Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
August 7, 2014
Will Your Home Equity Hurt Financial Aid Chances?
Have you given any thought to how home equity might hurt your child’s chances for financial aid? Luckily, at most state and private colleges and universities, the equity in your primary home is a non-issue. That’s because most schools only require families to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) when applying for financial aid, which doesn’t even...
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...
July 12, 2012
A Wealthy Mom’s College Questions
I am sharing an email that I got this week from a wealthy single mom, who is anticipating her college costs for her twins. I comment on her situation below and I’d love to hear from you too. If you have any advice, please share it in the comment box below. Mom’s Email: Lynn, I just finished your new book, ...
June 27, 2012
Is It Okay to Hide Home Equity?
If you missed it, on Monday I wrote a post for my college blog on the dramatic impact that home equity can have on a family’s financial aid package. Here is the link: Will Your Home Equity Hurt Financial Aid Chances: A Case Study If you read the post, you’ll see that even a huge amount of home equity (in...
June 25, 2012
Will Your Home Equity Hurt Financial Aid Chances? A Case Study
Is your home equity going to hurt your chances of receiving need-based financial aid? The majority of families don’t need to worry about this because most schools don’t consider home equity. These institutions use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA doesn’t even ask if the family owns a home. Some of these schools, however, will use an...
April 13, 2012
Avoiding College Snake Oil Salesmen
For many years I was a financial journalist who wrote about such garden-variety investment topics as 401(k)’s, IRA’s, mutual funds, bonds and how investors can assemble a retirement portfolio that will last longer than they do. I enjoyed what I was doing until I stumbled across a financial topic that I knew nothing about when my daughter was in high...
December 7, 2011
Should I Hide My Home Equity?
It’s the time of year when families of high school seniors start worrying about their home equity and financial aid. That’s why I decided to share an email that I received from a father who was interested in using the services of a CPA who says he could hide his home equity from financial aid formulas. Here is the salient...
July 22, 2011
Can You Hide Your Home Equity From a College?
I’ve gotten a couple of questions lately about whether cashing out home equity and putting it into an annuity is a legit way of increasing a family’s chances of getting financial aid. Consequently, I decided to share a post on the topic that I wrote earlier in this year in response to an email from a dad, who was interested...
February 4, 2011
Private Colleges and the FAFSA
Thought I’d share my response to a message that I received from a mom, who was interested in finding private colleges that just use the Free Application for Federal Student or FAFSA. Here is Patrice’s question: Is there a way to determine which private colleges use the FAFSA method for financial aid? I would like to focus in on those...
January 4, 2011
Dubious Financial Aid Advice: Hiding Home Equity
It’s the time of year when families of high school seniors start worrying about their home equity and financial aid. That’s why I decided to share an email that I got yesterday from a father who was interested in using the services of a CPA who says he could hide his home equity from financial aid formulas. Here is the...