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Is there really no financial aid? I’ve looked at a couple of schools using their calculator and it’s not looking good at all despite a very average income where we would need merit if no aid at all.

I’ve looked at Williams College which asks a very different question from other schools. It doesn’t seem to care about your property if you don’t live in it. Of course there is the rent but that doesn’t amount to much after expenses. I must have misunderstood. We don’t live in the paid up property so  the aid is much more generous. Are there other colleges that phrase their questions like this? 

 

 

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We are in a similar position,but our residence is paid for in full.   Each college using the CSS profile can come up with their own list of questions so you may have to dig.   But this is super common for private schools.  You may want to look at schools that just use the FAFSA.  We personally don't do well with that calculator either and our salary fluctuates due to a bonus system my DH's employer uses. 

It's just good to know and yes it stinks.  We have to either focus on in state publics or those with reciprocity and/or potentially merit generous schools.  

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40 minutes ago, crazyforlatin said:

Is there really no financial aid? I’ve looked at a couple of schools using their calculator and it’s not looking good at all despite a very average income where we would need merit if no aid at all.

I’ve looked at Williams College which asks a very different question from other schools. It doesn’t seem to care about your property if you don’t live in it. Of course there is the rent but that doesn’t amount to much after expenses. I must have misunderstood. We don’t live in the paid up property so  the aid is much more generous. Are there other colleges that phrase their questions like this? 

 

 

Some schools don't consider home equity at all and most will cap how much they consider at something like 1 1/2 - 2x income. So generally owning a home outright doesn't hurt you much more than just having a lot of equity (that's our situation--we have tons of years left on our mortgage, but we have lots of equity because prices have gone up so much). There are exceptions; Boston College I think is a notorious one. And schools usually aren't very open about telling you their formulas, so you just have to run NPCs and try to figure it out. But, yeah, I think Williams is one that doesn't look at home equity. There's a chart out there somewhere with information on a bunch of schools, but it's several years old now and I don't know if anyone's done an updated one.

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12 minutes ago, shawthorne44 said:

Wow.   This is something that wasn't on my horizon.  We have a paid-for house.   We paid low-40's for it about 8 years ago.   The house was ineligible for a mortgage.    

It's only an issue if you're looking at needs-met schools that use the CSS profile (I've seen some institutional forms ask about home equity, too, but that's rare). The vast majority of schools only use FAFSA and don't look at home equity for a primary home. But the schools that give the most generous need based FA are the ones likely to look at it.

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23 minutes ago, catz said:

We are in a similar position,but our residence is paid for in full.   Each college using the CSS profile can come up with their own list of questions so you may have to dig.   But this is super common for private schools.  You may want to look at schools that just use the FAFSA.  We personally don't do well with that calculator either and our salary fluctuates due to a bonus system my DH's employer uses. 

It's just good to know and yes it stinks.  We have to either focus on in state publics or those with reciprocity and/or potentially merit generous schools.  

Ok I've seen the FAFSA acronym on other threads, but haven't even looked anything up mostly out of fear that we live in a high COL, no mortgage for a property that is in a higher COL, very low UC acceptance rate.... Thanks for this info!

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1 hour ago, crazyforlatin said:

Is there really no financial aid? I’ve looked at a couple of schools using their calculator and it’s not looking good at all despite a very average income where we would need merit if no aid at all.

I’ve looked at Williams College which asks a very different question from other schools. It doesn’t seem to care about your property if you don’t live in it. Of course there is the rent but that doesn’t amount to much after expenses. I must have misunderstood. We don’t live in the paid up property so  the aid is much more generous. Are there other colleges that phrase their questions like this? 

 

 


There are other schools that don’t look at home equity: https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/12/17/stanford-drops-home-equity-calculations-family-wealth

But, do you mean that the paid-off house is a rental? If so, I’ve researched that issue like crazy and my understanding is that anything that is rented out will count against you. In order to allow me to homeschool, we bought run-down apartments, slowly fixed them up over the years, paid them off. And now we’re scr*wed when it comes to getting financial aid. Even though my husband has a ridiculously low salary compared to the cost-of-living in our town.

