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how to lower my EFC?

heathmcintireheathmcintire Posts: 15Registered User New Member
Hey, my EFC is 55,341 my parents make 80K, how is this possible?! there no way we can afford that... did we do something wrong? should I become "independent", would that help? any help would be great. thank you!
Post edited by heathmcintire on
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Replies to: how to lower my EFC?

  • kathieh1kathieh1 Posts: 652Registered User Member
    Make sure all forms were filled out correctly. Sounds like they must have a lot of assets. Do they own additional homes or have other income sources? Just for that income it does sound high.
  • heathmcintireheathmcintire Posts: 15Registered User New Member
    no other houses or income no stocks or others assests, expect for my job but thats 4k a year....
  • BarflyBarfly Posts: 601Registered User Member
    Wow! Check those forms! Maybe something was filled out wrong. Either way, be sure to apply for lots of outside scholarships.
  • heathmcintireheathmcintire Posts: 15Registered User New Member
    i have been applying for outside scholarships they all seem pretty competitive so we'll see... I filed the FAFSA at dependent on my parents, i read that if i file independent then becasue my income is so low it would lower my efc is that true?
  • absweetmarieabsweetmarie Posts: 1,905Registered User Senior Member
    You can't file FAFSA as independent if you're not independent. Do a Google search to find the definition of "independence" according to FAFSA; there are a lot of conditions, and you can't be dependent one day and independent the next day because it is more financially convenient.

    Recheck your work on the FAFSA and talk with your parents about the details (did you fill out their portion of it?). An EFC that high on the income you report suggests either error or, as another poster has suggested, significant assets.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,030Registered User Senior Member
    You can't become an independent.

    You need to go over the forms again. Sounds like you put that YOU the student earn $80k.....or....maybe when you weren't looking, your parents put in their real assets that they don't want you knowing about.

    You don't report the value of your primary home...check to make sure you didn't do that.

    You don't report official retirement accts, but you do include annual contributions.


    Outside scholarships are not going to make a difference....especially at this point. Most are small and only for FROSH year....so no help for years 2, 3, and 4. The few big multi-year scholarships had deadlines that were long past...and some consider "need".


    Slowly go over the FAFSA form again paying CAREFUL attention to parent info vs student info.

    and make sure you didn't add in an extra 0 somewhere....like in your income.
  • jvtDadjvtDad Posts: 658Registered User Member
    If your parent income is 80K and yours is 40K, the EFC comes out about what you said, 55K... So, did you put an extra zero to your income of 4K?
  • teachandmomteachandmom Posts: 1,220Registered User Senior Member
    No high school senior should be filling out the FAFSA. Parents need to do so, because they are much more likely to understand the tax terms, etc. Older students fill out the FAFSA because they are older, probably have worked, etc, know about taxes, etc, and can handle it. If you had to do so on your own, you should have asked some other adult to help you. I agree that your parents probably do have assets you don't know about. Many parents don't want their children knowing all their financial business.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,288Registered User Senior Member
    Sometimes, teach, we don't have a choice. Ideally families would be filling it out together but for various reasons, that's not always possible.

    And the op originally said "did we do something wrong" implying that he filled it out with someone, not alone.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 35,071Registered User Senior Member
    Something isn't right...is it possible that you added an extra 0 someplace? Did you list some kind of income twice (if your parents had retirement contributions that were TAXED...you would not add those again for example...as they would already be included in the AGI)?

    Is your parent self employed?
  • AruthaArutha Posts: 270Registered User Junior Member
    Check every single item carefully two more times. This EFC doesn't sound right for the information you provided.
  • heathmcintireheathmcintire Posts: 15Registered User New Member
    THANK YOU everyone! my parents and i went through it and sure enough they put their income as my income as well. now its down to a reasonable 21000! i do have one other question we are slightly confused on what the means, i want to go to a school that cost 45K does a EFC of 21K mean that is all we pay and the rest is in grant form? thanks again!
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 35,071Registered User Senior Member
    NO it does not mean that is all you will pay in most cases. There are some schools that do meet full need but not FAFSA only schools. You need to check the policy at your college to see if they meet full financial need for all accepted students. If they do NOT, your EFC per FAFSA is the MINIMUM you will be expected to pay.
  • heathmcintireheathmcintire Posts: 15Registered User New Member
    Ok thumper1 i am meeting with the fin aid officer thursday. what questions should i ask, or what should i say? thanks
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,030Registered User Senior Member
    heathmcintire
    New Member
    *

    THANK YOU everyone! my parents and i went through it and sure enough they put their income as my income as well. now its down to a reasonable 21000! i do have one other question we are slightly confused on what the means, i want to go to a school that cost 45K does a EFC of 21K mean that is all we pay and the rest is in grant form? thanks again!

    ==========

    NO! That's not what that means. FAFSA EFC means little to most schools except to determine Federal aid....and your EFC is too high for federal grants.

    Most schools do NOT meet need....they don't have the money for that. You will likely be given a 5500 loan, 2000 in work study.....and that may be all. Or you might also get a small grant and get gapped for the rest.

    Also....much will depend on the schools that you're applying to.

    If you're going to a school that costs $45k, that sounds like an OOS public or a small private. If so, they may not give much need based aid.


    Are your parents saying that the $22k (or more) is affordable for them? if so, I'm guessing that they do have some assets since your EFC is still a bit high for that income. Otherwise, that's a lot to pay with an income of $80k. Taxes take a chunk, home mortgage takes a chunk, cars/gasoline take a chunk, and other living epenses take a chunk.....not usually enough leftover to pay $22k.

    What schools did you apply to?


    Is this High Point?

    If so, you won't likely get ANY grant money from them. Their avg grant award is less than $3k....and that would include Pell and/or state grants. You will likely be expected to pay all costs....including the loans.


    Ask the FA officer what kind of grants can you expect with that EFC....press them for an honest answer. Don't use the words FA....ask how much FREE MONEY...GRANTS....you will get.
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