Mapping Your Financial Journey: Helping Adults Plan for College
Get Financial Aid

Your Eligibility for Financial Aid

In order to calculate your eligibility for financial aid, you need to know your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Cost of Attendance (COA).

After you send in your FAFSA, you’ll receive your Student Aid Report (SAR), which should include your EFC. The EFC shows the government’s view of your financial strength and ability to pay for your education.

There are many costs that go into figuring your COA, including:

  • Tuition
  • Required fees
  • Books and supplies
  • Room and board (or housing and food allowance if you live off campus)
  • Personal expenses
  • Transportation
  • Other allowances (such as loan fees and dependent care)

If you attend college less than half-time, the COA includes only tuition, fees, and an allowance for books, supplies, transportation, and dependent-care expenses. It does not include a housing or food allowance.

Talk to your financial aid administrator if you have any unusual expenses that might affect your COA.

To determine your eligibility for aid, add up your COA and subtract your EFC. The resulting number is the amount of money that federal, state, or private aid can help you pay:

COA – EFC = Your Financial Need

Read more about: Types of Traditional Financial Aid


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