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CollegeFinancialLady

Estimating Your EFC with the FAFSA

If college is in the near but not immediate future and you want to estimate your family’s EFC, you can use the FAFSA4caster here to do so. But if you want a more accurate estimate and you have your tax documents handy, use the actual 2014-2015 FAFSA worksheet to do it. That is available here. Make sure you use the…

About Appealing Aid Awards

(Is that alliteration or what?) Did you get an aid award that’s not what you’re hoping for? Recently the New York Times wrote about appealing financial aid awards. For the article, Ron Lieber sent a questionnaire to aid officers at some of the priciest private schools asking about their appeals process. Occidental College’s completed questionnaire is extremely helpful for understanding…

Is Your School a Good Choice?

Is your senior among the fortunate ones with multiple acceptances? Part of their decision-making process might be a visit to Payscale.com’s College ROI Report, here. One of my favorite features is the ability to calculate ROI by major. Of course, getting a good-paying job isn’t the only reason to go to college, but any time you look at a high-priced…

Student Debt and Wealth Gap

A recent AP article that ran in today’s Oregonian highlights how growing student loan debt increases income inequality in the US. Helping your student to make informed decisions about how much to spend and how much to borrow for college is one of the best things you as a parent can do to ensure that your child is on the path to…

Coverdell ESAs

Given the lower contribution limit—$2000 annually per beneficiary—many people wonder why anyone would bother with a Coverdell ESA, compared with a 529 plan. Here’s a quick overview; maybe you’ll find that a Coverdell ESA should be part of your college savings planning as well. Coverdell ESAs work a lot like Roth IRAs and 529 plans: You contribute after-tax money to…