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CSS PROFILE

What Year, 2022 Edition

One of the most baffling questions about the FAFSA is “When?” As in, “When do my assets count?” Or “When does my income count?” Or “When can I claim a tax credit?” This year’s FAFSA and CSS Profile use 2021’s income. Assets are counted at their value on the date you file. So when you file the FAFSA or Profile,…

Step 1 in Finding Scholarships

How do you begin the process of finding college scholarships? Step 1 is finding out what type of scholarship you’re eligible for: need-based or merit. Need-based financial aid is aid that meets the difference between Cost of Attendance (COA) at a college and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (which is being renamed to Student Aid Index or SAI). Your EFC…

What Kind of Aid is it?

Scholarships and grants are free money. Does it matter which kind of free money you get, as long as you get some? As a matter of fact, it does. Just to refresh: colleges offer two primary types of financial aid, need-based and merit-based. Need-based aid is allocated on the basis of the FAFSA or CSS Profile and reduces or even…

EFC vs Net Cost

Families of college-bound students are always looking for strategies to manage their Expected Family Contribution, and I’m happy to oblige. However, lowering your EFC is no guarantee of getting financial aid. And that’s why net cost is important. Your EFC is what the federal needs analysis methodology says is the amount you can spend on college. You can estimate it…

Podcast: All About the FAFSA

I had a great time talking college applications, financial aid and scholarships on the 52 Pearls Weekly Money Wisdom podcast. Listen and learn here. Want to put this to work for you? Sign up for The College Financial Plan Masterclass. You’ll develop a detailed financial plan for college, learn strategies to maximize financial aid and merit scholarships, find out how to…

My College Financial Plan Masterclass has moved to my new website HowToPayForCollege.com
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