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Estimation Form Caveats

This page computes an estimate of the EFC using a formula very similar to the Federal Methodology approved by Congress and used by school financial aid administrators when awarding Federal aid. Although our formula is virtually identical to the Federal Methodology, the EFC calculated by this program could vary from the EFC figures calculated by the Federal processor and the school's financial aid administrators. (For most students, however, the results should be within 1% of the official figures.) The estimates calculated by this form are not guaranteed to be identical with the results from your official need analysis.

  • The need analysis formula used by this financial aid calculator is a slight simplification. It does not take into account differences in aid packaging philosophies at individual colleges. Do not be misled into thinking that the results represent the financial aid you will receive. In all likelihood, you will probably receive less aid than the figures reported by this form because of limited funds. This estimate has no official standing.

  • This estimate is based on the official Federal Methodology income and asset protection tables designed for academic years from 1995-96 to the present.

  • Different schools have different methods of determining your family's ability to pay for your education. For example, some schools may take your home equity into account when awarding institutional aid and may treat losses reported on your Federal income tax return differently. The differing methodologies will probably result in different assessments of your family's ability to pay, and hence a different determination of financial need will result.

  • Some schools follow a practice called gapping, in which they do not award aid to meet the full need of their students. Colleges have limited amounts of financial aid available, and may offer you a financial aid package that is significantly less than your demonstrated need. Many schools feel that the Federal Methodology has become more of a rationing device than an accurate measure of ability to pay.

This page is not affiliated with any university financial aid office or government agency. The information you provide on this form is not retained in any fashion.

Filling out this form does not enable you to qualify for financial aid. You must still submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), CSS Financial Aid PROFILE (formerly known as the FAF or Financial Aid Form), and any other forms required by your college's financial aid administrators.

International students are not eligible for Federal student aid, but may be eligible for some state or institutional aid. International students should look at EduPASS.

Caveats notwithstanding, we have tried our best to ensure that the estimates computed by this form are in the right ballpark for typical universities. They are the most accurate estimates available from any financial aid estimation service.


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