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Is this a normal EFC?

EdgeoftheDarkEdgeoftheDark 32 replies5 threads Junior Member
So after filling out my FAFSA, my family and I got an EFC of $44k.

Our income is currently $100k, but my parents have significant assets, lots of money saved up + a rental property, which comes to around $230k. But, when I previously ran NPCs for colleges, they usually estimated the EFC to be around $30-35k, even when taking assets into account. We also live in a low-tax state.

Is this a normal EFC for this situation? Or is there a mistake?

Also, a few schools I had on my list also require the CSS profile. Should I not even bother applying to them if my FAFSA EFC is already this high?
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Replies to: Is this a normal EFC?

  • thumper1thumper1 75215 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    edited October 16
    Did you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import 2018 tax return information?

    With what you put here, on $100,000 income alone, your EFC would be in the $25,000 range.

    Is that $230,000 the equity in the rental property? That would add about $14,000 more to that amount...so $39,000. You don’t indicate what the income from rents are, but that is considered as well.

    Are your parent savings in addition to that $250,000 in your post? What is that amount?

    In addition, if your parents contributed to a tax deferred retirement plan, that money gets added back in as income.

    Is that $100,000 income their net income after taxes. Or is it their gross income? Does it include contributions to tax deferred retirement accounts?

    Please clarify...and we can go from there.

    Re: applying to schools requiring the Profile...some of them are more generous with need based aid than schools using only the FAFSA.
    edited October 16
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  • EdgeoftheDarkEdgeoftheDark 32 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Yes, my parents used the IRS Retrieval Tool.

    The $230K in assets includes $168k in property value, and around $67k in savings. I think the amount in rental income was around $9k.

    My parents do contribute to a retirement plan (around $27k is listed here). Is that what is driving the EFC up?

    No, the $100k is their gross income (AGI).

    With regards to the CSS Profile schools, why would they be more generous, if they're also taking into account home equity, which would add to the EFC?
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  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint 4548 replies16 threads Senior Member
    edited October 16
    With regards to the CSS Profile schools, why would they be more generous, if they're also taking into account home equity, which would add to the EFC?

    Because for the most part schools that use Profile are much wealthier than schools that only rely on FAFSA to distribute institutional need-based financial aid, and therefore Profile schools generally have much more money to spend on need-based aid. And not all Profile schools take primary home equity into account when determining need-based awards. Those that do take primary home equity into account usually cap it at an amount tied to income.

    Very few schools use the FAFSA EFC to determine institutional need-based aid, if there even is any to provide. The primary purpose of FAFSA EFC is to determine eligibility for federal entitlement aid (Pell grants, subsidized direct loans, etc.).
    edited October 16
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  • thumper1thumper1 75215 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    If the $100,000 income doesn’t include the $27,000 pretax retirement contribution, then for FAFSA purposes their income is $127,000. Plus the $9000 in rental income (although I’m not sure how that factors with the schedule your parents did regarding this property...@belkanppoint?).

    AGI is NOT gross income. It’s “adjusted” gross income. What is your parent total gross income before taxes and any deductions.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5611 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I think that you should be cautious, and apply to at least two schools that you know you will be able to afford. Need based aid can be hard to predict for people with rental property or small businesses. Your EFC is about what I would have expected, but is going to be very tough to pay with a net income of $100k. Rental income can also be inconsistent (for example, if a renter moves out, or even worse does not move out but just stops paying).

    For us the schools that we knew that we could afford were our in-state public schools and some schools in Canada. I see that you live well south of us so the latter would be some distance for you, and I don't know much about your in-state public schools. Hopefully you have some good choices in-state.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34514 replies383 threads Senior Member
    The NPC doesn't work for self-employed or small business owners.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75215 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    Right...the number you got using the net price calculator could be off because of the real estate owned in addition to your primary residence, plus the rental income.
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  • EdgeoftheDarkEdgeoftheDark 32 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @thumper1 Where would I find the total income before any deductions? Would I just have to add up all the sources of income?
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  • EdgeoftheDarkEdgeoftheDark 32 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @DadTwoGirls I live in SC and have already applied to Clemson and USC. I'm eligible for the highest state scholarship (Palmetto Fellows), so I think my in-state financial situation is good. I'm also a NMSF, and am looking to apply to either UT Dallas or UCF for their NMF program.
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  • EdgeoftheDarkEdgeoftheDark 32 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @thumper1 But what if the NPC asks for rental property value? Not sure if I included the $9k in rental income though.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75215 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    @EdgeoftheDark

    In your situation, you may just have to apply...and see. Some schools will be more generous than others.

