You can see and read a variety of terms throughout any scholarship and grant process. Here are some useful definitions you need to know.
FAFSA: it is commonly known as free application for federal student aid. It is the basic form you are required to fill out for the application of state and federal financial aid. The form can be submitted at the beginning of every college year. From January to the February is the best time to fill out and submit the form. To gain a maximum benefit from financial aid try to submit it as soon as possible. The form is available on the internet for free and not accepted after the due date , in some cases.
COA: the cost of attendance (COA) is the term which is used to refer the cost that students will pay to attend the institution. Scholarship or grant is designed to support the students so that they can manage their COA. The tuition fee, accomodation (room and board), books and other education-related are included in the COA. The technology and travel expenses are the part of it. Some financial aid program can facilities you to cover only tuition fee while others supports all expenditures including accommodation.
EFC: EFC stands for expected family contribution towards the cost of studies. It is the amount, college, university, or any sponsor believes that you and your family can spend on your educational needs on monthly or annual expenses. The amount is calculated with the help of the FAFSAA. The amount helps the sponsor to take the decision of allocating a right amount of student. Every financial aid program is designed on the bases of EFC for a particular student.
Financial need: this term is also known as “unmet need” but these two terminologies have the same meaning. The financial need is calculated with the help of formula, that is, EFC is subtracted from the provided COA amount, and the remaining calculated amount is considered as a “financial need”. The achieved amount represents the need of the applicant for the scholarship. Financial aid offices of your college work to meet your financial need through different resources such as, state, federal, or private sector grants.