Why did my EFC not go down?

<p>Early this year I did the Fafsa4caster to get an idea of how much our EFC will be. It was estimated $18,000+.
I felt that if I decreased our savings, EFC will go down. So this summer, I had several necessary renovations done to the house (roof, siding, windows). Coincidentally, we also had to hire a lawyer for an ongoing issue and we've had to fork over $10,000 in legal fees. All these expenses that we incurred in the summer put quite a dent on our savings.</p>

<p>So this morning, I do the Fafsa4caster again to change the data for our financial assets and it does show a reduction in EFC.....but only by a couple of hundred dollars. Arrrrgggh. </p>

<p>Is that how it works??? Reducing your savings by several thousand $$ equates to only a couple of hundred $ reduction in EFC?</p>

<p>Yeah. Your EFC is mostly based on income. Assets are protected to a certain amount (based on age of oldest parent), and after that they are assessed at 5.6%.</p>

<p>Thanks, 'rent.
I was hoping someone would tell me I screwed up in the calculations.
I guess I'll just have to accept that figure then.</p>

<p>You should print out the pdf from <a href="http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/111609EFCFormulaGuide20102011.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/111609EFCFormulaGuide20102011.pdf&lt;/a> and then you can work your way through the calculations to determine if there are any particular factors that will make a difference in your case.</p>

<p>I too was shocked by my estimated EFC, but once I came to terms with it, our family was better able to make decisions about happykid's education.</p>

<p>Wishing you all the best.</p>

<p>Thanks, happymom.
I just had the formula guide printed and will study it thoroughly.</p>

<p>Remember too...the FAFSA forecaster is NOT an official FAFSA and your REAL EFC could actually be very different. In addition, if your kiddo's school uses the Profile or a school finaid application form, your actual parent contribution could be calculated to be higher.</p>

<p>It's usually better to hold onto savings, especially if your EFC is high. Even if your EFC had dropped by a couple of thousand, you probably not have qualified for any new federal aid anyway. Only if you're right on the edge for qualifying for substantial need-based aid from either the college or the state is it really worth it to give up any savings.</p>