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Do your kids qualify for needs-based financial aid for college?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
    Does anyone actually know the level of income needed to be below to qualify for some level of aid? And I mean real aid not just loans.

    I always found it very annoying that because my parents made too much I had to take out more loans than the guy next to me getting the same education.
    Lordo, I don't know the answer to your question, but if I may tangentially respond: I recently read Lieber's "The Price You Pay for College"...looking back at my notes, I took away 10 nuggets of useful info...one of them being that the admissions office handles merit-based aid, as opposed to the financial aid office.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
      Does anyone actually know the level of income needed to be below to qualify for some level of aid? And I mean real aid not just loans.

      I always found it very annoying that because my parents made too much I had to take out more loans than the guy next to me getting the same education.
      Bingo. ***Soap Box - This is classic first degree price discrimination. It should be in all 101 Economics texts. That we should pay markedly higher tax rates for our after tax earnings only to have those after tax earnings go a far shorter way for the same product is a travesty. Unless you’re a fan of Marx I guess. - Off Soap Box***

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      • #18
        I have 2 kids in college. I never have filled out a FAF form. My assets, incomes, homes, 529 plans et al are in the high 7 figures if not 8. No way schools giving any of my kids free money

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Ronan View Post
          I have 2 kids in college. I never have filled out a FAF form. My assets, incomes, homes, 529 plans et al are in the high 7 figures if not 8. No way schools giving any of my kids free money
          “one of them being that the admissions office handles merit-based aid, as opposed to the financial aid office.”
          credit @G above.
          Within any university individuals have made donations (large and small) with restrictions or guidelines. The intent is many times to fund a specific department, college, major or profile with absolutely no weight given to need. What you have is scholarship money to be given out.
          If you fill out the FAFSA you are eligible. Some require an additional application or information. Some are automatic, some university wide. Some selective and very narrow. Merit is the code word exiting the “financial need” criteria.
          They use these additionally to target the student population profile they are targeting. The admissions office is competing for “acceptances”. The can and do bait the hook. Their is another game being played besides need.

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          • #20
            My older kids qualified when DH was military doctor and I was not working. Now he has a civilian job and I am also working. No financial aid.

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            • #21
              I didn’t anticipate my kids qualifying but was told by everyone to fill it out because they thought I was wrong.
              I pegged the needle at $99999 EFC for my first child, they apparently changed the max 2 years later so for kid #2 as it came back $120000

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              • #22
                How many years do you need to not have an income to qualify? Just wondering, how many tax returns will they check?

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                • #23
                  The level of income at which one eliminates eligibilty for financial aid is set by the colleges. Can vary widely.
                  Some of the most famous and wealthy colleges go quite high with how much one can make.

                  Also depends on how many kids you have in college. You may miss aid with one child in college but qualify with 3. Even so, 400k in income and the assets of many readers of this site will not see any grants. Colleges will argue that families in the top 2% of income and assets need aid far less than the 98%. They will tilt limited resources to those who need it. Not qualifying for aid is good problem to have.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Tim View Post

                    “one of them being that the admissions office handles merit-based aid, as opposed to the financial aid office.”
                    credit @G above.
                    Within any university individuals have made donations (large and small) with restrictions or guidelines. The intent is many times to fund a specific department, college, major or profile with absolutely no weight given to need. What you have is scholarship money to be given out.
                    If you fill out the FAFSA you are eligible. Some require an additional application or information. Some are automatic, some university wide. Some selective and very narrow. Merit is the code word exiting the “financial need” criteria.
                    They use these additionally to target the student population profile they are targeting. The admissions office is competing for “acceptances”. The can and do bait the hook. Their is another game being played besides need.
                    good to hear, told my wife this good news

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                    • #25
                      I also did not fill out the FAFSA.
                      take a look at
                      https://myintuition.org
                      I played around with this to get an idea of what scenario might lead to qualifying for financial aid. I did not qualify.

                      It might be necessary to fill out the forms to qualify for merit aid. My older one did not go to a school that offered those discounts.

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                      • #26
                        1. Have never filled out a FAFSA for either child attending college. We knew we would qualify for nothing, so why give away your information.
                        2. We planned to pay for college and started funds as soon as they were born. We wanted to avoid having the kids start out with all kinds of debt.
                        3. Both kids had an eye opening experience their freshman year when they realized how lucky they were to not be taking out college loans. Many of their friends had to take out took out huge loans.
                        4. Kids worked in the summers for spending money. (Of course, with the summer jobs in high school/college, we did a parent match to jumpstart their Roth IRA. They also realize now how lucky they are to have had a Roth which has grown significantly.)
                        5. The kids have pulled their weight and it has worked out for everybody. Our plan would not have worked if either kid was ungrateful or fooled around.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Bev View Post
                          1. Have never filled out a FAFSA for either child attending college. We knew we would qualify for nothing, so why give away your information.
                          2. We planned to pay for college and started funds as soon as they were born. We wanted to avoid having the kids start out with all kinds of debt.
                          3. Both kids had an eye opening experience their freshman year when they realized how lucky they were to not be taking out college loans. Many of their friends had to take out took out huge loans.
                          4. Kids worked in the summers for spending money. (Of course, with the summer jobs in high school/college, we did a parent match to jumpstart their Roth IRA. They also realize now how lucky they are to have had a Roth which has grown significantly.)
                          5. The kids have pulled their weight and it has worked out for everybody. Our plan would not have worked if either kid was ungrateful or fooled around.
                          I fully concur. I have no interest in the college having my tax returns if there is no chance of any financial aid. My kid is starting to realize how lucky she is when she does not need to worry about any expenses for her college years and all the junk "college loans" mailers she gets are thrown unopened in the recycling bin.

                          But she has worked paid internships in the past and is doing 2 jobs this summer pre college, being an instructor in an online coding camp and also an instructor at a quiz bowl camp. I plan to match those Roth IRA earnings and let her spend the money if she wants.I hope she continues to be this way.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

                            Bingo. ***Soap Box - This is classic first degree price discrimination. It should be in all 101 Economics texts. That we should pay markedly higher tax rates for our after tax earnings only to have those after tax earnings go a far shorter way for the same product is a travesty. Unless you’re a fan of Marx I guess. - Off Soap Box***
                            Directionally, I agree with your sentiment; but travesty seems a bit dramatic.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by VentAlarm View Post

                              Directionally, I agree with your sentiment; but travesty seems a bit dramatic.
                              discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things

                              different pricing for the same product based upon who your parents are is discrimination. if it weren't culturally and politically cool to discriminate against financially successful folks, I suspect that "travesty" would not be considered dramatic.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by VentAlarm View Post

                                Directionally, I agree with your sentiment; but travesty seems a bit dramatic.
                                Apply the concept to other aspects of life. Grocery store gets your tax return and charges you $25 for steak and $2 to someone else. Your Civic? $35k. $8k for someone else. It’s de facto communism. The system breaks down. And we’re not talking about a $5 difference. This is tens of thousands - maybe hundreds of thousands - we’re talking about. Travesty seems like a weak description to me.

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