The College Money “PUZZLE” consists of four pieces – EFC (expected family contribution), Net Price Calculator, Financial Aid and Scholarships that when used “strategically” can help you figure out how to pay for college. This begins our two-part series to talk in depth about these pieces of the puzzle that are uniquely intertwined and interconnected. We will begin with Expected Family Contribution and Net Price Calculator.
According to this January 31, 2014 Forbes article by Tony Onink, you
can have a household income up to $425,000 and still qualify for some financial aid. It is just a matter of the number of dependents and type of school that you apply to, either public/private as well as two-year vs four-year college or university.
In this episode, we discuss why you should know your EFC (expected family contribution) and use the Net Price Calculator to find out the “true cost” of the college that you are looking at. Every college and university has some sort of calculator on their website, you just have to find it. They don’t really want you to know what it will cost. The “real cost” consists of tuition + room & board+ fees – EFC- Merit Aid/scholarships= balance or gap. This gap is what you have to be worried about.
Your EFC will usually not change from year to year. If you have more than one child in college, your EFC is split between the children. That is a good thing because you will likely receive more financial aid as a result. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week: Scholarships & Financial Aid.
Today’s episode is the final part of the series and looks closely at YOUR FAFSA Application. We take a closer look into the FAFSA application, whom would fill out each section, what types of questions to expect in each section and how to avoid common mistakes.
If you have not listed to the other 3 episodes in this series, they are listed below for your reference. We will continue in future episodes to talk about the FAFSA application and all of its’ complexity with additional guests and would love to hear YOUR FEEDBACK with completing this form online or by snail mail.
This is the first of many conversations that we will have on the subject of college costs. We define common terms as well as give real-time examples from specific institutions about “hidden” college costs.
We also talk briefly about what you may bring with you as a first-year student and what expenses to watch out for. The sample schools that we discuss are: