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Twins Fall 2020 FASFA returned two very different Estimated EFC amounts

boys2020boys2020 4 replies2 threads New Member
First son's confirmation and Expected EFC said $36K, second son's Expected EFC said $13K. We completed the same day (today) and know we have to wait a few days to get the formal numbers, but doesn't that seem crazy? We were very careful with our entry info, and definitely said 2 in college at same time in family of 4. We tried to use the copy feature so we didn't have to enter our tax info twice, but it didn't work (we think we had pop up blocker on) so we entered all the info twice. We also couldn't use the upload link option from IRS for some reason, so again, we manually entered data. Any advice? First and only children, so not sure of next steps. If the numbers are accurate and we didn't make a mistake, it's concerning in that if $36K EFC son picks a relatively inexpensive schoool, we won't see any aid for him. Thoughts? Help? TIA!
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Replies to: Twins Fall 2020 FASFA returned two very different Estimated EFC amounts

  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4768 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Does each student have similar income and asset numbers? Did you mistakenly enter parent financial information in the student section for one of the students? Did you triple check for accurate data entry?
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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    Print out those FAFSA forms and go line by line and check.

    Any chance you had an IRA or TSA rollover and entered it correctly for one son and not the other?

    Look for added zeros, or misplaced decimal points, 1000.00 can look like 10,000 if the decimal point is not in the right place.

    Make sure Parent assets and income are in the parent section only.

    Make sure assets are listed correctly on both kid forms.

    If both of your kids were supposed to have $32,000 EFCs each, your income would be in the $150,000-$200,000 range..or so.

    If your kids were supposed to have $13,000 EFCs each, your incomes would be in the $75000-$100,000 a year range...or so.

    Those are my guesstimates based on income only. Of course assets would make your EFCs higher.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29925 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Unless your twins have very different income/assets, from each other, something is wrong.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84268 replies1045 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    First son's confirmation and Expected EFC said $36K, second son's Expected EFC said $13K


    ok....if you have modest assets, would you say that your income is about $120k? or is your income $200k+??

    if your income is about $110k, then a split EFC would give each child an EFC of about $13k.

    But if your income is much higher (and/or you have a LOT of assets), then your split EFC should be about $36k each.

    if the former is correct, then you know that the FAFSA with the high EFC is wrong, so go over that one.

    If the latter one is right, then review the one with the low EFC is wrong.

    of course, it’s also possible that both are wrong...

    did the OP confirm how much each son earned or has in savings?
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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    It’s very possible that the entries were made incorrectly on one of the FAFSA forms. I think they need to print them both out, and do a side by side comparison to see where the difference(s) is.

    At the same time...have the tax return and asset information handy to accuracy can be checked on both forms.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 766 replies76 threads Member
    They should be basically identical, except for small variances due to the income/assets of the students. Unless one twin has a huge stash of money or a great job for a HS student, you made a mistake somewhere. As suggested above, go over it line by line, it probably won't be that hard to figure out.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    @boys2020

    Please let us know what happens. Whatever you did...or didn’t do...can be helpful to someone else here in the future.
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  • boys2020boys2020 4 replies2 threads New Member
    Hi again...thanks for the responses! Yes, we did, in fact, key something in wrong on second son. Strangely, we had missed my husband's birthday day by 1 digit (twins are the 15th, husband is the 16th) but we still got positive FSA ID confirmations for everyone, so we did the applications, but it wouldn't let us use the Tax upload link, which was weird. We finally figured out that we keyed husband's birthday wrong, which was preventing the automatic tax upload feature from working. Long story long, we ended up keying each son's financial data manually, and keyed errors (I used my wages in the AGI number) so we were all kinds of messed up. The final result was that we did a correction to my husband's FSA ID, so we could clean everything up ASAP. We also corrected second son's data, and now both have around $36K EFC. If they get into a UC, it won't matter for much (other than qualifying us for student loans), but if they get accepted into an out of state school, it might qualify us for some merit based aid. Thanks again for the feedback. Really glad I found this site!
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23811 replies17 threads Senior Member
    but if they get accepted into an out of state school, it might qualify us for some merit based aid.

