Financial Aid, FAFSA & Undocumented Parents

It was a pleasure to talk with Emily for USA Today and offer important advice for students with undocumented parents. Their pursuit to achieve the best for their education is praiseworthy. As the article states, these students should always file FAFSA if possible. Even though as a non-citizen, the student will not qualify for Federal aid, the FAFSA may stimulate other forms of aid. The student should always ask the financial aid staff for assistance when needed; they are happy to assist in any way possible.

The FAFSA requires Social Security numbers for the student and parents. Ron Ramsdell, founder of Minneapolis-based College Aid Consulting Services, says if your parents are undocumented, you should enter all zeroes for their numbers.

FAFSA application tips for students with undocumented parents
News Source: USA Today

Good Question: Can You Borrow Too Much Money For College?

It’s always a pleasure to talk to the WCCO team. I would like to share a couple of things that we did not have a chance to cover.

  1. Students should always utilize subsidize Federal loans (Stafford or Perkins). Why? There is no accruing of interest during the duration of their education and the first payment is not due until 3-6 months after graduation.
  2. Regarding private loans, they should be used as a last resort. If they need to utilize one, always shop around. There could be some good terms out there.

Ron Ramsdell, the founder of College Aid Consulting Services, says every student’s situation is different, but you can certainly borrow too much. “The key is families need to plan ahead.” He said families need to consider a few things like the real cost of college, how much money a student can get in scholarships and gifts, how much parents can and will help, the amount of assets from other family members like grandparents and a student’s starting salary upon graduation.

Interview With Randy Meyer WCCO Midday Show

Listen to my interview with Randy Meyer on the WCCO Midday Show.  I talk about the current state of financial aid for families, new ways to get grants, financial aid and other assistance.

College Aid Financial Tips

Parents do not have to disclose certain information on institutional forms like the CSS Profile. Students should apply to at least six schools if not more. Students should apply to both state and private schools. All families should submit the FAFSA for all schools. Families should utilize Federal subsidize loans before considering private sources.

Watch my interview on Fox 9 to learn more.

Paying For College

Parents and students should be proactive in the process of applying for financial aid (FAFSA and CSS Profile). Do not miss deadlines. In pursuing colleges, parents should treat the process as a consumer purchase. They are purchasing an education from a business.

Watch the video below to learn more from my interview.

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