The Real Price of College

Watch On-Demand

May 13, 2021

For decades, the shortcomings of financial aid have frustrated students and colleges alike. Flaws in the design and delivery of financial aid, including how “need” is defined and subsequently calculated, contribute to its diminishing efficacy.

In the Real Price of College project, The Hope Center has been exploring how negative expected family contribution (EFC) reveals true student financial need, with evidence that the majority of financial aid applicants have a negative EFC, and that those negative EFCs are over $10,000 for some groups of students.

This webinar will provide an overview of the project's finding so far, how negative EFC is of particular salience to community colleges, and how negative EFC can be used to inform practice and policy to improve support for students.


Eddy Conroy
Associate Director of Institutional Transformation
The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice


Mark Huelsman
Policy Fellow
The Hope Center for College Community and Justice

Robert Kelchen
Associate Professor of Higher Education
Seton Hall University, New Jersey

Ines Lopez
Executive Director Student Financial Aid
El Paso Community College, Texas

Wayne Taliaferro
Strategy Officer for Student Success at Community Colleges
Lumina Foundation