FAFSA says how much you can pay for college, but it’s often wrong – The NY Times explains what the FAFSA says you can afford is usually less than you will end up paying, which comes as a big surprise to many families. This is an important read as you plan how to make the…

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While the rising cost is certainly a factor, it is often the decisions that families themselves make that cause them to unnecessarily pay more for college than they should (and potentially increase student debt). As hard as it might be, there are instances where a family needs to recognize a college-related decision will cost them…

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Completing the FAFSA when parents are divorced is one of the most confusing scenarios for families, because custodial terms and who claims the child on the tax return do not necessarily apply. Which parent info is provided on the FAFSA? Regardless of the legal custody arrangement, the divorced parent with whom the student lived with more…

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The FAFSA is a quintessential government form, meaning it isn’t always as easy to understand as it should be. And with over 100 questions to navigate, far too many families make mistakes that are unnecessarily costing them money. Money Magazine compiled the following tips on how to tackle the 6 trickiest questions: Questions 24 and…

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There is a FAFSA issue that has been tripping up families with qualified retirement savings rollovers that can result in wildly inflated EFC’s (expected family contributions), thus reducing the amount of financial aid they qualify for. Retirement savings moved from one qualified retirement plan to another qualified plan should not be reported as untaxed income…

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Talk about a double whammy! Despite the rising cost of college, families are at the same time seeing an increase in their EFC (expected family contribution), which is what they are expected to contribute before any financial aid kicks in. In other words, a family with the exact same income and assets today as one…

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15 things every parent needs to know – A thought-provoking list from DIY College Rankings. My two favorites are 1) You set the expectation for acceptable colleges — not the rankings, your peers or your child’s peers and 2) You shouldn’t base your expectations on another family’s experiences. Take a few minutes to scan the…

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