12 Steps to Maximizing your Financial Aid

First a little math: For every $10,000 of financial aid you receive each year, that's $10,000 saved.

However, you pay the colleges with dollars that have already been taxed. In other words, $10,000 of aid is equivalent to over $17,000 in earnings! Over a family's entire "college window" that will add up to substantial savings of your hard-earned money.

Therefore, make sure your financial advisor has a lot of experience working with the financial aid system and is willing to help you with the financial aspects of all 12 steps listed below.

1. Learn how the financial aid system works.
2. Determine your FAFSA, Profile and Strategic EFCs.
3. Isolate and address any exposures in your financial profile.
4. Implement the financial aid strategies described at our Seminar.
5. Review the colleges your child is applying to for the quantity and quality of aid.
6. Find out which forms are needed for each of the colleges your child selects.
7. Estimate current-year taxes before filling out the CSS Profile and FAFSA forms.
8. Complete Profile, FAFSA and supplemental college forms.
9. Complete tax returns as soon as possible.
10. Compare and evaluate the financial aid offers from the various colleges.
11. Negotiate for more aid, if possible.
12. Do a cash flow analysis and plan how to pay the remaining college bill.

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