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Why Does It Seem Colleges Don't Care What Your EFC Is????

Artist2233Artist2233 0 replies5 threads New Member
Hello,
I have 1 in college and 1 senior applying to colleges.
I know it's early in the game for the class of 2024 - however, son has already received some acceptances to public colleges.
All OOS.
It appears to me that - particularly public colleges - just ignore the EFC from the FAFSA.
Ours is 12000
Not a pick of financial aid has been offered.
My research from last year seems to indicate that it won't matter if my EFC is near 0, some colleges - especially public - just plain ignore this.

Can anyone tell me what their experience has been with this issue?
Thanks
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Replies to: Why Does It Seem Colleges Don't Care What Your EFC Is????

  • SybyllaSybylla 3972 replies50 threads Senior Member
    edited November 20
    This is what you look at before the application process, OOS (the majority) publics won't give you FA, why did you apply? Are you the adult or the child? How did it work out for the already in college student?
    edited November 20
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2466 replies59 threads Senior Member
    The FAFSA EFC is only relevant to determining eligibility for Pell Grants and federal student loans. Colleges provide Net Price Calculators to help you estimate the amount they'd expect you to pay.

    The primary mission of public colleges and universities is to educate a given state's residents. With few exceptions, there is no financial aid for those who fall outside that mission.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11506 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Start with public colleges in your own state since instate tuition is usually lower than OOS.
    Or colleges that give good merit for his stats.

    Public colleges often don't have the funds to give need based aid, other than what you can get from federal and state aid programs.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39765 replies7241 threads Super Moderator
    What's more meaningful is what each college's NPC calculates as COA. At the end of the day, colleges decide how much aid, if any, it will provide. Some colleges have a higher FA budget than others. There are very few public universities that provide meaningful FA to OOS applicants; their priority is to instate applicants (and their families) who pay taxes to partially fund these institutions.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75481 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    In the vast majority of cases, public universities first and foremost have an obligation to fund the students instate whose parents are taxpayers that support that state.

    Applying to out of state public universities that don’t meet full need for all is a sure recipe for not receiving a lot of aid. Many of these schools do give aid to OOS students but don’t make up the differential between instate and out of state costs.

    The exceptions are University of Virginia and UNC-Chapel Hill where full need is met but getting accepted as an OOS student is a challenge. Also, these schools use the CSS Profile to determine need based institutional aid.

    There is only ONE college that guarantees to meet full need for all accepted students based solely on the FAFSA data...and that is University of Chicago.

    You need to understand, the very vast majority of colleges, public and private, don’t guarantee to meet full need based on the FAFSA data.

    Did you use the net price calculators on the college websites? If you are not divorced, don’t own a business, aren’t self employed and don’t own real estate other than your primary residence...the net price calculators will give you a far better estimate of your net costs than looking at the FAFSA EFC.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11506 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Out FAFSA EFC has ranged from $10,000 with one student to $7,000 with two students in college.

    All that meant was that we didn't qualify for a Pell Grant, but qualified for a state grant.

    So our kids attended the closest instate universities that had their major.

    They also received some merit from their schools and a small amount of local scholarships in the first year.

    They worked for spending money and borrowed their student loans of $5,500 to $7,500.

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  • twogirlstwogirls 7375 replies7 threads Senior Member
    edited November 20
    The majority of OOS public schools do not meet full need. I know of 3: UNC, UVA, U of Michigan (income needs to be below a certain amount for Michigan).

    UNC is a profile school but meets full need based on the fafsa efc.

    edited November 20
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29657 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Most schools do not care what a student’s EFC is when deciding on admittance. They do care, in that a financial aid file is set up for those who file FAFSA. The FAFSA EFC is the first step in the financial aid process. It is what gives the student eligibility for federal, and other financial aid. That EFC is what indicates eligibility for PELL and other grants. It allows for student loans.

    However, very few schools guarantee to meet need as defined by EFC. Even those schools that do guarantee to meet need almost always want additional information and have their own definitions of need. FAFSA opens up the eligibility for government funds, and then the rest is up to each college how to distribute its own money.

    Most schools do not have funds available to meet full need for everyone, often not for most students.

    The FAFSA EFC is usually the least amount a student can expect to pay unless schools with costs below that figure are in the picture or merit money is received.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 9899 replies64 threads Senior Member
    edited November 20
    I'm going to use the California system.
    If your child is applying to the UC system or Cal States (public CA universities), upon searching the scholarship pages, the provided information indicates that the schools cannot fund non-residents:
    Non-California residents are eligible for federal financial aid based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but state and university need-based funding is not available.
    https://financialaid.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate/apply/national

    Federal aid is basically: a Pell grant and sponsored loans.
    The current maximum Pell Grant award is $6,195. (That's less than 10% of the $65K annual fees).
    Loans to freshman undergraduates max at $5500. Combined that's less than $12K per year.

    California publics offer some scholarships but they tend to run from $2K to $5K. Again, chump change.
    That's not enough to pay for one year of attendance ($40-65K per year).

    Public universities don't have a lot of dollars to begin with. Asking another state's taxpayers to fund your child, when they have residents begging for limited funding just wouldn't make sense.
    Please use the NPC for each school where you/ your child applied.
    edited November 20
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84191 replies1035 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    edited November 21
    Artist2233 wrote: »
    Hello,
    I have 1 in college and 1 senior applying to colleges.
    I know it's early in the game for the class of 2024 - however, son has already received some acceptances to public colleges.
    All OOS.
    It appears to me that - particularly public colleges - just ignore the EFC from the FAFSA.
    Ours is 12000
    Not a pick of financial aid has been offered.
    My research from last year seems to indicate that it won't matter if my EFC is near 0, some colleges - especially public - just plain ignore this.

