The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is the amount of money a student and their family is expected to contribute towards the student's education expenses. The Expected Family Contribution is based on the student's family size, dependency status, income level, assets, and monthly expenses.
The expected family contribution is the third step in the financial aid process:
When a student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the information reported is used to calculate an Expected Family Contribution. The financial aid officer at the school the student plans to attend will look at the student's demonstrated financial need, determine whether or not any other aid will be received, and then prepare a financial package in the form of an Award Letter.