What to Do Over the 12 Days of Christmas Break
For parents of students in grades 8 through 11 now is the time to calculate your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is a critical first step to reducing college costs and targeting the colleges best suited for your child and your family.
An EFC is a measure of a family’s financial strength and the dollar amount a family is expected to be able to contribute each year to a student’s college education.
“Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.”
Obtaining your EFC as early as possible is important for these reasons:
1. You don’t want to be surprised by your college tab. Ideally learning years in advance of what looms in the future will motivate you to save more money.
2. It will provide you with direction on what type of schools you should be aiming for.
If you start using the EFC calculator years before your children will be heading for college, be sure to plug in new numbers if your family’s financial situation changes due to such things as higher income, divorce, separation, death, disability, job loss, and the care of an elderly parent.
The EFC calculator that I recommend is on the College Board’s website.
- Knowing your EFC(s), even if it’s discouraging, allows you to start targeting the best sources for the type of money that your child will qualify for.
- If you have a low EFC, you'll be looking for generous sources of need-based aid.
- If you have a high EFC, you'll be looking to maximize your chances at merit money, which isn't tied to financial need.
- If your EFC is in the middle, you could be looking for need-based aid at expensive generous schools or merit awards at all the rest.
College is a buyer’s market!
Most schools don’t meet their freshmen admission goals!
Click Here: What is your biggest concern about the college application process?
Join me, Chris Hitchens, IECA Councilor on.....
- Thursday March 7 at Jefferson Hills Library
- Thursday March 14 at Whitehall Library
- Wednesday March 20 at South Park Library
- Tuesday March 26 at Bethel Park Library
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- Thursday May 2 at Baldwin Library
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