Expected Family Contribution

Eligibility for many aid programs is, in part, determined by a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The EFC is a number derived from information submitted on the FAFSA; this calculation takes into account such factors as AGI, non-taxable income, assets, and household size.

· If a student is dependent (by FAFSA's standards), the EFC is based on both student and parent information.

· If a student is independent (again, by FAFSA's standards), only the student's—and, if applicable, their spouse's—information is included in the EFC calculation.

Once the FAFSA processing system determines a student's EFC, the EFC is provided to all the schools listed on the student's FAFSA.

The EFC represents the amount that the federal government expects a student's family should be able to pay towards the student's education. However, the EFC is not a set amount that the family owes to Indiana University or will pay towards the student's cost of attendance; sometimes a family pays more than their EFC, and sometimes they pay less.*

It is better to view the EFC as a tool which helps us to determine the type of aid for which a student is eligible and enables us to create a student's financial aid package.

Our office utilizes the EFC in the following formula:

Cost of Attendance (Budget)
= Need

The eligibility for some awards is directly connected with the EFC; other awards require a certain level of need. For more information on the eligibility requirements for specific aid programs, Types of Aid.

*For FAFSA purposes, a dependent student's "family" (as in "Expected Family Contribution") consists of the student and their parent(s)/step-parent(s). An independent student's family consists of the student and, if applicable, the student's spouse. Essentially, anyone whose financial information is included on a student's FAFSA is considered that student's "family" when the EFC is calculated.

Expected Family Contribution