Financial Need Calculation

Financial need calculation

How is your financial need calculated

Most federal financial aid is based on financial need. Using the data collected on the FAFSA, your financial need will be calculated as:
  • Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution
  • Financial Need


Cost of attendance

Cost of Attendance: HCC COA figures] includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and other personal expenses.


Expected family contribution

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of a student’s and his or her family’s financial strength and resources that should be available to help pay for the student’s education.

The EFC results from the information you report on the FAFSA and is calculated through a formula established by law called Federal Methodology. Your family’s income and assets are considered in determining your EFC. Your EFC will appear on the electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) received after completing the FAFSA.


Estimating your financial aid

If you want an estimate of your financial aid award, use the FAFSA4caster .

Colleges must include all funding resources as part of a student’s financial aid package. Resources include federal and state grants, scholarships, waivers, fellowships, assistantships, AmeriCorps, Federal Work Study, loans, and any other educational benefits available to cover educational expenses.

If it is determined that you do not have financial need, you can still apply for an unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan or scholarships  based on merit. In addition, parents can apply for PLUS loans.

The Federal Student Aid website offers an overview of the financial aid process.