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How to Get the Most Financial Aid for College

How to Get the Most Financial Aid for College

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According to CNN Money, the average general four-year college cost for residents is $14,210[1] per year for tuition and room and board, although schools may cost more or less, and aid varies. finance on a large scale. Also, most people pay less than the “sticker price” for college, according to the College Board.

If you are a parent of children approaching college age, the cost of higher education is no longer a concept; It soon became a reality. Here's how to get more financial aid for your child.

1. Understand How the 529 Plan Affects Financial Assistance

As you provide for education, every dollar your child makes or earns in their name can reduce their chances of getting for help. The money saved in the 529 plan will reduce eligibility only slightly, about 5.64 percent according to Saving for College. However, if a grandparent or other family member creates 529 and a child uses the money, it is considered income and can reduce eligibility even further. Each family must assess whether the benefits of a particular savings option are worth it.

2. Reducing Income During the Base Year

Financial aid offices look at your family's income and tax information from the most recent tax year, also known as the base year. So, if you can make any adjustments to the income – a late-work bonus or a large capital gain, for example – plan to do so in your base year. Don't try to hide income though. Any attempts to deceive the trust can hinder your chances of getting help.

3. Estimate Student Financial Aid

Get a real idea of how much you can contribute to college costs each year. For an accurate assumption, use an expected financial contribution calculator, such as the one on FinAid.org or the Federal Government Student Aid website.

4. Fill in the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA should be taken as seriously as any other college application. Complete and submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of your child's starting year. Take the time to read and answer the questions carefully and get the right information. It's easy to complete the form online, but it's helpful to fill out the recommended worksheets in advance and use them as a reference.

Don't worry about whether you qualify or not.

The FAFSA provides access to the largest source of potential assistance funds through grants, loans, and work-study programs—$150 billion, according to the Department of Education. So don't avoid it because you assume you are not qualified. There is no cut off income for financial need. Depends on the cost of attending school minus the expected family contribution. The FAFSA also helps you take advantage of non-need-based assistance opportunities, such as PLUS Loans and Unsupported Stafford Loans. If your child has the loans on offer, federal loans are best. The rates from private lenders may be a little lower, but the terms may be more complicated in the long run.

Be sure to consider loan forgiveness programs from agencies such as the US Department of Health and Human Services. And tax credits like the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifelong Learning Credit also make paying for a degree easier. You may also be eligible for grants and scholarships that you do not need to repay.

Talk to Schools

Contact the schools and ask if there is room for further assistance. Especially if your child weighs multiple acceptance letters, see what each school may offer. Just be sure to move quickly to secure help while it's available.

Do it again every year

Remember that you must fill out the FAFSA form each year, the earlier the better after January 1. Even if you don't get help in the first year, you may qualify in later years.

A university education can enrich your life financially and expand your opportunities. Planning how you're going to pay for it and exploring your options will help get you on the right track. Keep in mind that a life insurance policy can help fund education needs. Learn more about saving for college with life insurance.

[1] https://money.cnn.com/2017/05/01/pf/college/how-much-does-college-cost/index.html

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