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Merit-based Aid

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…

Outside Scholarships: The 5Ws and H

Outside scholarships can be a great way to stretch your college budget. They can also be an exercise in frustration with countless applications yielding small dollars. Knowing the 5Ws and H of outside scholarships can make your search more rewarding. Let’s start with What is an outside scholarship. An outside scholarship is a scholarship offered by anyone other than the…

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…

Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid

The College Board’s annual Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid report was released recently. Among the headline findings: college tuition prices increased at extremely low rates for the second year in a row, reflecting both a combination of continued impacts of the pandemic and enrollment pressures from demographic trends. Average net prices, adjusted for inflation, are at the lowest…

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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