessed as of the day you sign the form.

Learn about different EFC score calculation methods and how they are used in the Financial Aid Eligibility process.

College Financial Aid Paying for College Video Text

Text to Read College Financial Aid Video

Tiger Head Open Mouth Teeth Sticking Out

“Starter Coaching Program” Affordable Click the Tiger

What Does the Financial Aid Office Do With Your EFC Number?

They use your EFC number to calculate the student’s “financial need”.

Total Cost of Attendance Less EFC Number = Financial Need.

This is the starting point but various circumstances dictate the actual financial aid award.

What is the FAFSA “ISIR”?

ISIR stands for the Institutional Student Information Record. It is the electronic output from the student’s FAFSA. The record is used by schools to prepare the financial aid package for the student.

EFC Chart Shows How To Calculate EFC

FAFSA Student Trap – Pay Close Attention To Student Income and Asset Assessment Rates

EFC-chart 2014-2015-formula-relationships

What Determines the Amount of Financial Aid

Your Expected Family Contribution (“EFC”) is the “major driving factor” in determining financial aid eligibility and the structure of the financial aid award. Other factors which are involved are;

  •  Your Year in College
  • Your Enrollment Status
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Percentage Need Met by Individual College
  • Student Profile Compared to Average Student at College
  • Individual College’s Best Practices

You Can Estimate and/or Check Your Financial Aid Award By College

Our college cost software program calculates college financial aid awards taking your EFC estimate and the school’s historical percentage need met providing you with answers to these questions.

  • Which Colleges give out the most “Merit Aid”?
  • Which Colleges burden you with “Self Help” (Loans)?
  • Which Colleges have the highest “Need Met”, more financial aid?
  • Which Colleges are more affordable for your financial situation?
  • Which Colleges are more suitable for your student based on Freshman/Upperclassman Profile Data?
  • What is your projected out-of-pocket costs for each college (affordability question)?
  • Should you appeal your financial  aid award?

Learn More About Our EFC Tune-UP™

Answer the Question “Can I Lower My EFC Number for More Financial Help”

  • You access our free EFC Calculator Software in Resource  Library
  • You Input Your Data, Simple Help Instructions on Each Screen
  • Send The “Encrypted” Data Back (No Social Security Numbers)
  • Or, We Can Collect Data By Phone, or Send You A Spread Sheet
  • We’ll Provide Before / After  Strategies to Lower Your FAFSA EFC Number

College Affordability Financial Aid Eligibility Comparisons by College

  • Prepare Financial Aid Eligibility Reports
  • Shows You Up To 5 Colleges Side-by-Side
  • Projects Your Financial Aid Package Based Upon College Historical Award Patterns
  • Discover  Your Anticipated “Unmet Need” [your out-of-pocket costs]
  • Two-Page Selected College Research Information Summary Reports

Not Ready? Are You Asking The Right Questions?

  • Tic -tac-toe, Did You Win The First Time?
  • You Asked Questions, Learned The Rules, Then Looked For “Someone” Who Did Not Know The Rules, And You Won!
  • EFC Is Like Tic-tac-toe, More Rules, Do You Know Them? Do You Want to Learn Them?
  • Do you understand the Financial Aid Appeal process?
  • Do You Want to Take the Time to Learn All This? Why not Let Us Help You!

 EFC Rules Can Be Opportunities

See How EFC Rules Are Like Tic-tac-toe. Our “Strategy Alerts” Newsletter provides tips, sign up and learn. Strategy-Alerts-Newsletter-Registration

EFC-chart-calculation-components- inside tic-tac-toe grid

Coaching Will Help Maximize Financial Aid Eligibility



 Make It Easier, Simpler with EFC Tune-UP™

Graduation Cap Black with Black Tassel[Strategy Alert:]  Not filing the FAFSA form because you make too much money  can be a costly mistake.

Many Colleges but not all require you to file the FAFSA to qualify for “free money” – grants,  scholarships, merit aid,  etc.

In addition,  if you fail to file the first year in college it might jeopardize your chances in the future should your financial circumstances change.

What’s your plan of action for preparing for the EFC process?

What’s your plan for Financial Aid?

What’s your plan for paying for College?

Which Colleges are more affordable for your Family?

Let’s start the process, click the image below!

See Financial Aid Eligibility sample report comparing colleges side by side.

Learn About EFC Tune-Up CourseRed Arrow Free ePrep Review Online Sample TestsIs Your Financial Aid Award Fair?