What is the EFC and why should you care?
The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is basically how much money you are expected to pay to pay for your student's tuition, given your financial situation. The gap between your EFC and the annual cost of the college, is how much aid you may be eligible to receive. The more money you have, the higher the EFC. The federal government will calculate your EFC based on a lot of financial data you submit when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, there are two ways you can quickly estimate your EFC.
One way is to use the Net Price Calculator which you will find on the website for every college. Another rule of thumb is to calculate 20% of your annual gross income and add 5% of your savings. This can give you a rough estimate of EFC, which may be more than the cost of tuition (no aid for you!) or less (federal or college aid may be offered).