I didn’t know about the policy at Williams. I’ll have to look into that.

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I'm interested in this as well. The EFC calculators I tried asked for our current home value (not assessed value, market value) and our mortgage balance.  Right now the housing market is insane and our house is allegedly worth considerable money. When that bottom drops out, which I assume it will, the total amount of equity we supposedly have will change.  I guess I'm not totally clear on how that works with this housing market. I don't think we will have to do the FAFSA until his senior year, and a lot can change by then.

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1 hour ago, crazyforlatin said:

Ok I've seen the FAFSA acronym on other threads, but haven't even looked anything up mostly out of fear that we live in a high COL, no mortgage for a property that is in a higher COL, very low UC acceptance rate.... Thanks for this info!

Run the FAFSA estimator. It took me about 5mins. They do look at savings and stock holdings. They don’t look at 401k and the house you live in.

https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/

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23 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Run the FAFSA estimator. It took me about 5mins. They do look at savings and stock holdings. They don’t look at 401k and the house you live in.

https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/

Yes, the house we live in is ok, but a rental will count against us. 

ETA: I mean, a rental that is paid off will count against us. If there’s still a high mortgage balance, it’s ok.

Edited by rzberrymom
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16 minutes ago, crazyforlatin said:

If my parents put me in a joint savings account to help pay for things and manage things, should I have them remove my name and put my name as a pay on death account? 

Personally, I would talk to a financial advisor that knows FAFSA and CSS issues—I asked for recommendations a while back and got a few names. I’ll PM you.

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24 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Run the FAFSA estimator. It took me about 5mins. They do look at savings and stock holdings. They don’t look at 401k and the house you live in.

https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/

I'm so confused on this.  When I did an EFC calculator before on the College Board website, it included our house value and it said our EFC was going to be $260K. This one gave me an EFC of about $14K.  

Can someone give me a quick summary of how the schools use the FAFSA? 

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4 minutes ago, cintinative said:

I'm so confused on this.  When I did an EFC calculator before on the College Board website, it included our house value and it said our EFC was going to be $260K. This one gave me an EFC of about $14K.  

Can someone give me a quick summary of how the schools use the FAFSA? 

The one that use the house value is the institutional methodology which is closer to the CSS profile. The FAFSA estimator link I gave is based on federal methodology and do not include house value.

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/calculate-your-cost/expected-family-contribution/faqs

How does the Institutional Methodology work?

The Institutional Methodology relies on information you supply in the CSS Profile™ (the financial aid application service of the College Board) to figure out your EFC. This version of your EFC is used by some colleges and scholarship programs to determine how much nonfederal financial aid to give”

How does the Federal Methodology work?

The Federal Methodology relies on the information you provide on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to figure out your EFC. This version of your EFC determines how much financial aid you can get from the U.S. government. Some colleges use the Federal Methodology to award their institutional funds as well.”

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The FAFSA controls whether you will get federally subsided loans and/or Pell grants. You generally must be very poor to get either.

The FAFSA also makes students eligible for unsubsidized federal student loans which are generally the loans with the best terms, because they have lower fees and interest rates than private loans and do not affect the parent's credit rating at all.

FAFSA also controls access to parent PLUS loans, which are horrible. Do not send your kid to a college that expects most of the money to come from parent PLUS loans. PLUS loans have higher fees and higher interest rates than the federal student loans. Parents with a good credit rating and reasonable loan-to-income amount can probably get a private loan at a better rate (if they really want to go into debt to send their kids to college). PLUS loans are made without determining whether the parent has the financial means to pay them back and can leave parents very much in the hole after graduation.

The FAFSA is used by many colleges as the only financial aid form. However, many selective colleges popular with wealthy families also ask for the CSS Profile, which asks lots of questions about home equity, retirement funds, business expenses, and other ways that families can be very wealthy while not looking particularly rich on the FAFSA (because there is a lot it doesn't ask about).

Your Profile EFC does not affect your access to the federal programs, just to financial aid controlled by the college that uses the Profile.

