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Old 08-23-2016, 06:23 AM   #21
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I have similar response to any collage discussions with my daughter. I pay for in-state tuition as long as you get mostly A till and through collage. Anything else then you pay.... I honestly think that collage you graduate is far less important than the major you pick unless you go to ivy league collage.
Was this intentional? In a discussion about colleges, err uhh....collages. If it was, brilliant! If not, I'm going to shut up now.
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:54 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by cathy63 View Post
Contrary to some of the other advice you've gotten, I'd recommend keeping an open mind about public schools in other states.

Our daughter went to Rutgers with a scholarship that brought their out of state tuition down to about the same as we would have paid at a UC.

We weren't eligible for any Federal aid and were only offered loans at 8%, so didn't bother to fill out the FAFSA after the first year.

Oh.... I would agree with this... when we were at our sons HS honor ceremony I was shocked how many of the students got big scholarships from other states state U....


Do not know if they still do this, but Oklahoma used to give full ride to National Merit Scholars... a good way to attract them...
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:58 AM   #23
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We (I) never eligible for financial Federal aid.

Not sure I can remember all the specifics but at some point, I think I allowed my daughter to claim herself on her taxes. I gave up the tax deduction for her. This allowed her to deduct some items. I was unable to deduct it on my taxes. Of course, one must have earned income to do this. She worked during summers, on breaks and minimally during college semesters.

The FAFSA is an interesting exercise and one I wish I had more knowledge of BEFORE she went to college. After all, most are 18 so parents could elect to not be legally responsible for their college tuition. Ha!

From the little I know, FAFSA does not care if you decide not to pay your child's tuition.... they still base their help on what the family is expected to provide... even if they do or not...

If it were that easy, all parents would just say 'bye bye' to their kids and they would get help from the gvmt....
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:05 AM   #24
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Contrary to some of the other advice you've gotten, I'd recommend keeping an open mind about public schools in other states.

Our daughter went to Rutgers with a scholarship that brought their out of state tuition down to about the same as we would have paid at a UC.

We weren't eligible for any Federal aid and were only offered loans at 8%, so didn't bother to fill out the FAFSA after the first year.
This is a case when you would want to apply early and be sure scholarships were available before your child is sold on going there. A few scholarships do have strings attached, i.e. taking full loads, making progress toward graduation, grades and such. Make sure your student is fully aware of this and agrees to it, or you could end up on the hook for rack rate out of state prices.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:02 AM   #25
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Has anyone been through this and have advice on increasing one's chances for a bit of aid? I keep reading about colleges inflating their prices and then offering aid to most students so they feel like they are getting a great deal. I just want to understand how to play this game.
Went through this exercise this past year as older son just started college last week. I was told that everyone should complete the FAFSA as then you would be eligible for the federal loan program. Had planned that I'd have son take out a subsidized loan so that he had some "skin in the game" and may be more cognizant of the college expenses. Didn't work out as he was only offered a unsubsidized loan which we turned down.

Regarding FAFSA, some key points I've learned from my research in calculating Expected FAmily Contribution:

1. Assets in retirement accounts are not counted or reported.
2. If parent's are more than 50% owners of small business and the business employs less than 100, the value of business does not count as a parental asset. The full value of rental property does count (regardless of any mortgages)
3. 529 plans owned by the parents, regardless of beneficiaries, are counted as assets of the parents.
4. Financial assets of the parents, such as savings accounts, savings bonds, CD, stocks, bonds, rental property, business ownership, etc count between 5 and 6 percent toward the EFC. They subtract an amount depending on parent's age, then apply the percentage. For me, mid 60s, the amount not included, was under $100K.

Usually not much you can do to effect this figure. You could reduce this figure by spending it down (pay cash for home, remodel, update cars, take a high priced vacation, or contribute to retirement funds, but in my case it would not have made a meaningful dent in my EFC, and would not have been consistent with my lifestyle or long range financial planning.

5. Non-retirement financial assets of the child.......20% contribution to the EFC.
6. FAFSA does not care what value of house or cars owned, or what your debts are.

While my "earned income" was less than $20K per year, the assets % plus income plus child's income plus child's nominal assets (savings bonds and credit union savings) resulted in a six figure EFC........waste of my time. Next year I will have two boys in college, but with that EFC, the second would need to go to a private expensive college to be evenly remotely eligible for financial aid. Fortunately, all the schools the boys considered are reasonable state schools.

