Tag Archives: FAFSA

Senior Alert: CSS/Financial Aid Profile Available 10/1

LEAP welcomes the return of our partner and guest blogger, Beatrice Schultz with Westface College Planning. She’s an expert on planning how to pay for college and getting a great return on your investment.   The CSS Profile is the form YOU need to complete to qualify and maximize non-federal financial aid from the almost 300 colleges who require it. While not as commonly used as theFAFSA, for those colleges that do use it, completing the CSS Profile is a requirement to qualify for any non-federal financial aid, and who doesn’t want some extra money toward their college fund? It … Continue reading

Before You File For Financial Aid

October 1, 2016 the FAFSA will roll out – YES! This is a new date. This application is required to utilize federal financial aid for which you or your student may qualify. The first step, logging into your account to apply, changed in 2016. It is in affect for the high school class of 2017 and older students already in college who are applying for aid. Yes, the FAFSA must be completed every year you are in college and intend to use federal aid, including the Stafford Unsubsidized Loan which even students with no financial need can utilize. All families are required … Continue reading

Critical Deadlines on the College Bound Journey

If you plan to send your child to a four-year college living on campus, your investment will likely be over $100,000 without any gift aid in the form of scholarships and grants. This is based on the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015).  Private schools run higher than the $23,872 of all four-year institutes at $35,074. Educating your children could likely be your most expensive investment outside of owning a home. Because of this, it is worthy of planning a careful, thorough and measured as a home purchase or your own retirement and savings to garner an excellent return … Continue reading

10 Common FAFSA Errors

It’s FAFSA season for seniors!  Guest blogger Todd Kelly of Cumulus College Planning and College Quest Alliance has timely advice to avoid common mistakes. January is the month that millions of families disclose their financial data to the Department of Education through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Specifically, more than 20 million FASFA applications are submitted each year.  Anywhere from 70—90% are submitted with errors.   An error filled FASFA will likely reduce the amount of aid you might receive.  The FAFSA has been called “the gateway to financial aid”.  With the ever increasing costs associated with college, it is … Continue reading

7 Life Events Dramatically Impacting Your College Costs

Cumulus College Planning focuses on lowering the out-of-pocket cost of college while taking their clients down the academic path LEAP provides for families’ college bound journey.  Many families fail to realize strategically planning now can save thousands on the cost of college instead of waiting on the colleges to tell you the cost in the spring of the senior year. Also surprising is the way in which life events impact the news the financial aid office will deliver. Guest LEAP Blogger, Andy Hickman (Ahickman@cumulusCWA.com) of Cumulus College Planning 1)      Divorce/Separation/Remarriage: Division or addition of assets and income, multiple houses or … Continue reading

The Gravity of the CSS Profile

By Beatrice Schultz, Westface College Planning (CA) Seniors: Get ready to complete the CSS Profile! While not as commonly used as the FAFSA, for those colleges that do use it, completing the CSS Profile boosts your qualification for more financial aid, and who doesn’t want some extra money toward their college fund? You may not realize it, but the CSS Profile is required by over300 colleges.  It is very likely that one or more colleges in your personal top 10 list will need of the CSS Profile as well as the FAFSA in order to be considered for all available financial aid. Be prepared: Colleges … Continue reading

Making the Most of Winter Break

While sleeping in, video games and Facebook maybe calling over the Winter Break, there is still plenty of time for college bound students to do something productive toward their college goals. FRESHMAN Have you put together a resume? If not, start now! It doesn’t have to be something fancy or even well formatted.  Simply start a list of activities, honors and community service along with dates. This is something to build on throughout high school and will save you time three years from now when you’re completing college applications. Pulling your resume together will also help you see any holes … Continue reading

5 Tips to Jump Start Paying for College

While students begin scouring resources determining their best-fit college, parents are left scratching their heads on how to pay for it.  With a few simple steps, parents can begin to get a grasp on paying for college and available financial aid. 1.  Determine Cost of Attendance (COA)  Many families go to the school website, look up cost of tuition, add room and board and run with that number forgetting the cost of college includes fees, books, travel and personal expenses. Be sure you add all the numbers to get the COA.  You can also find this information on College Navigator – … Continue reading

What’s a Parent To Do?

In short: Not Much! I know that answer disappoints multitudes of parents of college bound high school students. The intentions of parents vary from just wanting the best for their kiddo to the “helicopter” parent to those living vicariously through their child. The bottom-line is your child needs to OWN the college selection, application and admission process.  Getting to Know You Colleges are wanting to get to know THE STUDENT.  It will be the student, not the parent, heading to school and the college needs to be the best fit for the student. Therefore interaction directly with the college needs to … Continue reading

Must Ask Financial Aid Questions

Whether you’re a junior visiting colleges or a senior comparing aid packages to make that final decision by May 1st, you need to be asking questions. Juniors Asking questions early in the college selection process will assist you in ruling in or out a possible school for application.  With college being more expensive than ever and far outpacing inflation, the family’s ability to pay and the college’s generosity must be considered. Don’t simply rule out private schools, as they often have a lower Cost of Attendance than the publics as detailed in my previous post Why Pay Sticker Price for College. … Continue reading

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