Expected Family Contribution Explained

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated from financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The formula used to calculate the EFC is established by law and is used to measure a family’s financial strength.

Many factors, including a family’s income (taxable and nontaxable), assets, benefits, household size, and the number of family members attending college, are used to determine the EFC.

The EFC is not a judgment about how much a family should be able to pay from current income—it’s an estimate of their capacity to absorb the costs of education over time. Many families raise the funds through a combination of savings, current earnings, and borrowing.

The EFC determines eligibility for certain federal and state student aid, such as Pell Grants and Mass Grants. Suffolk also uses the EFC in conjunction with the cost of attendance to determine financial need and eligibility for institutional funding. Please note that the EFC is not the amount that an applicant may be required to pay for college.