Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) and the expected family contribution (EFC).
Usually the cost of attendance (COA) refers to the total amount of education expenses (tuition, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation expenses, etc.).
The EFC is the number used to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional need-based aid programs. This number results from the financial information provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)