Hack Your Wealth
College financial aid strategies to optimize your assets, income & EFC
Apr 7, 2020 · 52 min
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#25: If you plan to pay for kiddo’s college education, then get ready to potentially nearly double what you spent from 0-18.

Right now, the average cost of public in-state 4-year university (tuition, room, board) is $21k per year. Private universities, $49k per year.

When I was in college, it was $12k/year public, $32k private (in today’s dollars)…

So, given how expensive college is (esp private), it’s natural for parents to feel anxious about how to afford college for their kids.

“Will we qualify for enough financial aid?”

“How much will we have to dip into our retirement nest egg?”

“Will we need to have a hard conversation with our kid that we can’t afford her dream school?”

These are common worries parents of college-bound kids grapple with.

Getting a handle on college expense and financial aid is crucial to ensuring you have enough saved to afford it. And it behooves you to start planning WAY in advance so you actually have enough time to optimize your assets, income, and financial situation for the best possible aid package.

So in this week’s podcast, I invited Paula Bishop, a college financial planning consultant and CPA who helps families strategize their college finances, to share tips and insights about college financial aid.

We talk about:

  • How the financial aid process works (including timelines)
  • What assets and income get reported on FAFSA vs. CSS Profile to compute EFC
  • Key differences between FAFSA vs. Profile
  • Special situations: rental properties, business owners, divorced parents
  • How to appeal financial aid awards
  • Why your funding strategy should shift after January of your kid’s sophomore year

Do you plan to pay your kid’s college expenses? What optimizations to family finances should parents be doing to make the cost of college more manageable? What other questions do you want answered about financial aid? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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Links mentioned in this episode:

Intro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.

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