Can I Get Financial Aid?
Do I have too much money to qualify for financial aid? There isn’t really an income number that disqualifies you from financial assistance. Many families believe that once they hit a certain income level, they no longer have a chance for financial assistance. Besides income, there are other variables that can impact the ability for your child to obtain aid. Here are a couple of them:
- Parents are divorced or separated
- Two or more children are in college simultaneously
- Parents are house rich, but cash poor
There is no simple answer when it comes to financial aid, but you do have an opportunity to develop a strategy for your child’s college funding.
Expected Family Contribution
In developing a strategy, the first-step families should take prior to visiting any college, is to determine their Expected Family Contribution, (EFC). The EFC is a figure that represents what a family should be able to pay for one year of a college education. I would like to note that this isn’t the dollar amount that the family can truly afford to pay for college, but it is a figure that represents the ability a family should be able to pay for a year of college. Below is an example of how the EFC is used:
Cost of attendance: $59,000
Student’s Financial Need: $24,000
The above shows the student in a best-case scenario would receive $24,000 in need-based aid. This does not guarantee the student receives this dollar amount, it just shows that the most the student could receive in need-based aid is $24,000.
The EFC is a great starting point for families who want to develop a strategy in looking for schools. This number should be computed prior to visiting any school as it can be used to determine if a school can even offer the appropriate amount of need-based aid for your student to attend that particular college.
How to Compute your Expected Family Contribution
There are numerous calculators on the internet, but I would recommend using the College Board’s EFC calculator. The College Board is the creator of the EFC methodology, which is why I learn towards using this calculator. You can find the calculator on https://www.collegeboard.org/https://www.collegeboard.org/
If you would like assistance with computing your EFC and want to discuss how to use this figure to develop a college search strategy, please contact me at https://michaelrebischkefa.com/ to schedule an appointment.
EFC and Award Letters
Your EFC is also invaluable once you receive your child’s financial aid offer. By comparing your EFC figure to your financial aid award, you are able to determine if the award offer is a good offer.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, planning for your child’s higher education should happen as early as possible. Computing your EFC should happen prior to visiting any college as this number is the starting point and can help you determine if each college you are looking at is viable from a financial point of view. If you have questions or would like assistance with developing a strategy for your college search process, schedule an appointment with me via my website, https://michaelrebischkefa.com/.