Understanding College Financial Aid for Parents

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If you’re a parent of a high school or college student, you’re probably worried about how you’ll pay for all of the expenses. It’s easy to conclude that you can’t afford a good education for your kid when looking at the costs of tuition, board, living expenses, and travel. Fortunately, there is help available. If you know where to search and how to apply, you may find millions of dollars in college financial help and scholarships. Here are four things that parents may do to improve their chances of receiving financial help for their children’s higher education.

The FAFSA Is Crucial.

In order to receive federal scholarships, loans, and work-study assistance, you must fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA is also used by many states and institutions to evaluate your eligibility for financial help. You may be eligible for private financial help if your FAFSA information is used to evaluate eligibility. Because of inaccuracies or insufficient information on the FAFSA, you run the risk of not getting all of the financial assistance to which you are eligible.

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Occasionally, You’ll Have to Do More.

You must fix any errors on the FAFSA if you discover them. As a parent, you may have to put in more effort if your child’s college costs are not covered by federal student assistance. Make sure you’ve used all of the state and college financial help available to you. Always keep an eye out for financial aid opportunities, such as scholarships. Although it’s preferable to use “free” money from financial assistance and scholarships first, government and private student loans may be necessary to close any remaining gaps. Check out the fundamentals of college loans so you can assist your teen make wise financial decisions.

  Sharing Expenses as a Couple¬†¬†

Mistakes on the FAFSA may be expensive.

About 200,000 financial aid applications had to be reprocessed after an applicant mistake in submitting income data was discovered by the Federal Student Aid office on July 18, 2014. An increase in the length of the income columns allowed applicants to include pennies. Miscalculations in the Expected Family Contribution were caused by the inclusion of two digits, which were interpreted as dollars (EFC). We’ve since made the necessary corrections.

You will get a Student Aid Report (SAR) after completing the FAFSA, which summarizes the information you provided. There may be inaccuracies in this data, so double-check everything to make sure your kid gets the money they need.

Understanding College Financial Aid for Parents. Source: Freepik

Don’t Put Off Discussing Money with Your Child.

Parents may feel compelled to pay for their children’s college education to the fullest extent of their means. This is a good idea, but it won’t benefit your children in the long run since they will have to make their own financial choices as they move forward in life. Start talking about money with your teen when they are a junior in high school, when they are thinking about going to college. Encourage your youngster to participate in the decision-making process by explaining the whole expenses to them.

When it comes to financial help for college, parents don’t have to do all the legwork on their own. You’ll both learn a lot more if you include your youngster.

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