    Just make sure you have an affordable school or two on your application list...for sure affordable. Then go from there.

    If your parents have an amount that they can pay annually, you need to keep that in mind. You can take a $5500 Loan in your name only.

    You wrote:
    Our budget is $20-25k, for familial contribution

    And this:
    My Stats:
    SAT: 1570 (Math 790/ERW 780)
    ACT: 35
    GPA Unweighted: 4.0
    8 APs (5s on 5, currently taking 3)
    Possible National Merit Semifinalist? (I qualify for the threshold, but haven't gotten confirmation yet).
    Female, South Carolina resident

    Did you get NMF status? Get an application to University of Alabama done today. You would qualify for significant merit aid there, and your net cost would be well under your parent price point.

    Same with U of South Carolina. What about Clemson?

    There are plenty of colleges where you have a good chance of acceptance, and merit aid as well...merit aid won’t take your family finances into consideration...at all.

    I would suggest applying to Rice. They have a new incentive for aid.

    Then add in some schools that meet full need for all...you are in the range for acceptance and some are very generous with need based aid. You might actually get sufficient aid to attend one of these generous schools if you get accepted.

    Others here can suggest schools where that NMF status will help you!
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1022 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I just wanted to throw out there are many families who can not actually afford anything approaching their EFC for various reasons. FAFSA and CSS don't take into account many things that can be quirky about a particular financial situation.

    We had an independent financial adviser recommend we spend about 1/3 of our EFC the FAFSA spit out. You will be able to find an affordable high quality education with your stats if your EFC turns out to be accurate. But you may want to switch gears a bit if it is and you were looking at a bunch of need based option. Good luck!
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  • EdgeoftheDarkEdgeoftheDark 32 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @thumper1 Yes, I'm NMSF, applied to get NMF status. I mentioned above that I already applied to Clemson and USC and will be guaranteed merit aid at both. I'm also submitting an app to UTDallas for their NMF program. Would applying to U Alabama be redundant?

    I am applying to Rice, as soon as I get my subject tests done. As for full need met colleges, I was thinking about applying to Vanderbilt?

    Thank you for the advice!


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  • thumper1thumper1 75215 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    That sounds like a great list to me!

    I think having options is good. Why not do Alabama too. It will take you about 30 minutes...very short application. Do the scholarship application too. You will hear very quickly with your merit award as well.

    @mom2collegekids what is the merit award for NMF at Alabama now...and computer science...would this be an option for this student?
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  • thumper1thumper1 75215 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    @twoinanddone

    Doesn’t the Benequisto Scholarship cover the full cost of attendance at Florida schools for NMF?

    What schools would be ones to have this applicant consider?
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3910 replies50 threads Senior Member
    Run RIce's NPC, I am of the thought that there is zero point in applying to schools you cannot afford.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23251 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Yes, an NMF (through benacquisto) gets a full COA scholarship to most of the Florida public schools - USF, UF, FSU, etc. It is tuition, room and board, and $600 for books. If you get other scholarships from the schools, most will stack them so you could actually get money paid to you. It doesn't cover the summer sessions and I'm not sure how it works for study abroad for OOS students, but I think most of the schools do a good job of helping the student (instate tuition for the summer, other aid) Also the U of Miami gives a very nice scholarship which, combined with Benacquisto, goes a long way toward full COA.

    It looks like you could also use the scholarship at Embry-Riddle

    https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/PDF/factsheets/FIS_FAQ.pdf
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  • EdgeoftheDarkEdgeoftheDark 32 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @twoinanddone But isn't the Benacquisto a state-funded scholarship? Could there be a chance that it would get defunded for out-of-state students while I'm attending college?
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84173 replies1035 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    Would applying to U Alabama be redundant?


    Would not be redundant. Apply! You’ll get a huge award.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23251 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Yes, Benacquisto is a state program and yes, it might not be funded in a future year. It's a chance you take but I think a pretty low chance at this point. You'd have to decide what else you are giving up to take that chance. It is not the intention of the state to not fund Benacquisto or Bright Futures (same type of funding).

    I think it is more likely that the individual schools will stop stacking their own awards with Benac/BF.

    My daughter took scholarships (including BF) that required a certain gpa, and we thought the chance was worth it. Turned out okay.
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