Financial aid can help much when you’re putting your child through college. With rising college fees and costs, however, it is progressively becoming harder. Seven years ago, the average cost of a year’s stay at a four-year institution was $19,362. The costs now would be even higher, and that’s why you’ll need the help of experienced college funding advisors to ensure that you get the most out of the available financial aid out there.
The most basic financial aid program that you can apply to is the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) program. It also forms the basis of how much financial aid various colleges award their students. Some colleges even make it a requirement when you’re applying for financial aid; for some scholarship programs, a rejection for financial aid is even a requirement. This is why it’s important to get your FAFSA application out of the way as quickly as possible.
A new FAFSA form is released every January 1, so it is essential that an application is submitted immediately. Documentation like tax forms and financial sheets should be submitted with it, while the form must be completely filled out. Mistakes and missing documentation can move your application back to the end of the line and delay processing.
An important result of your FAFSA application is the generation of the SAR or the Student Aid Report. This report is shared with any college you specified in your application; you’ll also receive a copy so that you can check it for errors. Be diligent in doing so since it can affect the financial aid package that will be awarded to you.
To ensure your application for financial aid pushes through and you get the most out of it, consult with trustworthy college financial aid consultant like John McDonough of The Studemont Group College Funding Solutions LLC. There are several things you can do. For example, FAFSA formulas assume that a student should be able to spend 20% of their assets on college; a bank account in your child’s name can limit the amount of money awarded for financial aid. Financial advisors would often advise using the money to pay for the first year’s tuition so that it won’t limit future financial aid.
Another tactic is to negotiate for a better financial package. With the help of financial aid consultants, you can ask for more funding, depending on how much the college wants your child’s attendance. This can be influenced by how many institutions want him or her; with multiple colleges competing, you may be able to ask for a better financial deal. Consult a professional for more advice on getting the best financial assistance possible.
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