FAFSA Change For 2017-2018

This is just a quick reminder of a FAFSA change for 2017-2018.  Students who are college bound for 2016-2017 could only submit FAFSA today January 1st or thereafter. Any students that are college bound 2017-2018, families can submit FAFSA 3 months earlier in October 2016. The so-called experts claim that this will be beneficial for all families filing FAFSA. As I opined in the past, I don’t see a benefit here for many families.

If a family submits FAFSA early and gets an early offer from the college(s) and their financial situation changes in the upcoming months into the new year, they will have false expectations in the realities of what they can really afford in a college education at a specific school. I only see a benefit with this change for a small percentage who need to file FAFSA. Moreover, the FAFSA will not play a role for many that are seeking need-based grant money from the college if the CSS Profile is required.  To receive more information on this topic, financial aid advice how to avoid the headaches in the filing process, please contact our staff.

FAFSA Change For 2017-2018

FAFSA Deadline Is Decided By School Not January 1st 2016

FAFSA Financia Aid

Contrary to what you may hear, the FAFSA deadline for student financial aid is not January 1st 2016. I spoke with a new client earlier today and she stated that her daughter was told by the high school that the FAFSA needed to be filed on January 1st. Wrong!  

Each college will have their own specific deadline for FAFSA. More importantly, if the high school counselor wanted to share some valuable advice, he or she should have elaborated on the CSS Profile which is required for this student. For many families the FAFSA will not play a part in receiving need based gift-aid. If a college requires the CSS Profile, they will use that information to determine any grant money from the college’s endowments.

So with that in mind, the family needs to focus on the Profile deadline at each school. In addition, advice for parents and students, do not rely on the high school guidance counselor for the correct information regarding the financial aid process. They are not trained experts in this area. For more specific needed information on Profile and the FAFSA, please contact our office.  

We Review Grant & Scholarships Offers

It’s that time of year. Over the last two weeks excited students have started to receive their financial aid offers from colleges that they may want to attend. Unfortunately, for many students the excitement is short-lived. The reason, many of the awards are not generous and are not meeting the majority of the need in gift-aid (grants & scholarships). Moreover, some of the awards only contain loans. For our clients in one of these situations, we initiate an appeal process resulting in an improved award consisting of more gift-aid. Let’s be clear here. I don’t expect the college to meet 100% of the need. However, I do expect certain things from various colleges. With over 24 years of assisting families, I know what an individual college can offer and what they cannot. Regarding appealing an award. Many parents do not know that they can negotiate for a better award and if they do know, don’t do it correctly. If you need a better financial aid offer, contact our office for a no fee evaluation.

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.

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

Is There An Important Deadline For FAFSA?

The writer states that the deadline for FAFSA is June 30th. Not true and big mistake for parents that adhere to this advice. Each college will have their own individual deadline which will be earlier. Also, the article does not mention that there may be other forms that will be required like Profile. One last thing, many families should not file their financial aid forms immediately. Why? One important reason. Contact our staff to learn more.

Important Deadline Approaching For Students Needing Help Paying For College
News Source: WBAA – Public Radio Of Purdue

Cost Of Applying For College

The cost of applying to colleges can be costly due to the application fees. However, applying to as many schools as possible is to the family’s advantage. Why? It is a numbers game. The more schools the student applies to, the more they are accepted to. The result, more financial aid offers. Therefore, more options and leverage benefits . In addition, you can get some colleges to waive the fee. How? Contact our office for more information.

How Much Does a College Degree Really Cost?
via Wall St. Cheat Sheet

When Should You Complete The FAFSA

The article states that you should complete the FAFSA as soon as the form becomes available, right after January 1st. I disagree with this in certain situations. If the family has their taxes completed in a timely manner and can meet the college(s) deadline, they should. Why? One big reason is by using figures from a completed tax return from the base year, the less likely the family will have to go through a process called verification. Regarding credit cards compared to student loans, the family should always consider utilizing student loans first, especially the subsidized loans.

3 big money mistakes to avoid in college
via USA Today

Should Students Apply To College Early?

The article states that students should apply to colleges as early as possible. Good advice! However, some students will be offered early decision. Bad news here for many reasons for most families. Parents need to know the difference between early decision and early action. If you would like to read a column I wrote on this topic, please contact our office.

4 reasons to apply to college early
Shreveport Times

Important College Dates 2013-2014

Make note of the dates that matter to you.

September 2013
3 – LSAT Registration Deadline for 10/5 Test
6 – GRE Registration Deadline for 10/12 Test
13 – GRE Late Registration Deadline for 10/12 Test 13 – LSAT Late Registration Deadline for 10/5 Test 16-18 – NCAN National Conference
19-21 – NACAC’s National Conference
21 – ACT Test (Selected States)
October 2013
4 – GRE Registration Deadline for 11/9 Test
5 – SAT Test
5 – LSAT Test
11 – GRE Late Registration Deadline for 11/19 Test 12 – GRE Test
14-17 – NSPA National Conference 23-25 – College Board National Forum 26 – ACT Test
November 2013
2 – SAT Test
4 – LSAT Registration Deadline for 12/7 Test
9 – GRE Test
11-15 – National Distance Learning Week
15 – LSAT Late Registration Deadline for 12/7 Test
December 2013
7 – SAT Test 7 – LSAT Test 14 – ACT Test
January 2014
Remind students to complete FAFSA and submit ASAP to maximize chances for aid
3 – GRE Registration Deadline for 2/8 Test
7 – LSAT Registration Deadline for 2/8 Test
10 – GRE Late Registration Deadline for 2/8 Test 17 – LSAT Late Registration Deadline for 2/8 Test 25 – SAT Test
February 2014
Financial Aid Awareness Month
Remind students to submit 2013-2014 FAFSA 8 – ACT / LSAT / GRE Test (except in NY)
March 2014
8 – SAT Test
April 2014
National Financial Literacy Month
12 – ACT Test
15 – Federal income tax due for 2013
May 2014
1 – National Candidates’ Reply Date 4 – SAT Test Day
June 2014
7 – SAT Test
14 – ACT Test
30 – Last day to subvmit 2013-2014 FAFSA
Summer 2014
June 29 – July 2 – NASFAA Conference Order materials: www.fastweb.com/educators
Refer to the GMAT, LSAT and MCAT for more test date information