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Quantifying The Cost of College

The formula that quantifies how much you will have to pay for college is actually quite simple and quite complicated at the same time.

The simple part: COA minus EFC equals Need.

  • COA represents cost of attendance (total cost soup to nuts of a particular school).
  • EFC represents Expected Family Contribution (what you are expected to pay out of pocket). The EFC is based on the information that you provide on your FAFSA form, such as income, assets, number of children attending college, etc.

Need represents the difference between the two numbers above, which is the starting point for how much aid you will be awarded.

Now let’s address the “not so simple” part. The COA can’t be adjusted. This number is an official number published by each college. Your student can live in a more frugal manner and affect your pocketbook positively, but the COA as mentioned is a fixed official published number.

The second number, the important one, how much you are obligated to pay, also known as the expected family contribution, often can be adjusted down with our help.

Here in lies one of the most valuable functions we offer. CFS can offer you a plan that may lower that EFC and increase your aid. See us for more information.

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