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College financial aid for children of the retired
Old 05-17-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
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College financial aid for children of the retired

I think this topic has popped up every now and then, but I thought we needed another thread on the subject.

We have a less than a year to go before we start filling out financial aid forms for college. Our income in 2009 will less than half of what it was in 2007.

I'm wondering if there are specific strategies that might be helpful to snag more financial aid. My spouse is working basically full-time, so in my retirement, we should look like a typical family barely making ends meet with one working parent along with a stay-at-home-parent. At least that's the plan.

I believe TromboneAl got more financial aid for his daughter after he retired. How did any of you other early retirees make out with the college financial aid office? Any tips, ideas or comments that you can pass on? Basically, what can we expect? Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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I am of no help on the subject with no kids. But I always thought that the financial aid looked at both parental assets as well as income. So would seem to me that a FIRED person is basically hosed?
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:44 PM   #3
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Depends on where your assets are located. If in a tax-sheltered account, like an IRA, 401k, etc, then the assets are invisible to the financial aid process. The policy reason is to encourage people to fund those accounts. Assets in taxable accounts and real estate are visible and considered available to be liquidated to fund college expenses, to the tune of about 5% per year. There are all kinds of allowances and exceptions, and the whole thing is quite complicated.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:43 AM   #4
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I'd suggest looking at the current school-year FAFSA forms online, and get a feel for the whole thing. You can figure out what the expected contribution from parents, and from kid are. Knowing that in advance, maybe that would steer you towards some action for the next tax year and the next school year.

Edit - added link

http://www.ifap.ed.gov/ifap/index.jsp?

Look into the Worksheets, Schedules and Tables box
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:01 PM   #5
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Thanks, our estimated family contribution (EFC) appears to be about $90,000. I have to figure out if that is per year or per 4-years.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
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That's per year. Since the most expensive schools are "only" $50,000 per year, the result is that you do not need any aid and will be a full-price retail customer. Unless your student wins aid based on merit, as opposed to need. Time for you to check into that.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:15 PM   #7
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Social Security paid for my college education. I was 15 when my father ER'd at 62, and I started college at 16. He received an "under-age 22, full-time student living at home" SS supplement. It wasn't much, but in-state tuition was not very costly, and I did live at home. And graduated with straight A's and no student loans
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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SS also paid for some of my wife's college education: her dad died when she was a freshman. I'd have to die for SS to help my kids.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
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SS also paid for some of my wife's college education: her dad died when she was a freshman. I'd have to die for SS to help my kids.
You could arrange it.
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