If you are lower middle class or poorer, your Profile EFC (IM) will often be less than your FAFSA (FM) one. If you are upper middle class and above, your Profile EFC will be higher.  If you are somewhere truly in the middle, it can be a little more random which form you will do better on.

The FAFSA is a public formula, but the Profile is a private, proprietary formula. In fact, it is a lot of different formulas, as each college can customize what percents count. The only way to estimate your Profile EFC is to use the college board calculator https://npc.collegeboard.org/app/efc/start

or the college's own Net Price Calculator (which for Profile schools often goes right back to the college board site)

 

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We get caught because we live in housing provided by dh’s employer. The value of that housing fluctuates so right now it inflates his salary but we have no access to that money. Plus our house we own so we can have a house when we retire is rented out. We make very little profit. Housing prices have gone up so our equity is higher. So, yeah, our EFC this year went up $18,000! Fortunately, we’ve gone the high merit aid route and one child graduated this year. They are getting a good education and taking on very few loans. 

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4 minutes ago, freesia said:

We get caught because we live in housing provided by dh’s employer. The value of that housing fluctuates so right now it inflates his salary but we have no access to that money. Plus our house we own so we can have a house when we retire is rented out. We make very little profit. Housing prices have gone up so our equity is higher. So, yeah, our EFC this year went up $18,000! Fortunately, we’ve gone the high merit aid route and one child graduated this year. They are getting a good education and taking on very few loans. 

Are the loans parent or student loans? At our age I don't think we can have any sort of retirement to pay off a substantial school loan. Wouldn't the student be in a better position? Or is the student loan capped?

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19 minutes ago, crazyforlatin said:

Are the loans parent or student loans? At our age I don't think we can have any sort of retirement to pay off a substantial school loan. Wouldn't the student be in a better position? Or is the student loan capped?

Student loans. We won’t take out loans for their college. It isn’t worth it, really. Our kids can live at home and go to the CC and then local state college instead. Fortunately, so far they haven’t had to. 

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8 hours ago, shawthorne44 said:

Wow.   This is something that wasn't on my horizon.  We have a paid-for house.   We paid low-40's for it about 8 years ago.   The house was ineligible for a mortgage.    

Yeah. Because our mortgage was paid off, all the CSS schools, including the "meets full need" ones were out of range, because they flat out said we could just take out a honking home equity loan to pay for college.  Em, nope.  

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6 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah. Because our mortgage was paid off, all the CSS schools, including the "meets full need" ones were out of range, because they flat out said we could just take out a honking home equity loan to pay for college.  Em, nope.  

We were 40 when we had DD.   So, we'll be 58 when she's 18.   That is *not* the time to take out loans.  

 

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38 minutes ago, shawthorne44 said:

We were 40 when we had DD.   So, we'll be 58 when she's 18.   That is *not* the time to take out loans.  

Exactly. Dh was over 60 when the kids were done with college.  They told me they considered it a 'choice'.  I told them I chose not to be living in my car eating cat food in my old age. 😒  

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On 4/23/2022 at 5:21 PM, crazyforlatin said:

Are the loans parent or student loans? At our age I don't think we can have any sort of retirement to pay off a substantial school loan. Wouldn't the student be in a better position? Or is the student loan capped?

Federal student loans are capped. 
https://www.edvisors.com/student-loans/federal-student-loans/loan-limits/

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On 4/23/2022 at 7:21 PM, crazyforlatin said:

Are the loans parent or student loans? At our age I don't think we can have any sort of retirement to pay off a substantial school loan. Wouldn't the student be in a better position? Or is the student loan capped?

 

1 hour ago, JanetC said:

With student loans capped at a very small percentage of total cost (not enough for tuition at most schools, let alone even thinking about room and board), it makes selecting schools based on affordability and desired major far more prudent than thinking in terms of brand name and selectivity.  @crazyforlatin Since you have asked about double majors due to your appt with a college advisor, I'd recommend forgoing the expense of the college advisor. If your financial package from selective schools means they are too expensive, that is no different than being rejected anyway.  If your student is competitive enough for admissions as a classics major at selective colleges, she will be very competitive for scholarships at less selective colleges where she can major in her desired major.  

