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What is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

EFC stands for Expected Family Contribution. The Department of Education (ED) uses the FAFSA to calculate an EFC number for a student.

The EFC number generally represents the amount of money that ED believes a student and/or their parents are capable of contributing towards the student's higher education, whether or not the student or student's parents will actually contribute any money towards the student's higher education.

Financial aid programs will then use that EFC number, among other factors, to determine the specific types and amounts of financial aid that the student qualifies for.

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