This article from Ron Lieber at the New York Times highlights some recent bipartisan efforts to help students and families better understand the cost of college. (As he points out towards the end, even if these come to no avail, the information is available to those who seek it.)
I don’t know that stats are kept or shared, but I’d venture a guess that one of, if not the, most common FAFSA mistakes people make is putting the parents’ info into the student section. This then causes parental income and assets to be assessed at student rates, leading to grotesque distortions of the EFC. Continue reading One of the Biggest FAFSA Mistakes
Q: I won’t qualify for financial aid. Do I need to fill out the FAFSA?
A: Yes! Regardless of whether you think you’re eligible for aid, you should complete the FAFSA. You have to complete it if you (or your student) intends to take out federal student loans, which are available to anyone regardless of need. If you have any intention of borrowing, the Direct Student Loan should be your starting point. Plus, some Continue reading FAFSA FAQs 2
The FAFSA for the 2018-2019 school year is here. Here are some FAFSA FAQs:
Q: What does FAFSA mean by “income?” Gross, taxable, AGI? Something else?
A: All of it. FAFSA wants to know each parent’s gross income, including tax-deferred retirement plan contributions. The easiest way to take care of the income is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to directly transfer income information to the FAFSA. After Continue reading FAFSA FAQs
Here is an article I wrote for another advisor’s site on college affordability.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, this is a bit of a refresher post.
There are three aid formulas: Federal methodology (FM), based on the FAFSA; Institutional Methodology (IM), based on the CSS PROFILE; and Consensus Methodology (CM), which uses both aid forms. Each is a different way of calculating a family’s Continue reading Aid Formulas
The FAFSA for next school year will be available starting Oct. 1, so now is a good time to start getting ready for it. A few key points: Continue reading FAFSA is Coming
Should you find yourself in the fortunate situation of having more 529 dollars available than needed, there are several things you can spend those dollars on that you might not have thought of: Continue reading 7 More Uses for 529 Funds
Wondering about income and asset protection allowances for the coming FAFSA? The FAFSA EFC Formula Guide for 2018-2019 is available here.
Unlike the past few years, the changes this year are pretty modest. The income and asset protection allowance for parents went up nominally. For example, the income protection Continue reading 2018-2019 FAFSA Formula is Here
The FAFSA’s new timing– fall instead of spring and prior-prior income year– means that many students’ summer jobs will have a bigger impact on their EFC. That’s because any amount of money they made that is still in their bank account when they fill out the FAFSA is an asset that will be assessed at 20%. (Remember, students don’t get an asset protection allowance.) Need-eligible families may want to consider a couple of steps to Continue reading Summer Jobs and FAFSA