Need Analysis

Need Analysis SSGPublished in April 2019 for the 2019-20 program year.

This Self-Study Guide reviews the calculation of a student's expected family contribution (EFC), and includes a discussion of the regular and simplified formulas as well as recalculations. Bonus material: Included with this Guide is an optional lesson on institutional methodology, developed in collaboration with the College Board.

Available as a PDF only.

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Learning Objectives

Lesson 1: Introduction to Need Analysis 

  • Understand what is need analysis;
  • Know a brief history and the evolution of need analysis; and
  • Understand the underlying principles of need analysis.

Lesson 2: The Regular Formula 

  • Recognize the three models used to calculate the EFC;
  • Identify the model which should be used to calculate a student’s EFC; and
  • Learn the steps used to calculate the EFC using the regular formula.

Lesson 3: Simplified Formulas 

  • Recognize the differences between the regular formula and the simplified formulas;
  • Be able to identify which models qualify for the simplified formulas;
  • Understand the eligibility criteria for an Automatic Zero EFC; and
  • Understand the eligibility criteria for the Simplified Needs Test.

Lesson 4: Recalculating the EFC 

  • Understand how to recalculate the EFC for enrollment periods other than nine months; and
  • Learn approaches for calculating the EFC for summer periods of enrollment.

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