1. At our school’s Financial Aid Night we were told ALL we have to pay for college is our EFC. Is that true?
Short answer… NO! This is one of THE most misunderstood misconceptions (and myths) regarding EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Most schools do NOT limit your out-of-pocket costs to EFC, and many public colleges offer families NO financial aid other than government loans even when their EFC is quite low. You should learn your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) early…as in no later than your student’s first year of high school!
2. I heard it is a waste of time filing the FAFSA if you make more than $100K. True or False?
This is such a common misconception and is absolutely… FALSE! Some families earning well beyond $100K qualify for significant need-based financial aid! School selection plays a major part in this.
3. Is it true that there’s lots of financial aid for every student?
No, this is NOT accurate. Beware when colleges (and Uncle Sam) tell you there’s PLENTY of financial aid for every student. What they’re OFTEN referring to is LOANS. Always reply with the clarifying question, “How much of the financial aid you’re referring to is FREE money and how much of it is LOANS?”
4. What about Athletic Scholarships?
Athletic scholarships are highly misunderstood. First of all, only a small number of exceptionally talented high school athletes have even a CHANCE of being recruited into a Division 1 college. And for those fortunate ones who are, the vast majority will find only a partial scholarship being offered to them. Most often it doesn’t come even close to paying for tuition… not to mention room & board, books, and living expenses. Many families are disappointed when they learn of the limited funds their student athlete will receive… after a tremendous investment of time and money for their “ticket to college”!
5. My student has a 4.0 GPA. Won’t they get a full ride?
The term “full-ride scholarship” is used loosely these days, and the reality is… there are very few true “full-rides”, meaning “free college”. Some colleges use the term full-ride to imply free tuition, but NOT inclusive of room & board, books, living expenses, etc.
6. I heard if we stop claiming our child as an exemption on our taxes, they will qualify for more financial aid. True?
No. Until your son/daughter turns 24 (or gets married or has a baby or enters the military), they are considered a DEPENDENT student in the eyes of the government and the colleges. Parent income and assets must be declared on the financial aid forms.
7. What’s the difference between Early Action and Early Decision?
There’s one BIG difference… Early Action is NON-committal, while Early Decision IS. You can apply Early Action and in the event that you’re accepted (typically by late December), you don’t need to commit until May 1st. However, if you apply Early Decision and you’re accepted, you agree to attend as well as accept the financial aid award offered. Unless money is no object you should never accept Early Decision.
It’s that time of the year AGAIN! To help prospective college prep families get ready for the dreaded application ( sooo many apps to complete) and FAFSA, we have compiled our top questions asked by parents.. To receive a total list ( up to 50 most asked questions every parent needs to know) attend one of our workshops, visit the website or call for. FREE 15 minute consultation)
By: Luanne Lee, CCPRS
Your College Planning Coach