COLLEGE MATH by Paul Ferraresi

While High School seniors are suffering serious cases of senioritis on their final sprint to graduation, many of their parents are cracking the books and crunching the numbers.

The majority of first-time, full-time undergraduate students received financial aid at four-year public institutions (83%) and four-year private institutions (89%) during the 2013 – 14 school year, the most recent years for data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Average published prices for 2016 – 17 are $20,090 for in-state public schools, $35,370 for out-of-state public schools and $45,370 for nonprofit private schools, according to the College Board. Annual price tags top $65,000 at some of the nation’s most elite schools.

All families should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because each school calculates a personalized expected family contribution (EFC) and determines aid awards differently. Thanks to recent changes, the FAFSA is now based on actual income from two years ago instead of estimated income from last year.

It doesn’t look like schools are changing their aid packaging philosophies as a result of the earlier availability of FAFSA data, but they are awarding aid sooner.

Upon receiving their award letters families should recalculate their net prices, and use a comparison of net prices to appeal to the less generous colleges for more financial aid. College Navigator, a free tool from the U.S. Department of Education, can be used to see if a college front-loads grants to freshmen or also awards upperclassmen.

Student’s should search for scholarships on free websites (Cappex’s database can be found at www.cappex.com/scholarships). Families should look to take advantage of education tax benefits, like the American opportunity tax credit and the student loan interest deduction.

Students needing loans should first access federal student loans because they’re cheaper, more available and have better repayment terms.

Rate on federal student loans, which reset each July 1 are based on the last 10-year Treasury auction in May, are fixed for the life of a loan.

Borrow as much as you need not as much as you can. Every dollar you borrow will cost about two dollars by the time your repay the debt.

Watch my new FREE webinar, How To Double Your Social Security Benefits While Reducing Your Taxes By 80% In Retirement, take advantage of the free offer at the end.

Check out our other blog, the Wealthy Future Blog, to learn all the principles of Missed Fortune, as outlined by best-selling author, Doug Andrew. The articles, audio and video programs will provide information which you will find both enlightening and empowering!

You can also visit our website at Founders Group to learn more about how we can help you optimize your assets or provide you with any financial advice.

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