Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Parental Contribution

The EFC measures your family’s financial strength on the basis of the family’s income and assets.

The EFC formula takes into account federal, state, and social security taxes, employment expenses, and basic living expenses. Basic living expenses are based on the number of persons in the household and how many of them will be attending college during the award year. If assets are considered in the calculation, an asset-protection allowance is considered.

Student and Spouse Contribution


The amount of your expected contribution is calculated based on which of these categories you fall into:

  • Dependent student
  • Independent student (married or unmarried) with no dependents
  • Independent student with dependents

If you are a dependent student, your contribution is a percentage of the income you reported minus taxes and a provision for basic living expenses.

If you are an independent student with no dependents, your contribution is a percentage of your income—and your spouse’s income if you are married—minus taxes and basic living expenses. If your spouse works, an employment allowance is also subtracted from income.

If you are an independent student with dependents, your contribution is based on your income—and your spouse’s income if you are married—minus taxes, basic living expenses, and an employment allowance for a single working parent or a working student and spouse.

Savings and Assets

You are expected to contribute a percentage of your assets (for example, savings and investments) toward your educational expenses for the academic year. If you are twenty-six years of age or older as of December 31 of the current year, an asset-protection allowance is subtracted before the contribution is determined.