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My Palmetto College


Determination of Aid Eligibility

Financial aid programs were created with the idea that the primary responsibility for paying college costs rests with the student and family. Your aid eligibility depends on your family’s financial circumstances and resources. 

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the federal government uses information you supply to assess your family’s financial situation and calculate an expected family contribution, or EFC, for you. Your EFC is an estimate of how much a student and parents might be expected to contribute toward the education costs. It is not the amount you owe to the university.

 The determination of this expected family contribution (EFC) is uniformly applied to all aid applicants and is mandated by federal law. According to federal definition,

  • If you are dependent, you and your parents are expected to contribute toward your educational costs based upon an analysis of the information reported on your FAFSA.
  • If you are independent, you (and your spouse, if married) are expected to contribute a significant portion of your income and assets toward meeting your educational expenses.

When we receive your FAFSA analysis, an appropriate student educational expense budget, based upon your fee structure and housing status, is assigned. These budgets are carefully researched and developed each year.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

Your Cost of Attendance (COA) includes estimated amounts for tuition and fees, books and supplies and room and board, plus a modest allowance for personal/miscellaneous expenses. We use standard student expenses in order to efficiently process a large number of applications and to ensure equitable treatment. If you believe that you have costs that are significantly different than those allowed, you may visit the Financial Aid Office and speak with a financial aid counselor who can help evaluate your circumstances.

The components of an estimated cost of attendance includes the following:

  • Estimated cost for Tuition and Technology Fees
  • Average cost of Room and Board
  • Estimated Transportation Costs
  • Estimated Miscellaneous and Personal Expenses
  • Estimated cost for Books and Supplies

Each student's cost of attendance/budget is based upon full-time enrollment and residency. After the drop and add period each semester the cost of attendance will be reduced to reflect less than full-time enrollment.

Determining Need

To determine your financial need, the total expected family contribution (EFC) is subtracted from the student cost of attendance (COA). The remaining figure represents your maximum eligibility for need‐based financial assistance and scholarships.

Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Eligibility for Need-Based Aid

While this number represents the amount of aid you are eligible to receive based on costs and your resources, the amount of aid that you will receive depends on aid funds available in any given year.