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My EFC is 0, so what happened?

wigglechoowigglechoo Posts: 205Registered User Junior Member
When I filled out my FAFSA, my EFC was 0. No one in my family can work due to physical disabilities, so we make around 24,000 a year for a family of 4 (including me)

When I got my financial aid info from a school, my pell grant award was around 2,700, and the school had my EFC at around 2,500 dollars. How in the world? By the end of every month, my family and I are barely getting by.

I'm wondering if something went wrong? Why in the world wouldn't I get the full pell grant? And why would a school think my family could contribute anything? I know students who make a lot more money than me, who got the full pell grant.
Post edited by wigglechoo on

Replies to: My EFC is 0, so what happened?

  • brendank21brendank21 Posts: 230Registered User Junior Member
    Does this school use the CSS Profile or there own financial aid form in additional to the FAFSA?
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,394Registered User Senior Member
    Did the school make a correction to your FAFSA? If their EFC is different to the one that FAFSA produced, they must have changed something. You need to find out what they changed so you can determine if it was correct.
  • wigglechoowigglechoo Posts: 205Registered User Junior Member
    They use the CSS profile, and I don't know if they make a correction to my fafsa. Do I just call them on Monday and ask why their EFC is different? Who can I ask about my pell grant?
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,394Registered User Senior Member
    CSS is used to determine institutional aid. It should not change the FAFSA EFC, which is what is used to calculate the pell eligibility. Check your student aid report on the FAFSA website to see if they made any changes (a school can and will make changes if they find an error on your FAFSA input). If there are non, then you need to contact the school and ask them for an explanation.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 76,665Registered User Senior Member
    It sounds like CSS Profile considered your parents' assets.

    Do they own a home with equity? Do they have savings? investments? retirement? But none of that should change your EFC.

    Did your FAFSA EFC change or are you only talking about what the CSS school says that you should pay?

    Since your Pell grant wasn't full, it does sound like your EFC changed. Look over the numbers. It sounds like maybe you put some of your parents' info was put in the "student section"??? Check on that.

    Also...maybe that 2500 is the "student contribution"???? Many CSS schools expect students to work over the summer and contribute about THAT much.

    It's not unreasonable to expect a student to pay that much per year. Right???
  • wigglechoowigglechoo Posts: 205Registered User Junior Member
    Does anyone think writing an appeal letter would work? The income on my FAFSA is gonna go down about 2,000 after June because the govt. will no longer give my family any money for me, since I would have graduate high school. Should I call them and tell them that?

    My parents have no "assets". All we get are government checks each month. My FAFSA and CSS Profile were straight 0's until it came to the part where I tell them how much the govt. gives us.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,394Registered User Senior Member
    Are you sure the $2700 pell was the annual Pell, not the Semester pell? A 2700 annual Pell and a 2500 EFC do not seem to tie in.

    As Mom2 asked, is the 2500 the student contribution? Most CSS schools do expect a student contribution. What was the rest of the award like?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 76,665Registered User Senior Member
    Swimcat makes a good point. Check to see if your Pell amount is the semester amount. I think the annual Pell award for 0 EFC students is now higher (it was 5550 per year, but now I think it's higher).
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 50,603Registered User Senior Member
    The Pell Grant amount is NOT affected by the CSS Profile information.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 76,665Registered User Senior Member

    But we're trying figure out what's really going on.

    Was the student awarded full Pell, but split into semesters?

    was the student given a "student contribution" because it's a CSS school that expects students to contribute a couple grant?
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 26,432Registered User Senior Member
    You need to contact the school. If your family EFC was indeed zero, unless the school changed something, you should have gotten the full PELL as many have said. If the school did change something, you need to know what was changed. I am hoping that it was a semester award, not the whole year one as Swimcatsmom was guessing.

    That your school's contribution is not equal to your EFC, is a whole other story. A PROFILE school would calculate your family need differently from FAFSA and mandatory student contributions are often included in the formula. But that calculation is not going to affect the PELL amounts since that is still based on the FAFSA EFC.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 13,482Super Moderator Senior Member
    Please go online and look at your FAFSA. Has something changed from what you filled out? If so, what? In particular, look at the type of tax return your parents' filed, as well as whether or not your parents "could have" filed a 1040A or 1040EZ. I am thinking it could have been a change from the auto 0 formula due to an update to the type of tax return.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 35,861Registered User Senior Member
    I also wonder if the Pell grant was split, as you should get the full amount.
    The EfC from your college is different than your Pell grant eligibility.
    Even if your school met 100% of need, they still would likely expect a student contribution.
    I see that Northeastern is a school you are interested in, and they Do Not meet 100% of need.
    Congratulations for your acceptance but it may not be affordable to you.
    Did you apply to any schools that met 100% of need?
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