There are hundreds of phrases surrounding college applications and financial aid, but one in particular has been circulating recently which is, Demonstrated Financial Need.

Cost of Attendance (COA) minus (-) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) equals (=) Demonstrated Financial Need.

The term, “demonstrated financial need” is basically the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Cost of Attendance is rather easy to figure out since it’s the college sticker price and is stated on the website or brochure. However, how do you calculate you Expected Family Contribution?

EFC is the amount that is used to determine your eligibility for need-based federal financial aid. This amount (your EFC) is based on the data you provided in FAFSA such as the family’s earnings, assets, household size, and other factors. Your EFC will generally be lower for lower-income families and higher for higher-income families.  See example below.

Cost of Attendance at University of Arkansas                                  $26,978
Subtract EFC (which you provided in FAFSA)                                  –$10,000
Demonstrated Need                                                                             $16,978

There are numerous US colleges that meet 100% of Demonstrated Need. Yes, that is correct. Financial aid packages can include different types of assistance including grants and scholarships (money you do not need to repay), student loans (money you do need to repay), and student employment funding (also known as work-study).

For more information about Demonstrated Financial Need or to discuss colleges that meet Demonstrated Financial Need, contact us. Our college experts are happy to help students prepare for college.