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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 08:54 AM   #21
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

For those that have been out of the game for a while, college tuition these days is like airline seat pricing. Everyone is paying something different. Colleges use sophisticated inventory management techniques just like the airlines and Wal-Mart.

Merit scholarships are discounts off sticker price designed to entice high academic-stat applicants or to fill special needs, like an oboe player for the symphony or a Heisman candidate for the football team (a common "need"). The stated tuition or sticker price is paid by a few who don't care how much it costs or are unable to play the game.

There is a level of school for almost every level of student where discounts are available. The dilemma is, do you pay full price for your student to go to a higher-prestige school where he is average or below, or do you take a discount and get perks like Honors programs at a lower level school where your student is at the top of the applicant pool?
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 11:00 AM   #22
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

I do a pretty good estimate of my taxes at the end of December, then fill out FAFSA first thing in January. I figure that even if my estimates are off by up to 10%, it won't matter. I've never had to correct the FAFSA, but I'm guessing that that isn't too difficult.

No, it's not clear that doing the FAFSA early makes a difference, but I'm going to have to do the taxes at some point anyway, so I may as well get them out of the way early.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 11:29 AM   #23
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I've never had to correct the FAFSA, but I'm guessing that that isn't too difficult.
Don't they require you to correct it regardless of how accurate your estimates were? Since I had to check the "estimated" box, I expect to least remove that checkmark sometime in the future.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 11:36 AM   #24
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4cash
OK, I tried to restrain myself, but here comes the darkside. A major portion of the whole FAFSA thing is the papermill effect. The schools want personal profiles of the student body that is only available via FAFSA.
Heck, yeah, maybe they use the data for case studies in their MBA programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
I love my kid and would gladly pay the full boat for him, but since I'm all about LBYM where I can, I'm definitely completing the FAFSA.
I think that somewhere between a full parental ride and child abandonment, there's a middle ground where the kid can have some skin in the game without being reduced to blatant manipulation or cheating. You know, sorta like the business world.

So if our kid could use her skills & effort to attract scholarship money of any kind I'd be happy to share the savings with her.

Thanks for that website, Leo, it's going in our college file. I'd hate to think that all this research and analysis will be wasted on a USNA candidate!

Our local high school lets a consortium of banks & financial-management companies give presentations on college planning & financial aid. One of the sales staff said that the feds stopped asking for home value back in the 1990s when they realized that the colleges don't appreciate the price difference between owning a hovel in Hawaii and a mansion in Dubuque.

Sam, what I'm seeing in your posts is the news that there's not only a FAFSA but a different "standard" financial aid form as well. Oh joy. Maybe my profit-sharing plan with my kid should include a deduction for parental paperwork...
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 11:53 AM   #25
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
So if our kid could use her skills & effort to attract scholarship money of any kind I'd be happy to share the savings with her.
I agree. The efforts must come from both sides. My kids have received a few substantial merit scholarships, and both are finalists for one full tuition scholarship. Unfortunately, it's not their first choice college, so I need to be prepared for the "worst".

FAFSA is mainly for public colleges, although some private colleges use it too.

CSS / Financial Aid Profile is used by most private colleges.
https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Maybe my profit-sharing plan with my kid should include a deduction for parental paperwork...
Let me know how it works out. I've tried it before, deducting this, compensating for that... In the end, I always found myself on the losing end, but happy.


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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 01:47 PM   #26
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Let me know how it works out. I've tried it before, deducting this, compensating for that... In the end, I always found myself on the losing end, but happy.
As long as they move out for good and only return for short visits!
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 03:18 PM   #27
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Don't they require you to correct it regardless of how accurate your estimates were?
I didn't need to last year.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 05:14 PM   #28
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
..My kids have received a few substantial merit scholarships, and both are finalists for one full tuition scholarship. Unfortunately, it's not their first choice college, so I need to be prepared for the "worst".
This may be off-topic. My daughter has an offer for a merit scholarship sufficient for tuition, books and fee (but not room and board) from a local public university. If she stays at home, the cost for her education for 4 years will be free. She also receives offer from other 2-tier universities that would provide full-ride scholarships if she declares them as the first choice for the National merit Scholarship Program. She is not interested in any of them. Her first choice is the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She has been accepted but have not received any scholarship offering from UW - Madison. I emailed to the financial aid officer at UW and informed them about the scholarship offering from the local university. They said they most likely would not be able to match that and would mail scholarship info starting in March, 07. In the interim, we are also applying for the chancellor scholarship sponsored by UW for minority students. The award is full-tuition for 4 years. We are hoping that we can get that.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 05:21 PM   #29
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Did your daughter apply for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Scholarship?

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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 06:18 PM   #30
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Our son is just starting back at the JC so he wouldn't ask for financial aid until at least next year. Just briefly looking over the FAFSA form it looks like they want adjusted gross. Doesn't this penalize people who convert an IRA to Roth IRA? In our case the income will be a combo of interest, cap gains and Roth IRA conversion money. We plan to convert up to the max on the 15% bracket and we do use the itemized deductions.

