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FAFSA EFC vs College Board EFC calculator

upstatemomupstatemom Registered User Posts: 520 Member
Forgive me if this has been addressed before; I searched old posts but couldn't find it---

There is an $8000 difference between our FAFSA EFC and the College Board calculator (which I guess is what the Profile will mirror) with the FAFSA being the higher number.

Does anyone know why there would be such a big difference? Is the FAFSA just used to determine federal aid eligibility or do the Profile schools also use it to factor their aid? All the colleges my D has applied to use the Profile.

Post edited by upstatemom on

Replies to: FAFSA EFC vs College Board EFC calculator

  • SLUMOMSLUMOM Registered User Posts: 3,610 Senior Member
    FAFSA doesn't consider home equity or medical expenses either, whereas the PROFILE does.

    The PROFILE also considers the ages of siblings & that you should be saving for them as well, it is called "Annual Education Savings Allowance". PROFILE considers private school tuition for applicant's siblings (Elementary or Secondary School), but not private school tuition for the applicant.

    Your "Income Protection Allowance" may be higher on the PROFILE, thus lowering your EFC.

    The PROFILE schools are going to use info on the PROFILE to give your child Institutional Aid or grant/scholarship money from their own coffers.
  • upstatemomupstatemom Registered User Posts: 520 Member
    Thanks! We only have one D so there was no accounting for siblings' savings and private schools. We have about $180,000 in home equity so I would have thought that the CB calculator would give us a higher EFC.

    But am glad to hear that the FAFSA won't be used to calculate aid for the PROFILE schools. We can live with the CB EFC!
  • SLUMOMSLUMOM Registered User Posts: 3,610 Senior Member
    On the IM on the Collegeboard EFC, it should show:

    "parents contribution from income"
    "parents contribution from assets"

    "students contribution from income"
    "students contribution from assets"

    Those 4 numbers will add up to give you one EFC.
  • SLUMOMSLUMOM Registered User Posts: 3,610 Senior Member
    FAFSA just determines your eligibility for federal aid: Pell Grant, Stafford loans, etc.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,936 Senior Member
    ^ Although the actual Profile asks for pre-college tuition info for siblings, this is considered an optional expense, except where special conditions exist- eg, tuition for a special needs sibling. This was confirmed by D1's FAA, when D2 was still in hs.
    No calculator can guarantee to come near what a college may decide you can pay. This can apply to a Fafsa-only school and definitely applies to a Profile school.

    Profile schools look at a broader array of assets than Fafsa schools even see. (Eg, in supplemental questions, some schools ask the value of your cars.) Then, each has its own formula for determining family resources.

    Recently, someone suggested that, if your Profile guesstimator is lower than a Fafsa estimator, it can be that home equity allowances are higher than your actual home equity.

    Bottom line: we really don't know because each college treats assets by their own formulas. Be careful that the home equity figure you enter is realistic. It's not what your local tax assessment states or even what you think homes sell for in your neighborhood. It has to be a realistic figure that represents the condition and marketability of your house. If you put your home on the market today, for $X, would it sell for a figure that would net you $180,000? Or, would you end up dropping the price, making concessions for the leaky roof, etc?

    Good luck.
  • reeinazreeinaz Registered User Posts: 1,531 Senior Member
    On another posting regarding a lower IM efc vs FM efc, it was stated that if there is any federal student aid involved, the school can not use the lower IM efc. If all of the aid is institutional however, the school can use their lower efc. The poster did quote some policy from somewhere. I will see if I can locate it.
  • RiversChoiceRiversChoice Registered User Posts: 310 Member
    Upstatemom, when you compare financial aid packages you & your D will feel like you have submitted tax returns to 8 different countries! (using 8 as an example of number of acceptances)

    One school may have more loans, another more grant dollars, some schools may offer Work Study & some may not! These schools are all going to interpret your info in their own way! And how badly do they want your D to enroll, another consideration.

    It is always good to get at least one that is an offer that is too good to pass up!
This discussion has been closed.