The College Affordability Shaper in GuidedPath is a unique tool. It includes calculations for both the federal (FAFSA) and the institution (PROFILE) methods of calculating a family’s financial status. We update the FAFSA and PROFILE calculations each year, as new tables are released. The information for the 2015-16 EFC calculations is now included in the GuidedPath College Affordability Survey.
Update Your Students EFC Calculations for 2015-16 with One Question
If the College Affordability Survey has already been filled out, simply update the selection for Question #1 in Section #1 to “2015-2016” and the new calculation will be available. (Below is a sneak peak at the new screen layout that you will be seeing in GuidedPath very soon!)
Updated FAFSA Data Tables
Each year the federal government publishes all the tables and formulas used in the FAFSA. The new, 2015-16 FAFSA calculations are based on:
- Updated State, Social Security and Other Tax Allowance tables
- Updated Income Protection Allowance tables
- Updated Parent Education Savings and Asset Protection Allowance tables
PROFILE Data Tables Updated
The PROFILE data tables have all been adjusted using the updated tables and key asset information (in particular home equity) often used in some college’s own institutional calculations. These calculations give families a ball park estimate of an Institutional EFC calculation. It allows families to see how colleges using the profile might consider their assets, especially home equity, in financial aid eligibility calculations.
Working students can now make up to $6310 annually
In 2015-16, the allowance for student earnings has been increased to $6310 per year. Students can earn up to that amount before it becomes considered as a part of available income for their family contribution. If a parent’s income is low, the student income over $6310 can be used to offset the lower income of the parents. This is helpful where students bring income in to help support their families.
The table below displays the increasing income allowance trend for dependent students.
Simplified EFC for Low Income = No Assets considered
Under certain circumstances, a family with an income of less than $50,000 can qualify for the simplified EFC calculation. This calculation does not take any assets into consideration in the EFC calculation.
Automatic Zero EFC for Low Income Students = Full Pell Grant Eligibility of $5730 or more
Under certain circumstances, a family with under $24000 income will automatically qualify for an EFC of $0. Any family with a $0 EFC should qualify for the maximum Pell Grant. The amount of the 2015-16 Pell Grant has not been established yet. The maximum amount for 2014-15 was $5730.
Using College Affordability Shaper
Have families use the College Affordability Shaper to see how colleges will assess their family circumstances. Find what category the family falls into: Whole, Merit, or Half-Half. This determines the best strategy for finding the right fit college based on financial, academic and social fit.