    I think you mean need based aid.

    Merit aid rarely cares what your EFC is. But if you are talking about public schools OOS, they often don't care what your EFC is either and don't give a lot of need based aid to OOS students. Californians can't complain because California doesn't give any.

    Schools that meet full need may care.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    if they get accepted into an out of state school, it might qualify us for some merit based aid

    I’m also thinking you mean need-based aid. Merit has nothing to do with EFC.

    But if you mean need based aid at an OOS public university...don’t count on a lot of need based aid unless they are attending UNC or UVA.

    They might qualify for need based aid at a private university in or out of state. How much will depend on the policies at the schools.

    BUT...glad you found the mistake and were able to fix it!
    edited October 2019
    Post edited by mom2collegekids on
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84268 replies1045 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    I agree with the two above posters. Sounds like you mean need based aid.

    However if the OOS schools are public universities., you may not get need based aid.

    And the few OOS publics that give need based aid use CSS Profile.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84268 replies1045 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    edited October 2019
    now both have around $36K EFC.

    Each son has a $36k EFC? So your total EFC is over $70k for both twins total?

    It sounds like you had originally put your AGI in a student section? If so wouldn’t that mean that the corrected EFC would now be lower? Or maybe I misunderstood.

    If you’re prepared to pay $70k+ per year towards college costs then fine.

    If not, then your kids need affordable college lists.

    Have you run the Net Price Calculators?
    edited October 2019
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4322 replies56 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    Consider the $36K each as the minimum, not the likely, amount you might pay. OOS publics especially are not likely to meet need. Privates will decide on need offers as they see your need, not how FAFSA describes it. IMO with twins this means you need a smart and focused strategy that involves few financial fantasies. Chase merit if your kids have the stats. You may not get aid at all. Make sure to do NPCs. Are your kids juniors?
    edited October 2019
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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    we ended up keying each son's financial data manually, and keyed errors (I used my wages in the AGI number) so we were all kinds of messed up

    @mom2collegekids they keyed errors...more than one. It sounds to me like it wasn’t just one wrong entry.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35220 replies399 threads Senior Member
    So your income is so high that if only one were going, you'd be full pay or nearly so?

    "If you’re prepared to pay $70k+ per year towards college costs then fine." With a caveat. If one gets no aid, based on the college's policies, then that's 70k by itself. If the other gets something, you'd need to add in his balance due. This could look like over 100k/year.

    So choose wisely.
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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    A $70,000 total (adding both kids together) family contribution would mean an income in the $200,000 to $250,000 a year range...or so....as a guesstimate. Not including assets.

    Is this about your annual income? If not, maybe you still made a mistake.
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  • first5first5 2 replies0 threads New Member
    I have the same issue of two different EFC amounts for my two sons. I've looked at this whole thread and another one. :( Can't reconcile. From these last few posts, I have a simpler question: Once i get the accurate EFC's for each my sons, then I have to sum them both up to get my total out of pocket estimate? I may mistakenly have thought an EFC for one son would be the total total amount for both kids (which as i type this seems unlikely).
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20827 replies2024 threads Super Moderator
    @first5
    welcome to CC.

    you will probably get more responses if you start your own thr3ead explaining exactly what you need and answer to.

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  • thumper1thumper1 76449 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    edited January 12
    @first5

    Once you get your EFC for each of your kids....yes...you add them together. This amount will be the MINIMUM you should expect to pay out of pocket for both kids to attend college....for the first year (you apply for need based aid annually at most schools).

    Your actual out of pocket costs could be very much higher than your EFC amounts because the very vast majority of colleges do NOT guarantee to meet full need for all accepted students.

    If you start your own thread with the specifics of your EFC questions...I think someone here will be able to help you. Better to do that than highjack someone else’s thread.

    edited January 12
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  • first5first5 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Thanks, you all are quick! i did some more searching here and found answers in other threads relevant to my question, which i should have done first. apologies. In other forums i try not to start my own threads when there are others with the info i'm seeking or hijack someone else's (broke my own rule :) You all are so polite here from what i've seen so far!
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