How much income is too much for the FAFSA?

Most Students Qualify for Fafsa

There is a formula for that

All students that meet the basic eligibility requirements of the FAFSA are able to qualify for some kind of financial aid, despite the amount of money their family makes. With that being said, the amount of money their parents make is the main deciding factor in the amount of financial aid that is issued.

In most financial aid formulas, the amount of income a student’s parents make per year after taxes gets multiplied by anywhere between 22% to 47%. This is considered the expected family contribution (EFC), which is the amount that colleges expect parents to pay.

There are a number of factors that go into this EFC formula besides income. The number of children within the family, especially those currently attending college, will also be factored in the calculated EFC figure. The more children and expenses the family is currently paying for, the lower the EFC figure will be for that student.

The EFC does not change regardless of which college you are attending or planning to attend. You could go to a college that costs $50,000 per year or a college that costs $10,000 per year and the EFC will still be the same. The only thing that would be different between the two colleges is the amount of money you get issued in financial aid after submitting the FAFSA to the federal student aid office of the U.S. Department of Education. If you attend the $50,000 a year college and have an $8,000 EPC then you will be issued $42,000 in financial aid. If you attend the $10,000 a year college then you would get $2,000 in financial aid.

The cost of the school matters

As far as how much income is too much for the FAFSA, this all depends on whether or not the calculated EFC figure is higher than the cost of attendance. If it ends up being higher than you won’t get approved for any kind of need-based financial aid. The only way you will get approved is if the EFC is lower than the cost of attendance.

So if you are wondering how much income is too much to get financial aid from the FAFSA, it all depends on the cost of attendance for the school you are applying at versus your calculated EPC. Obviously, if your family makes $100,000 per year and the cost of attendance is $8,000 for the school per year, then you likely won’t get any need-based financial assistance. It actually helps to go to a more expensive school to have a better chance of getting financial aid if your family has too much income.