Seems our profile will not look very deserving to the financial aids guys. Any thoughts out there?

Another question which may make the above unnecessary to answer: It sort of looks like parental returns will not be a factor next year since our son will be able to answer yes to the question "Were you born before Jan 1 1983?" . Does this sound right?

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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 07:43 PM   #31
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbcal
Another question which may make the above unnecessary to answer: It sort of looks like parental returns will not be a factor next year since our son will be able to answer yes to the question "Were you born before Jan 1 1983?" . Does this sound right?
Yes, it sounds right, according to the instructions.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 07:47 PM   #32
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Did your daughter apply for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Scholarship?

No, is that based on financial need?
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 08:07 PM   #33
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbcal
Just briefly looking over the FAFSA form it looks like they want adjusted gross. Doesn't this penalize people who convert an IRA to Roth IRA? In our case the income will be a combo of interest, cap gains and Roth IRA conversion money. We plan to convert up to the max on the 15% bracket and we do use the itemized deductions.
Seems our profile will not look very deserving to the financial aids guys. Any thoughts out there?
Well, our kid was born in 1992 so this is a concern that's caused many parents to skip Roth IRA conversions in the year before matriculation.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-29-2007, 11:33 PM   #34
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Yes, it sounds right, according to the instructions.
I should have said "born before Jan 1 1985?" as this year it is 1984. So I guess I'm right on this -- one upside of having a late bloomer .

Les
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-30-2007, 08:53 AM   #35
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Merit based acholorship and FAFSA.

One kid in college, 2nd is deciding for 2007 fall. I never filled out a FAFSA, figuring we won't qualify. Both kids were offered pretty good merit money from a private college. #2 was offered more, is in the top 4% of the class, kid #1 was in only the top 1/3. Kid #1 got $4K 'discount' per year; kid #2 offered an $8K 'discount' at the same school, but is interested in other (public) schools, one in state, one out. I don't think the public schools are likely to come up with much merit, we will see. From what I gather, the out-of-state school (Madison) is not likely to offer (much) money to an out of state applicant. It would not be out of the question for the kid to take up residence there to get in-state rates for maybe the last two years?

So, does filling out the FAFSA really affect this? Each school recc that you do, but it seemed that was more because situations may change, you suddenly need the money, so the paperwork is already in, easier to amend at that point. We got those merit offers from the private school w/o FAFSA, so I wonder.

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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-30-2007, 09:53 AM   #36
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
We got those merit offers from the private school w/o FAFSA, so I wonder.
We're given the impression from the colleges & high school that the first words out of every scholarship's office are "Send us your FAFSA".

Our kid's considering a military academy, and it raises an ethical conundrum. Hmmm... family business... but we wouldn't have to fill out a FAFSA... tough choice.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-30-2007, 11:22 AM   #37
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
No, is that based on financial need?
They have severals, some are based on financial need and merit. The one my kids apply to is based on merit.

The Gates Millenium Scholars
https://www.gmsp.org/GMSP_app/default.aspx

The deadline has already passed. We expect to hear from them in March.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
So, does filling out the FAFSA really affect this?
Merit scholarship is not affected by FAFSA. At least not in our case. My kids received them in Dec 2006, before FAFSA can be submitted.

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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-30-2007, 06:49 PM   #38
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
They have severals, some are based on financial need and merit. The one my kids apply to is based on merit.

The Gates Millenium Scholars
https://www.gmsp.org/GMSP_app/default.aspx

The deadline has already passed. We expect to hear from them in March.


Merit scholarship is not affected by FAFSA. At least not in our case. My kids received them in Dec 2006, before FAFSA can be submitted.

Sam,
May be I will try next year. Have you tried the Jackie Robinson Scholarship? It offers $7000 per year. The deadline is 3/1. Good luck.

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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-30-2007, 10:42 PM   #39
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
We're given the impression from the colleges & high school that the first words out of every scholarship's office are "Send us your FAFSA".
yup yup yup. Without all those FAFSAs, the Fin Aid depts would have to start laying people off. Another benefit is that much of the financial aid is in the form of a loan. The loan requires the FAFSA. The origination fee for these loans is 3%. The school get first shot at offering you the loan through thier preferred lender. The interest rates are not that great.............you could do better with a credit union or bank education loan......but the federally sponsered loans are extremely easy to get as long as your FAFSAs on file.
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.
Old 01-30-2007, 10:48 PM   #40
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Re: College financial aid. PROFILE Pre-Application worksheet.

Another thing that was mentioned that I think merits emphasis:

If you have a unique situation that you feel is not "captured" by the FAFSA definition of "need", DO NOT HESITATE to ask financial aid office for "consideration".

Example:
FAFSA for 04-05 school year is based on calendar year 03 income. The "need" is 9-18 months displaced from the income being used to measure. Spouse was laid off in late 03, so our tax return was not representative of our situation for 04-05. Salary of new job was much less. Financial aid officers can exercise "professional judgement" to adjust need to special circumstances such as this.


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