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EFC is not a $ its an Index?

LTempletonLTempleton Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
In almost every thing I've read EFC is always referred to as a $ amount. I understood it to be the amount I would have to come up with out of pocket.

I called my daughter's 1st pick school today....a state school and she would be an out of state student (our state does not offer her intended major). They explained the EFC was only an index and I should be prepared that we may only get offered like $2500 in loans. They said I would probably have to take out a parent plus loan for the rest. The rest in this case is around $36,000 per year.

I don't think I qualify for that. I know I should wait to see the package.....but this schools package will follow along after the date the other schools will have wanted an answer.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggested reading?
Post edited by LTempleton on
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Replies to: EFC is not a $ its an Index?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,083Registered User Senior Member
    First of all....an out of state public doesn't meet the needs for OOS students The OOS fee would be meaningless if they just covered it with FA. Right?

    Virginia and North Carolina are the only OOS schools that give their own Financial aid money to help OOS students.

    So...an EFC at most OOS publics can be rather meaningless. It will tell them if you get federal aid (like a Pell), but it won't influence them to give you their own aid to help with the high OOS costs. Most publics can't afford to help their own in-state kids, much less the OOS kids (whose costs are even higher!)

    Some OOS publics "get around" the OOS rules by giving merit scholarships to OOS kids with high stats. If your D didn't receive a merit scholarship, then you probably won't get any help at all - except loans.

    Your D may need to quickly apply elsewhere if this school is unaffordable.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,083Registered User Senior Member
    They said I would probably have to take out a parent plus loan for the rest. The rest in this case is around $36,000 per year.

    I don't think I qualify for that. I know I should wait to see the package..



    I wouldn't bother waiting for the FA package...they've been "up front" with you already.

    If you don't think that you can afford the $36k loan (which will be higher each year), then this school is not possible. To pay back $160k in Plus Loans (the total for 4 years) would cause huge monthly payments for 10 years.


    Your D may have to go locally for 2 years and then transfer for her major. I wouldn't go into debt - especially for the first 2 years - because kids often change their majors. If after 2 years, your D still wants to major in that, then borrow the $80k for her last 2 years (if you want to and can afford to).
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,083Registered User Senior Member
    I understood [the EFC] to be the amount I would have to come up with out of pocket.


    No...and certainly not at OOS publics. Most people have to pay more ( a lot more) even at their instate publics and at most privates.

    Most schools do not have the money to supplement parents' EFCs to meet the cost of college.

    (I really wish schools (especially OOS publics) were more forthcoming about this during the application process.)
  • LTempletonLTempleton Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
    She did recieve decent merritt scholarships from 2 other OOS schools. I guess it can only become a reality for her if they (the specific program) can come up with a meritt or other scholarship for her. It just took me by surprise.

    I'm happy to relocate to what ever state she ends up in to help her gain in state. I'd be happy to relocate period. Thanks for your answer.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,279Registered User Senior Member
    Just to add to this conversation for the OP. The EFC is used to determine a concept called "need." The difference between the cost (tuition/room/board/books/etc.) is the "need." Some colleges/unis "meet" need and do that through a variety of vehicles including student loans (generally Staffords), grants (free money), merit (free money) and Work/Study. OF course there are colleges that do not meet need which is called "gapping" or attempt to illustrate how the need can be met by including a Parent loan (PLUS). There is published information on College Board and other websites about what percent of "need" is on average met by colleges and universities. The only problem is that it's difficult to determine what is "average" but you can get a real general picture of how generous a college is and how they attempt (or don't attempt) to meet need. I particularly like information that comes directly from the colleges through a report called "Common Data Set." Sometimes you can find the Common Data Set by searching for that for the college. Some colleges publish it on their websites and it can be found by searching on Common Data Set or Institutional Research. If a parent is turned down for a Parent Plus loan the student will be entitled to a larger Stafford loan. The other nice thing about Common Data Set is you can find out in general what the GPAs and ACT or SAT scores are for the previous year's freshman. This can help because if your child is the upper bands of the incoming class there is sometime merit aid available. Also some public universities (and private schools) have automatic merit awards based on ACT/SAT score and GPA. Those are almost always posted on the college website and are also searchable information. Good luck!
  • nursekaynursekay Posts: 250Registered User Junior Member
    Make sure you do your research before you relocate to try to gain in-state tuition. Many states require that you are a resident of the state for a period of time before you are eligable for in-state tuition. If your d starts of oos it may not even make a difference if you move.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,083Registered User Senior Member
    She did recieve decent merrit scholarships from 2 other OOS schools.