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On 4/23/2022 at 11:07 AM, crazyforlatin said:

Is there really no financial aid? I’ve looked at a couple of schools using their calculator and it’s not looking good at all despite a very average income where we would need merit if no aid at all.

I’ve looked at Williams College which asks a very different question from other schools. It doesn’t seem to care about your property if you don’t live in it. Of course there is the rent but that doesn’t amount to much after expenses. I must have misunderstood. We don’t live in the paid up property so  the aid is much more generous. Are there other colleges that phrase their questions like this? 

 

 

FWIW, I think you are not understanding Williams's financial questions clearly.  I do not believe they don't care about a property you own if you don't live in it.  Williams uses the CSS Profile and the Profile digs into your financial information in far more depth than FAFSA.  I personally believe they will take the value of that property and use in the parental contribution determination.  Schools expect parents not to contribute to retirement during college yrs and add back in your retirement contributions as available funds.  Some schools want to know about the value of cars, boats, etc.  You need to provide information on investments, portfolios, etc.  So, the idea that a rental property that is paid for is ignored is definitely unlikely.  I would recommend calling their financial aid office and speaking to someone.

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I just want to add b/c people of all kinds read here without posting...

*IF YOU ARE A MILITARY FAMILY* and have land or (non-TSP/401K/403b/457) assets that you saved to build/buy (or have purchased) a retirement/investment home/lot that you do not currently live in...YOU'RE SCREWED. If you're AD during college, at "profile" schools, your BAH will be held against you (if NAVY and in a HCOL...DUH...double screwed) and your retirement benefits will be counted as disposable income. PLAN AHEAD.

Your best bet is colleges/universities that rely *ONLY* on FAFSA, "Yellow Ribbon" colleges (if the student is using GI Bill benefits) or, if you have a high-stat student who can realistically hope for admission to one or more lottery schools, meets-need schools. Otherwise...prepare to self-fund the whole enchilada.

Edited by Sneezyone
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31 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

With student loans capped at a very small percentage of total cost (not enough for tuition at most schools, let alone even thinking about room and board), it makes selecting schools based on affordability and desired major far more prudent than thinking in terms of brand name and selectivity.  @crazyforlatin Since you have asked about double majors due to your appt with a college advisor, I'd recommend forgoing the expense of the college advisor. If your financial package from selective schools means they are too expensive, that is no different than being rejected anyway.  If your student is competitive enough for admissions as a classics major at selective colleges, she will be very competitive for scholarships at less selective colleges where she can major in her desired major.  

This.  One of my dds had a 34 ACT, a great GPA, was going into CompSci.  Yes, she got into every single place she applied to, including some selective ones.  The only ones remotely affordable even after merit aid at all of them was a private where she'd have to take out loans (but that wasn't a deal-breaker for us; it would've just been the capped student loans and she could've paid them off by graduation with what she earned in their coop program), one out-of-state public school where she got full tuition, and two in-state publics, one of which gave her half tuition.  She picked the in-state with half tuition paid that also had optional coop program.  Did two paid coops there, came out not just debt-free but with money in the bank, and with a very nice job offer from one of the coop jobs.  Was able to almost double-major in math (one class short; only reason for that was she decided to graduate a semester early instead because Covid-era remote school no fun).  Does not regret for one minute not going to one of the more 'prestigious' schools.

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2 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

This.  One of my dds had a 34 ACT, a great GPA, was going into CompSci.  Yes, she got into every single place she applied to, including some selective ones.  The only ones remotely affordable even after merit aid at all of them was a private where she'd have to take out loans (but that wasn't a deal-breaker for us; it would've just been the capped student loans and she could've paid them off by graduation with what she earned in their coop program), one out-of-state public school where she got full tuition, and two in-state publics, one of which gave her half tuition.  She picked the in-state with half tuition paid that also had optional coop program.  Did two paid coops there, came out not just debt-free but with money in the bank, and with a very nice job offer from one of the coop jobs.  Was able to almost double-major in math (one class short; only reason for that was she decided to graduate a semester early instead because Covid-era remote school no fun).  Does not regret for one minute not going to one of the more 'prestigious' schools.

