i-FinAid will accurately predict your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to the dollar. It will also teach you the basics of college financial aid, calculate your Federal Pell Grant eligibility, and provide you with representative costs-of-attendance at various colleges.
What are these things important? Please read on.
For most students (and their parents), how to pay for college is as important a consideration as what college to go to.
It comes as a surprise to many students that:
1- They can get a pretty good idea how much aid they might qualify for, even before applying to college.
2- They may qualify for more aid than they expect.
This App was developed by a Financial Aid professional at a major university to fill this knowledge gap. It is meant to quickly give students the "lay of the land" as they begin their college search.
We want to help you:
1- Estimate how much you are likely to actually pay out of pocket for college.
2- Rationally factor in financial considerations up front, when considering what colleges to apply to.
3- Be well prepared for direct discussions with the Financial Aid officers at the colleges of your choice, where they can explain the specific elements of the financial aid packages that they might offer you.
For those who have been doing their homework, you know that the Department of Education's FAFSA form is the gateway to most sources of Financial Aid, and that the output from the FAFSA is the so called Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Therefore, the heart of this App is a full strength, "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" EFC calculator. The App also computes Pell Grant eligibility, and gives a representative sampling of college Costs of Attendance (COA).
We have worked hard to balance power and ease of use in this App. While it does ask for a lot of data (still far less than the full FAFSA form), all fields are context-sensitive, and any applicable simplifications to the underlying formula are immediately reflected. Every concept and data field is explained right in front of the user, and the EFC is updated instantly upon every entry. This very quickly builds intuition, for students/parents and "power users" alike, on what matters and what doesn't to the bottom-line EFC. And of course, because it is a standalone iPhone App, all private data stay private.
What "power users"? Well, we think that practicing Financial Aid professionals will also benefit from having a "pocket Needs Analysis machine." In fact, the idea for this App came when one of the developers, who received an iPhone for Christmas, said to her husband (the other developer) that such an App sure would come in handy at work. Check out the screenshot for the "Tech" page, which shows all the intermediate results, just like doing a "hand calc." For the non-professional, this can all be safely ignored, except for the assurance that the calculation is complete, fully tested and correct.
The most current 2011-2012 EFC formula is encoded. Purchasers will receive free upgrades as the government updates things.
Please also visit our website (www.ifinaid.com) for more details, and we wish you the best in all your educational endeavors.