    I guess it can only become a reality for her if they (the specific program) can come up with a merit or other scholarship for her. It just took me by surprise.

    I'm happy to relocate to what ever state she ends up in to help her gain in state. I'd be happy to relocate period. Thanks for your answer.



    If you go to the dept webpage of your D's major, it should indicate whether they award scholarships. Or call the department and ask. You might as well know now so you and your D can prepare for Plan B if necessary.

    Are your D's other schools affordable?

    The relocating to get instate will take at least a year. You'll have to find out if moving will give you residency and your D instate tuition after a year.
  • LTempletonLTempleton Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for yoru input! I thought I did my research, by looking up the % of need met, I guess I didn't understand that OOS would be This much of a factor. I'm hoping the financial aid person I talked to today was setting me up for a worst cases scenario.
    My daughter's been an outstanding student and deserves to go to the school of her choice. I'm a pretty determined person, so I'm hoping I can find a way to work this out. Your referenced resopures will help..thank you.
    Where there's a will there's a way.
  • LTempletonLTempleton Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
    Yes I have checked out the relocation rules for the 3 schools she is considering.
    If I relocate for a job after 1 year she can be considered for instate. I realize considered is the operative word....but like I said I'm ready to move any way.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    A lot of people make the mistake of thinking the EFC is all they will pay. Unless you are attending a school that promises to meet full need this is very rarely the case (and schools that promise to meet full need usually require additional financial information).

    The FAFSA EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal aid and for institutional aid if the school offers any (many state schools do not have institutional need based aid to offer). Federal grant aid is available only for students with low EFCs (4617 or less for the Pell grant). Most other federal aid will be in the form of loans and perhaps work study. Federal aid is not enough to meet the cost of most 4 year schools even for instate students.

    The % need met figures always seem a bit meaningless to me (except for schools that meet 100% of need). If student A has $1000 of need and it is fully met then their need is 100% met. If Student B has $25,000 need and only gets $5,500 in loans then their need is 22% met. The average need met for the 2 students is 61%. But Student B is nowhere near that average.

    I would be very cautious of committing to a school that will cause you to take out excessive loans and then hoping to gain instate tuition.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,083Registered User Senior Member
    I'm hoping the financial aid person I talked to today was setting me up for a worst cases scenario.

    My daughter's been an outstanding student and deserves to go to the school of her choice. I'm a pretty determined person, so I'm hoping I can find a way to work this out. Your referenced resopures will help..thank you.



    I don't think so. It's pretty routine for OOS students to get no help in their FA packages except loans (and fed aid if they qualify). What state is this????



    Where there's a will there's a way.


    That's an optimistic outlook, but only if the "will" involves you being willing to take out big loans and relocating.

    I realize that your D is an outstanding student. That's wonderful. But, don't jeopardize your future financial security by taking out big loans. There are very few careers that require a person to attend any particular school - especially for the first 2 years.

    Even if you only have to borrow the $36k one time, your monthly payment would immediately be about $450 a month for 10 years (in addition to what you'll have to pay out for the other 3 years.) Is that affordable?
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,479Super Moderator Senior Member
    My S has been accepted to a couple wonderful OOS schools, but we were up-front with him from the start ... he'd have to get good merit scholarships or we can't afford these schools. So far none have materialized. He won't be going to these schools. While I am sorry about this, it is reality. He has other options ... one of which he will end up accepting. Don't worry. Your D will be fine, as well.
  • alf56alf56 Posts: 69Registered User Junior Member
    Did you check to see if your state university has any reciprocal agreement with out of state Universities that carry a major they don't have? I have heard of people paying only 'in state" tuition at out of state public universities if their own public university does not offer the major.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 60,083Registered User Senior Member
    I think these agreements are between states (not between universities themselves). They are common market agreements between states.

    It may be too late to apply to another school that has the program. I think at this point, the student should stay in-state for 2 years, and then transfer.

    Who knows....most kids change their major before junior year.

    Can you imagine borrowing all that money to go to a particular school that has THAT major, only to have your child change his/her major to a major that was available everywhere?? YIKES!!!
  • LTempletonLTempleton Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
    We did look into that. But the only opertunities were at a graduate level.


    My daughter is looking at a very specific program, one of the few that seems to have advantages by being in the program from the beginning.

    I appreciate your warnings. We will see what can be worked out once we get award letters. no matter what i'm not staying in this state so worse case scenario she goes some place else for a year and transfers to what ever state I'm in.
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