Virtually everyone in the USA knows how expensive the soaring college costs are and how much pressure they put on the average family. The process of applying for financial aid is draining on the parents, the student and also takes an enormous amount of resources for the colleges and universities.
MC2 Wealth Management hosted this seminar to show parents a few of the tricks that can be used to obtain more financial aid. They also demonstrated how applying to a more expensive university can sometimes result in a lower out-of-pocket payment for the parents.
One of the most interesting aspects of the presentation was that the manner of calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) was susceptible to manipulation by the manner in which you hold your assets. There are many ways to plan for college and the hosts were able to demonstrate how getting an early start on the planning process allows you to get the best financial aid resources.
Perhaps the most useful part of the presentation was the concept of negotiating with the college. It seems that though the schools will give you a commitment for a certain amount of financial aid, that the student always has the possibility of requesting additional support. Though the schools do not want it perceived that they “negotiate”, what they really do is “evaluate” the needs of the student and make an “adjustment” if needed to get that child to attend the school.
The key takeaway is that early planning is the key. Get the facts, start understanding the system early, and start preparing for the enormous expense that can result, especially with poor planning.