My college kid is having a similar experience, had similar stats.   Top 15 public at half tuition.   CS and 2nd major.  This school has definitely exceeded expectations in terms of opportunities and special attention.    If grad school is on the table you want to be even more prudent financially.   

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14 minutes ago, catz said:

 If grad school is on the table you want to be even more prudent financially.   

Just want to comment on this aspect for those who aren't aware of this:
in the sciences, grad school for the terminal degree is normally fully funded. Graduate students receive a stipend for living expenses and a tuition waiver and in exchange are working part time as TAs or RAs in their department. 

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I strongly disagree that you need to be prepared to pay the whole enchilada.  I have 2 kids who attended college for free with tuition, room, and board plus additional expenses paid for.  There are schools that offer full-tuition or partial tuition just based on test scores and GPA.  

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On 4/23/2022 at 8:24 PM, shawthorne44 said:

We were 40 when we had DD.   So, we'll be 58 when she's 18.   That is *not* the time to take out loans.  

 

Amen! 
Our dc will go to college with NO loans! Just not financially responsible for our family. That limits their choices, but we and they are ok with that. Dd will apply to non-selective, in-state schools that have generous automatic merit aid, good honors college programs, competitive scholarships, and affordable study abroad programs. She has public and private schools on her list. The FA officers at the two private schools we visited said they use only the FAFSA and do not consider retirement or home equity as available funds. 

Edited by ScoutTN
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We went from a situation with kid #1 who had the ability to apply to some private schools because he could qualify for some financial aid to qualifying for no financial aid anywhere by the time #4 will go. It is what it is. Higher income plus only one dependent kid left in the family and that is how it shakes out. Our situation sure doesn’t feel like it has changed as dramatically as FAFSA math thinks it has! Somehow it feels like there should be a consideration in the calculation for having already put other kids through 🙂 It isn’t as though most people are going into the final child in the family “whole” from college expenses. 
 

#3 did get a full ride plus (like he was home over Easter trying to figure out how to spend stipend money he still has when they have really covered everything and then some). He’s at a state flagship. He had an impressive resume but there was also some luck involved (he was an alternate for his scholarship so if that other kid hadn’t chosen the more prestigious school my ds wouldn’t have gotten the deal he did). He also could have had a full ride at one of our regional state universities. I suspect if he had cast a wider net he could have had a few other good choices but he was pretty set on staying in state.
 

My youngest will have very limited options because there will be zero financial aid coming. It will narrow the search for sure but I have been at this long enough to know how it works and know that she will find opportunities somewhere. At least with having been through it enough times I will have peace about it and not so much fear or sadness of what she is missing out on. 

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1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

I strongly disagree that you need to be prepared to pay the whole enchilada.  I have 2 kids who attended college for free with tuition, room, and board plus additional expenses paid for.  There are schools that offer full-tuition or partial tuition just based on test scores and GPA.  

Are you a military family with significant savings/assets that are *NOT* considered primary b/c you live in OCONUS or government or BAH-paid housing, and have 'average' kids w/o high test scores? If not, what I said DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Edited by Sneezyone
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2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Are you a military family with significant savings/assets that are *NOT* considered primary b/c you live in OCONUS or government or BAH-paid housing, and have 'average' kids w/o high test scores? If not, what I said DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Actually my comment applies to anyone (even billionaires if they had a child who wanted to attend avg state U) bc the merit scholarships I referred to are eligible for anyone who qualifies via merit. Financial information is ignored completely.  Since the OP sought the help of a college advisors for competitive schools, full pay is a decision, not the only option.  

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6 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Actually my comment applies to anyone (even billionaires if they had a child who wanted to attend avg state U) bc the merit scholarships I referred to are eligible for anyone who qualifies via merit. Financial information is ignored completely.  Since the OP sought the help of a college advisors for competitive schools, full pay is a decision, not the only option.  

So, that's a no? Merit meaning...

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

So, that's a no?

 

5 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I just want to add b/c people of all kinds read here without posting...

