Avoid student debt, learn-“EFC”

Too many people think that your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is something that you worry about when you apply for financial aid, if they have heard the term at all. And if you’re a family with high school students thinking about college, it’s definitely a term you should become familiar with immediately. Why? Because what you don’t know about your EFC can hurt you long before you even start to fill-out college application forms.

Your EFC is the number colleges will use to calculate your need for financial aid. You can get an estimate of your EFC at the College Board and you should do so before January 1 of your student’s junior year to take advantage of all possible opportunities for reducing it.

Ultimately, with some exceptions, most people won’t be able to do a lot to significantly reduce their EFC no matter how unrealistic. But probably the biggest reason to know your EFC doesn’t have to do with your ability to change it. In fact, knowing your EFC before you apply to colleges can do more to cut the cost of college than just about any private scholarship you might win. Knowing your EFC means that you can apply to schools most likely to meet your financial needs.

If you don’t know your EFC then:

You won’t know the minimum you’ll be expected to pay to for college. Very few colleges are willing or able to meet all students’ financial need. Knowing this minimum early on can prevent the problems of being accepted into a “dream” school that you can’t afford.

You won’t know if a college net price calculator is meeting your need. A lot of people will use the net price calculators at a college website but the calculators don’t have to display your estimated EFC. However, many will provide the required estimated net price after gift aid as well as an estimated total cost of attendance that includes loans. Knowing your EFC will allow you to estimate what percentage of your need is going to be met through gift aid versus self-help aid.

You won’t know that your EFC is high and fail to apply to any schools that offer merit aid. If you have a high EFC which you know that you can’t possibly pay, you can ensure an adequate number of schools likely to offer merit (non-need based) aid end up on any final college list. In fact, it would be a good idea to avoid “reach” schools altogether.

You won’t know that your EFC is low and only apply to schools that often gap students. As stated earlier, few schools can meet 100% of financial need. And many of the remaining schools are likely to distribute need-based in proportion to the desirability of the student.

In such situations, even if students aren’t “gapped” in their financial aid award, they’ll find their financial aid award consists of a majority of loans rather than grants. The truth is that some schools will come much closer to meeting the financial need of students with low EFCs than others.

You won’t know if you should focus on applying to colleges using the Federal or Institutional Methodology. There are over 400 schools that use the College Board’s PROFILE financial aid application to calculate their own institutional methodology independent of the EFC generate when applying for federal financial aid.

There are some major differences between the two methodologies. Depending on a family’s financial situation, their EFC can be dramatically different at schools that use the PROFILE institutional methodology than those that don’t. This is also why you should use the College Board’s EFC calculator since they are the only ones that have any idea of what schools are considering as part of the institutional methodology.

If you know your estimated EFC ahead of time, you can ensure that all of the schools that end up on your final college lists are good fits financially as well as academically.

GSL Softball Stats (April 5, 2015)



Hannah Bell (MTS)-  17

Kimber Tutt (MTS)-  15

Kirsten Anstrom (UH)-  14

Rachael Johnson (UH)- 14

Kyla Stern (MTS)-  13

Shyla Vegas (CV)-  13

Macie Reynolds (CV)-  13

Erin Kautzman (Mead)-  12

Meredith Clark(Mead)-  12

Laurie Jones (SP)-  11

Naomi Harris (LC)-  11

Taylor John (LC)-  10

Gracee Dwyer (UH)-  10

Alexis Kortness (ROG)-  10

Sydney Shanholtzer (mead)-  10

Mikaylie King (Mead)- 10


Shyla Vegas (CV)-  8

Macie Reynolds (CV)-  7

Laurie Jones (SP)-  6

Kaitlyn Zemke (MTS)-  6

Alex Douglas (UH)-  6

Hannah George (NC)-  5

Sydney Shanholtzer (mead)-  5

Jadeyn Cronn (MTS)-  5

Hannah Bell (MTS)-  5

Kirsten Anstrom (UH)-  5


Meredith Clark (mead)-  3

Jayla Allen (SP)-  2

Kelsey Gumm (CV)-  1

Makenna Wasteney (CV)-  1

Macie Reynolds (CV)-  1

Shyla Vegas (CV)-  1

Kimber Tutt (MTS)-  1

Kyla Stern (MTS)-  1

Laurie Jones (SP)-  1

Hannah George (NC)-  1

Kaylee Levein (NC)-  1

Brooke Olsen (NC)-  1

Naomi Harris (LC)-  1

Savannah McConnell (LC)-  1

Courtney Smith (LC)-  1


Here is a look at the GSL Baseball Leaders thru April 2 from available teams.


