estimating FAFSA on your own

I’m not the type to just trust the computers running the formula, so I did the FAFSA Formula A worksheet myself, so that I can compare it to the EFC we get when we submit FAFSA online this weekend (after we figure out which 10 schools to list)

Does it sound reasonably correct that for a family of 4 with only 1 student in college, and an Adjusted Gross Income of $155,000, that the expected EFC portion due to just our AGI will be about $35,500 (23% of our AGI)? Of course, assets and our child’s assets will add to that.

Thanks, just curious if that’s in the ballpark

That seems about right to me.

Make sure to run the net price calculators (NPCs) at each school on the list to get an estimated cost of attendance.

Your FAFSA EFC will not be relevant at schools that require CSS Profile (but the NPCs should be).

Thanks! I gave you a “helpful”, but I can’t “like” that the government thinks we can pay that much of our income toward college :wink:

What the government things you can pay (for Pell grant purposes) is not necessarily the same as what any specific college thinks you can pay for its own financial aid purposes. Use the net price calculator on each college’s web site.

It’s more what the government is willing to kick in, rather than what they think you should pay. All that’s guaranteed in terms of federal financial aid is a max of about $6k of PELL Grants and interest subsidy while in school on $3500 of student loans.

Given your numbers, all you may see from the federal government is some loan subsidy if your child picks a school with costs exceeding EFC. I recommend your child reimburse you for his/her expenses or buying some things in shopping list before filling in the asset part of the FAFSA because any assets the student has on the day FAFSA is filed adds 20% to the EFC with no allowance. Parental assets hit at 6%.

Colleges expect costs to be met by past (savings), present, and future (loans) income

I think that number is completely in the ballpark. Yep, sounds about right.

two things from our point of view from last year when we were looking for colleges for our son (MERIT $ based) - colleges’ COA are ever so slightly padded with items such as books, travel, misc. costs. We are on our 10th yr of paying for college between our 3 older kids; and it’s never been the full COA (at state schools). And 2) CSS profile schools were all more than what our EFC was. They calculate differently.

** again - from our midwest point of view.

Sounds right to me. But please remember that the FAFSA EFC should be viewed as the minimum you will be expected to pay out of pocket for the upcoming academic year.