How Your Award is Calculated

To determine the types and amounts of financial aid a student is eligible to receive, our office must take into account the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA), and current grade level and merge this information with the federal and state aid program parameters.

Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established into law by the Department of Education. Your family’s taxes, untaxed income, assets, and benefits such as unemployment are all considered in the formula.  Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the academic year. Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used to calculate the amount of Federal and State aid a student is eligible to receive.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

The Estimated Cost of Attendance is an estimate of the amount of money required to attend ECU for one year (fall and spring). This amount includes tuition and fees, room and board (meals), books and supplies, transportation, personal expenses, health insurance (if applicable), and a loan fee.

Federal and State aid program regulations prohibit awarding and disbursement of aid over the cost of attendance. If you have costs exceeding the estimated amount of expenses due to extenuating circumstances you may wish to submit the 2023-24 Request to Consider Additional Cost (PDF).

Unmet Financial Need

Unmet Financial Need is determined by subtracting your EFC from your COA.  Financial need is the maximum amount of need-based aid a student is eligible to receive.