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FAFSA Basics

This is a quick refresher on how the FAFSA works. The most important part of how it works is this: The FAFSA calculates your Expected Family Contribution. It is not the tooth fairy. The schools to which you apply use your EFC to determine your aid package. The FAFSA does not obligate them to meet your need; however, for purposes…

Back to School Data

In our district, only the freshmen started school today so technically it’s still summer vacation at our house. Not that it feels like it since one kid is volunteering at freshman orientation and the other will be at school later for soccer practice. Nonetheless, the National Center for Education Statistics has some back-to-school data to share. Some tidbits:

EFC, Net Cost and Aid Packaging

Step 1 in figuring out how to pay for college is estimating your EFC. You can use the FAFSA4caster, or the more detailed EFC Formula Guide (note that’s for 2018-2019; the 2019-2020 version should be released this month). But EFC is just a starting point: schools aren’t required to meet your need, and they certainly aren’t required to meet it…

College Visits Whys & Hows

I received so many questions and comments on my last article about college visits that I wanted to follow up on a couple of items: Why should you make visits a priority and how can you visit a number of schools. The first point I’d make is this: It doesn’t matter which schools you visit. You will learn something that…