Paying for college is not something to be taken lightly. The FAFSA4caster allows students and families to estimate the amount of federal financial aid they might receive based on their college or university of choice, household income and assets.

Federal financial aid can be a large sum of money to assist in paying for tuition, fees, and more. However, it will not cover 100% of your expenses.

The FAFSA4caster estimates the estimated family contribution (EFC) which can include money parents give to students or money made from working a job while attending school.

Before you begin, keep in mind:

  • You will need to input parent’s gross income and estimated net worth for the FAFSA4caster estimate.
  • You will need to do use the estimator for each college or university on your list. The estimates can be different based on institution costs.

The Simple Process:

  1. Go to the FAFSA4caster page.
  2. Follow the step-by-step instructions to obtain your estimate.
  3. Questions you will be asked:
    • Adjusted gross income
    • Number of people in the house
    • Estimated asset net worth
    • Citizenship of student
    • Demographics of student
    • Parent information
    • College intended on attending
    • College costs including tuition, fees, room, board, books and other expenses (note: College Navigator helps you find the costs if you’re not sure)
    • Grants and scholarships (if amount is known)

Once the information is filled in, the FAFSA4caster estimates your pell grant and student loan amounts. Remember, this is just an estimate and should be utilized to determine the EFC and help you plan for paying for college. Exact amounts will not be known until the FAFSA is filled out and a college or university is chosen, applied to, and you are accepted.

NOTE: The amount given is for an academic year with the assumption you will be a full-time student.

Use the FAFSA4caster to help your family prepare for the costs of attending college. Knowing an estimated amount of federal financial aid and the EFC will help ease the stress of the upcoming costs. You can also use this information to set a goal for the amount of scholarships you need to win. 

Remember, we’re talking about your future and planning is key.

Have you used the FAFSA4caster? Were you surprised at the amount or did you expect what was given? Share your experience using the FAFSA4caster with us!


What is the fafsa4caster