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Unemployment on the FAFSA

Generally the FAFSA does not count untaxed social benefits as income. Untaxed Social Security, SSI, foster care benefits and welfare payments are excluded from income for the FAFSA, although disability payments and worker’s comp– which are insurance benefits– are added back. Normally unemployment income is taxable so this exclusion would not apply. However, the American Rescue Plan made 2020 unemployment…

The CSS Profile

The FAFSA isn’t the only financial aid form; many students and families also need to complete the CSS Profile. The Profile is used by about 400 mostly private colleges and universities. There are a few key differences between the FAFSA and the Profile, and most families will find that the Profile calculates a higher EFC than does the FAFSA. The…

College Rankings

The college rankings are here! Right in time for students to apply to the best colleges! But wait, which college is best? US News & World Report says Princeton is the best university but Forbes says UC Berkeley is best. The Wall Street Journal says Harvard is best and Niche says MIT. (Forbes is right, of course.) What are you…

FAFSA Resources

Happy FAFSA Day! Are you completing the FAFSA for the first time this year? While you’re waiting for the site to load, here are some resources that will help you get through it with a minimum of chaos and maximum of financial aid. First things first: Do you have an FSA ID yet? If not, go to studentaid.gov right now…

Budgeting for College Applications

It is both a blessing and a curse that the Common App makes it easy to apply to many colleges. One of the curses is that applications cost money. Enough that you should budget for them. The good news is that having a money budget for applications will automatically create a “time budget” since it might reduce the number of…