The College Solutions Blog

Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
Featured image for “8 Financial Aid Mistakes to Avoid”
January 7, 2013

8 Financial Aid Mistakes to Avoid

It’s extremely easy to make financial aid mistakes. Paula Bishop, a CPA friend of mine in Bellevue, WA., who has filled out countless financial aid forms for clients, tells me that she’s never seen any parent complete a  application without at least one mistake.  Now that’s depressing and it can also be costly if you insert even one error in...
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November 2, 2012

Is Your College Account a Ticking Money Bomb?

Many parents worry that their college savings accounts will kill their chances for financial aid. If that’s what you’re stressing about, here’s my advice: take a deep breath! Most families who save for college are not hurt in student financial aid considerations. Why Your Savings Won’t Hurt Financial Aid Chances Here are the two biggest reasons why saving money often...
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September 28, 2012

4 Stubborn Financial Aid Myths

Many of the misconceptions that people possess about the college process revolve around financial aid. So with the college admission season heading into high gear, I am sharing the four financial aid myths that are probably the most common. Myth No. 1:  I make too much money to qualify for aid. You shouldn’t automatically assume that you won’t qualify for...
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July 10, 2012

What Advice Would You Give This Mom?

Today I’m sharing an email from a mom from New Mexico, who is understandably stressed about the college bill she is gearing up to face for the third of her four children. I’ve got my own thoughts, but I’d love to hear what advice you might give this family. A Mom’s Question Here is the mother’s note: Do colleges take...
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April 20, 2012

When Two Children Head to College

Yesterday’s post, which explored the school options of a brilliant teenager from Wisconsin, generated many insightful comments from parents.  Here is the post: Should a Kid Borrow $80,000 for a Brand-Name University? If you missed the post or the comments, I’d urge you to check both out. To summarize, the teenager managed to get admitted to some elite schools including...
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April 20, 2011

How Grandparents Can Safely Help With College Costs

I got a question this week from a mom about grandparent contributions to college. It’s great to have generous grandparents who want to help with college costs, but you don’t want any gifts to backfire. Here are five things to keep in mind when grandparents want to help with college: No. 1. If your family isn’t going to qualify for...
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January 26, 2010

2 Biggest Reasons Why Saving For College Won't Hurt Financial Aid Chances

Are you worried that saving for college will ruin your chances for financial aid? Relax. Parents who save for college are almost never penalized in student financial aid considerations. In fact, only about 4% of families who complete financial aid forms are penalized for their savings. Here are the two biggest reasons why saving money shouldn’t hurt your financial aid...
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January 12, 2010

3 Great Resources for FAFSA Questions

Need help completing the FAFSA, otherwise known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid? I can sympathize with you. I’m filing out the FAFSA application myself this year and some of the schools that my son Ben is applying to have financial aid deadlines as early as Feb. 1. If you’re struggling with the FAFSA form or CSS/Financial Aid...
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