*IF YOU ARE A MILITARY FAMILY* and have land or (non-TSP/401K/403b/457) assets that you saved to build/buy (or have purchased) a retirement/investment home/lot that you do not currently live in...YOU'RE SCREWED. If you're AD during college, at "profile" schools, your BAH will be held against you (if NAVY and in a HCOL...DUH...double screwed) and your retirement benefits will be counted as disposable income. PLAN AHEAD.

Your best bet is colleges/universities that rely *ONLY* on FAFSA, "Yellow Ribbon" colleges (if the student is using GI Bill benefits) or, if you have a high-stat student who can realistically hope for admission to one or more lottery schools, meets-need schools. Otherwise...prepare to self-fund the whole enchilada.

I'm not military. But your post totally ignores merit-based scholarships which will ignore the info in your first paragraph that meets need schools might take into account (by far the Profile or the FAFSA plus institutional formula is required for meeting need).

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15 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

 

I'm not military. But your post totally ignores merit-based scholarships which will ignore the info in your first paragraph that meets need schools might take into account (by far the Profile or the FAFSA plus institutional formula is required for meeting need).

No, it didn't ignore merit. It defined merit as "HIGH STAT" which you, conveniently, chose to ignore. Military families w/o high-stat kids that DO NOT get the message to prepare to pay or use GI Bill are ill-served by your blanket pronouncements. Those OCONUS do not have *any* in-state options (like DC but without the subsidy). I've seen far too many complaints from MILITARY FAMILIES who thought their savings for retirement (including "investment property" which may be their ONLY property) would be shielded b/c they don't make that much 'actual' money... to not to give a warning to those families.

Edited by Sneezyone
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4 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

No, it didn't ignore merit. It defined merit as "HIGH STAT" which you, conveniently, chose to ignore. Military families w/o high-stat kids that DO NOT get the message to prepare to pay or use GI Bill are ill-served by your blanket pronouncements. I've seen far too many complaints from MILITARY FAMILIES who thought their savings for retirement (including "investment property" which may be ONLY property) would be shielded b/c they don't make that much 'actual' money to not to give a warning to those families.

Those aren't shielded for anyone, not just military. It is why the Profile is used, to find assets that can be used to pay for school. And kids getting into meets need schools are by default high stat kids. Also,  if they are applying to schools using the Profile, they have selected a narrowed group of private schools or a handful of elite publics bc avg Us dont use the Profile. (Here is a list of schools that do https://www.thecollegemonk.com/blog/every-school-that-requires-a-css-profile )

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Just now, 8filltheheart said:

Those aren't shielded for anyone, not just military. It is why the Profile is used, to find assets that can be used to pay for school. And kids getting into meets need schools are by default high stat kids. Also,  if they are applying to schools using the Profile, they have selected a narrowed group of private schools or a handful of elite publics bc avg Us dont use the Profile. (Here is a list of schools that do https://www.thecollegemonk.com/blog/every-school-that-requires-a-css-profile )

So, I'm trying to be nice right now...

Some of us don't have the option to pay off our primary homes because WE DON'T HAVE PRIMARY HOMES until the sponsor retires. You've not disputed a damn thing that I said. If you can't be full pay, AS A MILITARY FAMILY, you need to have/anticipate a high-stat kid.

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18 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

So, I'm trying to be nice right now...

Some of us don't have the option to pay off our primary homes because WE DON'T HAVE PRIMARY HOMES until the sponsor retires. You've not disputed a damn thing that I said. If you can't be full pay, AS A MILITARY FAMILY, you need to have/anticipate a high-stat kid.

I have no idea why you are so irritated. I'm not going to acquiesce that you are right bc I am not military.  There are lot of families who are renters without very high performing kids who have to figure out how to pay the bills. These ideas apply to military families as well.

Kids dont have to be that high stat to get scholarships. It takes knowing how to search for schools and being willing to attend schools that may never have been heard of before. For example, Truman State. They offer  military families instate tuition and scholarships for ACT scores as low bills.

https://www.truman.edu/admission-cost/cost-aid/scholarships/automatic-scholarships/

Non-Resident Tuition Grant Automatically awarded to admitted students whose non-custodial parent is a Missouri resident or for students who are spouses, dependent children, or are a current/recent member of a branch of Military.

