There is so much misinformation surrounding the financial aid that is costing eligible families thousands of dollars every year, some of which is grant or discounted college programs. Separating the myth from reality will reveal opportunities to secure college financing that you may not have considered or even known existed.
Shockingly, it is estimated that there is as much as $245 billion in total financial aid available, much of which is untapped. So the funds are out there. To secure your piece of the pie you need to calculate your family need. Once you’ve applied and have been accepted to your college of choice, you need to determine the cost of attendance (COA). The COA includes tuition, books, room & board, etc. Then you need to determine your expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is comprised of parents and student ‘s earned income, assets, ages, the number of children in school, etc. Then you subtract the EFC from the COA and the result is the aid your family is eligible for.
The four main sources for college financial aid are the federal and state government as well as college (university) and private sources. The first step is to apply. No one receives anything until the appropriate application is filled out and tendered.
That means filling out the federal FAFSA form fully and correctly is extremely important. A large percentage of all FAFSA forms are submitted with errors or inconsistencies every single year causing delays from four to six weeks and all too frequently results in lost financial aid. Beyond FAFSA, the CSS Profile and Registration form is required for most college aid. The CSS Profile stands for College Scholarship Service PROFILE, an application distributed by the College Board in the United States permitting college students to apply for financial aid. This will determine the individual institution’s decision to offer different forms of financial aid. Some parents hire advisers that are experts in these forms and their proper filing. It can save you considerable time and money. It’s your life. It’s your time. It’s your money.
John McDonough has contributed to this press release. Segments in part or whole are from his publications.