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Does EFC Include Room & Board?

MadTown14MadTown14 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
So, for example, my EFC is 36,000 and Northwestern has a tuition of around the same. Total cost (tuition, room, board, etc.), however, is about 50,000. Can I expect 14,000 or nothing? It would be pretty unfair to assume EFC covers tuition and expect room and board to come out of nowhere...
Post edited by MadTown14 on

Replies to: Does EFC Include Room & Board?

  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,699 Senior Member
    The school's COA (Cost Of Attendance) includes room and board. Your need is arrived at by deducting the EFC from the COA making your 'need' based on the FAFSA EFC 14,000. But as Northwestern also requires CSS/profile your need as determined by them may be different. (as you probably know CSS asks for more information than FAFSA including non custodial parent information, house values etc). It really depends on what Northwestern's policy is as far how they determine your need for institutional aid, if they promise to meet full need, and how they meet need (loan, no loan etc).

    You would not qualify for any federal grant money with an EFC of 36,000 but would qualify for some federal loans.
  • MadTown14MadTown14 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Ouch! I would pretty much need at least $14,000 in straight up scholarship money in order to be able to attend...
  • hmom5hmom5 - Posts: 10,882 Senior Member
    Are you sure you calculated correctly? With parent's making $350K, that doesn't sound possible.
  • sblake7sblake7 Registered User Posts: 1,691 Senior Member
    'I would pretty much need at least $14,000 in straight up scholarship money in order to be able to attend..."

    I don't think you understand.

    14k is your "need" for this particular college. That assumes that you and your parents pony up 36K, and the school will try to put together an aid package (including loans) for most of the remaining 14K. Some schools don't meet full need, as SCM mentioned.\

    So, for example, you might end up paying the 36K out of pocket, plus another 4K that the school "gaps", plus a student loan of 4K, and get a school grant of 6k, making a total of 50K. Outside scholarships would generally help to reduce the student loan amount first, and then the college would reduce their institutional grant amount if the outside scholarship further reduced your "need."
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,699 Senior Member
    But if your FAFSA EFC is $36k your institutional 'EFC' will likely be higher as, according to your other post, you have a non custodial parent. So your need as perceived for institutional aid may be lower then $14k.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    EFC does not include anything. It is a dollar figure that the government has calculated for your family as what they should be able to afford for college based on their income and assets. You can have an EFC of zero; you can have one of $90K. I believe at a certain point you only get a 9999 or something to that order. But it just tells you what you are expected to scrape up for college. Whether it includes room and board or anything for that matter is up to the student/family.

    What is confusing is that the EFC really means nothing other than a number that can make you eligible for the PELL and subsidized loans; possibly other government and state monies. Colleges that use FAFSA only for financial aid, do not tend to guarantee to meet full need, so that figure is a guideline only for them. It tells them how much the government expects your family to pay for college.

    Those colleges that do meet or come close to meeting financial aid usually want additional information from their own forms or PROFILE. That number often referred to as the "institutional EFC", is what they eye when putting together a package for you. You need to fill out FAFSA to get the government EFC so that you can get the PELL, subsidized loans and any other government money you can get. THen the colleges look at their own institutional EFCs and come up with how much they will give you out of their funds so that your family pays only that institutional EFC if the school meets 100% of need.

    Most of the time, families have to come up with more money than what FAFSA's EFC states. It often comes as a nasty surprise that the EFC is not the true expected family contribution.
  • hawaiiboy15hawaiiboy15 Registered User Posts: 935 Member
    That sucks, lol
  • MadTown14MadTown14 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Northwestern does meet 100% of all demonstrated needs, but it makes sense that what they expect me to contribute would be more than FAFSA's EFC. Point is I don't want to take out 14k + per year in loans and my parents, despite how it looks on paper, can't pay 36,000 a year.

    hmom5: My parents are divorced, so I used my dad/stepmom's information. My mom, who makes 200k+, is my "non-custodial" parent (although she has 50% of custody). That's why the EFC is lower.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,699 Senior Member
    But on CSS you will also have to report your Mom's income. Any institutional aid will be based on the information from CSS, rather than the FAFSA EFC.
  • MadTown14MadTown14 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Yep that's why I said it makes sense that NW would expect me to pay more than FAFSA says. Kind of a bummer.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,699 Senior Member
    Ah - ok.......
This discussion has been closed.