# 2015 Guide to FAFSA, CSS Profile, College Financial Aid, & EFC

Use the article from Forbes to answer these questions in complete sentences. Please
change your responses to another color or bold.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/troyonink/2014/11/28/2015-guide-to-fafsa-css-profile-collegefinancial-aid-and-expected-family-contribution-efc/

Applying for College Financial Aid
1. What are the 2 possible forms to complete to apply for need-based financial aid?
The FAFSA and the CSS Profile are used to apply.
2. What form do most colleges and universities nationwide use to determine need-based
financial aid?
The FAFSA is used most often.
3. What is the CSS Profile used for?
The CSS Profile is used to assess the likelihood of a student to get the college’s own personal
money
4. What colleges require the CSS Profile?
Selective private colleges require the CSS Profile.
5. What is the process for applying for and obtaining financial aid?
You provide financial information on the forms, submit the forms online, and then your aid is
calculated.
6. What is the EFC?
EFC is a students’ expected family contribution.
7. How is EFC calculated?
EFC takes into consideration a family’s financial information and then gives an estimate.
8. What factors determine a person’s EFC?
Determining factors include family income, family size and number of children enrolled in
schools.
9. Why might a person get 3 different EFC amounts?
There are three different formulas used to calculate EFC amounts.
Using EFC to Determine the Need for Financial Aid
10.How is EFC used to determine if a student qualifies for need-based financial aid?
The EFC is subtracted from the cost of attendance. If the EFC is less than the cost of
attendance, then the student qualifies for financial aid.
Cost of Attendance
11.What elements add up to the ‘cost of attendance?’
Tuition, fees, room and board, books, and personal expenses are all taken into account.
12.What is the national average cost of attendance for:
a. 2-Year Public College? \$20,000
b. 4-Year Public College? \$28,000
c. 4-Year Private College? \$55,000
d. 4-Year Elite College? \$65,000

Putting EFC into Perspective
13.When would a student qualify for need-based financial aid?
When the annual gross income is \$30,000-\$120,000 depending on the number of children,
they qualify for financial aid.
14.What are students eligible for when they qualify for need-based financial aid?
They can receive need based grants, scholarships, and student loans.
15.Why is it incorrect to assume a student will get financial aid if s/he is eligible?
The student may not get the amount they need.
16.When would a student be denied need-based financial aid?
When their EFC is over a certain amount.
Eligible for Aid at One College, But Not at Another
17.What is eligibility for need-based financial aid dependent on?
The cost of the college they are interested in attending is the basis for financial aid.
18.Why might a student be eligible for aid at one college but not at another?
One college may cost more to attend than another.
Predicting the Financial Aid Award
19.When will students know their financial aid package amounts?
They will know when they receive their financial award letter.
20.What types of resources are included in a financial aid package?
Federal aid, state aid and scholarships are included.
What to Do if Your Family Has Special Financial Circumstances
21.What form does not include a place to explain special situations?
The FAFSA doesn’t include explanation space.
22.What form does have a place to explain special situations?
The CSS profile includes space for explanations.
23.What can parents do if using the FAFSA to explain their financial circumstances?
They should contact the financial offices of each college and have a written explanation ready
to send.
How College Selection Impacts Financial Aid
24.What factors make a student more likely to get an aid package that meets a higher
percentage of their need?
Students that are on the high end of the admissions pool are more likely to have their needs
met.
25.Why is aid more complex at elite private colleges?
Aid comes from the college itself rather than from other sources.
Merit Aid
26.What is merit aid based on?
Merit aid is based on a student’s academic, athletic, musical and other abilities.
27.Why is merit aid so great?
Anyone can apply for merit aid.
28.What is important to know about merit aid at elite colleges?
Almost all elite colleges do not offer academic merit aid.
Student Gets Merit Aid But No Need-Based Aid
29.What will happen if a student qualifies for merit aid but not need-based aid?
The out-of-pocket cost will be the sticker price minus the merit aid award.

Why Merit Aid Reduces Need-Based Aid Eligibility
30.True or False: If you qualify for need based aid and merit aid, you subtract both of them from
the college cost to determine how much you will pay. False
31.True or False: If you qualify for need based aid and earn a scholarship, you will have a lower
cost to pay than if you did not have the scholarship. False
The Out-of-Pocket Cost of College
32.What information will be given at the end of the college admissions and aid application
process?
A list of colleges to which the student has been accepted will be given.
33.What elements are included in the financial aid award letter?
All outside scholarships, grants and loans that the student is eligible for.
34.What factors contribute to the total cost of attendance?
Total cost of attendance including tuition, fees, room and board, books and personal
expenses.
35.What is the formula for out-of-pocket cost?
The cost of attendance minus the amount of aid given at a certain college.
36.Why might the out-of-pocket cost be greater than what is calculated using that formula?
Parents or students may take on student loans to fund a certain college, and interest is added
to the amount.

Extra Credit: At home, speak with your parents and review the chart in the article “2015 EFC
Quick Reference Table for College Aid” and answer these questions.
A. Is it likely you will qualify for need-based financial aid?
B. What is the plan to pay for college?
C. Are there any colleges your parents will not let you go to? Or, are there any limits they
have for where you can go to college? (Distance, cost, 2-year or 4-year, etc.)