Parent Contribution

Hello guys-
If my child’s EFC was calculated at 39882 but his college is calculating parental contribution at 69k, is that normal? I was hoping that parental contribution should not be more than the EFC.

Unfortunately the school does not have to honor what the FAFSA EFC is. Unless they are one of the few “meets full need” schools they can expect you to pay whatever.


It depends on the college. If your child’s college uses the CSS Profile or their own financial aid form….forget about the FAFSA EFC. Those additional forms sometimes consider other things that are not included in the FAFSA like primary home equity. If you are self employed or own a business…this could affect your net costs at a college.

And the vast majority of colleges do not meet full need anyway…so your FAFSA EFC would be the minimum you would be expected to pay.

@frostymom even schools that meet full need might not match the FAFSA efc. Additional financial information is collected via the CSS Profile or a school form in most cases for schools that meet full need.

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Thank you for this info.
One more thing- my older son paid 74K for another school last academic year; my younger son is joining this year; so I was hoping both costs should total roughly around 74k I paid for my first child last year; are my expectations unrealistic?

Thank you.

Quite likely, for all the reasons mentioned above.


Thank you.

It would help if you name the school, but does the college’s expected contribution of $69k match the net price calculator? Is it a CSS Profile school?

When we had two in college, we got zero FA. This year we are getting about $10,000 for one who is OOS, but apparently we are still expected to be able to afford $100,000 this year with 3 in college, which really doesn’t make much sense to me.


You really aren’t giving sufficient info for anyone here to even guess the answer to your question.

Do the net price calculator for the school. Make sure you enter two in college.

Are you parents divorced?

Do you own real estate other than your primary residence?

Are you self employed or do you own a business?

Are you an international applicant?

If no to all the above, the NPC should give you a decent estimate of your net costs for ONE kid at a time.


Like a poster above…we paid basically full coats for kid one (minus a merit award). When kid two started, kid one was still an undergrad. We also paid full costs for kid 2 minus a smaller merit award.

Both were Profile schools, and were private universities which sounds like what your kid(s) attend. Neither school met full need.

When kid two started college, the FAFSA EFC for kid one was half of what It had been. That kid got an additional $250 in aid added to his merit award, and received NO need based aid.

Also…you wrote this about your first child:

“ I hear you. I’m stressing right now. The only college my son was accepted in os teh one where he is required to pay $81K per year. And I cannot afford that. What are my options?”

It sounds like the costs to attend stretched you for the first student. But you made it work.

Does this second student have less costly college choices?

Seems like a possible way out of this financial problem is:

  1. Older student transfers to a community college for second year, then transfers to a commutable in-state public university for third and fourth years.
  2. Younger student starts at a community college for first and second years, then transfers to a commutable in-state public university for third and fourth years.

Sorry for late response everyone- I was out of town.
Yes, it is an ivy league college.
No we are not divorced.
No, we do not own a business.
No, we are NOT international applicants.
My second child only got offer of admission to 3 Ivy Leagues - all expensive. Being new to the process- I was hoping his Parental contribution would still be half of what it is now! I guess I learned. I managed to make it work the first time (even though it was too stressful); this time…
I just don’t know.
And my credit is messed up from a previous short sale to be able to get a meaningful student loan.

Thank you for your response.

Check your financial aid application forms. Are you sure you put that two would be enrolled in college at the same time (if that is true). Check for both of your kids.

I just now rechecked- We did indicate that 2 will be enrolled this academic year.
I don’t know if it will be worth the time and energy to appeal - but, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try.

First…with two in Profile schools that meet full need…each student would be paying approximately 60% of what one paid…not 50%.

You need to printed out your Profile forms for both kids. Check each and every entry for accuracy. It’s possible you entered something incorrectly.

What about your primary home equity? What is that amount! Some Profile schools do consider that and some to a larger degree than there’s.

If your appeal is denied you should sit down and figure out how much you can afford to pay each year for college (combined) and go from there. If you are already borrowing a significant amount for your first child you shouldn’t add to that for child number 2. Did your second child not apply to any reasonably priced schools that you could afford? It seems like he is an outstanding student(3 Ivy acceptances is very impressive) so he would have been a strong candidate for any school - and a likely recipient of significant merit at some.