I am an adult (mid-30s) working on getting my bachelor's degree while working full time. I haven't used financial aid up until this point, but now need to look at getting loans.
Today I filled out both the 2018-2019 FAFSA and the 2019-2020 FAFSA and got dramatically different EFCs with very similar information filed in both. My 2016 and 2017 tax returns were used. They're not dramatically different.
My 2018-2019 FAFSA came out with an EFC of $6970
My 2019-2020 FAFSA came out with an EFC of $17,706
The information on number of students in college was the same on both and the info on current investments and amount in savings was identical on both.
For the 2018-2019 FAFSA, here's the info from my 2016 tax return:
Taxable Income: $60,285
Tax paid: $8114
For the 2019-2020 FAFSA, here's the info from my 2017 tax return:
Taxable Income: $48,707
Tax paid: $4376
The only other difference between the two is that I named two colleges on the 2019-2020 FAFSA and only one college on the 2018-2019 FAFSA. I wouldn't think that would have any impact on the EFC.
From just looking at the above info, I would think my 2019-2020 would have a lower EFC, instead of it being significantly higher.
Any insight on why they could be so different? Thanks in advance for the help!