And as someone mentioned, you don't have to spend this amount on the child, just that any needs-based aid takes the FAFSA calculation into account. This is separate from merit-based scholarships or grants (targeted grants such as academics, athletics, field of study)
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:50 AM   #26
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we have the good fortune to have substantial assets outside of 401K/IRA that appear to put us out of range for aid.
I agree with the others who commented that you'll not likely be able to find a way to hide your wealth to qualify for need based aid.
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We have most of the money needed 529's
There ya go! Nice job. Enjoy the kids' college years stress free paying the tab with money you've already set aside for the purpose.
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Has anyone been through this and have advice on increasing one's chances for a bit of aid?
You have substantial assets. You've already set aside the money outside of your FIRE plans. Enjoy your situation!

My only suggestion would be to have the kids consider doing a co-op program. Especially in engineering, these programs pay real money (compared to summer jobs) and can substantially add to the resources available to pay college costs. The downside, of course, is that it takes five years to complete an engineering program and co-op.

Our son attended a top-ten (engineering), out of state, public university. Our financial situation disqualified him for need based aid. He did receive a token small merit scholarship from the school and some one time awards from local organizations. But the real help was his co-op job with a major corporation.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:24 AM   #27
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A
I also encourage the student works while going to school. For one son, it taught him that the rest of us work by the sweat of our brow and that dirty fingernails from honest labor is honorable. For the other son, it showed him the opportunities that exist out there that he wasn't even aware of and focused his studies toward something specific; broadcast sports.
While I knew my son's jobs would hurt his chances for need based aid, the experience of earning some of his own way and the opportunities it may open up made it well worth his time.

When a senior in HS, he signed up for an internship elective (1/4 year) where the school attempts to make available "shadowing" at some local firms. He suggested he spend time with the school districts IT department, it had never been done before! They gave it a try, expanded it to take another student, asked my son if he would consider spending more time with IT department and he spent the whole year (free labor on their part but great experience for my son). Soon they gave him access to their trouble ticketing system, he'd coordinate with the techs, and spent the second half of the year during his free period off repairing PC issues on his own. More than once he'd get into temporary trouble as a teacher walks into his/her room to find a student alone with a computer open, a big no-no, but soon the faculty recognized him as legit. High School has 2400 students so decent size.
This led to a summer job at the school district installing and reconfiguring computers at all the schools of the district and he's got the job next summer if he's interested. They've also formalized the IT internship program making in a competitive school position.
It could be a stepping stone to other internships/opportunities as he is freshman majoring in Computer Science
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:25 AM   #28
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Went through this exercise this past year as older son just started college last week. I was told that everyone should complete the FAFSA as then you would be eligible for the federal loan program. Had planned that I'd have son take out a subsidized loan so that he had some "skin in the game" and may be more cognizant of the college expenses. Didn't work out as he was only offered a unsubsidized loan which we turned down.
/snip/

Same for me... but I made DS take the unsubsidized loan as I DO want him to have skin in the game... and the total cost of interest will not be that big of deal in the long run...

I also think he will exceed what I said I will pay for his degree... so I want him to get loans from the beginning and be aware of what he is spending...
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:28 AM   #29
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Was this intentional? In a discussion about colleges, err uhh....collages. If it was, brilliant! If not, I'm going to shut up now.
I am so sorry about the typo. See what I mean! I neither graduated from a top college nor english is my first language.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:22 PM   #30
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Thanks to all of the replies. I just wanted to check to make sure I wasn't missing anything.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:58 PM   #31
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If the kid is a great student and gets excellent SATs, many private schools will offer scholarship. If you fill a bucket (like out of state) that they need to fill, you may get scholarship. DD was #2 in class and took AP courses. Each private school she applied to offered something. She went to a small private college she liked that offered her a nice scholarship. 1 semester in, she wanted to leave and they didn't offer the new major she wanted to take. She wanted a bigger state school. Something she would not consider during the first round, although she did apply to 2.
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Old 08-26-2016, 05:06 PM   #32
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One important strategy you can do is to try to qualify for a "simplified needs test." To do that, your AGI needs to be under $50k. If your non-tax-sheltered assets produce low enough income/dividends, you have little earned income, and if you plan ahead, you might be able to accomplish that. That would make your assets "invisible" to FAFSA. More info here:
FinAid | FinAid for Educators and FAAs | Simplified Needs Test Chart
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:06 PM   #33
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Lots of good private colleges use CSS/Profile. They do take the asset into consideration. It is better to check out the requirement from the colleges of interest.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:35 PM   #34
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One important strategy you can do is to try to qualify for a "simplified needs test." To do that, your AGI needs to be under $50k. If your non-tax-sheltered assets produce low enough income/dividends, you have little earned income, and if you plan ahead, you might be able to accomplish that. That would make your assets "invisible" to FAFSA. More info here:
FinAid | FinAid for Educators and FAAs | Simplified Needs Test Chart

Lets be clear on this... not as simple as it sounds...
An applicant qualifies for the simplified needs test if the parents have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000 and every family member was eligible to file an IRS Form 1040A or 1040EZ (or wasn't required to file a Federal income tax return)
So, one K-1 ruins this option... one sale of stock ruins this option... if you want to itemize.... again, gone for you...
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:45 PM   #35
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.....So, one K-1 ruins this option... one sale of stock ruins this option...

