Income is only one factor in determining your Expected Family Contributions (EFC). Other factors such as the age of the parents, the number of dependents and the number of children in college affect your EFC.
If you have a six-figure income and your child is attending your state university, chances are you may not qualify for aid. However, if your child is looking at Northwestern, Notre Dame or an Ivy League school with tuition over $30,000, you may have a need that the college can fill. If you have more than one child in college at the same time, thereby doubling your expenses, a six-figure income may not be adequate.
|Family Income Level
||Applied for Aid
|$20,000 – $40,000
|$40,000 – $60,000
|$60,000 – $80,000
SOURCE: US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Post-secondary Student Aid Study: 1995-96. The detailed student level information provided is based on the most recent National Post-secondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS96), released in 1998.
The table above shows the percentage of full-time students at each income level who applied for financial aid, and the percentage of those applicants who, in fact, received some form of financial aid. It is interesting to note that the vast majority of all aid applicants receive financial aid in some form – even those with high incomes. The primary reason families do not get aid is simply because they fail to apply.