Expected Family Contribution Calculator

The purpose of this calculator is to assist you in estimating your expected family contribution (EFC). An EFC is a measure of how much money you and your family will be able to contribute toward your educational expenses for one academic year of your postsecondary education. The postsecondary school you plan to attend will use your official EFC (see below for information about how your official EFC is calculated) to determine your financial need. Your school will determine your financial need by subtracting your EFC from your school's cost of attendance (COA). Once your school has determined your financial need, it will determine the federal, state, and institutional financial aid it can provide you to best meet your need.

The U.S. Department of Education will calculate your official EFC once you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the application for federal financial aid. You can complete a paper FAFSA (available at your school) or you can complete the FAFSA on the Web (available at www.fafsa.ed.gov). You must complete a FAFSA for each academic year for which you are seeking federal financial aid. If you have any questions about how an EFC is calculated, the FAFSA, or federal student aid, call your school's financial aid office or call TG at (800) 845‑6267.

The first step in estimating your EFC is determining your dependency status. There are specific criteria that the Department of Education uses to consider whether a student is dependent or independent. You are considered independent if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You were born before January 1, 1987.
  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • You are working on a master's or doctorate program during the 2010-2011 school year.
  • You are married as of the date you apply for aid.
  • You are a ward/dependent of the court, or you were a ward/dependent of the court until age 18.
  • You have legal dependents other than a spouse.
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.

If you do not meet at least one of the criteria above, you are considered dependent for the purposes of federal financial aid.

Do you meet any of the criteria above?

Note: This calculator provides an estimation of what you and your family will be expected to contribute towards your educational expenses for one academic year of your postsecondary education. Your official EFC is calculated by the Department of Education when you complete a FAFSA.

Source: IFAP EFC Formula Guide 2010-2011