Tuition grant covering the out-of-state portion of tuition ($7,721 for 2021-2022 academic year).         

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I have no idea why you are so irritated. I'm not going to acquiesce that you are right bc I am not military.  There are lot of families who are renters without very high performing kids who have to figure out how to pay the bills. These ideas apply to military families as well.

Kids dont have to be that high stat to get scholarships. It takes knowing how to search for schools and being willing to attend schools that may never have been heard of before. For example, Truman State. They offer  military families instate tuition and scholarships for ACT scores as low bills.

https://www.truman.edu/admission-cost/cost-aid/scholarships/automatic-scholarships/

Non-Resident Tuition Grant Automatically awarded to admitted students whose non-custodial parent is a Missouri resident or for students who are spouses, dependent children, or are a current/recent member of a branch of Military.

Tuition grant covering the out-of-state portion of tuition ($7,721 for 2021-2022 academic year).         

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm irritated b/c you want to substitute conjecture for knowledge. RENTERS may or may not have significant assets but usually don't. Military families, particularly as they get toward retirement and their kids graduate often have real assets that aren't their primary home, a situation *MANY* military families find themselves in as they save for/prepare for retirement b/c they don't have primary homes. If you want your kids to have options beyond Truman State (70%+ admissions) which most of us do, TYVM, 1-2K/mo for 9 months of the year isn't an option. You have to prepare. If you get lucky and are stateside at retirement in a state where your kids actually want to attend, great. Moderate income military families may have homes (read, "investment properties" purchased with VA loans and minimal down payments that are not easily converted). Unless your kids have...wait for it...STATS!...this is meaningless info.

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

No, it didn't ignore merit. It defined merit as "HIGH STAT" which you, conveniently, chose to ignore. Military families w/o high-stat kids that DO NOT get the message to prepare to pay or use GI Bill are ill-served by your blanket pronouncements. Those OCONUS do not have *any* in-state options (like DC but without the subsidy). I've seen far too many complaints from MILITARY FAMILIES who thought their savings for retirement (including "investment property" which may be their ONLY property) would be shielded b/c they don't make that much 'actual' money... to not to give a warning to those families.

I honestly think this might be a recruitment tool. Dd met several people in her training who had used their parents GI Bill for a couple of years of college and then enlisted to get their own benefits to finish. I thought this was kind of weird because why would you use the GI Bill for the first couple of years instead of saving it to finish a degree after CC, but your explanation makes a lot of sense. They probably didn't realize how little financial aid they would be eligible for after the GI Bill ran out.

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What you dont get is that STATS are essentially a prerequisite for any school that uses the Profile. Schools that use the CSS Profile are typically private and/or elite. They have very low admissions rates. So, if students dont have stats, they won't be accepted to low admission rate schools. So all of your info is totally intertwined with the very stats you say you are discounting.

In terms if Yellow Ribbon or GI bill....that I know nothing about and am not commenting on. But the Profile does the same to everyone. Low income does not protect assets.

ETA: any student whose parents' annual income is below $50,000 can qualify for the simple needs test which means automatic $0 parental contribution for FAFSA and no assets need to be reported.  (But, FAFSA only qualifies you for loans, Pell grants, and possibly Perkins.)

Edited by 8filltheheart
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On 4/23/2022 at 2:46 PM, cintinative said:

I don't think we will have to do the FAFSA until his senior year, and a lot can change by then.

The FAFSA now uses the year called "prior prior" which means when he applies as a senior they will want your financial info from his sophomore year, which looks like right now from your signature.  Assuming you will continue to need aid, he'll fill out the FAFSA every year but the last year's financial info they will look at is his sophomore year of college.

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3 minutes ago, Eos said:

The FAFSA now uses the year called "prior prior" which means when he applies as a senior they will want your info from his sophomore year, which looks like right now from your signature.  Assuming you will continue to need aid, he'll fill out the FAFSA every year but your last year they will see is his sophomore year of college.