    Can anyone tell me what their experience has been with this issue?
    Thanks


    It makes little sense for a public college to charge a higher OOS rate and THEN dig into their limited FA funds and hand out need based aid. If that were the case, they might as well not charge OOS rates.

    Besides, you dont pay taxes in that state. The taxpayers in those states don’t want to be subsidizing your child’s college costs any more than you’d want to be subsidizing OOS students attending your state’s schools.

    That said, a family’s low EFC does not magically cause a school to have a bigger FA treasure chest. Most colleges have little need-based aid to give other than the small amounts of fed aid.

    FAFSA EFC is a federal number. The feds can’t insist that any college give their own funds away. The feds don’t own those schools.

    Before applying to schools, run the Net Price Calculators so you’ll know whether it makes sense to apply to those particular schools.
    edited November 21
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  • mommdcmommdc 11506 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Actually for merit aid, it is late in the game. I think you can apply to U Alabama's generous scholarships until December, but Ohio State for example requires EA application by Nov 1 for merit consideration.

    Where does your older son go to college, and is it affordable?
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2349 replies58 threads Senior Member
    "The FAFSA EFC is only relevant to determining eligibility for Pell Grants and federal student loans. Colleges provide Net Price Calculators to help you estimate the amount they'd expect you to pay."

    Welcome to CC. This is something that comes up frequently. The term EFC is a misnomer. It is, as the above poster mentioned, a formula used by the federal government to determine federal FA aid in the form of Pell Grants, Stafford loans and Work Study money. The federal government is not in any way involved in what the university charges or the financial aid and scholarships they may offer you. The confusion is understandable given the terminology. OOS schools can be very expensive. As others have mentioned their primary obligation is to serve the students of their state. The final FA packages often don't come in until later in March. In my opinion the best way to handle this is to know what you are willing to contribute and when you get the package if the net cost is higher than that then the school won't be considered. Good luck.
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  • sherimba03sherimba03 24 replies4 threads Junior Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    If you are not divorced, don’t own a business, aren’t self employed and don’t own real estate other than your primary residence...the net price calculators will give you a far better estimate of your net costs than looking at the FAFSA EFC.

    This caught my (newbie!) eye. I am divorced. What do I need to know about the NPC that will help me ensure an accurate estimate spits out? I have NO idea whether S21's father will contribute anything to his education; I do know that he is a VP and probably brings in well over 250k/year, plus his wife is a nurse so their income is probably north of the mid-300s...Meanwhile I'm a Southern California single mom in that unhappy financial space between being poor enough to qualify for aid and wealthy enough to write a check for more than about $10k/year (and my company is a startup with high risk of going under if our funding isn't renewed so I really want to put that $10/year into my rainy day fund instead).

    We are crossing our fingers for NMF as his SAT was 1560 so odds are high his PSAT SI will hit the mark (and I'm making him look at Florida schools for that reason, LOL). Just starting to do my homework, just found CC, bless you all!
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  • browniesundaebrowniesundae 263 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited November 23
    Agree with points made above, however, is it possible that FA just hasn't been awarded yet at some of the schools? I remember being surprised that scholarship notifications often came weeks/months after the acceptance notification at OOS publics for my DS. Have you contacted the schools to ask?
    edited November 23
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  • sherimba03sherimba03 24 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Oh Happy Day, never mind I found the divorced parents' thread. Love CC!
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  • thumper1thumper1 75481 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    @sherimba03

    For FAFSA purposes, your custodial parent information is all that will be required (you will need to include any spousal or child support received). But except for University of Chicago, the colleges that use only the FAFSA will require additional financial information usually via the CSS Profile, but sometimes with their own forms. Some of these include non-custodial parent and spouse information.

    If a net price calculator specifically asks for marital status, and asks for non-custodial parent info If the college requires it...then it might be a decent estimate of your net cost.

    BUT many NPCs don’t ask for marital status of parents or non-custodial parent income and assets. If a school requires the Profile, and requires the non-custodial parent Profile, then info from both bio parents...and any spouses will be required. Just FYI.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79010 replies701 threads Senior Member
    edited November 23
    sherimba03 wrote: »
    thumper1 wrote: »
    If you are not divorced, don’t own a business, aren’t self employed and don’t own real estate other than your primary residence...the net price calculators will give you a far better estimate of your net costs than looking at the FAFSA EFC.

    This caught my (newbie!) eye. I am divorced. What do I need to know about the NPC that will help me ensure an accurate estimate spits out?

    If the college does not require non-custodial parent finances, use the NPC with the custodial parent finances only. This should be reasonably accurate, if you are the custodial parent and have reasonable financial records. Note: since you are in California, note that UCs and CSUs do not require non-custodial parent finances.

    If the college does require non-custodial parent finances, both parents need to be fully cooperative in giving their financial information to the NPC and the actual financial aid forms. Non-cooperation by one or both parents may disqualify the student from need-based aid at that college. Incomplete cooperation may make it difficult to get accurate numbers to put into the NPC, resulting in the NPC result being as inaccurate as the NPC inputs.

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/2083835-faq-divorced-parents-financial-aid-and-net-price-calculators.html
    edited November 23
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34789 replies392 threads Senior Member
    Just pointing out: someone mentioned your own instate schools. But if they don't have the funds to be generous, you won't get FA that brings you near the EFC. Public or private.
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