The family information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is calculated by the federal government’s comprehensive formula. This formula determines the amount you and your family can afford to contribute to educational costs and is considered the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is then subtracted from your total Cost of Attendance, which includes tuition, room and board, and an estimate of personal expenses and transportation. Some of the items calculated in the Cost of Attendance are not directly charged to you by the school, i.e., room and board, transportation, etc., but are estimates of personal living costs. The remaining amount is your financial need, which becomes the basis for the financial aid award.