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FAFSA

FAFSA 2022-23 EFC Formula Guide

The FAFSA itself won’t be available until Oct. 1, but in the meantime you can download the EFC Formula Guide to see how the sausage gets made. If you are a parent of a high school senior who will be completing the FAFSA this fall for whom the cost of college is important, here is a suggestion for how to…

Your College Research List

Families getting started on the college search process are well-served by keeping a list of schools that the student is interested in. (This should be the student’s job, by the way.) But what does that list look like? What goes in it? Here’s my suggestion: Create a spreadsheet in Google Sheets (or your preferred online platform). The left-hand column will…

What Year? 2021 Edition

Families who will file the FAFSA this fall should know what dates matter for which data inputs. Income is prior-prior year (meaning most recently filed tax return), assets are “day of” and then there’s the matter of education tax credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit. This chart shows what data is used each year: The 2020 tax year,…

What is “Income” on the FAFSA?

Many families– and also many financial professionals– believe that reducing their adjusted gross income by increasing 401k contributions will result in a lower Expected Family Contribution from the FAFSA. Unfortunately that’s not the case: the FAFSA uses total income, not adjusted gross income. What does that mean for non-finance nerds? The FAFSA calculates “Available Income”– the income you could spend…

Mythbusters: Merit Aid

Cozy Wittman of College Inside Track and I played Mythbusters about merit aid. Listen to my latest podcast episode to get the full scoop on who gets merit awards, where and why. Families just starting the college search process won’t want to miss Cozy’s detailed and engaging explanation of how merit works and how you can work the system to…

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