FAFSA Complaints

With hundreds of billons of dollars at stake, this form plays a super-critical part in unlocking money for families. According to the April 18, 2016, Detroit Free Press, “Filling out the form takes hours – – perhaps with a celebratory glass of wine or slice of cheesecake at the end… The US Department of Education […]

Don’t Be Proud, Be Honest

Many parents view their family’s financial information as highly personal, believing the questions asked on financial aid applications are invasive and, frankly, none of the school’s business. As parents, you should be proud of your ability to provide for your family. That pride, however, may cause hesitation in applying for financial aid or lead to […]

Playing Poker with the Financial Aid Office

Many Financial Aid Officers will tell you that they “…don’t negotiate financial aid packages.” Really?!? The simple fact is – schools will negotiate a better financial aid package. They might consider it something else – the “appeals process” or “reconsideration of aid.” Regardless of terminology, it’s a negotiation. Colleges will negotiate. Parents should do everything […]

7 Common Mistakes Parents Make with Award Packages

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Parents are fearful of mistakes. The fear causes worry and, possibly, loss of sleep. The services we provide protects them from mistakes and sleepless nights. An article in the Wall Street Journal really hit home — here are 7 common mistakes parents make in reading financial aid awards from schools… Confusing “Net Cost” with “Net […]

Income v. Assets

Some parents get confused by the differences between what is considered income and what are considered assets. Assets are the money, property, and other financial instruments you’ve been able to accumulate over time. Income is the money you actually earned or otherwise received during the past year, including interest and dividends from your assets. The […]

Financial Aid & Your Tax Return: Joined at the Hip!

The need analysis form has evolved over the years from a subjective, difficult-to-verify set of questions compiled separately by each school into a standardized set of questions that usually mimics the federal income tax return. Every number provided on your financial aid forms must agree exactly with the information you supply to the IRS. Because […]

Financial Aid Myths

There are many myths about financial aid – – that you can’t get it if you: own your own home; have savings in the bank; make more than a certain amount of money; or, are unemployed. All myths have a ring of truth to them; but, none of these are 100% accurate. One commonly accepted […]