Determining Financial Need

Main content

The primary responsibility for financing an undergraduate college education rests with the student and their family. A student's financial need is determined based on the following formula:

Cost of Attendance (Budget)

- Expected Family Contribution

- Other Resources (e.g. scholarships and veterans educational benefits)

= Financial Need

The Cost of Attendance (COA) or budget, is determined each year by the SCC Financial Aid Office, and represents the estimated total cost of attending SCC for one year. COA includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a measure of your family's financial strength, is calculated using the information you reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The formula for the EFC calculation is established by law.

The FinAid website offers an online EFC Calculator that students can use to estimate their EFC.

It is important to know that the total amount of financial aid a student receives, including outside resources, cannot exceed their cost of attending SCC. In some cases a students' EFC may be greater than their cost of attending SCC. In this case, they do not demonstrate eligibility for need-based financial aid, however; they would be eligible for non-need based financial aid programs such as the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, and alternative loans.

Financial Need Videos

The following videos were selected to help explain how a student's financial need is determined.

Videos coming soon!