Need Analysis

Most Title IV aid is need-based. Need analysis is the process of estimating the amount of assistance a student will require to supplement the resources theoretically available from that student and his or her family. Need analysis has two basic components: first, the estimation of what it will reasonably cost the student to attend a given institution for a given period of time (the cost of attendance or COA), and second, an estimation of the ability of the student and his or her immediate family to contribute to that educational cost (the expected family contribution or EFC). Once COA and EFC have been determined, the financial aid administrator may commence packaging financial aid for the student.

Related topics in this Index: Cost of Attendance; Expected Family Contribution; Packaging; Professional Judgment; Verification

Synonyms: Needs test; Financial need
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