You Need To Know These Three Magic Letters

Magic. If we think about that word we probably visualize magicians at a circus or Disney characters or card tricks. College planning, however, is most likely not our first thought associated with the word Magic. But, wouldn’t it be so nice to snap our fingers, wave our wands, call out our genies and get our kids into their dream schools easy-peasy? That would be a dream.

Well, I cannot promise you any of those things, but what I can promise you is that the closest thing to real magic you can get in this college applying process are three little words. These words will mean a lot to you as you start the journey of getting into college.      

A few years back I uploaded a video to my youtube channel. You can check out the video here. One of my main goals as the founder of College Planning Experts is to make sure parents and students know and understand exactly what they need to in order to plan out a solid financial aid strategy. I will get the information out there through videos, blog posts, or by any means because I think this information is that important.

With all of my experience in college planning, this is what I find to be the most critical part of the process. And yet, so many families make crucial mistakes when they fill out the financial aid forms.

So, let’s talk about those three words that are going to be quite important for your family through the college planning process. I am going to sum up the most useful parts of my video here:

The Three Magic Words: Expected Family Contribution or EFC

The simplified definition of EFC is

What the government thinks that you can afford for college”

How EFC Is Determined:

Every year, before March 1st, families should fill out and submit the federal financial aid form or FAFSA. The government will then decide, based on that information, what the minimum amount of money they think that your family can afford for the cost of your child’s degree.

Why EFC is Important:

Knowing what you, as a family, are expected to contribute out of your own pockets is the first step in maximizing financial aid for your college-bound student. Once you have it, there are 163 ways to minimize your EFC. The lower your EFC the higher you can qualify for financial aid. Lower EFC = More Financial Support.

Six Determining Factors of Your EFC

These are pieces of information about your finances that you need to get back an accurate EFC.  

  1. Parent’s Income
  2. Parent’s Assets
  3. Student’s Income
  4. Student’s Assets
  5. Number of Students in Household
  6. How many are in college  

This is a general break down of the most important foundation of planning out a financial aid strategy. You can watch the full video here.  

If you would like more in-depth information about how to maximize your financial aid package or you have any questions, you can contact us through

Phone: (818) 201-4847,


Email: [email protected]

Written By Brian Safdari

Founder and President Of

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