Not necessarily, once could have K-1 income or a capital gain and still be under the filing threshold (not required to file a return)... I'll concede it is unlikely but could happen.
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:28 PM   #36
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Not necessarily, once could have K-1 income or a capital gain and still be under the filing threshold (not required to file a return)... I'll concede it is unlikely but could happen.

Well, technically you are correct... but, since most people are going to want to get their tax credits back with that little of income.... you are back to having to file...

Now, I guess a case can be made that if the amount of money you get by not filing is more than you would get back with filing... then just do not file... you always have the options of filing in a later year... wonder if that would invalidate what you had already received
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:48 AM   #37
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You might consider hiring a private consultant. I have heard they are well worth the money since they know how to play all the college financial games.
I would be careful with this. In my experience, the "games" they play largely involve getting after-tax assets off the FAFSA form... which means investing it in annuities. They make big money on this and the costs often hugely outweigh the benefits.
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:37 AM   #38
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We (I) never eligible for financial Federal aid.

Not sure I can remember all the specifics but at some point, I think I allowed my daughter to claim herself on her taxes. I gave up the tax deduction for her. This allowed her to deduct some items. I was unable to deduct it on my taxes. Of course, one must have earned income to do this. She worked during summers, on breaks and minimally during college semesters.

The FAFSA is an interesting exercise and one I wish I had more knowledge of BEFORE she went to college. After all, most are 18 so parents could elect to not be legally responsible for their college tuition. Ha!

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From the little I know, FAFSA does not care if you decide not to pay your child's tuition.... they still base their help on what the family is expected to provide... even if they do or not...

If it were that easy, all parents would just say 'bye bye' to their kids and they would get help from the gvmt....

Texas Proud: It wasn't about that. It was about taxes. She was able to deduct items related to college costs we were unable to deduct due to our income. In order to do so we had her "claim herself" and we gave up the deduction for her.

Of course she also had the income to be able to be able to take those deductions.

Granted this has nothing to do with FASFA but it does have something to do with overall costs and deducting things on taxes....all of which helps a bit, depending on situations.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:34 PM   #39
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When my 4 siblings and I were facing college, my parents laughed at the "Parents' Confidential Statement" (FAFSA predecessor) and said it wasn't worth filling out because they'd saved too much and we wouldn't get a dime. They were probably right- we were all bright but no one had a 4.0 average. When DS was in HS, just for fun I got on the site of Princeton U. (not that DS was Princeton material) and used their calculator. I was making about $120K/year back then and I think Princeton ran about $60K/year, all-in. I threw in a token contribution from my Ex even though he'd been unemployed for the last 8 years. The calculator said I could afford to put TWO kids through Princeton with no financial aid. Uh-huh.

DS got through Drake U. in Des Moines; we paid full sticker price and half was paid through the generosity of my Ex's sister and her husband. I didn't ask; they just did it.

Co-op programs were mentioned; these are FANTASTIC. I went to U. of Cincinnati, which pioneered the idea; that's how Dad got his Engineering degree in 1953. He had a co-op job that was close to home, so lived with his parents and saved enough to fund the next academic quarter. When I went there 20 years later, the Engineering students were still doing that and most came out with offers from the company where they co-opped. It wasn't available to me as a Math major but I think they've expanded it now. Great way to make good money AND get relevant experience.
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:19 PM   #40
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We (I) never eligible for financial Federal aid.

Not sure I can remember all the specifics but at some point, I think I allowed my daughter to claim herself on her taxes. I gave up the tax deduction for her. This allowed her to deduct some items. I was unable to deduct it on my taxes. Of course, one must have earned income to do this. She worked during summers, on breaks and minimally during college semesters.

The FAFSA is an interesting exercise and one I wish I had more knowledge of BEFORE she went to college. After all, most are 18 so parents could elect to not be legally responsible for their college tuition. Ha!




Texas Proud: It wasn't about that. It was about taxes. She was able to deduct items related to college costs we were unable to deduct due to our income. In order to do so we had her "claim herself" and we gave up the deduction for her.

Of course she also had the income to be able to be able to take those deductions.

Granted this has nothing to do with FASFA but it does have something to do with overall costs and deducting things on taxes....all of which helps a bit, depending on situations.

Seems a bit strange that someone would be able to make enough money that they would have a tax liability while still in college... well, full time college that is... many people work full time and go at night...



I will look into this in a few years when my DS might be doing a paid internship... it would be for almost a full year, so should make some money....
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