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State Financial Aid

While the federal government is the largest provider of financial aid, states also provide aid. There’s a big difference, too: Most federal aid comes in the form of loans, whereas a new study from NASSGAP (National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs) shows that over 90% of aid provided by states comes in the form of grants.

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…

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

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…

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