Top 10 Tips to Save Thousands When Paying for College

Top 10 Tips to Save Thousands When Paying for College

 

  1. Always fill out the FAFSA – If you don’t apply, the answer is always no.
  2. Complete forms promptly – Don’t wait until the school asks for them, the deadline, or until taxes are completed. Get them done as soon as possible.
  3. Don’t assume that the FAFSA is the only financial aid form you have to fill out. – Many schools have their own institutional forms and/or want a CSS Profile form.
  4. Don’t worry about a schools “sticker price.” – Net price is what matters. What is it actually going to cost you, out of your pocket, to attend?
  5. Some colleges have money to give you and some don’t. – Some schools give merit aid, some give need based aid, and some give both. Take the time to see if a particular school gives the kind of aid you want or need.
  6. Borrow responsibly – Every student gets a Federal Direct Loan. If you need more loans, do so with caution.  Will you be able to make the payments?
  7. Watch out for scams. – If you have to pay money to get money… it’s a scam.
  8. Your financial aid offer isn’t the final offer. – Call the financial aid office and explain any special circumstances and ask to have your offer reconsidered. The worst they can say is no, and you’ll be surprised how much extra money they could
  9. Don’t ignore tax savings. If you qualify, take the American Opportunity Tax credit.  Also, be aware of certain tax savings strategies that will reduce financial aid (UTMA’s and 529 Plans are two good examples.)
  10. Get a job! – Studies have shown that students who work to pay for part of their college expenses are more likely to graduate on time and are more likely go get a job in their field quickly after graduation.

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