How Need is Determined & Cost of Attendance

When you apply for federal student aid, the information you report is used in a formula, established by the U.S. Congress that calculates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an amount you and your family are expected to contribute towards your education. If your EFC is below a certain amount, you may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements. The Financial Aid Office calculates your cost of attendance (your annual budget) and subtracts the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward that cost. If there is anything left over, you are considered to have financial need.

Cost of attendance calculation

Cost of attendance

- (minus) Expected Family Contribution (EFC)


= Financial Need

In addition to the required tuition and fees, the cost of attendance for financial aid purposes includes an estimated allowance for transportation, miscellaneous and personal expenses, living expenses (i.e., housing and food), and books and supplies. Please note that these estimated allowance components are used for financial aid purposes only. Your direct cost to attend Virginia Peninsula Community College is the cost of tuition and fees. For example, in 2022-23, a Virginia Peninsula Community College student living at home with parents and is a Virginia resident will have the following full-time (12 credits) annual cost of attendance for financial aid purposes:

$3,845 tuition and fees (direct cost)
$2,000 books and supplies allowance (estimated)
$1,800 transportation allowance (estimated)
$2,360 miscellaneous and personal allowance (estimated)
$8,400 living expenses = housing and food allowance (estimated)
$18,405 total cost of attendance