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How Aid is Calculated

Filling the Gap Between Cost and Need

Finding out how much financial aid you qualify for isn't very complicated. Here's the magic formula:

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

What is Cost of Attendance (COA)?

  • The price tag for a year at the college you're considering.
  • Includes fixed expenses like tuition, room and other student fees, and variable expenses like cafeteria, books and other supplies.
  • The higher the COA, the more financial aid you're likely to get.

What is Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

  • The dollar amount you and your family can reasonably be expected to contribute toward college.
  • Determined by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Calculated by the federal government, not WWU.
  • Contestable, if you feel the FAFSA results don't reflect your unique family financial situation.

What is Financial Need (FN)?

  • The difference between COA and EFC.
  • Offset by financial aid--grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.

In other words, financial aid fills the gap between what college costs and what you and your family can afford to pay, and makes a Christian education possible.

You can estimate your expected family contribution by using this EFC Calculator. And here's a step-by-step guide to applying for financial aid, along with eligibility requirements.

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Last update on February 14, 2018