On what do schools base the EFC?

Your site says: "Enter the amount your parents think they will be able to pay for your college expenses. This is a HUGE question. Do not answer this until you have used the Minimize College Costs tool in TuitionCoach to determine your lowest EFC. Never volunteer to pay above tha amount unless you simply wish to spend more on college, which they will happily accept. On the other hand, if you volunteer a figure ridiculously low given your resources, the col-lege may determine that your parents are pretty much jerks." Do schools base the EFC for next year on the actual last year's income or the anticipated income? [The income we currently expect for thist year will be substantially less than our income for last year (at least until I can find a job).
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  • Just make an educated guess as to what your EFC will be based upon last year's numbers. You can lower the amount to the extent of your financial commitment for other children. Don't be brave...be realistic. Try to avoid putting down an amount that you can't pay. I would wait until after the student has been admitted before I would talk to the college about your future earnings. So the lesson is that life and college are best dealt with using two standards...communication AND timing!
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