We Make Too Much Money

We Make Too Much Money

“We make too Much Money, we will not qualify for any financial aid”.

This statement is one that I hear at least once a week.  I then ask them how do they know that?  The most typical answer I receive goes something like this, “I have a friend whose child did not receive any financial aid, and we make as much as they do.

I then typically ask them questions like these:

  • How many colleges did he or she apply to?
  • Does your child and their child have the same SAT or ACT score?
  • Did they fill out the FAFSA correctly?
  • What is your Expected Family Contribution compared to theirs?
  • Do you have the same number of children in college?
  • Did he or she attend a public or a private university?

These are just some of the questions that can make a huge difference in how much financial aid you receive.  When you don’t understand how colleges award financial aid, you put yourself in the position to lose thousands of dollars that could be awarded to your son or daughter.

One of the biggest fallacies about financial aid is this following statement that we all have heard many times over and over, “Financial aid is only for the poor”. This is probably the biggest misconception among students and parents searching for college money.

Although some financial aid is designed to help the financially needy students and parents, there is also an abundance of aid available for other students with families of all income and asset levels.  It is important to remember that students may receive financial aid based on their high school achievements (academics, athletics, or other talents) regardless of their parent’s income and/or assets.  In fact, one of the questions that I ask in every workshop that I give is the following, “who gets the most money for college and why?”  The top three answers that I receive are.

  1. The smartest students.
  2. Those who have no money.
  3. The athletes.

And the real answer is, the students who know and understand what they must do for the colleges to give them money to attend their school!  The colleges will have different names for the money they give out like, Tuition Waiver, Grant’s, Leadership Scholarships, etc.  It doesn’t matter what they are called, it means the same thing…less money that your child must pay to attend college!

Several things to keep in mind:

If your child is a senior this year and preparing to go to college this fall.

  • Make sure your FAFSA is filled out correctly and submit it ASAP. If you haven’t already done so.  The college will not provide you with a financial aid package until the FAFSA is completed and submitted.
  • Review your financial aid package, and compare your student against the college to find out if it is a good offer or not.
  • There is a statistic that I read in this past summer, that 87% of all financial aid packages are accepted and not appealed. It is important if it is not a good offer, to go ahead and appeal it.
  • An important statistic to always remember, 97% of all college funding comes from the colleges themselves, not the federal government. This includes need-based financial aid and merit-based financial aid.
  • Apply, Apply, Apply, for private scholarships.

If your child is a junior this year.

  • You should be preparing to take the SAT and the ACT at least one of them 1 to 3 times before December of their senior year.
  • You should actively be making college campus visits between now and May of this year so that you are prepared to start applying to colleges that you want to attend. Some of them might have application deadlines as early as September 1st.

The colleges really have three list that they use.

  1. I Love you list
  2. I Like you list
  3. I Need bodies list

It is important that your child does everything that he or she can as a freshman, sophomore and junior  be on the “I love you list”. These are the people who get the most money for college.

To all the seniors out there who are preparing to attend college this fall,  I say to you, good luck.  Don’t give up on receiving financial aid from colleges.

As always if you have any questions feel free to call me at 281-841-2943 or you can email me at marty@completecollegestrategies.com.

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