Determining Financial Need

One of the first and most important steps in establishing eligibility for financial aid is determining how much you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) are expected to contribute towards your education. This is done by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Clatsop uses the federal methodology established by the US Department of Education to determine student eligibility for federal and state programs. The information you report on the FAFSA is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a measure of your and your family’s financial strength and is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Your financial need is the Cost of Attendance minus your EFC and also minus any other funding received toward educational expenses such as scholarships, agency funding, etc.

Details regarding the EFC and worksheets that explain how the EFC is calculated can be downloaded from the Federal Student Aid web site at Be sure to click on the appropriate award year under the EFC formula.

Cost Of Attendance
- EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
= Financial Need

You may receive an early estimate of your EFC using FAFSA4caster found on the website. When you are ready to apply for aid, you can easily transition from FAFSA4caster to FAFSA on the Web application. Much of the information you provide on FAFSA4caster will populate your FAFSA on the Web application, making the application process easier.


Last Updated: 
October 18, 2013, 11:01 am
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