Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
October 13, 2016
10 Things to Know About the New FAFSA Changes
Big financial aid changes have arrived for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. If you’re hoping that your child qualifies for financial aid, you need to know what these major new developments that kicked off this month. Millions of parents annually fill out the FAFSA. Completing this aid application is necessary to qualify for...
October 4, 2013
Do You Know What Your Expected Family Contribution Is?
Do you know what your Expected Family Contribution is? If you don’t, you should make it a priority to obtain this number. I’d argue that families need to know what their preliminary EFC is long before they begin looking at colleges. Unfortunately, most families don’t have a clue about what their EFC is until their children are seniors in high...
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...
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...
January 3, 2011
Top 4 Financial Aid Myths
Of all the myths swirling around the college admissions process, the ones involving financial aid myths are probably the biggest whoppers. Financial aid misconceptions can easily hurt families, which is why parents with a working knowledge of financial aid will often have a greater chance of capturing price breaks. With the latest financial aid season just beginning, here are four...
October 18, 2009
College Roundup: Playing Poker, Free College Advice & Admission Cheat Sheat
As usual, I’m sharing with you the posts that I wrote for my college blog for CBSMoneyWatch.com last week. It was challenging for me to get them done because my son and I were traveling in the Midwest looking at colleges for the last time. Here are my three most recent posts: Want to Succeed in Business? Play Poker. I’m...
July 15, 2009
Take the Financial Aid Quiz
How much do you know about college financial aid? Take this financial aid quiz to find out. 1. If your adjusted gross income exceeds $120,000, you won’t be eligible for financial aid at any school. A. True. B. False. 2. After receiving a financial aid package from a college, the amount can only be increased for dire reasons such as...
February 22, 2009
Simpliflying the FAFSA
It’s hardly news that the FAFSA is a pain to fill out. There’s been many calls in Washington to dumb down the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but nothing has worked yet. The New York Times published a front-page story today on the latest calls to simplify the federal financial aid form. Reformers suggest there are a couple of...
February 13, 2009
Don't Wait for the FAFSA Deadline
I’m in the midst of organizing my family’s taxes, which is one reason why I haven’t been as faithful to my blog. I’ve got my receipts, 1099 forms, statements from financial institutions and other documents scattered all over my oak dining room table. When my husband, son and I eat at night all this stuff gets pushed to the side...
December 19, 2008
A Cheat Sheet for the FAFSA
Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can be intimidating for parents. That’s why rookies, in particular, should consider a practice run in filling out the document. With the FAFSA season nearly upon us — applications for the 2009-10 school will be available online on Jan. 1 — the federal government just posted its worksheet online. You can...