2018-2019 FAFSA Formula is Here

Are you looking for the FAFSA EFC Formula Guide for 2020-2021? If so, go here. Are you looking for the FAFSA EFC Formula Guide for 2019-2020? If so, go here

Wondering about income and asset protection allowances for the coming FAFSA? The FAFSA EFC Formula Guide for 2018-2019 is available here.

Unlike the past few years, the changes this year are pretty modest. The income and asset protection allowance for parents went up nominally. For example, the income protection allowance for a family of 4 with 2 college students is $25,040 for 2018-2019 vs $24,480 last year; the student income protection allowance went up to $6,570. The asset protection allowance for a 2-parent household in which the older parent is 50 increased to $22,300, from $21,200.

More important than the allowance numbers, though, is understanding how the formula works. The biggest component of the formula is parents’ income. If you have a high income, you must save for college, because there is no way that most of us could come up with our EFC from cash flow alone.

11 thoughts on “2018-2019 FAFSA Formula is Here

    1. I’m not seeing any allowance numbers that are lower in the 2018-2019 FAFSA vs 2017-2018, so it looks to me like they all went up, not down. For example, $25,040 (2018-2019 income protection allowance for family demographics cited) is $560 more than $24,480 (for 2017-2018). Perhaps we’re both meaning the same thing but saying it different ways?

  1. I did Faisal for my 2 sons ,last year it was around $25000. This time it told me $14000..don’t understand why ,,if every year been around the same ,the only I can think of that my older son filing as independent cause he’s going to a graduate school he’s already got a bachelor,,but when I did fafsa last year for the 2018 2019 it was the same case ,my son has had finished his bachelor and going to a first year graduate school,the only difference now for 2019 2020 that is his second year in graduate school,,so why did the fafsa ask me last year if I have more than $25000 say yes and now it’s if it’s more than $ 14000 say yes…please help

    1. Just so I’m answering the right question: Is your issue that the FAFSA asked, “Are your assets more than $14,000?” and then prompted you to report them? If so, that’s because the Asset Protection Allowance decreased by quite a bit this year– about half. You only report details on your assets if you are above the asset protection allowance. If you’re below, you don’t.

  2. 2018-19 FAFSA asked if assets were above 33,000 (AGI was larger last year), our response was “No”.
    For this FAFSA 2019-20 husband is 69, I am 62, & 2 in college concurrently, as last year, also AGI less this year, we used the IRS data retrieval, but the asset question asks if our assets above $18,900, why that decrease in asset number? As nothing else has changed other than we are older, same amount of kids in college, and less income?

      1. So the asset protection allowance for family of 4 with 2 parents with one over 65 has actually gone down not up which is what you indicated in your article that it went up?

      2. Less assets are protected under this year’s formula than under last year’s. This year, married parents where the older parent is 65 or older get an asset protection allowance of $18,900. Last year, someone in that situation would have received an asset protection allowance of $33,600. Yes, the asset protection allowance has gone down. Did I say somewhere that it’s gone up? Please tell me where so I can correct it.

  3. Any assets above the asset protection, what is the percentage expected to contribute? for example our protection is 11,900 however our assets are 16,000

    1. The assessment rate for assets above the asset protection allowance is 5.64%. So your assessed assets would be $4,100 ($16,000-$1,900); the total contribution from assets would be $4,100 x 0.0564 = $231.24. Note that when filling out the FAFSA, you will enter your total assets and FAFSA calculates that for you.

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