Pell Grant Changes Affect Students

Congress wants to weaken the Pell Grant program that helps parents and student afford college tuition.  The Pell is important form of financial aid that allows millions of low income students to pursue their college education. What about  the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)? The author does not elaborate on this Grant. Many students who are Pell Grant recipients will qualify for FSEOG. Many critics claim that  programs like Pell increase the cost of college. Not true. What has increase the cost of college over the years is the vast availability of Federal  Loans especially the Parent Plus Loan which parents can borrow as much as they want minus the aid originally offered each year.

If you are looking to maximize the financial assistance for your student to attend college, please contact our office today to learn how we can help.

Congress Wants to Weaken the Pell Program. Here’s Why They Shouldn’t.
News Source: huffingtonpost.com

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.

529 Plans Are Good For Parents

Many families do save for college but do not do it correctly for a variety of reasons. One is that they don’t save enough for the appropriate school that the child deserves to attend (private schools). They underestimate the true cost of education. Another mistake, saving the wrong way, a general savings account. Parents should utilize 529 plans. Also, many parents are saving in the child’s name, BIG MISTAKE.

Another reason many parents are exhausting their assets for education is that they are being shortchanged by the financial aid process. Unfortunately the process is convoluted and not user friendly. Less financial aid, more money out of the parents pockets. Contact our office if you like more advice on funding your student(s) education.

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

Appealing College Financial Aid Awards

This article and video we found on CNBC does not mention the fact that a family can appeal or negotiate for a better college financial aid award in many cases. Unfortunately parents who learn that they can appeal don’t know how or when to do so. With over 24 years of experience and assisting thousands of families, we know what to expect and what not to expect from various colleges in the US. If you would like one of our staff to review your award(s), please contact our office.

Just how affordable is that college education?
News Source: CNBC

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.

After The College Acceptance Letter

The USA Today article makes 5 good points. The first one is #1 on our list of 12 Things You Have To Do Before Going Off To College. Students should always check on the status of their FAFSA and or Profile online and call your school’s financial aid office to ensure their loans, grants or scholarships have been processed. If you want the complete list of our staff’s 12 things, please contact our office.

5 ways to start preparing for college once you have the acceptance letter
News Source: USA Today

College Financial Aid Bait & Switch

Many colleges who play the bait and switch game claim that they don’t. I am not going to name names here, however our clients who pursue colleges that do will know. With our 24 years of experience, we know what to expect from the majority of major colleges in the US especially what they can offer in gift-aid. If a family is dealing with the bait and switch game, there are ways to deal with it. Contact us today to learn more.

College freshmen need to beware of bait-and-switch aid offers
News Source: The Fiscal Times

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

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