financialaidSome of the more costly mistakes made during the college planning process are made in the financial aid process.  Making assumptions on eligibility, waiting too long to file or not including the colleges under consideration are only a few of the many misfortunes that have the potential of become overly expensive.  Read here for a full list of costly errors to avoid:  http://goo.gl/iWjwBx

Truth is, the race is on!  Both the federal and state governments set aside a predetermined allotment of funds to distribute to eligible students each year for financial aid — and it’s not just for college freshman!  These funds are only available for a limited time for ALL college students.

Aid is available on a first-come, first-serve basis . . . so it is imperative to be on your game!  Here are a few tips that could save you both time and potentially thousands of dollars:

  1. File early!!  Filing as soon after January 1, the greater the chance your student will receive the entire amount of eligibility.  The early bird really does get the worm!
  2. Include each college/university of consideration on the FAFSA!!  This notifies the college of your interest or intent and streamlines the process as your FAFSA results will be sent directly to them.
  3. File despite your wealth!!  The formula used to determine aid eligibility takes into account far more than income and assets alone.  Don’t assume you won’t receive financial aid, it’s a bad idea.
  4. Extenuating circumstances that significantly impacted your reported income could call for a justified “professional judgement” by the financial aid director.
  5. Look into how Capstone Educational Consultants can assist you with their ccn1Financial Aid Estimator, College Cost Predictor and a FAFSA Answer Key.   With a single, customized report, it’s possible you could save hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands of dollars throughout the course of your child’s college career.  Capstone Educational Consultants will give you a detailed look inside each college, their financial aid offers, your estimated family contribution and projected out-of-pocket expenses.

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