FAFSA EFC Question

First time filling out FAFSA and my DS SAR report came back with a EFC that is very high (220,000)-- which is more than my husband and I make in one year. That does not seem correct if the EFC is a dollar figure that is supposed to correlate to what we should expect to pay for one year. We did the IRS Data Retrieval, so not sure what I could have screwed up. Anyone have any thoughts? I can’t imagine that number would be correct.

Did either you or your spouse have an untaxed retirement account rollover in 2019?

In 2019 my husband had to transfer his Roth portion of his 401K to a bank IRA as his company was no longer offering Roth accounts as part of their retirement plan. I wouldn’t think that would mess with it would it? It is still an IRA account now, just managed by his bank vs compan. I honestly have no clue. ALso, when I called FAFSA help line they insisted that the EFC number on the SAR is a CODE not a dollar figure. I have not heard that before.

Yes, that is the issue. When you did the IRS DRT, there was a pop up that asked if you had a rollover. You - like many others (it’s a common issue) - missed the question. The effect is that all of the rollover got counted as income.

The only way to fix it now is to contact each school’s financial aid office to let them know you had a rollover & didn’t realize you had to answer a question about it (they are used to this). Ask them what they want you to send them so they can fix the issue. One thing you will need is proof of the rollover.

Don’t worry - it will get fixed as long as you follow through with the information to each school. It’s good that you got an early start.

The EFC is not a dollar amount. It is a number used in awarding aid. It’s more like the minimum you would need to pay for school (although if the cost of attendance is lower than your EFC, you wouldn’t have to pay more than the COA). Contrary to its name, it’s not really your Expected Family Contribution. If low enough, the EFC indicates your eligibility for a Pell Grant. Otherwise, it is used by the school when awarding aid.

Thank you so very much! I really appreciate you replying and letting me know what I did wrong and how to fix it. I honestly had no clue.