What is the Expected Family Contribution?

What is your expected family contribution when you go to college?When you complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you’ll be asked for quite a bit of personal information about you and your parents’ finances, including their income, assets, and benefits, such as Social Security. This is because you and your family are expected to contribute to the cost of college to the amount that you’re able to do so.

The information you provide in the FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution. That is, the amount that you and your family will be expected to contribute toward your college costs each year. If your Expected Financial Contribution is less than the annual cost of attending the school, then you may be eligible for “needs-based” aid.

Here is the basic formula:

Cost of attending the college or university
– your Expected Family Contribution
= your financial need

For example, if the cost to attend the college is $8,000 and your Expected Family Contribution is $2,000, then you may apply to receive up to $6,000 in needs-based aid.

Find more information about paying for college at our All Access Day events.