Interesting.  So if I get a job between now and when he graduates, that money won't be included?  I always figured that despite good intentions, if my husband finally gets his COL increase, or if I get a job, we will get dinged. 

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4 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Interesting.  So if I get a job between now and when he graduates, that money won't be included?  I always figured that despite good intentions, if my husband finally gets his COL increase, or if I get a job, we will get dinged. 

It will be included, starting this year and continuing until his junior year of college.  But with a younger sibling coming along, it will be another year after that ie your younger's junior year of college. 

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1 hour ago, chiguirre said:

I honestly think this might be a recruitment tool. Dd met several people in her training who had used their parents GI Bill for a couple of years of college and then enlisted to get their own benefits to finish. I thought this was kind of weird because why would you use the GI Bill for the first couple of years instead of saving it to finish a degree after CC, but your explanation makes a lot of sense. They probably didn't realize how little financial aid they would be eligible for after the GI Bill ran out.

Yep. Recruiters talk up the value of the benefit but not the strategy required to use it effectively or the consequences of buying property as an AD member. If you have two kids and one has better stats, it makes sense to use the GI Bill for the lower stat kid so they have more affordable options. Too many service ppl think, b/c their overall salaries are low, that the house they bought with their VA benefit for 0 down and don’t live in is a retirement asset b/c for us, IT IS. Neither FAFSA NOR CSS PROFILE see it that way.

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1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

What you dont get is that STATS are essentially a prerequisite for any school that uses the Profile. Schools that use the CSS Profile are typically private and/or elite. They have very low admissions rates. So, if students dont have stats, they won't be accepted to low admission rate schools. So all of your info is totally intertwined with the very stats you say you are discounting.

In terms if Yellow Ribbon or GI bill....that I know nothing about and am not commenting on. But the Profile does the same to everyone. Low income does not protect assets.

ETA: any student whose parents' annual income is below $50,000 can qualify for the simple needs test which means automatic $0 parental contribution for FAFSA and no assets need to be reported.  (But, FAFSA only qualifies you for loans, Pell grants, and possibly Perkins.)

I’m gonna need you to know your limits. FAFSA includes ‘investment’ properties  as assets in its calculations which, for military families, includes any home you don’t currently live in regardless of your intention to return. Untaxed military benefits for housing and food have, historically, counted against eligibility for Pell and Perkins DEPENDING ON THE SCHOOL. So, if you live in a HCOL area, through no fault of your own, your gross income would disqualify you regardless of your basic pay rate. These issues are real. They are niche but they should not be dismissed. There are PLENTY of schools, even non-selective schools, that use the profile b/c wealthy people have worked so damn hard to game the system. Military families have suffered as a result and need to be aware of the impact of saving w/real estate vs TSP. Saying that is right and just, not censure-worthy. I appreciate that this isn’t a population you’re familiar with. IJS- IYK, YK and we’d be remiss not to give people that info.

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3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m gonna need you to know your limits. FAFSA includes ‘investment’ properties  as assets in its calculations which, for military families, includes any home you don’t currently live in regardless of your intention to return. Untaxed military benefits for housing and food have, historically, counted against eligibility for Pell and Perkins DEPENDING ON THE SCHOOL. So, if you live in a HCOL area, through no fault if your own, your gross income would disqualify you regardless of your basic pay rate. These issues are real. They are niche but they should not be dismissed.

I never dismissed anything regarding FAFSA.  My comments were reserved to CSS Profile schools.  The only thing I mentioned about FAFSA is the simple needs test.  In terms of non-primary residences, that also applies to everyone.  Same for housing.  Pastors who live in a church's house, for example, face the same issue.  If you work internationally and your corp pays for your international housing, the same issue applies. 

That parents don't understand how financial aid works....that I agree with you 100%.  That parents are naive about college costs and funding....I agree.  I have met parents who think that FAFSA's EFC represents the amt that they will pay for school.  Trying to explain that the EFC is a fictional number that is rather meaningless except for federal aid and being dismissed....btdt.

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