Funding college is not a one size fits all proposition. Families need to know how their unique family situation fits into the financial aid process. The EFC Calculator is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculator that takes each family’s unique situation into account to generate a specialized strategy for reducing college costs. Proven effective, families have used these strategies for over twenty years to be pro-active when making financial plans for college.
By using your unique Expected Family Contribution, you can calculate the net price estimate for your desired university. The net price for a college is the published price for tuition and fees minus your gift aid (grants and scholarships), but does not include loans for work-study money. Obtaining your estimated net price is the best indication of how much a particular college will cost you.
We pulled the Net Price Estimates for three universities in the area, and estimated the Expected Family Contribution for a family with an adjusted gross income of $65,000. (Other factors are considered like family assets, but we're keeping it simple.)
As you can see from the chart below, Swarthmore College, for example has a published price of $68,876 per year, but this family will be eligible for $39,781 in gift aid and the remainder could be covered by student loans or parent loans. So, although it appears to be the more expensive school on the surface, it ends up costing less because of their generous financial aid.
You can calculate your own Expected Family Contribution at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/paying-your-share/expected-family-contribution-calculator
or, even better, we can use our personalized tools to input your own information and desired schools and do a comparison that is specific to you.
Source for chart: Guided Path