Understanding Your Financial Aid Letter

Calculating the Family Contribution

Your expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's income (taxable and untaxed), assets, and benefits are all considered in determining your expected family contribution. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend a college or career school. If you wish to receive an estimate of your family contribution, you can go to the College Board web site (www.collegeboard.org) and on their web site is a category for calculating your EFC.

Your Financial Aid Package

Your financial need is determined by subtracting your EFC from your Wells College cost of attendance. Financial need is met, in part or full, through a process known as packaging. A financial aid package can include a variety of combinations of institutional grants, federal and state grants, low interest loans, campus employment, and merit scholarships. Depending on your computed financial need, your package may include some or all of these components in varying amounts. The total amount of need-based financial aid awarded cannot exceed your federally calculated financial need. Because institutional, federal and state aid funds are limited, the amount awarded to you may fall short of the amount for which you are eligible, thus increasing your family contribution. In order to know for sure what your financial aid eligibility is- you must apply.

You must reapply for need-based financial aid funds each year. If your family situation remains stable, your Wells grant will also remain unchanged throughout your years at Wells.

Special Circumstances

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) formula is basically the same for all applicants, but there is some flexibility. If you feel your circumstances have changed since completing your federal aid application or if you wish additional information to be considered in determining the EFC, you can write or call the financial aid office. In general, a student can apply for a special circumstance if the family's financial situation has recently changed due to death of a parent, divorce or separation of parents, loss of employment, disability, unusually high medical/dental expenses, loss of a one time benefit or income reported on your tax return, and elementary/secondary tuition costs. If the financial aid office at Wells College feels the student meets one of these criteria, the family will be asked to complete a Special Conditions application.