The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - College Planning & Financial Aid

In The College Application Process , What Is The Expected Family Contribution ?

The expected family contribution is a key factor that determines whether your child can receive college financial aid based on your expected family contribution. Your expected family contribution is calculated according to a formula set by Congress. It takes into account the family's income, savings and other factors. Generally parents are expected to contribute about 6 % of their savings to pay for their child's education. The child presumably has fewer overall expenses. About 35 % of their savings will be expected to be used to meet college costs. Your expected family contribution will then be compared to the cost of attending the college your child has selected to determine whether they are eligible for financial aid. Some parents feel this calculation is not realistic and is an inflated amount.

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