Pointers For Qualifying For Financial Aid for College

Qualifying for financial aid for college for your toddlers is all about bringing in a long-term savings plan. Your first order of business here would be to rope in your parents. Sure it can get a little awkward sitting your parents down and asking them if they would mind making a real cash contribution to their grandchild’s future; but would you believe it – surveys have shown that most grandparents are more than willing to set aside a little fund for their grandchild’s education; it’s the parents who are really too embarrassed to ask – or to even accept an offer made. So if you are a grandparent, understand that usually, it falls to you to bring the whole subject up. Just imagine – contributing just one Social Security check every year for 15 years should take care of about half your grandchild’s college education costs. If you open a 529 account for your grandchild, it could even keep the money safe and growing. You could take the money back in the event of an emergency, and if you happen to change your mind about which grandkid to help, you could even change the name of the beneficiary midway.

For parents however, this may not be the best idea if you are thinking of applying for financial aid for college for your children; having a grandparent with a 529 may net you a smaller grant. Did you know that if you have two children close together, and they go to college at about the same time, you have a better chance of getting a fat chunk of financial aid for college right away? Spacing children apart isn’t really a great idea when it comes to getting a grant.

Colleges and universities, when they try to figure out what you are able to pay for your child’s first year in college, usually do the counting starting from New Year’s Day, to the last day of the year. That’s their base year. If you need to make any changes to your plans to try to qualify for more financial aid for college, make sure you do it before December 31 of the Junior year.

The people who determine the level of financial aid for college you qualify for, usually try to total up all your assets to see what you can afford. So make sure that you don’t make any major new purchases after the base year begins. And make sure that you have no outstanding credit card debt either – it doesn’t look good on your resume. But whatever you do, make sure that their untruths are on your FAFSA form.

When you apply to new College, make sure that you’re trying for colleges that actually have the money to grant students financial aid for college. Remember, whatever the financial aid officer decides is final. And they have their own calculus. They’ll try to sweeten the deal for students that are a better fit for their college. Just remember one thing though – when it comes to preparing for your child’s college education, starting early is everything.