Monthly Archives: October 2015

FAFSA 2016-2017 EFC Formula

Those wanting to know how the sausage gets made should review the FAFSA EFC formula for the 2016-2017 school year. It is available here. The worksheets provide the detail on the calculations; the tables and supporting documents explain more about the process. This will give you a far more accurate EFC estimate than the FAFSA4caster, though admittedly you’re estimating much of the data at this point.

To Save or Not to Save

Last week I appeared in an article in the New York Times’ personal finance section about whether saving for college is advantageous or disadvantageous with respect to receiving financial aid. Many people believe that college savings result in lower financial aid awards; it’s a logical assumption since Continue reading To Save or Not to Save

Which Admissions Path to Choose?

High school seniors beginning the application process are confronted with countless choices. One of the first is, do I apply early decision or early action rather than waiting for the regular admissions process? If financial aid is a key consideration in your school selection, then generally you are best served by waiting and going the regular admissions route. Continue reading Which Admissions Path to Choose?

Questions to Ask About Paying for College

Here is a great article on how and why to talk to your student about paying for college. My favorite quote: “Many students view attending their dream school as the reward for working hard in high school. Instead, parents should portray financial independence in their mid-20s—a goal that’s more easily achieved by saving money in college—as the sweetest reward.”

2016-2017 FAFSA Allowances

Back in May, the Department of Education released its needs analysis methodology for the 2016-2017 school year’s FAFSA EFC calculation. The big numbers to know from this are the Income Protection Allowance (the amount of parent and student income that is not considered available to pay for college) and the Asset Protection Allowance (ditto for nonretirement assets). The Asset Protection Allowance was updated in August. Now that college application season is in full swing, let’s take a look. Continue reading 2016-2017 FAFSA Allowances

Summary of Federal Borrowing Options

The Project on Student Debt has a helpful summary of federal student loan programs, including both loans and repayment options, here. Note the details are for the current school year and things like loan limits and interest rates may receive nominal adjustments for next school year. However, it’s the easiest-to-read summary of all the loan options that I’ve ever seen.