Some schools, though not many, claim to be able to meet their students’ full financial need. Determining your financial need begins with calculating your expected family contribution (or EFC) using information you provide on the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA takes into account your family’s earning power, size, and savings, among other factors.
During the recent recession, numerous schools striving to meet the full financial needs of students were unable to do so because of shrinking endowments, dwindling donations, and sharp decreases in state funding. Though the economic recovery is far from over, some schools are now able to offer more than they have in the past.