Careful The Information You Provide On The CSS Profile & FAFSA?

The CSS Profile ( College Scholarship Service Profile) unlike FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) is an institutional form. So with that in mind, the article is right in that the Profile will ask for much more personal information than the FAFSA. However, the article also states you’ll have to report more information. Incorrect, you do not have to disclose certain information on Profile or any other Institutional form for that matter. I have been saying this for years, the Profile (FAF in previous years) was created by the system not to hand out financial aid. The more information one discloses to the college, the less financial aid. If you would like more valuable information regarding how to correctly complete financial aid forms, please contact us for a complimentary consultation.

What Is the CSS Profile and Will You Need It to Get Financial Aid?
News Source: Money Magazine Online

Financial Assets & How They Affect Financial Aid

The article elaborates on assets and how financial assets affect financial aid eligibility. First of all, many who are completing the required financial aid forms do not know that certain assets do not have to be reported. Second, families with certain assets can implement appropriate strategies to increase their financial aid eligibility. If you desire valuable advice from a trained professional with over 25 years of experience, please contact our office.

5 Reasons Why You Won’t Get Free Money for College
Source: gobankingrates.com

Fordham University Success Story

Our client wanted my thoughts on their son’s initial award from Fordham. Based on the numbers and knowing what the school is capable of,  we felt they could do better and recommended to negotiate. After the college received a letter we drafted, they increase the 2nd award by $3,500 of a Fordham Grant for the first year.  Contact our offices if we can give you a complimentary review of your financial aid offer.

Fordham-Updated-Offer Fordham-Original-Offer

Multiple 529 Plans For College Financial Planning

I was recently ask a question regarding multiple 529 plans.

As a general rule, I don’t recommend parents should utilize multiple plans. However there are occasions that call for multiple 529 plans:

  • If your children are more than a couple of years apart in age, you will most likely have different investment objectives for their college savings. You may decide that one particular 529 plan has better equity-weighted investments (suitable for a young child) while a different 529 plan is more attractive for its conservative options (suitable for an older child).
  • If you have a sense of which particular schools, or types of school, your children are likely to attend, the choice of institution may influence your selection of a 529 plan. This is especially true if your state offers a prepaid tuition plan, or if you are considering the private-college Independent 529 Plan. A few of the 529 savings plans also offer extra benefits for students attending certain schools.
  • If you’re simply not sure about your choice of 529 plan, you can hedge your bets by spreading your contributions among two or more 529 plans. You might also achieve some more diversification in your investments by doing so, at least in regard to the fund managers handling your college savings.

When shopping for a 529 plan, you should always consider your own state’s 529 plan, even if you ultimately decide to go with an out-of-state 529 plan. Special tax or other benefits may be available for using your in-state plan.

In some states, you may be able to take full advantage of a state tax deduction by enrolling just one of your children in the state’s 529 plan, giving you more freedom to search outside your state for a 529 plan for your other child. In other states, however, the full state tax benefit is obtained only when both of your children are enrolled in the in-state 529 plan.

Contact us right now for a no obligation assessment to understand if we can increase your financial aid and reduce the stress of sending your child to college.

How Much College Can You Afford?

Many factors come into play when comes to how much college tutition a family can afford. What colleges is the student applying to? What is families’ liquid asset situation like? How much was saved for college. What financial aid forms are required? Many colleges require more forms than the FAFSA. Who is completing the forms? Families that utilize a trained expert in the process will historically retain more aid.

The bottom line here is the correct interpretation of the questions and know what information you do not have to disclose. The more mistakes made, the less aid offered. College Aid Consulting Services has been assisting families for 25 years to avoid the mistakes and maximize the Financial Aid available to them.  Contact us today to learn more.

The Future Of FAFSA Financial Aid

Apparently there is a move to reduce the size of the FAFSA to a postcard. I do not see this happening. However, if it does, colleges who now require only the FAFSA will create their own financial aid form or utilize the CSS Profile which will ask for more personal information than the FAFSA which will go against the family. Regarding using “prior-prior” tax data, many families will not benefit by this. The proponents of this state that it will allow families an earlier insight of what to expect for financial aid. However, this will not work for families that will have fluctuations in their situation.

Instead Of Simplifying The FAFSA, Let’s Just Get Rid Of It
News Sources: Forbes.com

2015 College Financial Aid FAFSA & the CSS Profile Deadline Is Approaching

Many families have yet to file their financial aid forms. A crucial deadline is approaching. For numerous colleges, February 15th is the deadline for FAFSA & the CSS Profile. Every year at this time, parents come to us to review their forms. Historically in 95% of our reviews, we find a minimum of 3 mistakes if not more on each form which will cost a family thousands of dollars. Today, I corrected 3 FAFSAs for a family that had 2 mistakes for each child that would have resulted in no financial aid. Now they qualify. If you want a professional review of your forms to make a difference, contact our office right away.

Everyone Should File FAFSA For College Financial Aid

The writer is right on regarding FAFSA. Everyone should file it. In some cases it will stimulate unexpected sources of aid. However the article makes no mention of other financial aid forms that would be required by many schools. The CSS Profile and the college’s own institutional form. Families should never miss the college(s) deadline. If they do for some reason, there are a couple of ways to deal with it. Contact our office for more information. and no obligation consultation of your situation

It’s financial aid season for college applicants, a time when deadlines rule
News Source: Bangor Daily News

Be Strategic When Filing FAFSA For Financial Aid

The article entices you to file the FAFSA immediately. As I have stated countless times, this is not so good advice for many families applying for student financial aid. There is one main reason here. Contact our office for more information.

New Year’s is the best day to apply for college financial aid
News Source: CNN Money

FAFSA4caster Does Not Tell The Whole Story

Regarding the FAFSA4caster, for many families, it is useless when it comes to their bottom line. For example, if the student is applying to colleges that require the CSS Profile, the FAFSA will play no part in their eligibility for institutional grants. With that in mind, they will be in receipt of financial aid awards based on different figures resulting in disappointment. Keep in mind, the CSS Profile will assess more information than FAFSA. In addition, the majority of financial aid estimators on the colleges’ web-sites are not accurate; therefor useless. If you wish a true calculation of your aid eligibility, contact one of our staff.

What you need to know about financial aid for college
News Source: charlotteobserver.com

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