The Gateway to Aid

Your responses on the FAFSA to various income and asset questions are calculated by a federal office, using a formula that takes into account such things as family size, income, the number attending college, and assets (excluding items such as retirement plans and value of primary residence) to develop your expected family contribution (EFC). We then analyze the ensuing Student Aid Report in developing a financial aid package for you to narrow the gap between the total cost of attending John Carroll University and your EFC.

What You Need to Know About Your EFC 

The Department of Education utilizes a federal formula to calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for a family. An EFC is calculated by using a Federal Methodology created by Congress. The formula considers most heavily: parent and student income, assets, the number of family members in the household, and the number of children in college. Your expected family contribution does not change regardless of, the cost of the school you choose to attend or whether that school is private or public.


The verification process requires schools to verify the accuracy of the information provided on the FAFSA by requesting and reviewing the student and parent tax information for the current year. Schools are required by the Department of Education to verify certain FAFSA items to prevent errors and to ensure the EFC is accurate. In general, you can expect to be selected for verification at least once through your college career. Student Enrollment and Financial Services has the right to request copies of federal tax forms, 1099s and/or W-2s. JCU will not disburse funds until this process is complete. Click here for more information on the verification process.


Are you unsure if the parental information will be required on the FAFSA? If so, click here to read the FAFSA dependency questions and to determine whether your student will be considered a Dependent or Independent student. Please note: you will be required to submit supporting documentation to Student Enrollment and Financial Services if you answer “yes” to any of these questions on the FAFSA.

Which Parent to Report 

In cases of parental divorce, you may be unsure which parent to use on the FAFSA. Click here for guidance on determining which parent household and income information should be included on the FAFSA.