Cal Webb (LC)- 18

Brayden Olson(Rogers)-  15

Tyler Bailey (MtSpo)-  14

Alex Jacob(NC)-  14

David Mickey (GPrep)-  12

Cooper Smith (MtSpo)-  12

Zach Day (Rogers)-  12

Jayden Nguyen (SP)-  11

Jordan Summers (LC)-  11

Cole Beamer (LC)-  11

Tyler Hojnacki (LC)-11



Zach Day (Rogers)-  6

Matt Pulliam (Mt Spo)-  6

Alek Jacob (NC)- 6

Tyler Bailey (Mt Spo)-  5

Jordan Rathbone (GPrep)-  5

Ryan Gross (GPrep)-  5

Jackson Axtell (CV)-  4

Cooper Smith (Mt Spo)-  4

Jack Machtolf (GPrep)-  4

Brayden Olson (Rogers)-  4

Kyle Shuey (MtSpo)-  4



Ryan Gross (GPrep)-  2

Kyle Shuey (MtSpo)-  1

Jordan Rathbone (GPrep)-  1

Riley Robinett (MtSpo)-  1

Colton Peh (CV)- 1

Jack Machtolf (GPrep)-  1

Billy Parada (MtSpo)-  1

Zach Day (Rogers)-  1

Matt Pulliam (MtSpo)-  1

Bryce Zimmerer (MtSpo)-  1


There are different approaches players use to get recruited to play college baseball. Some wait to be discovered. Another group sends an email with a link to their video to every baseball coach with an email address. Others will pay a professional recruiting service to get recruited. And then there are those that take responsibility for getting themselves recruited by figuring out which colleges want them.

These players realize that not all colleges and teams are the same and are willing to spend time researching the differences. Players in this group only contact coaches after making sure they are a match for the team and the college. If you’re in this last group and looking for information on college baseball teams, you might find the following resources useful.

College Baseball Attendance Records

Since it’s baseball, the NCAA ranks teams by just about every imaginable statistic. The “Misc Reports” under rankings show college baseball home attendance leaders by year. In 2013, LSU lead D1 attendance with an average of 10,880 per game. Division 2 was led by the University of South Carolina Aiken averaging 512 in attendance. Marietta of Ohio, a D3 powerhouse, led in D3 attendance.

How to Find Attendance for a Specific School

I realize that athletes from other sports (hmmm, like football?) may find it important to play in front of crowds but I don’t think many baseball players ever develop that sort of habit in high school. But just in case you’re wondering, you can find out attendance at college games. Just go to the team’s website and find the schedule. For completed games, there should be a link to a summary which will have a box score or a direct link to the box score. The bottom of the box score should have the game start time and attendance.

One Stop Stats for NCAA Baseball

This NCAA page includes the link to the baseball attendance records mentioned in the beginning. You can look up where each team and player ranks in statistics by division. In 2013, the Staten Island Dolphins led D3 in walks allowed per nine innings while the Lander Bearcats topped the D2 rankings in home runs per game.

Learning About D3 Baseball

D3 is the NCAA division with the most teams but doesn’t seem to exist for most high school players and their families. It isn’t until the fall of their senior year when players realize they don’t have any scholarship offers that they start paying attention to D3 schools. If you’re looking to learn about D3 Baseball fast, visit D3 Baseball.com (they also have websites for football, basketball, hockey, and a general category) . After a little research, you might realize that D3 isn’t the end of the world.


The Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool provides information on college athletic spending. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to tell you how many baseball scholarships there are or for how much. It will give you the number of participants on the varsity teams, the number of paid coaching staff, and expenses by team.