Fafsa & Fafsa4Caster EFC Differences w/ same information?


<p>I recently estimated my EFC and estimated federal pell grant using fafsa4caster. It estimated a $4700 federal pell grant. I then submitted my fafsa and was told my estimated federal pell grant was $1300. Is this information from the fafsa4caster correct? These are significant differences. I called the fafsa customer service and they had no idea what the fafsa4caster even was. Please help. Thank you!</p>

<p>In looking at the fafsa4caster it looks like a rough estimate for aid. There are no questions related to student savings (20% of that total is added to your EFC) or parent 401K contributions (FAFSA treats that as untaxed income) which are just a few of the things that affect your EFC. In addition, other assets that you may have can also have an impact on your final number. Your FAFSA is defintely more accurate.</p>

<p>Download the FAFSA formula guide and work through it, it’s not that hard:</p>

<p><a href=“http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/082511EFCFormulaGuide1213.pdf[/url]”>http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/082511EFCFormulaGuide1213.pdf</a></p>

<p>This will give you a 100% accurate EFC, as long as you fill in accurate data.</p>

<p>Did you maybe only list one parent’s income when you used the 4caster? The maximum Pell is around $5,500 (zero EFC). My guess is your EFC would need to be around 1K to qualify for around a $4,700 Pell. I would think this could only be possible if your total AGI was around 30-40K.</p>

<p>I listed one parents income on the 4caster and the fafsa. The same parent was used. The same information was also used in both. If the 4caster is a rough estimate, then it is very far off. My parent had NO 401k contribution and my savings is less than $200. Using the same information as the 4caster, I received a EFC of 04258 and an estimated pell reward of $1300 on my fafsa. So, I am wondering why the 4caster would put my estimated pell so much higher than the actual fafsa? Parent AGI was $29,869 and my AGI was $16,020. I was expecting a lower EFC than 04258. Last year the numbers for AGI were slightly less, and I received an EFC of 0.</p>

<p>Your own AGI was $16k?</p>

<p>That’s probably the problem. the Fafsa4caster may not accurately compute student income like the real FAFSA does. </p>

<p>Student income is assesed at a much higher rate. Only about the first $5k of your student income is protected. After that first $5k, a high percent of your income is expected to be used for college costs.</p>

<p>Did you get an automatic zero last year? That’s the only way I can see that you would have a zero EFC with a student income of $16,000.</p>

<p>This year I believe the automatic zero parent income threshold was lowered from $31,000 to $23,000 or thereabouts, so if you were auto-zero last year, you would not be this year.</p>

<p>Unfortunately student income is heavily assessed by the FAFSA formula. You get a $6000 income protection amount, and after a credit for taxes, 50% is counted toward your EFC.</p>

<p>So ($16000-6000-$1500 for taxes[just a guess]) * .5 = 4250 added to your EFC.</p>

<p>Just make sure you did put any scholarship dollars or work study on the appropriate lines in FAFSA as that is subracted from your AGI before the $6K of protected income is. I would download the worksheet from the link above and start with page 10 as that is the student worksheet. You can easily figure out if your income is the problem.</p>

<p><a href="$16000-6000-$1500%20for%20taxes%5Bjust%20a%20guess%5D">Quote</a> * .5 = 4250 added to your EFC.


<p>Did you have this high student income LAST year? </p>

<p>And did your family qualify for an auto $0 last year (as noted above…income criteria has changed).</p>

<p>Those are likey the two difference.</p>

<p>Is the FAFSA4Caster the online calculator that hasn’t been updated recently…? I think it is the one. If so, it would not be reflective of the current EFC formula at all.</p>

<p>Last year parent income was $25000 and my student income was $14,000. I believe this is what got me the EFC of 0. Thank you everyone for the information. I take it the fafsa4caster is not up to date with the current formula. Using the Fafsa formula guide from 2011-2012 from the link, I should qualify for an automatic 0. Is this correct? The formula guide states that if line 3 is $31,000 or less, and my parent was eligible to file a 1040A (which my mom did), then EFC is an automatic 0. My line 3 is definitely below $31,000. So, did this value change to $23,000 as notrichenough suggested?</p>

<p>If you look in the EFC formula guide for 2012-2013 in the link I posted you will see that is says the auto-zero threshold is $32000, but this was changed to $23000 by a bill Obama signed last December.</p>

<p>Here’s the details: [IFAP</a> - Dear Colleague Letters](<a href=“http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1201.html]IFAP”>http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1201.html)</p>

<p>Try running your numbers through the FAFSA calculator at the College Board website. Usually that one is up-to-date: [EFC</a> Calculator: How Much Money for College Will You Be Expected to Contribute?](<a href=“http://apps.collegeboard.org/fincalc/efc_status.jsp]EFC”>http://apps.collegeboard.org/fincalc/efc_status.jsp)</p>

<p>The correct amount of $23,000 is listed on the bottom of the worksheet on page 9. You have to download the corrected version.</p>

<p><a href=“http://www.ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/010512EFCFormulaGuide1213.html[/url]”>http://www.ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/010512EFCFormulaGuide1213.html</a></p>

<p>Ah, my link is to the pre-23,000 version. Here’s the updated link:</p>

<p><a href=“http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/010512EFCFormulaGuide1213.pdf[/url]”>http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/010512EFCFormulaGuide1213.pdf</a></p>

<p>Thank you very much for the information. My EFC finally makes sense.</p>