Determining Financial Aid

The following formula is used to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid:

Cost of attendance – Expected family contribution (EFC) = Financial need

Cost of attendance

The student expense budgets are used to calculate financial aid eligibility as well as to provide students and their families with a reasonable estimate of the cost of attendance at Carl Sandburg College. These student budgets include the allowance for tuition, living costs, books and supplies, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous expenses. Budget components are reasonable yet modest costs based on surveying segments of our student population. 

Expected family contribution

The family contribution is the amount students and their families are expected to contribute toward the cost of a student's education. The family contribution is based on total income and assets as reported on the family's U.S. income tax returns, family size, number of family members in college and an allowance for basic living expenses. To obtain an estimate of your family contribution go to or The College Board.

Financial need

The difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution is considered a financial need. The Financial Aid Office will assist students and their families in trying to meet their financial needs by offering a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and employment opportunities.