The Real Price of College: How Using the Negative Expected Family Contribution Can Better Support Students

The Real Price of College: How Using the Negative Expected Family Contribution Can Better Support Students

For decades, the shortcomings of financial aid have frustrated students and colleges alike. Flaws in the design and delivery of financial aid, including how “need” is defined and subsequently calculated, contribute to its diminishing efficacy. Subsequently, students’ financial need has continued to go unmet, with nearly three in four students having unmet financial need.

This policy memo outlines how institutions and policymakers can calculate and use negative EFC to determine which students have the greatest financial need, and use that information to direct support to them.